TSB author Sabine Ellinger's world-famous Mini stallion Lancelot.

Who isn’t a sucker for cuteness? And in horsey terms, you can’t get much cuter than a Miniature Horse or Miniature Shetland. (Even Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have fallen victim–see our earlier post on their latest animal acquisition here.)

But the truly marvelous thing about “Minis” is that they aren’t merely crowd-pleasing pasture buddies, or “playthings” with the grandkids are in town, they’re natural performers, fantastic driving partners, and ideal therapy animals (they have the same “indoor” rights as dogs in many places). There’s really no end to the tricks you can train them, the agility courses they can master, and the fun you can have with them, in an area as small as your backyard.

TSB author Sabine Ellinger trains and competes full-size dressage horses, but admits that often she prefers working with her world-famous Miniature Shetland, Lancelot, instead. Her new book MINI SCHOOL explains the techniques she uses to train her Mini in-hand, including basic tricks, jumping, driving, and dressage. (MINI SCHOOL is ON SALE through the end of February in honor of TSB’s Shape Up Your Horse Month.)

Here’s what Miniature Horse World Magazine had to say about MINI SCHOOL:

“The first book of its kind for Mini lovers, MINI SCHOOL takes the training and schooling of Miniatures as seriously as that of their full-size cousins. With in-hand training exercises demonstrated so beautifully by the author and her Miniature appaloosa Lancelot, you’ll soon be able to achieve closer communication with your horse and maybe even teach him a few tricks along the way!”