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Muffin the mini horse makes some human friends

The Westminster branch library hosts a meet-and-greet event with the Muffin, a miniature horse from Full Moon Farm in Finksburg. (Jacob deNobel / Carroll County Times)

Commuters making their way into work had to come to a halt Friday morning, as the miniature horse Muffin crossed Main Street in Westminster to visit community children at the Westminster branch of the Carroll County Public Library.

Muffin is a resident of Full Moon Farm in Finksburg. Karen Fulton, with the farm, is currently on a tour of Carroll libraries to give local children a chance to meet a friendly horse face-to-face and learn a little about our equestrian friends.

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"There's something different about looking at a picture of a horse versus when you're out there seeing them and touching them," Fulton said. "It's like the difference between seeing an animal in a picture book versus going to a zoo. It's important for all of us to make that connection with animals."

Several dozen children showed up to the Muffin meet-and-greet event Friday, but before they had the chance to pet the little mare, the group was brought inside to learn a little about the care of raising a horse.

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As the children entered the library, they were buzzing with excitement to meet Muffin, with some singing "Old MacDonald" and acting like horses themselves.

Fulton opened the lesson by highlighting some of the differences and similarities between horses and people. Just like people, Fulton said, horses come in all sizes and colors and with very different styles of hair, but unlike humans, they start their day with a belly full of hay.

The children had the opportunity to touch and experience several horse-related items, including a bucket of hay, a bridle and reins, and a saddle. To see what it's like to be a horse and rider themselves, Fulton allowed the children to put on the bridle and take hold of the reins, directing one another around the library's meeting room.

As a final treat before they went out to meet with the 6-year-old Muffin, Fulton handed out horseshoes to each of the participants in the program. She explained that horseshoes should be hung in a U shape to prevent the good luck from flowing out of the ends.

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Finally it was time for the group to head out the front of the library, where Muffin was waiting for them. The horse, around the height of the largest dogs, calmly stood as each of the several dozen participants waited for their turn to pet her.

A few were disappointed that they couldn't ride Muffin, but parents explained that it would be too much to ask of the miniature horse to let so many kids sit on her in one day.

Bryant Boateng, 3, of Westminster, was excited to have a chance to pet the horse. He said he really likes horses.

"Muffin is a good girl," Bryant said. "I liked how soft she was."

Each of the children got their chance to pet Muffin and ask questions about her home. After they got through the line, it was time for Muffin to head back to her trailer to relax, crossing Main Street once again.

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twitter.com/Jacob_deNobel

If you go

What: Meet and Greet the Miniature Horse

When: 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3 in Taneytown and 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 in Finksburg.

Where: Taneytown branch library, 10 Grand Drive, Taneytown; Finksburg branch library, 2265 Old Westminster Pike, Finksburg.

Cost: Free

For more information: Visit library.carr.org.

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