Miniature Horse Care?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by NoelTate, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. NoelTate

    NoelTate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2008
    Mobile, AL
    Hey guys...question for those of you who have experience with miniature horses. I have always loved them and wanted one. My house sets on about an acre of land, the back one half of which is field and woods that I am working on fencing. A friend of mine raises miniatures (he was actually the president of their national association for a while and apparently has really good stock). He has a 4 month old colt that he has offered to geld and give to me because it has a very slight underbite. The vet has assured him it will not cause health problems. Mark has raised horses for 20+ years, so I have no concerns about the health of the horse. My only concern is just how much I am taking on if I take the horse. How much trouble are they, realistically? He keeps telling me how easy they are to care for, but I want to be sure I am willing and able to give the horse what it needs before I bring it home, especially considering I am taking on a 25+ year commitment! So, how do those with mini horse experience feel? Are they a lot of trouble to care for? Would 1/2 an acre be sufficient? Judging by the pens I have seen at horse farms with several minis, my 1/2 acre would not be bad at all for one miniature horse. He wants to give me an older mare as well to keep the colt company, but I think one horse and a miniature goat might be enough for me! So...opinions?
     
  2. featherfooted

    featherfooted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Georgia
    I have a mini that will be 3 in May that I've had since he was a year old. He is one of the easiest horses I had and I've had alot. They don't eat alot and don't need any extra care. You just treat them like a normal horse but smaller. One thing that you can't do is give them bute. As to feed, I use about 50# of sweet feed a month and depending on the time of year about 1 1/2 bales of hay a month. 1/2 acre should be plenty for a mini as most tend to get too fat easily. Good luck, you'll love minis.
     
  3. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    Ok, I will start with the general care. They really don't eat much at all, I always say I have 3 1/2 horses because my mini eats next to nothing. Feeding is the easy part. You just need to be careful how much you feed, I am sure your friend can help you with that since he raises them. You can not over feed. You will also need a farrier that can properly trim a mini's hooves.

    Realistically, a young horse, no matter what the size, is going to be a challenge. I have had horses all my life, but never had a baby. I figured a good place to start would be a mini, they are small and what can they really do to you? So I got a 3 month old filly. So far hasn't been terrible, but it is definitely harder than I had anticipated. Just working on ground manners alone, is a lot of work. She would rear and try to "play" sometimes landing on my back [​IMG] You can seriously get hurt. Although they are small, they are certainly just like any other baby horse. When we got her, she had been worked with; could lead and would stand on the lead and for petting. Teaching her how to properly lead has proven to be harder than it sounds. Babies will nip, bite, kick, rear and in their eyes it is just playing. Teaching them to lift their feet to be trimmed can be a challenge, luckily my little girl was very easy to work with in that department.

    I definitely wouldn't keep him alone, they need company especially how young he is. So maybe 2??? [​IMG]

    Now Kahlua is almost a year old (March 23rd) and still has work to do, but has come a long way.

    Babies are very playful and everyday attention and training is needed!


    Here is my little Gal, Kahlua

    3 months, the day we went to get her
    [​IMG]

    When we brought her home
    [​IMG]

    At 9 months'
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    You guys are KILLING me! I've always wanted a mini horse since I was a little girl! I love Kahlua's coloring! [​IMG]
     
  5. key west chick

    key west chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    OMG, she is so cute! I agree, horses, like goats, need a companion. They are not happy alone. And like Bec said, just because they're little they still need the same manners any horse should have.
     
  6. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    I love my 32" mini and my 3 overgrown mini shoulda beens too. They are small but still need the same training and respect as a full size horse. They need the same shelter, shots, vet care, worming, and hoof care too. Mine do well on hay and grass only, no grain. Romeo, my smallest has to be kept in a dry lot, vet's orders, because he has a cresty neck and may founder. I feel sorry for him not getting much grass but it is better than founder. 2 of them are trained to the cart and are broke to ride and I'm working on another. We have a ball with them.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Exactly what everyone else has said - I am posting just to extra-emphasize the need for good training (if you have not worked with young or problem horses before, and 'put the basics on them', then this may not be the best situation for you (at the very least, you will need reliable ready help)) and the availability of a drylot as minis are prone to laminitis and often (not always, but often) cannot be put out on lush grass, sometimes *any* grass. (Because you will want to have a drylot *anyway*, a half acre is plenty -- you just keep them off it when the grass or soil need a break)

    Frankly, between the cost of horse-safe fencing and regular farrier work (assuming you can FIND someone who will come out to do just 2 horses both of them minis! many farriers don't do minis b/c of back or knee problems) and the other usual issues attendant on horse ownership, a mini is really not all that sensible a pet. OTOH neither are full sized horses either [​IMG] So if you have appropriate horse and horse-training experience, and really really want minis, I'd say sure, go for it [​IMG]

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  8. ILOVEFRIZZLES

    ILOVEFRIZZLES Red Roof Hens

    Feb 2, 2009
    Hamilton Ga
    I have two mini horse for sale if you are looking to get one
     
  9. verity

    verity Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
    Clemmons
    My first mini, 'Sapphire,' is 24 years old and we got him as a baby --
    super little horse -- but, as the others have said, training is a must with these guys as with any other animal --
    It was very hard to convince Sapphire that he had gotten too big to sit in my lap!
    They are hardy, happy critters and lots of fun to have!
    Go for it!
     
  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    I used to raise and breed miniature horses, they are great to have and they do require the same care as the larger cousins but smaller feed bills.

    It would be best to have a buddy with this miniature, they are very social animals and dont like to be by themselves.
     

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