The Horse for Everyone
This unique breed of horse is an elegant, scaled-down version of the large-size horse … small, sound, well balanced and possessing the conformation characteristics desirable of most breeds. Miniature horses of today are stylish, well-proportioned and have been produced by selectively breeding down in size but still maintaining as near perfect conformation as possible. They come in every conceivable coat colour and pattern. A Miniature horse should show refinement and femininity in a mare and boldness and masculinity in the stallion but at the same time displaying good temperament.
Because of their gentle, affectionate nature and small size, Miniature horses make excellent companions. Their quiet temperament and intelligent interest ensure a place in the hearts of everyone. A small child may be afraid of a standard-size horse, yet the same child will show an eagerness to embrace and hug a Miniature foal. Foals are particularly lovable due to their small size, ranging from 16 to 21 inches in height at birth. People who are handicapped or disabled have found the Miniature horse an excellent substitute for the full-sized horse they cannot physically handle. Older people, no longer as mobile as they might like to be and who cannot continue to manage a full-sized horse, can enjoy a Miniature horse in a variety of ways … in the show ring or simply as a companion. They are very versatile in the show-ring - as well as the conformation classes and the activity, harness and jumping classes prove popular with competitors and spectators alike.
Since Miniature horses can only be ridden by the smallest children, an often-asked question is “what can I do with a Miniature?” One popular way owners enjoy their Miniature horses is to drive them. Miniatures are adept at learning to drive. A Miniature horse that has been taught to drive can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Children, adults, senior citizens and handicapped individuals can all enjoy driving a Miniature horse.
The cost of maintaining a Miniature is about one-tenth that of maintaining the large horse. The feeding program is basically the same, but the clean-up detail is much, much smaller. The Miniature is in every way a horse, being as hardy as a full-size horse with similar health requirements. They can be kept in a relatively small area, given supplementary feeding when necessary and care that they don’t over eat when grass growth is prolific. Plenty of clean water should always be available. As with all horses, feeding should be tailored to the individual animal. Miniatures, though small, are hardy animals. They thrive on pasture, sunshine and room to run and play. If you are not planning to show your Miniature horse, a three-sided, run-in shed for protection from cold winds and wet weather is usually sufficient shelter. Hoof care in Miniature horses is essential. Hooves should be picked out regularly and try to choose a farrier who specializes in working with Miniatures for regular filing of feet.
Whether your Miniature is a pet, breeding stock or show horse, regular grooming is also an essential aspect of its total care. Not only does the horse benefit from grooming, but he also becomes accustomed to your touch, creating a special bond between you and your horse.
The Miniature is a “real horse” … it does not know it is small but will repay all the love, care and attention it is given many times over!