What is it like to own Minis? - Page 2

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What is it like to own Minis?

This is a discussion on What is it like to own Minis? within the Miniature Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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    08-10-2011, 10:59 AM
Miniature horses are generally 32"-38" tall (though many show-quality minatures are 28-30"), and are classified in two groups. Group A is generally show-sized miniatures, which stand anywhere less than 32" I believe, although dwarves can also be classified as group A. Group B is the larger, most often seen classification.

I hope I don't sound rude but there is so much bad information in your post that I have to address it.

A show miniature comes in any size up to 38". We specialize in B division which is 34-38" A division is 0-34" Im not sure that division B is a larger division?

Show minis are always bred to have the elegant, arab features of the arabian horse, while others have a stocky, pony-like stature.

What others? And what is a pony like stature?

They should not ever be ridden due to having characteristic weak backs, but are able to pull twice their weight easily.

Another miniature horse myth that is blatantly untrue. While the extremely small miniatures probably are not good to ride, many do fine and can carry small children very easily. Good rule of thumb is 70 lbs for A Division. B division can carry a bit more. Miniatures do not have weak backs or they would not make the great driving horses that they do.

Founder and colic are common illnesses that kill miniatures, because their digestive systems are extremely sensative.
A miniatures digestive system is no different than any other horse. Founder is more of a concern in small equine but colic etc are what kills any breed of horse the most.

A miniature horse's organs are the same size as any full sized horses, meaning that they are all crammed into a small space. A small upset such as gas colic can be lethal. Alfalfa should be given mixed with another, less rich hay or not at all.
Again so not true!! They are not the same size as a full sized horse! My miniatures have been fed alfalfa for 12 years. You just feed less of it than you would grass hay.

for this reason, I recommend not ever breeding your own miniatures. Dwarfism is a painful disorder for horses, and can be avoided.
Dwafism is an issue but over the years it is being bred out more and more. In 12 years I have never produced a dwarf. It boils down to educating yourself on dwarfism traits and never breeding horses that show these traits. Also not breeding just for "small" is a key.

What many new mini owners fail to realize is that their mini is still a horse and has to be handled just like you would a big horse. Too many treat them like big dogs and spoil them or never train them.

Some of our B division Miniature horses. Most of ours are double registered both Miniature Horse and Shetland pony

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    08-10-2011, 02:59 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
I don't have enough time to go through a thorough post, but I'll try to clear what I can up.

A show miniature comes in any size up to 38". We specialize in B division which is 34-38" A division is 0-34" I'm not sure that division B is a larger division?
going by memory, the sizes most likely were a bit off in what I posted above. However, I did not say that all show-quality miniatures are under a certain size, just that many of them tend to be on the smaller size (division A) after a bit of research I actually found that they don't even use A and B classification anymore, so I correct myself in saying that 34" and lower would be "under" and 35" and higher would be "over." Anything over 38" cannot be registered, even if it is purebred. I believe I was correct in saying that division B is the larger minis though...

As for build, when I say 'others' I meant the less halter-quality miniatures. Still fully registerable, but more pony like in the way they look. (ie; larger heads, less refined looks, thicker legs, etc. I personally prefer these as they are more functional and hardy looking to me.)

An example.

Both have good conformation, but there is a hardier, pony-like look to the second mare, compared to the elegance of the first.

Whether or not a miniature should be ridden is debatable, as many people have different views. However, I do not find any reason for them to be ridden, especially if smaller than 34". The general rule for horse riding is 20% of the animal's weight. Assuming that a 34" or smaller weighs between 180 lbs and 240 lbs (all of our twenty plus miniatures fall between these two marks, although I am aware than some are heavier) that would be 36-48 lbs of weight for the average mini, including tack (miniature horse western saddles weight 10 pounds including a pad.) Perhaps in the miniature was used very lightly for a 2-3 year old, I could see it being ridden, or if was an especially hardy animal (we use two minixshetland crosses for our therapeudic program, though they stand at 40" each and weigh nearly 300 lbs)

Many miniatures do fine with normal diets, but it is still very important to regulate their weights, as founder is at high risks. Colic is a risk for any horse, I agree- and not particularely more for minis, but it is still something that needs watched, as I have heard (may not be true) that surgery can be even more high risk for them. We have had three miniatures die in the past year from Sand Colic, while all of our full sized horses have been fine.

I do not feel that I need to justify my post about dwarves, as I don't find anything wrong with it. Backyard breeding is in no way ever a good idea, and should be left to professionals in order to help lessen chances of dwarfism, mutation, etc in not only minis but large horses.

I am sorry if I provided questionable information, but I stand firm in what I believe about riding miniatures. Otherwise, I may have been wrong as I have gone mostly off of what I have learned from other miniature horse breeders, trainers, and show people. They and I can always be wrong :)
    08-10-2011, 03:06 PM
The place I ride at has a mini. He wants to do what he wants to do 24/7! They are easier to keep than horses...They don't need as big of a stall and they definitely don't eat NEARLY as much.
    08-10-2011, 08:05 PM
going by memory, the sizes most likely were a bit off in what I posted above. However, I did not say that all show-quality miniatures are under a certain size, just that many of them tend to be on the smaller size (division A) after a bit of research I actually found that they don't even use A and B classification anymore, so I correct myself in saying that 34" and lower would be "under" and 35" and higher would be "over." Anything over 38" cannot be registered, even if it is purebred. I believe I was correct in saying that division B is the larger minis though...
I am truly not trying to be rude but you keep posting inaccurate information. They do still use under and over division. Who told you they don't? Just curious where you are getting this information. Here is the ASPC/AMHR website




I am very active in showing and sit on several committees for ASPC/AMHR. They absolutely do have an under A division and an over B division. Horses show in all height divisions both A and B.

I posted it before but here it is again. A division is 0-34" B division is 34-38" If you have a 34" mini you can show either A or B division. Totally up to the owner. At shows the height breaks down even further (for example 30-32" 34-36" etc etc)

As I said my two horses shown above have great show records. And they are registered ponies and minis. Yet they have none of these traits:

(ie; larger heads, less refined looks, thicker legs, etc. I personally prefer these as they are more functional and hardy looking to me.)
You are probably referring to the older style foundation miniature that was smaller and stockier. Has nothing to do with "pony" And like you, many still love these older style more draft looking miniatures.

Do you own the horses that you posted pictures of? Your profile says you are a miniature horse trainer. Just curious who you train for?

Everyone is entitled to an opinion on whether a mini should be ridden. So like you, I posted my opinion. I have seen many well trained miniatures that made great little riding mounts for small children. It is a great way to introduce children to riding without the fear of being on a big horse. Lets face it a 3 or 5 year old is not going off on hours long trail rides. As long as it is done responsibly I am good with it.
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    08-13-2011, 06:18 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Not at all. I do not have any problem with being corrected, as I know that I still have tons to learn.

I gather almost everything that I know from books, talking to other owners, and from the internet. I read that they no longer use A and B on Lil' Beginnings horse forum.

I know almost nothing about shetland registered miniatures. Thankyou for the website, though. I'll try to look through it sometime soon.

You're right. I just wasn't exactly sure what to call them as the word 'foundation' wasn't coming to me for some reason (happens all of the time x.x very frustrating.) so I used the word 'pony-like.' I was not stating that they were ponies though, and I hope that you did not think I was.

I do not own the horses that I posted pictures of, but was using them for reference from DeviantArt stock images.

As for training, I do no break miniatures to saddle (because, as stated, I do not fully agree with miniature riding.) I do, however, start them to cart, do basic groundwork training for those who will be showing-(lunging, standing square, pivot, backing up, etc) and I have finished quite a few therapy ponies (most of those being shetlands and welsh crosses, however.) I work for Halters Inc (http://www.halterinc.org/) and as an assistant director for our division of 4-H, as well as for a few private owners.

I am not in any way a 'professional' trainer and I have nothing to do with breeding, owning, showing, etc- and am just now getting into showmanship with my own filly, Sour. I'm 15! XD
    08-13-2011, 10:10 PM

I totally get trying to learn that is how we all do it. But please do not put info out there that is not incorrect. If you are teaching other people you need to be sure you are giving accurate information.

I am pretty sure I know the horse/owner of the first picture you posted. It is normally against forum rules to post a picture of a horse you do not own. Maybe this forum allows that? I know if someone was using my pictures I would be pretty upset as I own the copyrights to every picture I post or put on my website.

I have been a member of Lil Beginnings for approx 10 years. (my forum name is kaykay) I have never seen anyone post that there is no A and B division. If they did I would have to seriously question their experience in Miniature horses.

The site I gave you is the association site for the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) and The American Shetland Pony Club (ASPC)

I also listed the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) which only registers miniatures up to 34"

Edited to say I see you are only 15. I wish I had known that.
    08-14-2011, 11:35 AM
Teen Forum Moderator
I understand, and I will be doing some serious studying before offering more information. Truthfully though, I thought that I was correct! (beyond embarressed now ;D) Evidently my resources are not very reliable.

It appears to me that on this forum, there is not a rule against putting unowned photographs on this site if only for reference (it is done very often in the breeding, games, and critique sections to help explain things as well as point out errors) though I am terrible sorry if I am wrong. I haven't gone out of my way to actually check for that rule, but having seen it done before- I didn't think anything of it since it did (whether rightfully or not) show up as a stock image on DeviantArt.

This is one of the threads where the exclusion of the A and B divisions was mentioned. I do not have the other two links. mini size classifications - L'il Beginnings Miniature Horse Forums
I believe it is Minimore? Looking back I see that she is not from the states so it could be different in their country...I didnt really think to check that.

As for being 15, well, it doesn't change anything. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong- whether I'm 10 or 95. The only reason that I pointed out my age is so that you understand that there is no possible way that I am or could be a professional trainer. I merely do the side jobs and starters to pay for the half-lease of my miniature filly =]

Just to make sure that I've cleared it up, you're saying that A division is 34" and smaller, B is 34" and higher, and that if you own a 34" horse- you can choose which class you would like to show in?
    08-14-2011, 12:35 PM
I know minimore very well :) She is from Canada so I am not sure how it is done there. I do know that a show I just showed in last month still has A and B (under and over) division. It's just a semantic in words. But the way you said it would lead a person to believe that these divisions were totally gone.

If you really read what she said pay attention to this:

-they no longer call them A's and B's, though the A and B designation is still used with the registration numbers.

Still used on registration numbers. There is the biggest clue. I think minimore is talking more about how show entries list the divisions. But again here in Ohio many still use A and B not just over and under.

Shoot the quote thing will not work. But yes if you have a 34" horse and you are showing in AMHR; it is up to you whether you want to show up or down. Most people with a 34" horse will choose to show A or under division to give their horse the best chance of winning. It is very hard to be the smallest horse in a class and still win. Not impossible, but hard.

Also larger shows with more entries will split the sizes even further. So there could be a 32-34" class.

I for sure do not know everything, but I have been showing, training and breeding miniature horses for 11 years. I have found it pays to really pay attention to who you are getting advice from. For example I see many people give showing advice that rarely if ever show. Or people giving breeding advice that don't even breed.

I will be seriously disappointed if this forum allows people to post other peoples pictures. This is in no way directed at you. But many people like me invest a lot of time and money having pictures done of our horses. Just because they are on my website or a forum does not give anyone permission to use those pictures for any reason.

I have over the years had to send out 3 cease and desist letters to people that used pictures of my horses. I have even found them on peoples websites claiming they own them or own get of a horse. Its just wrong.

To the original poster I apologize for your thread going off topic. I just did not want people to think that some of this information was true and accurate.

    08-14-2011, 08:25 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Well, thankyou for helping me clear things up, and OP- I appoligize for misleading you. I suppose I should be asking more questions to be sure I 100% understand something correctly before translating it to others!

out of curiosity (sp?), is there a reason that it is very hard for the smallest horse to win? I've always thought that many judges/breeders believe that the smaller the better (I personally disagree. I love the nice, hardy 34-38" minis myself.) We have a stallion out at our barn who I believe is 27", and he made it to Top Ten in AMHR Nationals a few years back if I'm not mistaken (though I think the title was a bit different. Same effect.)

As for the pictures, I will definitely be looking further into that. I wouldn't purposely do something against the rules and I can definitely see where you're coming from. Pretending the horses are their own... -_-

I'm assuming that's why you asked me if I owned the horses I posted xD nah, we just have your every day minis out at our place.

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