A whirlwind year for Einstein



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CHARLIE CANTRELL holds Einstein, with the horse’s mom, Finesse, behind him. Courtesy Photo. (click for larger version)
March 31, 2011
BARNSTEAD — Nearly one year ago, a horse weighing six pounds and standing 14 inches tall came into the world.

His name was Einstein, and he was born in Barnstead on April 22, 2010. Since then, life's been a big adventure for the tiny horse.

Charlie Cantrell and Dr. Rachel Wagner purchased the tiny foal from breeder Judy Smith.

The average weight of a newborn miniature horse is 18 pounds, and the average height at birth is 21 inches. Einstein is the smallest foal on record ever to survive.

The couple divides their time between Bellingham, Wash., Santa Barbara, Calif., and Gilmanton, where they spend their summers.

The tiny horse travels with the couple in a custom motor home and is surrounded by a pair of goats, a tortoise and a boxer.

"We have had so much fun over the course of the last year," Cantrell said. "He is not sure if he is a turtle, a dog or a goat."

Einstein should weigh 250 pounds, but he tips the scale at only 60 pounds, 25 percent of the normal weight.

"He is a smoky little guy," Cantrell added. "He thinks he is 17-hand stallion even though he only weighs 60 pounds."

Despite his tiny size, the foal is in excellent health. Cantrell said the horse just had his checkup and is perfectly healthy.

Horses of his size usually exhibit dwarfism characteristics, but his height, length and width are nicely proportioned. He simply looks like a horse that was shrunk to the size of a dog.

In addition to his unique size, the horse sports a medicine hat, chest shield and bright blue eyes.

He is what is known as a Medicine Hat Pinto and his characteristics are considered to be magical by Native Americans.

He received his Lakota Indian name, Pachukawokantonka, from George Amniot, a Lakota shaman, on Dec. 7, 2010. His name means Medicine Horse.

Einstein is registered with the American Miniature Horse Association and the Pinto Horse Association of America.

Cantrell and Wagner are the authors of a children's book titled "A Friend For Einstein, The Smallest Stallion," which is being released by Disney on April 19.

The book is geared towards children between three and eight and teaches them about growing up around different people.

"It teaches kids to be accepting of other children just like Einstein has to be accepting of other little animals," Cantrell said. "It's his life story since the day he was born. He was too small to play with other horses."

The couple and Einstein will be traveling to New York to be on ABC's "Good Morning America," on April 18 to promote the book.

They will also be participating in an international media tour from New York to help promote the book.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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