James and Pamela Mason are two firm believers in the old saying that, “great things come in small packages."  On their Valley M Miniatures farm in southern Fayetteville, near Greenland, you’ll find 39 head of miniature horses and miniature donkeys, in addition to a kennel of miniature pinschers.  There are also a few “full sized” Wirehaired and Brittany Spaniels that James trains in one of his favorite past-times, bird hunting.  James grew up on a farm in southwest Missouri where he was surrounded by horses and a family that enjoyed the rodeo lifestyle.  Painfully, his past time of riding was cut short when James fractured his back in a riding accident.  After being told by his doctor that if he had another accident like that, he’d be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, James and Pamela decided to slowly divest themselves of their horses. These pet-lovers couldn’t bear to part with all of their horses though, and kept some until their natural deaths.
Eighteen years ago, shortly after the accident and selling most of their Quarter Horses, James and Pamela decided they couldn’t lead a horse-less existence.  Pamela did some research and found out about the miniature horse business.  They decided to pursue the business and started showing on local and national levels.  James summed up their feelings at the time best, when he said, “If you love horses it doesn’t matter if you can ride them.”  This passion has led James, who does the showing, and Pamela, who handles the grooming, to six National Championships at the American Miniature Horse Registry shows.  In addition to those Championships, they have the 2002 Pinto World Champion-Miniature Division winner, and the 1999 National Grand Champion.
When asked what has been the most value to him in running the farm, James said, “the memories, friendships and overall experience of showing.  It’s also a great way to relieve stress.”
The horses are therapeutic after a long day of work at William's Tractor for James, and from Pamela’s job working for Homeland Security at the airport.  James and Pamela also view miniatures as having value for families, since they’re smaller and safer for children.  Valley M has sold horses to everyone from a little girl wanting a pony, to a grandmother wanting to show mini’s with her grandchildren, all the way up to a buyer who’s transporting six all the way to Mexico City.  
Miniatures have allowed James and Pamela to instill their love of animals in their two sons growing up, and now into the next generation, their three grandchildren.  
When asked about the future of the business, James said that while they’ve scaled back on showing in recent years, they look forward to having the time soon to take the horses to schools and nursing homes. James said, “I have been dealt some things in life, the accident and being diabetic, but I still think I’m lucky, and I’m thankful for that. I want to give back something that has been given to me.”
The Masons are continually improving their stock through selection of stallions and mares that will enhance the color and conformation they are looking for in a miniature. They specialize in some interesting Paint patterns, such as the picture frame Overo.  
The donkeys mentioned earlier are new to Valley M, with the first foal expected any time.  Things change from time to time at Valley M, but as you see with the donkeys, it’s usually a “small” change. 


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