Meet Olivia The Adorable Mini Horse Bringing Joy to Her Farm and Followers On Instagram

Looking for a companion for her pony Sierra, Jackie found mini horse Olivia at a local rescue in 2018.

“I had been looking at a lot of different local rescues and talking to some different groups,” she says.

Olivia’s mom soon learned that Olivia was a part of a group of multiple mini horses that had been rescued from a neglect situation. She spoke with people from the rescue on the phone about Olivia’s temperament and behavior to make sure that she would be a good fit with Sierra.

“I went out and I met her and she was a perfect fit,” she says. “I really just needed a horse who was not going to be a troublemaker who wasn’t going to be a bully. Olivia is a perfect fit for Sierra.”

When Olivia’s mom first brought Olivia home, she was timid. It took a little time for her to get used to being around people, but she was very vocal. One of the first videos recorded of Olivia was when the mini horse saw her reflection in a window. She neighed loudly, as if to say, “look at that horse!”

“It was the cutest thing,” she says.

Olivia’s mom was initially told that Olivia was probably about 5 years old, but about a year and a half later, she lost her front baby teeth, which horses tend to lose at about 2 and a half years old. That’s when mom realized Oliva was just a baby.

“She was probably a little bit around a year old when I first adopted her,” she says. “Sierra kind of taught her how to be a horse the way that Sierra wanted her to be a horse. I think that also helped to shape their relationship because Sierra showed her the ropes of ‘this is what we do.’ And [Olivia] is really curious. She’s really playful. She’s very loving. She loves her big sister so much she wants to be with her all the time. ”

Before meeting Olivia, Sierra had been injured in the field and was on stall rest. When Olivia’s mom was going to turn Olivia back out, she needed a buddy. Olivia became a, “little emotional support horse,” as her mom puts it.

Mom says Sierra was standoffish and a little bit jealous when she first met Olivia, but quickly warmed up to her. Sierra and Olivia have since bonded closely over the last few years.

“Olivia really filled the role very well,” she says. “Her job is to be a companion and she does a really good job at it.”

Olivia is a curious mini horse who loves going on adventures.

“She loves to get into everything,” her mom says. “We have a manure pile, she’ll sometimes climb up to the top of it; just scale right up to the top, and I’m like ‘Oh my goodness.'”

Olivia enjoys playing with a big red ball, and never turns down an opportunity to help.

“I let her come in while I’m doing farm chores and if she wants to help she’ll try to like push the wheelbarrow, or hit the shovel with her hoof. With a bag of bedding, she wants to get into the bag,” her mom says. “She’s really into helping and she gets very excited when we have farm equipment out.”

Olivia will neigh when the family’s backhoe comes out to shift the manure pile, even try to get involved in the work. Her older sister Sierra is a little more reserved.

“She starts screaming at it and wants to go up to it,” mom says. “She’s very curious. And it’s really entertaining how much she gets into things because Sierra is a little bit more nervous with certain things, and Olivia is really brave.”

Brave, curious, determined, sometimes even a little silly. Olivia is all these things.

“You can’t take your eyes off of them for one second,” her mom says. “I was grooming Olivia. I had a bucket for her to eat hay out of and I had to go grab something really quick and on the other like side of the door, so I went to get that and then I hear a banging noise. I come running back in and she had — within that 30 seconds of me grabbing a brush — gotten the bucket over her head and was like ramming herself into the wall. I was like, ‘Olivia, how did you do this?’

“She’s just really cute,” mom continues. “She’s kind of like a puppy.”

One of Olivia’s favorite activities is going trick or treating in the local neighborhood, where she can see the kids.

“That’s one of our most exciting days of the year,” Olivia’s mom says. “She dresses up like a unicorn and we go to a handful of homes near the farm. She LOVES attention and she’s a really good girl when everyone comes over to see her.”

Olivia also loves the animals on the family farm, including cats and a dog named Lily. One morning, a herd of deer spent time hanging out with Olivia in the field.

“It was SO CUTE,” mom says. “The deer would wait for Olivia and Sierra and then they would all go out and graze together, and there’s a fox who will lay down in the field with them while they graze. Olivia is a friend to all.”

Olivia, Sierra and the family dog Lily each have Instagram accounts. Olivia’s mom started with Sierra’s when she adopted the horse in 2015.

“It was a good way to like meet other horse people and connect with people hear about other stories,” mom says. “And it’s a really good way to meet other people like yourself. I know a lot of people who have miniature horses. You get tips from each other, and it’s a good really good community.”

As herd animals, horses benefit greatly from having a companion. Sierra and Olivia make a great pair, where either may not have flourished if kept with other large horses on the farm.

“Sierra had some stomach issues several years ago and she had to go have a hospital stay,” mom explains. “When I brought her back, Olivia was so excited and knew the trailer was coming in. She knew her sister was on the trailer. They were hollering to each other when they were finally together.

“Sierra kind of took a minute or two to adjust. But once Sierra made that connection, the two of them like were inseparable,” she continues. “They were following each other everywhere more than they had been before. And I think ever since that day, the two of them have really become a lot more like bonded over that experience.”

Olivia is a loving horse, and Sierra makes a good big sister.

“She really loves her big sister,” her mom says. “That’s the main thing. They love their buddies. The two of them are really bonded to each other. That was my dream come true, just to have two horses that are best friends and love each other.”

See more of Olivia on her Instagram page to learn more, and watch her play in the video below!

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, spending time with his daughters, and coffee.
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