If you have minis and regular horses...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by 2pinkmom, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. 2pinkmom

    2pinkmom Songster

    Mar 31, 2010
    Do you turn them out together? I just got a pair of nice minis for next to nothing from a lovely breeder who was thinning her small stock because she has fibromyalgia. The gelding is 4 and the mare just turned 1. They are full siblings, and will make a well-matched driving team. I'm looking forward to helping my older daughter work these guys as a 4-H project or for the mini shows.

    I'm just curious about turn out. I spoke to my vet prior to acquiring these two. She said turning out everyone together would be fine. The breeder had a couple older full-size horses that the minis ran with. Lots of people around here seem to turn them out in mixed groups. In asking this question on another site, I got a 50/50 split of people who run one large herd versus keeping minis and regular horses separate.

    I have an aged Percheron gelding. He has always had small pony companions and loved them. He's smart as a whip and tends to be a cool customer. The Arabian mare he had a love/hate relationship with has gone back to her old barn to do summer camp lessons. I was hoping the minis would be enough company for him. The minis are obviously smaller than ponies, and he's still sorting out the fact that they're "real" horses. I've been running them in the barn yard and him in the adjacent field. So far, so good. He plays it cool, but has somle interest in them and seems to be accepting them as company. The minis are glued to the gate, hoping that the "cool older brother" will glance their direction :)

    I could keep them separate forever, but it would be nice to run them together. The big guy has arthritic stifles and really can't kick, and isn't very fast. I do worry about the mini gelding potentially trying to trip him. What does everyone else do? I could take the goofball Arabian back if need be, but it would be more convenient not to.

  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Yes I've had Paso finos and 15 hand horses out with my minis and they did just fine.
  3. showme31

    showme31 Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Moscow Mills MO
    I have 3 gelding horses, 1 shetland mare and 1 mini/shetland gelding all in the same field. It works for us. When I put the shetland mare in with the big boys I locked them up overnight and let her in free so she could visit with each one. I turned them out the next time and they were like no big deal. The mini/shetland geldling just joined this herd this week. I had in a separate enclosure since we just had him gelded on June 21. We accidently left he gate unlatched and he joined the herd by slipping under the unpowered hot wire. He joined the group just fine.

    The only time I had a problem was years ago when my mini stud attacked my welsh/walker gelding. He grabbed poor Rocky on the side of the mouth causing a pretty nasty injury. We moved him to the corral and got lucky and somebody we knew was interested in buying him so that problem was solved. My farrier is shocked I keep them all together, my vet doesn't bat an eye at it. My farrier is against it because of kicking, but that doesn't sound likely with your old guy. As far as him tripping that's not something I'm experienced with so unfortunately I can't help with.

    Good luck with them, mini's are so adorable.
  4. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Songster

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    I read an article about a man who had kept a mini stud in with a group of mares. The stud ended up impregnating all of the mares. He learned to mount them somehow as the were lying down. Not that that is an issue here but another good reason not to keep mini studs in with full sized mares. If there is a will, there is a way.
  5. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    My mare was kept with mini donkeys for months on end. They got along just fine, no issues...........unless you count when one mini donkey jenny gave birth and my mare protected her by chasing all of the poor little mini donkey geldings to the far end of the pasture. Otherwise, they were just fine together.
  6. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    It sounds nice and convenient but when putting a 16 hand or 17 hand animal out with a miniature horse that is taking a risk. That is just the reality.

    It may work out for a long time, but a 200 lb animal and a 1200-2000 lb animal together.....again, the reality is just different. It does not work out all the time. When I talk to min breeders they always say that putting a 200 lb animal and a 1200 lb animal together just is not guaranteed to work all the time.

    Add to that the problems of the minis getting over-fat from pasture and it adds up.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  7. farmchick897

    farmchick897 Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    I don't keep my minis with my big horses only because the minis can't have 24/7 grass but they have escaped and they all get along just fine.

  8. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    Works for me...

  9. Celtic Hill

    Celtic Hill Songster

    Mar 7, 2010
    Scotland CT
    It depends on the individual horses. I have my small standard donkeys in with my warmblood but when I got my mare she was used to being with minis. We took a section of the pasture where the donkeys could run into but the horse cant, so they can get away from eachother. Think something like a creep feeder.

    On a side note, showing minis is like showing a full size horse, they need to be conditioned, sweated, teeth filed, fitted to the T. I dont know what your facility is like, but leaving a mini turned out on grass every day is not the most ideal situation if you are planning on showing.
  10. 2pinkmom

    2pinkmom Songster

    Mar 31, 2010
    I do a "normal" 50% turnout schedule with my horses, Celtic Hill. They don't live out. I evented at a low level as a teen, but the practical side of me can't be bothered with that stuff anymore. I think 4H is ambitious as we'll get.

    I'll keep a physical barrier between them and monitor body language. In this case, I would worry about them accidentally hurting the old guy more than I worry about them getting hurt. He really can't kick, even when the situation warrents. They also can move a great deal faster than him. But cautious and slow will be the way to go...

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