All About Owning Your Own Mini Horse


Have you always wanted a horse but simply lack the space?  Is feeding a large equine just out of reach in your monthly budget?  Are you looking for a great source of manure for your compost pile?  Are you looking to get involved and have fun with horses?  Here is an idea - try out miniature horses!  I thought you all might enjoy getting a little picture of why I own my own pony and what it is like to own mini horses.  I have interacted with and owned mini horses since I was a little kid, and have enjoyed them very much. 

(Me and Tux, a mini horse of my Mom's that I grew up with)
Some great things about owning your own mini horse or small pony:

1.  You don't need a lot of space.  Now, don't mistake me, you do need SOME space.  But just not near the space that a large equine needs.  I have a small pony/miniature that currently lives on about a 1/4 of an acre which is fenced into two parts.  He mainly lives on one side which is a "dry lot" - that is, there is very little grass growing on it.  I let him graze on green grass on the other side of the fence only for short periods of time each day - about 1-2 hours twice a day.  The rest of the day he gets a constant supply of hay in his hay feeder.  It is important that a small horse does not get too much green grass which is why Bill, our pony, gets only small amounts of it at a time.  We do not want him to get sick, and so far this has worked wonderfully for him!

2.  You can do so many things with mini horses.  Learn to drive a pony cart, enter your mini horse into shows, and connect with other people who are involved with mini horses! If you have really special, well mannered mini horses you can use them to interact with children and even elderly people who enjoy horses but can no longer ride.  You can hug them, love them, groom them, and take care of them!  Some mini horses and ponies can be taught to carry around very small children as well.

3.  They just don't cost near as much as full-sized horses.  On average, a horse or pony should get about 2% of his body weight in food per day.  So let's do some figuring based on that:

If you own a 1,000-pound horse:     20 pounds of hay, grass, and feed per day.
If you own a 750-pound horse:         15 pounds of hay, grass, and feed per day.
If you own a 400-pound mini horse:   8 pounds of hay, grass, and feed per day.

I currently do not feed Bill any special feed because he is not pulling a cart or doing any work at this point.  So all that I feed Bill is hay and grass.  I make sure to always have the 8 pounds of feed available in the form of hay for him to munch on throughout the day.  We are trying very hard to keep Bill eating all day long, which is how a horse eats in the wild and it is the most healthy for him.  Horses that go without eating for long periods (3 hours or longer) can develop severe stomach problems and other bad habits.  Keep your horses and ponies eating as much as possible!

Here is a chart breakdown on cost if feeding a horse their 2% from hay (assuming one flake of hay weighs 5 pounds, that there are about 14 flakes in a bale, and a bale of hay is 10$, which is fairly typical for out here):

If you own a 1,000-pound horse:     85$/month, or about 8 and a 1/2 bales per month.
If you own a 750-pound horse:         65$/month, or about 6 and a 1/2 bales per month.
If you own a 400-pound mini horse:   35$/month, or about 3 and 1/2 bales per month.


Now of course there is also the cost of getting your pony dewormed and his hooves trimmed twice a month.  But almost everything is cheaper if your horse is smaller!  You will use less dewormer, for example.  The only thing that is not cheaper for me is the farrier bill which is the same as for a big horse.  

4.  You can use their poo for compost!  Click here for my blog post on using Bill's manure to make his upkeep cheaper.

Some things to consider...

Before you buy any horse, large or small, it is important that you know what you are doing.  Horses have a special body language unique to their species and it is very beneficial if you know how to understand it!  I have known people who have owned a mini and had very bad experiences because they had no knowledge of horses.  Don't be fooled - just because a mini is much smaller than a big horse doesn't mean they are like the family dog or cat!  Do your research and be SURE to visit mini farms in your area to get more information on owning your own mini horse.  Often times, there are mini farms that are willing to give weekly or monthly lessons to educate you on how to handle a horse, how to care for him, or even how to show or drive a mini!  It will be worth your while to learn more about this incredible breed of horse in order to bring a healthy, happy, well-mannered animal into your family.

Comments

  1. My parents have two mini horses that my nieces ride. Their name are Mary and Joseph. I would love to own horses someday. Until then, I'll keep riding at my parent's house. :)

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    1. Oh you ride? Western or English? I have taken English lessons for a few years and LOVE it so much! I have always been obsessed with horses. :)

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  2. Haha, those little guys are too cute. I think horses are some of the best-looking animals out there. I mean, if I were an animal, the horse would be .... Brad Pitt, you know? And these guys are like Brad Pitt as a teenager, I guess. I'm not sure where I'm going with this. :)
    We live in an apt in DC, so no way horses are coming in here. We aren't even allowed a cat.
    Good luck with your blog! I saw that you just did your first blog party! They are overwhelming at first, but you'll get used to it.

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    1. Haha! Thanks so much for stopping by and for the great comment, Bethany. I gotcha followed! ;) The blog party is a little overwhelming, but I think I will get it down before long. Thanks for the good luck! :D

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    2. I am a kid and when I grow up I want A hobby farm I know i want a pet pig but i want more than one animal. My reaserch on horses has scared me because they are sooo expensive.Mini horses are cute I just dont know the advradge cost for one.at a good price what animals would be good for me? Not bunnies or chickens or a pig I know i want pig. Some one plz get back to me thx.

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  3. Boy do I ever agree. I used to have mostly big horses but the mini's won my heart over. It's funny they have even more attitude usually than a full sized horse but they are so darned smart, cute, and just easier to handle for everything because of their smaller size. I love my little guy :) Love the pics!

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    1. Haha definitely more attitude! I love my little guy too - nothin' like pony cuddles to make any day better. :D

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  4. This is so fascinating! Though my city's codes probably wouldn't allow us to have one in our backyard, I have dreams of moving to the country and a miniature horse would be a great homestead addition.

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    1. They are wonderful little additions! If you get one that can pull a cart, they can even help with household chores such as hauling a few bags of mulch or manure. Some have even been taught to pull a mini plow! Plus, they are just fun to hug on. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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  5. What a cutie! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  6. I'm thinking about buying a miniature horse, I am confident around horses but not riding them, do you think that would be ok, ive heard people over 25kg shouldn't ride them any way and im 12 and over 25 kg so I cant ride him anyway but I do have a 5 year old friend who wants to ride, do you think I should buy one, we have lots of land. also would I be able to have a list of what to feed minis and the quantity of what to feed them please?

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  7. yeah i ride a lot like lessons and stuff but i have to wait to get a HORSE and after 5 years of waiting it gets boring so i've decided to get 2 minis until the day comes that i can actually get a horse!:)

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  8. I try to let my mini eat grass all the time.. is that not good ? I thought that's what she should be able to do but I sometimes rarely put her in the dry lot because I thought it was better for her to always have grass. But she eats it all day normally.

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  9. can you get them to jump stuff at all or is it not possible because I am really looking into getting a mini pony because I am home alone all the time and I have always wanted a horse. I know I cant ride them. and also is it possible to put a halter and lead on them at all or no. do they feel its punishment or something?

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    1. They can have halter and leads, saddles, harness gear for driving them in horse and buggy...

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  10. i have a mini farm where i live and i have a major bond with all of the mini ponies that live their because i visit so much

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  11. Hi
    I have been riding for about half a year and I am thinking about doing 4-H, and am thinking about getting a mini as my project. Thoughts?

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  12. Thank you for your blog! It's so helpful!

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  13. hi i am wondering if your mini does pull a cart what do you add to food

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  14. Hi, so I'm thinking of getting a miniature horse because I love my two ponies so much and riding them almost every day is amazing, but they are boarded at away from home. I would like a mini to play with and train to live in my yard. I would love for it to pull a cart (Who wouldn't?!)but like Olivia before me, I would like to know how much food to add to it's diet if it is working. I am only educated in the world of full sized equine and ponies, so your feedback would be so helpful.
    Thanks!
    Also, I love this blog! You have a wonderful writing "voice" and that makes this pleasant and easy to read. I hope to see more of your tips and snippets of your world of minis in the future!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Molly! If my mini were to be a "working" horse, I would probably add a good quality grain to his diet. (Not sweet feed however, as that has been proven to have a diabetic effect on horses.) I think a lot of it depends on how often the mini would be pulling the cart and the weight. If it is just every now and then, as I've done with my minis, I just make sure to always keep the good quality hay coming and let him graze as much as I can and he seems pretty happy!

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  15. I wasn't aware that horse that goes on without eating 3 hours or long can develop severe stomach problems. That's really good to know. My husband and I are thinking about getting a horse. I imagine that sitting down with a vet and talking about what type of care is needed will be extremely helpful. http://www.edistoequine.com

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  16. Very interested in getting a mini and would love your advice on the following three things:
    1) Should I get two, instead of just one, so they'll have companionship?
    2) Will a toolshed type structure work as a good shelter from the elements?
    3) I have a truck, but not a horse trailer. What's the best way to transport minis w/o a trailer?

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    1. Sorry for my delayed reply, it has been a long time since I have checked my blog! But I am hoping to start blogging again soon. Regarding your questions:
      1. I would get two mini horses if you are able. Horses are very social creatures and love companionship!
      2. A tool shed structure would probably work fine. The key on size is to be sure that the horse has plenty of room to turn around safely.
      3. There are actually attachments for trucks where smaller minis can be safely transported in the back of a truck. You might try Googling miniature horse transport in truck bed or something along those lines.

      I hope this helps! Have fun with your minis!

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  17. I have the same questions as Christine. Look forward to your reply. I have half an acre. How many could í keep? I want these for my grandson, Benjamin and myself.

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  18. Do mini horses need companions? I was looking to board mine in my barn I normally ride at, and if I were to keep them there they would be in a stall next to other horses? (The stall would be a box stall, but they would still have turn out time in a sand pen and plenty of exercise.)

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    1. That sounds like a pretty good arrangement! Most minis that I have met love to have some fellow horsey companions!

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