On Hatteberg’s People, one of my favorite times is when I’m out in the Kansas countryside. It’s away from the city, the newsroom and it’s a place where time runs at its own pace. That’s where I met Deana and Larry Olsen. They live near Marion. They raise horses. Miniature horses.
“It is home and it’s not fancy, but you can hear the trees rustle," says Deana Olsen. "You can watch the snowfall. You can go out walk your horse for an hour and never cross the same path twice. It’s just a comfortable place. I’m happy. That’s my happy place…working with the horses.”
On 170 acres near Marion, Deana and Larry Olsen are feeding their passion... a passion that stands on four legs.
“It gives us something to do together," says Larry Olsen. "She works and I farm and if we didn’t have the horses, we wouldn’t spend much time together. To be able to be fortunate enough to do something that you just thoroughly enjoy…is a gift.”
“This is a sanctuary for me. There is the freedom to do whatever. There is nature, there are things to sit on the front porch and watch, there are birds to wake up to in the morning and ‘smell’ the farm, if you will. It’s just a pretty place out there…it’s fresh.”
They’ve raised miniature horses for years and are a fixture in area parades. Children all around the area visit and have made this place part of their childhood.
“It’s hard to sell them. You get attached to them really quick.”
“I don’t have an arena, so this is my arena. I love doing this, and I start out, it takes about three weeks of walking behind them and teaching them the voice commands and I learn a lot more walking than I do riding.
One of the favorite parts of their life…are the trails they’ve created.
“We’ve had a maximum of ten horses, thirteen are the largest out at one time.”
Trails where folks can walk a miniature horse and enjoy the rural countryside.
“We’ve had daycare centers and schools and scout groups.”
“The big one is Sally and that’s babe and that one is honey nugget.”
“I don’t what I would I would do if I didn’t have a horse in my life. I just seem to have a talent of working with them and a natural love for them. They are my therapy.”
It is a small world when you raise miniature horses. Larry and Deana say they live quiet and simple lives. That’s true…and the rest of us…are jealous.