byEditorial Staff| Sep 18, 2017
Situated on 25 acres not far from Lexington, Kentucky, Josh Dolan and Alex Granato's Peeps Foundation miniature horse rescue has earned a following among top names in show jumping—from Jennifer Gates and Jessica Springsteen to Ben Maher and Kaley Cuoco. Most recently, the organization was the first call of Canadian rider Jonathan Millar when he was forced to relocate his two mini horses from Wellington in the wake of hurricane Irma.
Home to 23 minis (as well as an assortment of dogs, full-size horses, a goat, and a llama), the Peeps Foundation has rescued more than 150 minis in the last two years and soon plans to expand its efforts with a miniature horse sponsorship program and the launch of Josh's new benefit T-shirt design company, Be by Dolan. Yet the best ambassadors for the Peeps Foundation are undoubtedly its residents, themselves, and you can get to know five of them above.
Fair warning: the cuteness level in this slideshow is pretty close to off the charts.
-Slideshow reporting by Catie Staszak. Images courtesy of the Peeps Foundation.
For more on the Peeps Foundation, visit thepeepsfoundation.com.
Cinderella’s feet hadn’t done in five years when she arrived in Dolan and Granato’s care, and all four hooves had grown to the point where they completely curled over. They still are, but they are much shorter now, and the coronet bands are now growing straight.
“They’ll never be perfect, but we’re hoping that with constant trimming and our farriers helping with that, we’ll eventually be able to trim it back enough to where the hooves will grow as straight as possible and will start growing back naturally,” Granato explained.
Toasty was rescued from Maryland right before he was going to be sold to a traveling circus. He had an upside down foot, but that has since been corrected with some creative custom shoeing. “You could see his frog,” Dolan said. “He was so young that the ankle was pliable. With [our farriers] Curtis and Aaron, we were able to correct it, enough," says Josh.
"Curtis [Burns] designed Polyflex shoes (an innovative, non-restrictive, glue-on shoe), and he designed us a custom plate specifically for him, and it was on for nine months.”
Roanie is believed to be Peeps’ sire. When Dolan and Granato made their initial rescue, the appropriately named stallion (now gelding) was leading a small band of mares that included Peeps’ dam. Roanie acts as a companion for Granato’s retired show jumpers, Mad Season (the namesake of his operation), and Gangsta.
4. Little Lizzy
The tiniest dwarf mini on the farm, Little Lizzy’s ears were chewed by cows as a foal, rupturing the blood vessels and causing them to become severely infected. They healed, but their structure has been permanently damaged, leaving Lizzy with floppy, rabbit-like ears. Her right front foot is also crooked. She was scheduled to be flown to Wellington days before Hurricane Irma’s arrival, so that trip was postponed. When it is deemed safe, she will fly south to receive treatment from corrective shoeing specialist Curtis Burns.
Tootsie knew exactly when it was safe to come out—literally. The foal was born on April 28th—exactly 12 hours after her mother “Cutie Pie” was rescued!