I only get on my mini if she is being really dangerous for someone to ride. I only get on for like one minute and usually, then she behaves for the kid. I have a big mini tho BTW. On the harness, I got mine here Miniature Horse Tack Shop
Use the summer to get the basics down, and you have snow - and sleds are cheap. It's really not that difficult to rig a sled up. I had a miniature who pulled hay out to the other barn all winter long. Wasn't much, but it gave him something to do!
I am a newbie to this forum, this is the first thread I've read...
I think that is a great idea! Having one of my minis haul a bale of hay from the main barn over to their barn, on a sled. I don't know why I never thought of that.
They get so bored during the winter, and that would be a "productive" way to help keep them (and me) happy, and get a little exercise in too.
Thanks for the idea!
A miniature horse should never be ridden. The reason is because their thoratic vertebrae (in the region where the saddle goes) is much more flexible and moveable (not to mention smaller) than the naturally rigid thoratic vertebrae of rideable equines. Because the vertebrae of a mini are like this, even carrying a saddle and small rider puts stress on the spine. It has been found that 70 lbs is the limit before you risk injury to the back. But even so, the vertebrae are more easily thrown out of alignment and hyper lordosis is likely to set in if a mini is used as a riding horse, even with light-weight children, who are likely to have little self awareness and balance on any horse.
Miniature horses were bred for the specific purpose of pulling, not carrying.
The ideal small riding horse for a child would be the shetland, or welsh. These are hardy ponies that can actually carry light-weight, experienced riders that can train them for the child. I would trust my child to a larger but more well-schooled pony, rather than a smaller but lesser-trained mini.
My Dad has two oversized mini (about 2 hands taller than the average mini) or that's what the breeder called them. My sister,who is 48 pounds rides them bareback around our yard. The minis never seem uncomfortable they enjoy their little outings. Our vet didn't think it hurt as they are bigger and my sister is so light. But if it was my choice I would teach them to pull instead of riding.
Thanks for your reply. I definitely would use one of our bigger minis for it if we do go ahead, but yes, we do prefer to drive them, they love it and we love it!
Just thought it might be fun for our neighbors little girl to ride one in a parade once, she is a very "petite" little thing, and she would just be over joyed with the whole thing...
I am going to consult with our veterinarian before doing any thing.
The very last thing I would ever want to do is cause them any injury!