Our awesome Rock'N Horse Minis office!
Updated: Nov 14, 2018
Only in California, right? Where you can blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.
We've tried to create a homelike habitat for mini horses, with a (mostly) clean floor, dedicated bathroom and eating locations, and representative (albeit minimalist) furniture. We make sure the minis are comfortable with some of the physical elements of houses, schools, clinics and libraries as part of their therapy and service education. Thus "the office" where we work alongside them as they go about their horsey business. Hey it's no weirder than hanging out in your study brushing your cat off the keyboard while your dog sits on your feet and pleads for a treat!
Everything about what we do, whether it is desensitization work for therapy activity, or service-related task training to mitigate a specific disability, means that we spend long intervals of time with the minis in a setting that could be considered as unnatural for them as it is for us. (BTW what constitutes natural for a domesticated critter that has never been exposed to "the wild" or a human who lives on the eleventy first floor of a high-rise is up for philosophical grabs!)
The Aviary is our attempt to create a hybrid paddock/office that can be tricked out with human residential components such as bathroom (baby pool for quadrupeds and porta potty for bipeds) furniture (wheelchair and camping table) battery-powered electronics (phone, pad, keyboard) and a fine $29.99 wireless sound system (thank you Amazon Prime counterfeit vendor!) We don't eat off the floor or drink out of buckets alongside the horses, because iced tea and chips out of a bag work just fine, thank you- but that's the idea. The minis are included in every activity because we're all right there together.
Why is the Aviary fully enclosed? Ziggy Starbutt was attacked by domestic dogs at another location and two hospitalizations and several partial tail amputations later we are never going to go through that again! We call it the birdcage, or Aviary, because it sits high on a breezy plateau with a view of the valley and backs up onto a canyon filled with wildlife such as hawks, owls, coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions. Minis are vulnerable to all of these creatures so the horses live in what functions as a fancy cage.
Proximity to home is essential because the endgame for both horses is service so they have learned to travel back and forth from the Aviary to a typical suburban neighborhood. Moving between locations requires walking a dirt path, followed by a paved sidewalk, followed by a super scary bridge that rumbles and sways over a busy road. Both horses are fine with this trip and do better on the bridge than we do! Nothing like strolling back and forth to "work" with an equine companion every day!