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Local Business Welcomes Unique Rescued Mascot
Riverbank business owner and equestrian enthusiast Lana Clayton shows off her business’s new mascot, a miniature horse rescued from a ‘kill lot’ in Texas. The animal is recovering from surgery on its left eye, accounting for the ring around the socket where the vet had to shave off its fur. Clayton plans to walk the horse, named Mira, through downtown Riverbank in the upcoming Christmas Parade at the end of November.

You’ve probably seen a barn cat, or maybe an office or shop cat, like at Morris Nursery, or even a dog, from time to time. But you probably have never even heard of a business mascot like this one.

Lana Clayton is the proprietor of a Farmers Insurance Agency office in downtown Riverbank, on Santa Fe Street, next to the Plaza del Rio Park. She lives on a ranchette-style home and grounds that is immediately adjacent to the Crossroads Development in western Riverbank, where she has barns, pastures, and houses two horses.

On her Facebook News Feed one day, Clayton said she noticed a “little, tiny, 34-inch miniature horse. It didn’t have a name, it just had a number. It was shown by a lady down in San Diego who (has) a “Mini Ranch Sanctuary,” asking for people’s help to get her out of this “kill lot” in Texas. It’s what this lady does for a living, she rescues miniature horses. It noted that she was blind in one eye.”

Clayton said, “I see this kind of stuff all the time, but for some reason, my heart just melted, and I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve got to help this little horse’.”

Some of the financial help needed had already arrived, but Clayton was able to put it over the top.

“They needed just $150, that’s all they needed to get her out,” she explained. “They needed $875 altogether, and I was the last person to give the last little bit.”

Clayton said the woman thanked her, and then Clayton noted that, “she’s such a little miracle, what do you think about calling her Mira, for Miracle? She said, yeah, we could do that.”

A couple of days later, Clayton said she just kept watching and wondering, “so I sent another text to her, and I asked what’s the chances of me being able to adopt her?”

Clayton indicated the rescue woman indicated she is very strict about where she places the rescued animals so she would need to see where the miniature horse would be living.

“So I sent her a little video footage of our place,” Clayton said, and got approved for the adoption.

Clayton said the transporter met her in Bakersfield.

“So I picked her up along with two other minis for two other girls who were rescuing that live two hours further north from here. They met me here and each got their minis. So I made a couple of new friends out of it, too,” Clayton explained.

Since arriving, the miniature horse just been a little doll, Clayton noted.

“But I had to have her eye removed because she was blind in it and it kept getting infected and wouldn’t heal,” she said, noting that horses sometimes like to roll in the dirt for fun, and that kept the eye irritated.

A veterinarian she consulted indicated that it would be best to remove it, so they did. It only took about two weeks to heal.

Clayton said it’s still evident the horse had a procedure because of the large area around her left eye, where the vet shaved her coat for the surgery.

“I just think she’d be a good little mascot for the office. You can’t ride her, so I’ll just walk her around. The kids in the neighborhood love her,” Clayton said.

There are already plans for the horse’s future. Clayton indicated that she’s going to enter her first Christmas Parade this year. The Riverbank Christmas Festival and Parade is coming up in just a few weeks.

“It’ll be my first parade, and I’m sure it’s her first parade,” Clayton said. “My friend Tiffany made a sash for her, in the red, white and blue colors that are the Farmers Insurance brand. I’m just going to take her to little parades and maybe show her off at my booth at the Cheese and Wine festival.”

She said she didn’t do it this year because the eye was still healing from the surgery.

“So, I’ll just take her with me to Farmers Insurance functions. She attracts children, well; everybody loves little horses, so I just thought she’d be a nice little addition. My husband’s even fallen in love with her,” she said.

It is interesting to note that Mira’s stable had to be modified to accommodate her.

Clayton said that, although her two full-sized quarter horses get along with Mira out in the pasture, they occasionally like to pester her in her stall.

Food and water there are low to the ground where the others’ are mounted more on the wall of their pens.

The simple solution to the annoyance was a modification to the gate to her stall. Where the other two have French-style, two part doors, Mira’s upper part comes lower from the top, and is left closed.

The other horses can’t get in, but Mira can come and go as she pleases.