If you are interested in purchasing and tending to a miniature horse or shetland pony there are a few things you should know before doing so. Miniature horses are like full sized horses in many ways, but there are some crucial steps to caring for a mini horse that you might not be aware of if you’ve only ever cared for a full sized horse. If you have no experience with horses then caring for a miniature horse is a great place to start as they take up less space and will help you get used to the process of caring for a horse if you are interested in one day owning a full sized horse as well.
For the most part, a miniature horse will require similar care to its fully sized counterpart in regards to food, medications etc. but in smaller portions. There are certain methods of care in fully sized horses though that if transferred without any alterations to caring for a mini horse could lead to severe health complications. All of the information you need to know if you are interested in caring for a miniature horse can be found in this blog post so that you are well prepared to bring a new equine friend into your life!
Here is all the information you can find in this blog post to help you care for your miniature horse:
- Things you should know before buying a miniature horse
- Common health complications for miniature horses
- Specialized tips for caring for your miniature horse
Things you should know before buying a miniature horse
One very important thing to keep in mind before buying a mini horse is that they tend to have longer life spans than fully sized horses. While a full sized horse typically lives for 15-20 years, a mini horse can live for 25-30 years. So if you’ve cared for horses before (or if you are new to equine care) keep in mind that a mini horse is a longer time dedication than a fully sized horse.
Housing a miniature horse also calls for slightly different requirements than housing a fully sized horse.
A mini horse will also need to be turned out in order to get some exercise and play in, but the method of fencing in this area for your mini horse to roam in will be different than fencing an area for a fully sized horse. Because mini horses are quite a bit smaller than your average horse, a typical fence might actually be too tall or big leaving room for you mini to squeeze through the fence, which you wouldn’t want. Mini horses are typically very curious animals so if you have a fence that is designed to keep in a larger horse leaving small gaps for a mini horse to fit through, it’s likely that they’ll find them. In terms of housing your mini horse there are some great guides out there to help you build the perfect barn for your mini horses specific needs.
Common health complications for miniature horses
Miniature horses tend to face slightly different health issues than are common for fully sized horses. There are a few things you should know in regards to making sure your miniature horse stays healthy before you jump into the care routine for your new equine friend.
Firstly, miniature horses tend to struggle with obesity much more often than fully sized horses do. Because of this you have to monitor their diet much more carefully than you would with a full sized horse. On average, most miniature horses weigh around 250 pounds, so a mini horse should be eating no more than three and a half pounds of hay per day. Along with proper nutrition it is important to make sure your mini horse is getting adequate exercise.
Mini horses also tend to have a higher rate of dental problems which can cause their chewing to be impaired leading to higher rates of colic. Because of these common dental issues, it is recommended that owners of mini horses take their horse to get dental check ups once a year.
Another thing to keep in mind if you have more than one miniature horse is that if your mini horse is pregnant, they have much higher chances of pregnancy complications than fully sized horses do.
Specialized tips for caring for your miniature horse
In terms of making sure you are providing proper care for your mini horse there are a couple things that you should keep in mind that are specific to miniature horses and differ from how you might care for a fully sized horse.
For hoof care you should be picking out your mini’s hooves every day. There are farriers who specialize in caring for mini horses so it is best to look for one who can provide the best care for your mini.
As most mini horses tend to have dental issues more regularly than their larger counterparts do so it is a good idea to have your miniature horse’s teeth checked at a young age to make sure everything’s looking good.
Grooming for miniature horses is the same as fully sized horses for the most part. Grooming is not only important for keeping your miniature horse looking good but grooming your horse helps you bond with them as well!
Make sure to find a local vet that you can establish a long term health program with. You will need to provide your miniature horse with immunizations and routine dewormings as horse’s tend to have temperamental digestive systems.
A miniature horse can be a great companion and pet or even show horse! Your mini horse is sure to provide years of love and fun so keep these care tips in mind before buying and bonding with your very own miniature horse!