Claudettebillie, congratulations! You must be beside yourself with excitement!
One thing that would be extremely helpful is to line yourself up a mentor -- someone you can turn to day or night with questions. Knowing that person is there to help will increase your confidence.
Next, I'd strongly urge you to get a mature, well-trained horse for your first. Trust me, you'll bond just as thoroughly with a mare or gelding as you will with a foal, and this horse will be your teacher in many ways. If you hold off on getting a foal for a year or two, your experience will be all the more rewarding. Copper Sports is absolutely correct that it can be far too easy to have the best of intentions and still have that young'un turn into an adult that isn't so fun and cute.
If the breeder is willing, see if you can hang out at their barn, perhaps even volunteering to clean stalls, feed, fill water buckets -- perhaps even work with them a little. You will learn so much great info in such a short time, and you'll have an expert there to answer questions and show you some of the less obvious things.
I'm going on and on, because I spent my childhood and teen years reading every book ever written about horses and hanging out at every barn within the community, yet when I finally got my own horse, I still was nervous and had tons to learn.
Also, if you can...do a bit of research on the breeder you are considering. I'm sure this is a great person, but not all out there are people of integrity. Make certain they are responsible breeders, that they are willing to give information to their buyers and do everything possible to get you and your horses to get off to a great start. One very good sign is if SHE asks you lots of questions about your background with horses, where they will live, etc., etc. She should quiz you to see if you are an appropriate caregiver and friend for her babies, since that's what they are!
Another good thing is to check into the vets in your area and decide in advance who you will use. If there is one with mini experience, all the better. Otherwise make certain they realize that in some ways minis are different (no bute, no Quest, nutrition and body condition challenges) and are willing to learn. A lot of people are uncomfortable if they disagree with their vet, but you have to be your horse's advocate.
Almost done here! Be sure to mini-proof your barn and fencing. Barbed wire is, of course, a no-no. Minis can slip out of many board fences, so you may need to add hotwire to keep them in. Since minis often tend toward overweight, you might want to consider a small dry lot to limit their time on grass.
I would keep their pasture area fairly small and close to the house to keep a close eye on them at first. Predators, especially stray dogs, can be a huge danger for minis. In your barn, be sure stalls do not have bars or board that tiny hooves can get stuck between. Once again, I would ask the breeder or someone else with mini experience to look for any dangers.
Sorry to go on and on...You are going to have such a wonderful adventure! I wish you the best, and be sure to keep in touch!
Last edited by susanne; 02-11-2011 at 12:29 AM.