So the title is pretty much my question. Is it safe to have miniature horses in with larger (regular sized) horses? I am constantly asking questions about situations that almost immediately imply that I am getting more horses. But that would simply be a lie. I do want more horses, but I doubt I will get any more any time soon. Especially considering I am having issues with the two devils that I already have.
I wouldn't get a very mini horse, ones that are only the size of the average Border Collie. I'm talking about Great Dane sized ones. Any answers are appreciated.
There are two schools of thought on this, obviously one "yes," and one "no." I'm in the "no" category. Horses play and kick and fight - minis' heads are at perfect kicking height for the average sized horse, and because they're that much smaller, the damage a good sized horse can do is significant for a mini.
Thanks for the advice! I sort of figured this would be one of those sort of yes and sort of no type things. I've had to explain to people why keeping alpacas in with horses is a bad idea, so I doubt this is much different. I do know alot of people who have minis in with regular sized horses, but it's usually been a pair of just those to, not two big horses and a mini. I'd look at something more in the line of "just to small for me to ride" type. Where I could train them to do tricks or drive.
I can certainly see both sides, but I think like a lot of other things, it depends on the individual animals as much as anything. A lot of people told me I couldn't keep my pot-bellied pig in with my horses, but he lived with them for years, and even slept in a stall with my mare. He and my mare were such a bonded pair that Pigpig died only about a month after she did. (they both were getting up there in age). I have no doubt though, that he'd have been around longer if we hadn't have lost her.
At my barn, there are two minis who get turned out with several average-sized horses: an older mare, an older gelding, and an almost-3-yr-old. The 3-yr-old will get down on his knees to play with the minis, who are the bosses of the pasture and push the other three around, no problem.
There are some horses, however, that I would never want those minis to be turned out with. It all depends on the individual horses and how they all get along.
We keep a 17hh gelding and a ex-racehorse mare in the same pasture as our minis and they get along =] neither seem intimidated by eachother. I guess it just depends on the horse though. Some large horses spook at the minis xD
I've also heard people worry that the minis are just the right height to kick the belly of a horse and do serious damage (instead of regular horses kicking the ribs or butt areas). In my previous boarding situation, my BO put my gelding QH in with her stud mini. They actually bonded like crazy and it was a hoot to see the little guy under my gelding's belly, in the shade. It was about the only time in his life that my gelding shared his feed. It was also a hoot the day that the mini was standing behind the gelding when the gelding pooped on the mini's back.... no harm done but it was startling to all of us!
I think it all depends on the horses and you introduce them just like you would introduce same sized horses, to see how it works out.
I think it depends on the compatability of the horses and mini involved. If you are going to put a mini with a big horse who will "kill" anything small and fluffy, it may not be the best idea (obviously that is an overexaggeration, but you get the idea)
My instructor keeps his mini with his normal horses, and it works out really well. Daffodil knows her place in the herd, so she knows when to get out of the way.