Frequently Asked Questions
What is a miniature horse?
The Miniature Horse is a height breed. The American Miniature Horse Registry, based in Illinois, recognizes 'A' horses, which are 34 inches and under, and 'B' horses, which are over 34 inches, up to and including 38 inches. The American Miniature Horse Association, based in Texas, recognizes only 'A' horses.
What kind of temperament do they have? Are they OK for little kids?
Just as no two people have the same personality, each horse is different. But the vast majority of them have great dispositions--more like lap dogs. If handled correctly from the time they are born, they thrive on attention and are great around little kids. And just like their larger cousins, they need to know what the boundaries are: that they aren't allowed to nip, etc. They are bright and quick learners, very eager to please.
So what can you do with them?
Just about anything! First of all, they make great companions or pets. They make great little cart horses and are surprisingly powerful. On a flat solid surface, they can easily pull a cart with a couple of adults. They can be ridden by children -- up to 50 pounds (remember, they are about 1/4 the size of a regular riding horse). Often people will take them to visit nursing home residents (just picture their surprise when a Mini walks into their room!!).
What kind of care do they require?
Exactly the same as a full-size horse. They need regular hoof trimming. They need to be vaccinated annually. They need to be wormed on a regular basis. They can catch the same illnesses as large horses, and treatment is the same.
They eat the same kinds of foods as a full-size horse, only less. The amount you feed depends on its size and how much exercise the Mini gets. If you have good quality hay and you are not driving your Mini on a regular basis, approximately one cup of grain and half of a slab of hay morning and night, plus fresh water, are enough.
But in the winter--be sure to take off your gloves and check those ribs. These little guys get so woolly, it's hard to tell if it's hair or fat, so dig through the hair and check.
How much does a Mini cost?
That depends on a lot of factors and what you plan on using your Mini for. If you want it just for a pet, you can find nice, quality bred geldings for a very reasonable price ($350 to $800 or so). If looking for breeding stock, a lot of factors will affect price. Things like: how deep the pedigree is; how good its conformation; its size, whether it is trained, etc. The world record is a stallion that recently sold for $122,000, but most are in the $1,000 to $5,000 range.
I want one. What should I look for?
Your best bet is to go to a breeder, someone who knows the horse's background and will stand behind the horse they sell you. If you go to a breeder, chances are you will be able to see the sire and dam, or at least see pictures of them. If looking at a young horse, this will give you some idea of how it will mature.
Personally, I think color is the last thing a person should look for. First should be a good disposition. Then make sure the horse is sound. You want the same things in a Mini as a large horse. A good, square build on correct, refined, straight legs and good hooves. A level top line and strong hind quarters. A good bite where the teeth meet evenly. A wide, bright eye, small, well shaped ears, good head set on a clean neck. A well-defined shoulder.
Welcome to the World of Minis!
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