The Greaves Family and horses are almost synonymous. When Tony was born, his family was raising Shetland ponies and his granddad had horses before that. Of course previous to that, everyone who lived in the country depended on horses for transportation and for work. According to Tony's mother, he learned to walk by holding the halter of his first pony. Tony couldn’t say "dappled filly," calling her "Daffy," and it stuck. Daffy was his pony who he rode and drove until he went away to college.
People ask, “Why miniatures?” When Tony was in elementary school he had a “funny book” (later called “comic book”) about Bozo the Clown in which Bozo had a circus with animals so small that they were carried around in a briefcase and performed on a table top. Tony said, “That’s the size of animals that I want.” He hasn’t gotten them that small yet, but has certainly made headway with some of our smallest horses being 25”.
Our first miniature-sized pony was born in the spring of 1963, just months before Tony graduated from high school. While in college, Tony told his dad to keep Big Un, that first miniature, as long as he had land and horses. For many years, Big Un was a teaser for Flight 8 Farms, the Greaves family's Quarter Horse ranch. When the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) was founded in 1978, Big Un became our first registered miniature, fifteen years old and 31 inches tall.
After college and graduate school and a time performing in New York, Tony, Carol, and their daughter Lisa, returned to Texas to run Flight 8 Farms (Quarter Horses stud farm) for his family. During that time he started searching for miniature mares to accompany Big Un, who was still the teaser for all the Quarter Horse mares. While searching, Tony renewed friendship with his family’s friends Vern and Betty Brewer with whom he made several mini hunting trips. During one of those trips, Vern, Betty, and Tony discovered a future miniature legend, Orion-Light Van’t Huttenest.
Tony bought several small herds of miniatures during the growth phase of building the ranch, which the first few years was known as Flight 8, then Greaves’ Miniature Horses. Eventually, Carol came up with the name "Little America" and it stuck.
Fourteen years after Lisa was born, our second daughter, Lauren, was born and we gave her a filly. From that grew Lauren’s part of the herd, which usually numbers between twenty and thirty head. For kids, take a look at Lauren's Mini Fun Page to see pictures of her growing up with the miniatures. Lauren started showing when she was three and continues to this day with the same love for showing that her dad has. While she was in high school, we put together A Mini Memoir for her English class, a fun read about both of us growing up with horses.
We have two grandchildren and continuing the tradition, they were given a filly the day after they were born. Our grandson, Grayson’s first miniature was Little America’s D S Grayson’s Girl and our granddaughter Ella’s was Little America’s Terrific Gabriella. Both mares are progeny of our first really tiny mare, Crescent’s Melodee, who their mother, Lisa, showed when she was a little girl. Unfortunately our grandchildren live in New York, but they enjoy their horses when they visit Texas: A Day With Grandaddy.
So you see that we are not just in miniatures because of a current fad, but because of a multi-generational love of horses.