Farm Horizons, Nov. 2006

Berg’s mini horses are a family affair

By Jennifer Gallus

Showing mini horses is a family affair at the Berg farm in Winsted. Terry and Kari Berg have six children; Jonah, Terry Allen, Shannon, Steven, KaLeigh, and Hallie Jo. The youngest two, KaLeigh and Hallie Jo, are keeping their parents busy in the Minnesota pinto circuit.

KaLeigh is 14 years old and shows her male mini named HBA Robins Dream Catcher, or Catch for short. Catch is technically classified as a miniature B horse.

A miniature B horse must measure more than 34 inches, but must not be taller than 38 inches. If it were more than 38 inches tall, then it would be considered a pony, Kari said.

“I like showing them because they’re so small and cute. They’re easy to handle and are fun,” KaLeigh said.

Hallie Jo is five years old and shows a miniature A horse named KT Splendors Painted Dream, or Splenda for short. Hallie Jo says, “I like walking her.”

A miniature A horse must not be taller than 34 inches. Miniature horses are supposed to look like full-size horses, just little, Kari said.

In fact, the ultimate mini horse should look like a miniature Arabian horse, which by the way, is the oldest known breed, she said.

Both mini horses are only one and a half years old, and because of their age, the Berg girls only showed the minis in halter class this year. Next year, the girls are planning on showing the minis in more classes such as trail in hand, which is an obstacle course, jumping in hand, which is where the handler runs alongside the mini horse as it jumps over hurdles, and showmanship.

Eventually, the girls will be showing the minis in driving, which is a class where the mini horse pulls a cart behind it with the handler directing the horse from the cart. The minis must be at least three years old for that class.

The girls’ mom, Kari, said, “I think it’s a fun thing for the kids to do. They both have an absolute blast showing them. Dad and mom are the behind-the-scenes crew that get the horses ready, and the kids go in and show them.”

The girls’ mini horses are already winning major show titles at their young age. Catch was in four horse shows this year and often times, took first and second place.

At the Star of the North Area Championship Show in August, Catch took first place across the board in every class he was shown, including grand champion of miniatures.

Kari explained that Splenda did fairly well also this past year by taking quite a few middle to upper ribbons in the six shows she was shown in.

The Bergs’ had the minis work with a trainer for three months prior to the shows. Melissa Regouski from Regouski Performance Horses, out of Monticello, trains not only the mini horses, but also gives the girls tips on how to show them.

The family already has big plans for next year’s pinto circuit including a trip to Oklahoma, where they plan to show Catch at the Pinto World Show. Kari explained that people come from all over the country to the world show, and that there are usually 50 to 60, or more, horses in each class.

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