The West Virginia Miniature Horse Competition held its second annual show at the WVU Extension Services Reedsville Farm. Nearly 50 competitors brought their best mini horses to be shown off in a number of competitions.
Gary Summers is a competitor that owns 21 mini horses.
"Years ago we showed big horses and we got too old to handle the big ones," said Summers. "We got interested in the minis about ten years ago. They're more or less a hobby for us. I still work so I don't get to go to as many show as most people do. Like I said, it's a hobby and it's enjoyable. They're like pets."
Most people at the competition wanted to stress that mini horses are not ponies. They are usually between 34 and 38 inches full grown. The competition has classes for height.
Mini horses aren't just good for competing and having as a household pet.
Melissa Skidmore is the Chairman of the West Virginia Miniature Horse Championship. She said that they can be used as a tool for people who are nervous around big horses.
"They're a very versatile animal. They're great for kids. They're a great teaching tool for kids, because a kid is not intimidated by them and they can be around a horse," said Skidmore. "A child who's never been around a horse, this is a good way to get them interested in horses, if they're not already interested."
Summers said training the minis aren't hard and it's fun bringing them to the shows but they are hard to maintain.
"This particular horse has been body clipped. His whole body has been clipped with clippers," Summers said. "And then it's a lot of work to maintain their feet. That's the one thing about miniature horses, you have to maintain their feet. Probably every three months they need trimmed."
Summers won grand champ in the Gilding Classes with his horse Penny Creek Genuine Buster Brown.