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News & Politics News & Politics

Cute! Wis. Mini Horse Rings Bell for Salvation Army

Posted by on Dec. 1, 2012 at 11:39 AM
  • 169 Replies
2 moms liked this

 ODD Tinker Bell Ringer

In this Nov. 17, 2012 photo Tinker, a miniature horse, rings a red bell for the Salvation Army outside a craft fair in West Bend, Wis. with his owners Carol and Joe Takacs. Salvation Army officials say Tinker raises 10 times more than a regular bell ringer. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

WEST BEND, Wis. (AP) — Tinker may be miniature — as in a miniature horse — but he's a big money raiser for the Salvation Army.

He uses his mouth to hold and ring a red bell and also picks up with his mouth a "Thank You Merry Christmas" sign. He can also bow and give kisses.

Major Roger Ross, a Salvation Army commander, said Tinker is one of their biggest money raisers in the area: He brings in 10 times the amount of a regular bell ringer.

"A good kettle for a couple of hours brings in about $250, and for the same time period (Tinker and his owners) have been known to bring in $2,500," he said. "They line up to put money in the kettle."

The 13-year-old horse, who's brown, black, grey and white, has been ringing for four seasons.

"I actually save up all my donation and give it to Tinker because I have such a soft place in my heart for him," said Karen Hammen, who gave money while Tinker stood outside a West Bend craft show on a recent Saturday morning.

One of Tinker's owners, Carol Takacs, said she and her husband got Tinker 12 years ago. She said she went to look at a property, fell in love with the miniature horses there and asked that one be part of the deal.

"About three or four years ago I was walking out of a store and there was a bell ringer and I gave," she said. "I started thinking 'I wonder if I can, if I can help make this even more interesting.' So I went home and I started working with Tinker."

His name was Tinker when they got him, Takacs said.

"As fate would have it, I could not have named him more appropriately if I had tried," she said.

Before appearances, she spends a half-hour vacuuming his mane and fur and puts glitter on his hooves, a bell on his backside and a Santa hat on his head. And — of course — Tinker wears the Salvation Army apron.

She also made pins with his face on it — a gift for every $5 donation.

While most people are wooed by Tinker and his decorations, she said some don't believe he actually holds and rings the bell.

"We don't do that with Velcro or glue. There's nothing on his bell. He knows that this is his job and he does it very well," she said.

by on Dec. 1, 2012 at 11:39 AM
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Replies (1-10):
imamomzilla
by on Dec. 1, 2012 at 11:39 AM
3 moms liked this

 santa green

PeeperSqueak
by on Dec. 1, 2012 at 11:40 AM
1 mom liked this

BUMP!

Ednarooni160
by Eds on Dec. 1, 2012 at 11:43 AM
2 moms liked this

Oh..that's just too cute.. I bet the everyone, especially kids LOVE that..

nativity

Mommy_of_Riley
by Just Jess on Dec. 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM
I hope it doesn't bite a kid.

Mini Horses are mean! Those things scare me! LOL!
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imamomzilla
by on Dec. 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM
1 mom liked this

 The family of my daughter's friend owns a stable full of them. I've never seen one bite or be mean. A couple are house-broken and comes right in their home. They train them to assist people with disabilities.

I guess it's like any other pet. It depends on how the owners treat them...?

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I hope it doesn't bite a kid.

Mini Horses are mean! Those things scare me! LOL!

 

Erinelizz
by Bronze Member on Dec. 1, 2012 at 2:36 PM
1 mom liked this
Guide horses are incredible! I've heard they will form an attachment to their human just like a dog would, they are highly trainable, and can even adapt to apartment living if necessary. I've been around horses much of my life, including a mini, and while some can be brats most of them are very sweet. Great article, thanks for posting!


Quoting imamomzilla:

 The family of my daughter's friend owns a stable full of them. I've never seen one bite or be mean. A couple are house-broken and comes right in their home. They train them to assist people with disabilities.


I guess it's like any other pet. It depends on how the owners treat them...?


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I hope it doesn't bite a kid.

Mini Horses are mean! Those things scare me! LOL!

 


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Mommy_of_Riley
by Just Jess on Dec. 1, 2012 at 2:55 PM
I've never had a good experience with mini horses. They are notorious for being temperamental & yes, mean. It is in their nature to kick and bite. All you have to do is research a little, its common knowledge. Also, I worked at a few stables growing up and the owners were all great people so don't make assumptions.
Quoting imamomzilla:

 The family of my daughter's friend owns a stable full of them. I've never seen one bite or be mean. A couple are house-broken and comes right in their home. They train them to assist people with disabilities.


I guess it's like any other pet. It depends on how the owners treat them...?


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I hope it doesn't bite a kid.

Mini Horses are mean! Those things scare me! LOL!

 

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Mommy_of_Riley
by Just Jess on Dec. 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM
Not all mini-horses are Guide Horses. Ones trained to be Guides are great though. They will "usually" treat their owners as the "Herd Leader" so they form a great bond and respect for that owner.

Quoting Erinelizz:

Guide horses are incredible! I've heard they will form an attachment to their human just like a dog would, they are highly trainable, and can even adapt to apartment living if necessary. I've been around horses much of my life, including a mini, and while some can be brats most of them are very sweet. Great article, thanks for posting!




Quoting imamomzilla:

 The family of my daughter's friend owns a stable full of them. I've never seen one bite or be mean. A couple are house-broken and comes right in their home. They train them to assist people with disabilities.



I guess it's like any other pet. It depends on how the owners treat them...?



Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I hope it doesn't bite a kid.

Mini Horses are mean! Those things scare me! LOL!


 


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autodidact
by Silver Member on Dec. 1, 2012 at 3:26 PM
2 moms liked this

there is nothing cute about that hateful org. 

imamomzilla
by on Dec. 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM
4 moms liked this

 Okay, Scrooge.

Quoting autodidact:

there is nothing cute about that hateful org. 

 

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