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After being canceled due to heat and incoming storms, Pat Bolen and Cowpie made their debut at City Park for the Chrisman Public Library summer program. Around ten children gathered under the gazebo to meet the star of the story, Cowpie.
Pat began the program by telling everyone why herself and the group of horses were called ‘Whinny Nickers’, then asked the children what they thought that the horses liked to eat for a snack. Popular answers were grass and hay.
“Our little horses for snacks like apples, carrots, peppermints and they get horse cookies,” Pat said.
The story began with how small Cowpie was and her home life before she came to live with Pat. “She was twenty-six inches tall, which is small even for a miniature horse,” Pat said.
As the story was being told, Kate who helps at the stables, walked Cowpie around for the children to pet.
Cowpie grew up on a farm in Biggsville, Illinois with many other mini horses. Her name, however, used to be Little Caramel Latte, because her color looked like a caramel latte. “The name little caramel latte fit her just fine as she was a little pinto with big patches – the color of caramel and milk.”
When Pat met the mini horse for the first time, she was surprised after getting a good look at her new horse. Cowpie had crystal blue eyes that set far apart on her white face. Like most animals with blue eyes and white hair, her skin is pink on her nose and around her eyes.
“If you look at this picture, does she remind you of a little calf or a cow?” Pat asked. Her face does look like a cow, which lead to the name change.
As Pat told the story, she showed pictures of Cowpie when she was born and her life on the farm at Sunrise Stables, which Pat and her husband Ron own in Chrisman. The ride home with Cowpie was an interesting one as the mini horse became restless after standing in the back on the Ford Expedition for awhile and wanted to jump into the backseat.
The whole ride home from Biggsville, Illinois, Pat sang the song ‘She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain’.
“I had to sing that over and over again until I thought I was going crazy,” Pat said.
When she arrived at Sunrise Stables, Kate, was waiting to help with the mini horse. Kate took Cowpie around the stables for a walk, letting her eat grass to get used to her new home.
The next day, Pat made the name change official. At her new home, Cowpie began getting acquainted with her new stable mates. Hope, one of the other mini horses, became quick friends with Cowpie.
Zacchaeus, another mini horse who Pat lovingly nicknamed ‘The Monster’, wasn’t so welcoming. The mini previously had ran around and bit Hope.
“I thought it would be a good idea to keep him away, so Hope and Cowpie could get adjusted,” Pat said.
The mini horse Hope had other plans. When Pat turned her back, Hope leaped over into Cowpie’s pen to see her. “There was no biting or kicking and they seemed happy. For the rest of the day, they ran around playing.”
The next morning, both of the mini horses were asleep in the pin. Zacchaeus was kept away until he was settled down.
Once the story was over, the children were able to gather around Cowpie to pet her or brush her if they chose. Upon leaving, the children were given a snack of Zebra Cakes and Cow tails.