The Thorns’s 100-lb. pet named Rowan travels with them, bathes in their shower and pulls their little ones around in a wagon

By Linda Marx
Updated February 17, 2010 08:00 PM
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Rowan rides in the back of an SUV with her family, stays with them when they check into hotels and takes baths in the family shower. Sounds like any other pooch – except that Rowan is a miniature horse! The 100-lb. family member lives in Belgrade, Mont., with Jodi and Mike Thorn and their four children, ages 3 to 12 years.

“I have been a horse lover all of my life,” mom Jodi, 37, tells PEOPLEPets.com. “I grew up with horses, I train them, and I really wanted one as a house pet. Since we have only one acre of land there isn’t enough room for a lot of large horses. I am so lucky that my husband Mike supports my passion.”

Jodi bought Rowan in 2008 over the Internet from a North Dakota farm called Fike Miniature Horses.

“I went to Billings to get Rowan, and when I got back, my whole family quickly fell in love with her,” she tells PEOPLEPets.com. “She is like a pet dog except that she is big enough to pull the kids around in a wagon.”

Since Rowan has such a good disposition, Jodi, who works full time at a senior citizen living center, takes her around to meet and greet the residents, who light up when they see her.

“Rowan really likes people and enjoys meeting new ones all the time,” she continues. “She lets them pet her, and she genuinely wants to make them happy.”

Rowan is so mild mannered and well behaved that she walked through a July 4 celebration last year and wasn’t even rattled by the loud fireworks. She eats Timothy grass and grass pellets, uses her doggie door as a bathroom outlet, and even enjoys playing with the neighbor dogs.

“Once a week she takes a bath in our tub/shower,” laughs Jodi, who also takes her pet to a local groomer for regular body clips. “She likes to be clean.”

When the family travels out West, Rowan, who often wears sneakers as a functional fashion statement, comes along, staying with them in hotels along the way.

“I guess some people look at us funny,” admits Jodi, who also owns two outdoor cats, “and others take photos along the highway. But when the owner of one hotel wrote us a letter after our recent visit asking all of us, including Rowan, to please come back, I knew everything was cool!”