Shammy the dwarf: short on size, big on personality

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Meet Shammy, the latest super-cute equine internet sensation. The dwarf miniature, who lives in the USA, is only a few months old but is already winning friends with his fun-loving personality.

Standing at just 20 inches tall and weighing less than a sack of horse feed at 50 pounds (22kg), Shammy is also the subject of a book written by his owner, Michele Puryear, a horse breeder in Georgia. He has more than 5000 fans on his Facebook page, where Puryear posts videos and pictures of his antics.

Shammy kicks back.
Shammy kicks back.
Puryear says there are four types of dwarfism in miniature horses, and Shammy’s traits are that the has an undershot jaw, short neck, nostrils on top of his nose, breathing issues, and crooked legs. “They really do suffer as they get older; they tend to get arthritis. Their bodies don’t grow as fast as their internal organs, so they have heart issues.

“He won’t ever be like the others horses, but I want him to be pain-free. That’s my hope for Shammy.”

The new book, Shammy the Miniature Horse, sells for $US11.99 or for $3.99 as an e-book.

Puryear has bred, shown and raised horses for more than 40 forty years. Shammy is her first dwarf miniature horse. She owns eight miniatures and one quarter horse, and as well as showing takes them to demonstrations, birthday parties, and nursing homes in Middle Georgia.

She says Shammy acts more like a dog, and he seems to prefer her company to other horses. “He follows me around, and when he can find something to get into, he’s into it.”

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