Minis Pro/con

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by KaylaG, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    It's weird, I've never experienced this one either. I've never had a mini get loose. Usually when I see people complaining minis get out it's situations where they have fencing that's totally unsuitable for the horse. Of course it's gonna get out if presented with fence boards further apart than the mini is tall, but the minis test my fences far less than the taller horses/ponies did who could reach their heads over and strain against the boards to graze. Since the minis can't get their heads over they leave my fences alone.

    But all too often I've seen people with fences like this who are surprised when the mini escapes... (board fell down and was back up 5 min after this pic lol)

    [​IMG]

    I've also noticed a steady decrease in dwarfism lately. It seems like 10 years ago a good 50% of the minis I saw locally were dwarves and now it's genuinely rare I see one. Just buy a real registered mini from a breeder and it's unlikely to have dwarfism these days.
     
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  2. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    I would never, ever, ever put them together and try to warn against it wherever I can. I've heard too many horror stories. People have a false sense of security if the horses like each other, but every single incident I know of where a mini got severely hurt or killed, the horses were playing... their skulls are at the exact height of a playfully kicking big horse, so...

    Honestly OP if you just want a horse to keep with a big horse you're better off getting a pony that can hold its own but still eats way less than a horse.
     
  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    It's common in Europe to retire an older competition horse with a 'buddy' and I suppose the older competition horse is less active than a youngster and isn't as much of a risk but I still wince when I see a 17 hand horse out in a field with a mini. I don't think it's as bad if the buddy is a small pony, but even there...there is a big inequality in size and weight which means kicks land a lot higher on the little guy.

    I would have liked to have turned Wuss Horse out with my pony but the size difference, even with Wuss being a 'baby,' not having as much mass as an adult, was pretty big.

    One day Wuss Horse sat on the fence and fell through it backwards (yeah, I know). He wound up in the paddock with Pony, and Pony kept him moving and away from him. But I have no doubt that eventually a small pony would wind up the loser.

    We learned a lot of commonsense rules from the old guys and gals who made their whole life working with horses. One of those was that turnout buddies should be matched for activity level, health and size. That's still a good rule.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  4. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

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    Pro's:
    Cheaper to feed
    Don't have to have pasture (they do better dry lotted)
    They are pretty hardy little buggers (IME)
    Pretty easy to train (also, IME)
    They are great for driving

    Cons:
    They founder easily
    They get out of fences easily
    They grow a ton of hair (buy clippers lol)
    They get obese easily
    You cant ride them



    And people are gonna lecture you about turning them out with big horses... Mine were always out with my big horses. All was fine. I never bought super tiny Mini's tho. I like the taller Shetland types.
     
  5. Bakkir

    Bakkir Senior Member

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    One big problem here is the popularity of electric fences. Minis get so fuzzy in winter they just go through it, because they are well insulated from any shock.

    Not to mention I had a mini at one barn that terrorized poor Bakkir. Yes, Bakkir was bigger, but he feared the little guy and would not eat. I switched barns because of it.
     
  6. mymarespet

    mymarespet Senior Member+

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    I have had a mini with my full sized horses for 13 years. Her ' friend' is the boss mare. Sometimes one of the other big horses pushes her away but as long as they have room to move there is no problem. She does have attitude, she will blow her nose at the one mare then walk behind her bud/boss mare and stare like....whatcha going do 'bout it?
    The biggest concern IMO, of a full size and the mini shareing space is the mini will eat too much. It is sooo hard not to over feed them. My mini is 250lbs full grown. She can eat all the hay she really needs in about 15 minutes. About the only thing that keeps her weight in check in the winter is the cold, -35 right now. I constantly have to restrict her eating in some way, either jail her, put a muzzle on her, feed her mate in a feeder she can't reach....
    Because of the overeating founder is a real issue.....
    Otherwise, she is a joy and I love her to bits, she is worth all the trouble. She was born broke, so gentle I am confident to let my granddaughter (with supervision) handle her feet.....love those videos of the 3yr old picking up and cleaning out the mini feet....putting on her halter, leading...
    When I first got her I found myself treating her a bit like a big dog....once I reminded myself she was a horse-treat her like one- no problems. I have taught her to get up on a mounting block so I don't have to bend to far to trim her feet.
    They do grow a magnificent winter coat! lol The one and only time this girl was cold was one spring when they were half shed out and we had a day of mixed rain/snow/wind. I bought her a blanket then just in case, have only needed it once since.
    When we make fence we have to put a board lower than you might think, otherwise she isn't strong or heavy enough to damage the fence.
    Managing her feed will be your biggest problem, that and maybe they won't pair up like you hope.
     
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  7. secuono

    secuono Senior Member

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    Just generally needing less of everything, but minis need even less than that. Usually.
    Mine are 36in living with a 12h & 13.2h and they need an even stricter diet than the ponies.
    I've heard people say they'll be fine with ponies instead of horses just because they're all smaller sized... It's kind of a "duh" thing to me, as drafts would need more feed than a 15h horse, so why wouldn't a tiny mini also need less than a 13h pony?
    Obviously, work load and individual metabolism will change it some.
     
  8. secuono

    secuono Senior Member

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    My older mini used to slip through hot wire, but then I bought a plug-in energizer and that thing will beat you down into the dirt if you have the misfortune of touching it. Lol. Stopped her from escaping and it can be off for a week plus w/o her testing her luck.
    I'm using 1/2" white tape now. Such a pain, the deer occasionally get lazy and pluck a section down. Wet snow and high wind will also take it down. You can guess who is first to discover this after snowfall and frolic around, taunting the others to join her on the dark side. :rofl:
    But it's all within secure, solid fencing, so, they can't terrorize the neighborhood with their cuteness.
    I like the woollyness, ponies are yaks, too. Don't show or work them hard in winter, so it's a nonissue for me. Same with mud, it comes off on it's own in a couple days. I don't brush out manes & tails, if I do, they are more prone to tangling. Weird, even seems backwards, I know.
    Oh, I heard awhile ago, that finding a trimmer for them can be difficult. I sit on my legs on the ground when trimming them, resting their foot in my lap. But being a dingus might be more of the problem with general minis out there, lol.
     
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  9. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    Same! I NEVER brush manes and tails but when I notice them starting to look tangly and ratty I do a quick comb through with my fingers and fix it in a few minutes. I think their hair is so thick that it tends to not knot as easily as ultra thin manes... somehow lol

    And yeah, mine are really good at "self cleaning". Since I have ones with lots of white I NEVER brush them when they're wet or muddy or else it just grinds in the filth. But they can look like repulsive mud pigs and then dry off, flake off and be shiny white again. It's like a superpower.
     
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  10. jojozwiebel

    jojozwiebel Senior Member+

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    I have a mini donkey... he has his own stall and shares the pasture with my horse. Both stalls are connected to the pasture but the donks has chains across so he can get in, but the horse can’t. So he always has access to a place away from the horse. They don’t play or run around much, plus the donkey knows better. He is a fluff ball right now but still gets blanketed because he shivers. He gets his hay in a net and a handful of Tribute essential K so he feels included... he acts like a big dog but is green broke to drive.
     

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