We're moving to a farm in a little over a week, and we're "inheriting" the old owners two minis! There's tons of grass there, and even though they're only on it a couple hours a day, they're quite chunky... I'd love to teach them to drive, but I have no experience with either minis or driving, so I'm trying to learn a bit! I was wondering how much minis can safely pull? I've read online anywhere from 40lbs to a two small adults. Obviously it depends on the size and build of the mini, but is there a general rule like there is with rider weight for a riding horse?
Thanks in advance!
First off I advice that you get a mentor or trainer to help you out. I'm in the process of refining my miniature horse's cart training, but I've been driving for about a year now and have had a trainer help me every step of the way. Green plus green equals blue, and driving in some ways is even riskier than riding so you must do things right! They can definitely pull more than 40lbs...whoever said that was probably referring to how much they can carry which is much different.
As for how much they can pull, that depends. Do you know their heights/weights? They sound like they're just pasture puffs right now so as you get them in shape, their weight limits will go up a little bit as well.
My trainer has told me that the generally accepted amount that a mini can pull is 2-3 times their weight. Only three times their weight once they are fully conditioned and finished growing (4-5 years old) and only on flat surfaces. Remember though, that you have to take into account the weight of the harnesses, your buggy, and you.
For example, my miniature mare (coming four years old this Friday) is 34" tall and 225 lbs (give or take a little). Her harness weighs 10 lbs (all leather), and my cart weighs 90lbs, (its an easy entry miniature horse buggy) Two times her weight would be a little over 450lbs. This means that she can take up to 350 lbs of passenger weight. I weight ~90 pounds, so anyone riding with me would have to be under 260 pounds...easily a full grown man. So yeah, I'd say two small to average sized adults would be very fair.
You also have to take into account the terrain and duration of the ride though, ofcourse. We have a shetland pony who is about 39" tall and 400 lbs, so he could TECHNICALLY pull 800 lbs, but because we use him for payed rides and he works anywhere from 2-3 hours at a time at a trot, we limit weight to 500 lbs. You just have to use your logic ^^
An idea of what my buggy looks like:
Good luck and have fun! Miniatures are so much fun and are very addicting!
Thanks for the info! Yes, I'd definitely be getting help from someone who actually knows what they're doing. I just want to learn some of it myself before I start doing anything with them :) I'm planning on doing lots of groundwork, walking, and lunging to get them in shape before I even think about introducing any sort of equipment. Even if they were already in shape, I'd still need to get to know them and whatnot before I would be willing to try anything new.
They're 7-8 years old so age isn't an issue. I'm not sure of their weights (I'll have to get a tape after we move so I can get a better idea) but the owner said they're 28'' and 31''. I'm going to remeasure when we move, but they're pretty tiny so I wouldn't be surprised if she's right. (And because they're so little when/if I am actually able to train them, the weight will still be relatively low. Between my mom and sisters, the heaviest of us is about 110lbs.) Also, most of the property is flat. There's a few easy rolling hills, but there's definitely enough room to just stay on the flat areas.
By the way, your pony is absolutely adorable! I think I'm going to quickly see how addicting they can be haha. These are (soon to be) our little guys. Fancy is the pinto, Storm is the grey :)
Oh wow, so those really are little guys! My other mini (Sour's full brother) Clyde is only 26" and is pretty much at his adult height, so unfortunately I don't think I'll be using him for harness. He's just too darned tiny! You're going to have fun fitting Fancy to a cart! XD a Class A mini harness will most likely fit him/her though.
I have to say, Stormy has got to be one of the cutest things I've ever seen.G Great height for driving too! If he goes missing, don't come looking in Texas ;)
And thankyou! She can be quite the little butt when she wants to be, but now that I've given her a job she's much more sociable than she used to be, and I think she'll make a lovely driving pony eventually!
Thanks! Yeah, I think I'll have fun with them. Storm is super smart too, so he should be able to learn just about anything. His mom is actually the lead pony at this place in PA that does all sorts of trick stuff and petting zoos and whatnot with them. So he's definitely got some smart genes! And they're already pretty well behaved and friendly so fingers crossed they won't give us any trouble. I'll have to take more pictures of them soon since we move next week :)
I know a mini can pull 160 lbs of me...lol! My neighbor rescued 2 mini horses & 1 mini donkey so yesterday our natural trimmer came out and the older mini was great but the yearling had never been touched.... She had a mini rodeo, I tripped over my own feet, & she dragged me on my knees! Lol! But after that she calmed down and got her hooves done.
Have fun with your new cute babies! Posted via Mobile Device
Haha! Those minis can certainly be little monsters. Apparently when Storm was younger and hadn't been handled much, he would lay down every time they tried to do his feet and refused to get up for anything. I'm sure it was quite the sight! Thanks :)