Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Johnson Creek, WI
I think one reason that it's so confusing is just because of the level of variation from horse to horse. Yes, they technically are supposed to look like a horse that is miniaturized but if you are looking for a companion then you probably don't want to pay for the ones that really look like that.
Yes, they can be with full sized horses BUT: do they get along? One swift, well-placed kick from a full sized horse could do some serious damage to a mini. Is your pasture mini appropriate? They are escape artists! I turn my minis out with my elderly mare only when supervised because they will go thru my electric fence. Also, they can't be out on grass pasture all day like a horse.
Also, please, please, please remember that the ones that look like fat little shetlands are most likely over weight. People have come to except minis as being fat but they shouldn't be. You have to keep close tabs on how much they eat. My 2 boys get 1/2 cup grain each am/pm and they share 1 flake am/pm. They are on a dry lot 99% of the time. My husband thinks it's mean but man do they look good and I've gotten compliments from the vet and farrier. Being overweight may look "cute" but it leads to hosts of health problems, so please remember this if you choose to get one.
Oh, and if you get one, make sure to work on ground manners even if you don't "use" them. They are notorious for being brats. If you treat them like horses (ie train them and discipline them) they are great and your farrier/vet will greatly appreciate the effort.
Sorry for the long post. Hope it helps & good luck. My elderly mare needs a companion too so I know how it goes =)