Miniature Horse Care?

NoelTate

Songster
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
584
7
151
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?
 

featherfooted

Songster
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
534
13
171
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.
 

Bec

THE Delaware Blue Hen
12 Years
Feb 21, 2007
4,015
29
251
Home Of 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
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???


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


When we brought her home


At 9 months'
 

key west chick

Songster
11 Years
May 31, 2008
3,328
11
211
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.
 

reallemons1

Songster
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
570
0
149
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.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
254
341
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
So if you have appropriate horse and horse-training experience, and really really want minis, I'd say sure, go for it


Good luck,

Pat
 

verity

Songster
11 Years
Sep 8, 2008
656
7
141
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!
 

EweSheep

Flock Mistress
13 Years
Jan 12, 2007
21,908
120
418
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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