Keeping a Mini Horse in Your Backyard: What to Know

Bill Taylor
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Important Things to Know About Mini Horses

Mini horses have gone mainstream in the last several years. Popular media has elevated them to celebrity status, and they are now a more popular show animal. They are also seen being walkers, ridden as ponies and even skateboarders and trick riders for their ability to learn quickly and work with people. As a keeper of a mini, you will find which activity they enjoy with the same ease that they pick up new tricks.

Mini horses are at a high health risk and can live 30 years or more.

They require a type of feed with a high protein and low carbohydrate diet to ensure that they don’t develop insulin resistance. That means that they won’t develop health complications like the ones you see in humans.

Proper grooming is important for keeping them looking beautiful. It also helps you when you have to pick out any ticks and keep your mini clean and comfortable.

If you live in an area where your mini has direct access to grass, you will need to put down a lot of time to maintain the quality of the grass. Check the grass regularly for parasites and go over it every couple of weeks with a hay knife to prevent it from getting too long.

Why Mini Horses Make Good Pets

The miniature horse is a breed of horse that has a height between 10 and 14 hands at adulthood. Miniature horses are usually between 6 – 11 hands in height and are usually similar in height to the average Shetland pony.

Miniature horses used to be used for pulling carts or plows, however, these animals are now more commonly kept as pets. This is because the miniature horse has a calm and intelligent temperament, making them extremely affectionate and easy to train.

As pets, miniature horses do not require much work, having the ability to take care of themselves in most situations. Miniature horses require fencing in order to keep them confined to a certain area, however, this is a minor inconvenience that is worthwhile due to the benefits that they offer to pet owners.

Miniature horses are great animals to have in your backyard as they are low maintenance. They do not require a lot of grooming but they do need to be brushed once a week or on a regular basis that may suit you.

Since miniature horses are so low maintenance, miniature horses are a great option for the elderly. Miniature horses are friendly towards older people and can help those who find it difficult to maintain balance.

Miniature horses are a great option when it comes to deciding what pet to bring into your backyard. Miniature horses are a great option for children as they are very friendly and calm, making them the ideal pet.

Why Mini Horses Make Good Service Animals

Okay, so maybe you don’t have a big backyard or the space to raise a pony. But you might have room for a mini horse.

Miniature horses are actually the ideal size for many people. They can be trained for many of the same tasks that larger horses may be trained for, but some individuals don’t have as much physical strength as others, or they may have a lot of their own medical issues.

Miniature horses can be trained as service animals just like a regular-sized horse, but they are much smaller and thus, easier to care for. They are usually easier to load into a truck for transportation and back out of a trailer. They may even be trained to walk on a lead beside you or on a large dog harness or halter. The lead attached to a horse’s halter, of course, needs to be long enough for the horse to move around comfortably and not interfere with its ability to eat or drink.

Miniature horses may be trained for some of the same jobs that larger horses are trained for, such as pulling a wagon for someone with a physical disability or for someone with a visual disability with the appropriate harness and lead.

Basic Requirements for Your Mini Horse

Mini horses have a power-to-weight ratio not unlike that of a large dog. To keep a mini horse in your backyard, you'll want to consider that a mini horse should not be kept in an area smaller than 30×30 ft. Otherwise, you could end up with a penned dog-sized horse. Although they will try, they will not be able to maneuver. When it comes to mini horse breeds, there is a wide range of sizes. Each mini horse has its own specific physical traits.

The larger breeds are Skokomish and Miniature American Shetland ponies and Arabian pinto horses. Mini horse breeds can be 600 lbs. or less. The Miniature American Shetland pony or the Arabian pinto horse are popular choices for children who want to learn how to ride horseback. Their smaller size and quickness can make training and riding fun. You'll need to consider the amount of video you can expect to catch of your kids is in the saddle.

The American Miniature horse is a popular breed. They come in miniature sizes as small as 43 lbs. An advantage you might gain with a smaller horse is that they will not do as much damage to your soil as a traditional horse might.

Building a Barn for Your Mini Horse

Miniature horses, or minis, are often as companion animals; they are used in therapy programs or work for those challenged with physical limitations. Minis are naturally clean, sturdy, and hardy, which makes them well-suited for life in urban settings.

The mini is a smaller version of the traditional American horse. While mature minis stand between 38 and 43 inches at the withers, they weigh between 800 and 1,000 pounds. Larger minis are available, and they require a larger barn to accommodate their needs.

Whether you're considering a mini or thinking about visiting a farm or horse facility where minis live, here's what you need to know about the facilities where these horses live, play, and work.

What Kind of Barns Do They Need?

Miniature horses need a barn that's large enough to comfortably accommodate them. While a smaller facility can be used, you may need to split your herd. It's best to have the horses together unless there's no alternative.

How Did Miniature Horses Originate?

Miniature horses come from full-size horses that have been crossed with other breeds. This crossbreed is referred to as a pony, and a miniature horse shares many qualities of a pony. The minis have a refined head, a straight profile, basketlike ears, and a large body.

Minis have a natural disposition to be non-aggressive.

What to Feed Your Mini Horse

Mini horses are typically fed horse feed mainly composed of oats, corn, and a protein block; you can also offer hay with the seeds and chaff removed. However, to keep their weight and volume in check, you may need to switch to a diet of grain-free pellets or a grass hay diet.

Mini horses are small enough to live in a backyard and, in some cases, even in a house. They can eat table scraps and, although they may be rough on a few items, there are many safe items you can feed them.

Fresh Vegetables and Fruit. Minis are very picky eaters and may not eat treats easily. However, you should try to make healthy snacks a routine part of your horse's diet. They should have at least some vegetables and fruit every day.

Pasture Treats. Your minis will love eating grass and other goodies they can find while roaming around in their pasture or pen.

Gourmet Treats. If your mini is especially spoiled, there are a number of delicious treats you can offer. Stewed apples and green beans made with a little water are great for your mini.

Table Scraps. You can let your mini graze on your dinner if you keep a close eye out. A root beer, bread crust, or melon rind won't hurt your mini, but don't let them eat too many treats at dinner time.

Medical Care for Your Mini Horse

Miniature horses are generally considered best when they are kept as pets. They do not make very good racing animals, or working animals, although some Miniature horses do work. Some are used as companion animals, by people who are unable to care for a regular horse. Some are used as a hobby animal for people who have the land and resources to care for a horse. Miniature horses need more care than a regular-sized horse. This means that some people keep their Miniature horses in a more informal setting, where their care is completely voluntary. It is highly advised that you research medical care, and training first.

Grooming and Brushing Your Mini Horse

Like the big horses, mini horses need to be groomed. When you plan on showing your mini horse you will need to spend a lot of time brushing it. You will also need to bathe it and clip its hooves. If you do not plan to show your pet mini horse it is not necessary to bathe or clip it. However, it will need to be brushed every day, unless you have a mini with hair.

It is a good idea to start grooming your mini horse soon after it comes to your home. Mini horses are very sensitive to strangers, so it is important for them to get to know you well. When they know you well, they will be more willing to let you groom them. If you start groomig your mini horse when it is young, it will learn to trust you.

It is best to brush your mini horse in a well-lit room where it is familiar. It will be able to see that you are not going to harm it. If you show your mini horse, it will need to be brushed by a professional groomer before you enter it in a show. It is also a good idea to brush your mini horse before you take him outside.

Where to Adopt Your Mini Horse

When you are ready to bring a horse into your life, whether you choose a Miniature Horse or some other breed of horse, there are plenty of options for finding the perfect horse for you.

The horse's mental and physical needs are the most important factor when you choose your horse, but if you are just starting out, it is recommended that you choose a horse from a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder will want to know your goals for your future mini horse.

Before you start looking, first decide what you want to do with your horse. There are many different riding disciplines to choose from, and there are also mini horses that are used for non-riding purposes like pulling carriages.

Before you even consider bringing a Mini Horse into your life, first consider your ability level and really think about what you want to get from owning a Mini Horse.

The World’s Smallest Mini Horse

Miniature horses aren’t the same as small horses. Miniature horses are actually a specific breed that have been bred for small stature. Like every other breed of horse in the world, the miniature horse has some standards that they have to meet before being shown in competition. Any horse that does not meet these standards will not be allowed to compete and would be considered a would-be miniature horse.

Even though miniature horses may be smaller than regular horses, they can still be quite large. They are usually between 36 and 38 inches at the withers for mares and 35 to 37 inches for stallions. Mares and stallions should weigh between 800 and 1200 pounds. The average height of the miniature horse is only 10 to 12 inches shorter than the average height for full-sized horses.

Since miniature horses are a distinct breed that is recognized by the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA), the studbook and standards are owned by the AMHA. The studbook for miniature horses is extremely small, considering there are roughly thirty-five thousand licensed full-sized horses in the United States. The studbook only allows fifty-seven miniature horses to be entered. In addition, a miniature horse has to meet certain standards and be eligible to show in order to be entered and remain in the studbook. The standards set forth by the AMHA are to aid horse industry leaders in selecting horses for breeding.

Wrap Up

There you have it ? that's what you need to know when you have a baby.