Got a miniature; how do you exercise this little booger? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 32 Old 09-06-2013, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Subtropics
Posts: 244
• Horses: 1
Got a miniature; how do you exercise this little booger?

I'm not new to horses, I've ridden full-sized horses for six years now and taken care of my own mare for three years, but I am new to minis! I bought a miniature horse, about 8hh I suppose, waist height to me being 5'4". She's an adorable, sweet, spunky 16yo, used for party pony rides. I bought for the same reason, primarily to use her for parties and small child pony rides, also to help teach my non-horse-person family how to take care of a horse/pony, as they want to buy a 13-14hh pony for my youngest sibling who is too big to ride the miniature.

So how do I exercise this critter? She's got a pad of fat on her neck and is plainly not all that fit; she was trotted in hand often enough, so she has that capability. I tried lunging the mini, and found that she doesn't entirely know what she is doing but I could get her to trot a circle around me on the end of the line and alternate trot-walk with some effort. I could only get a short bit of canter, she gets very frazzled about it. I free-lunged her in a paddock with my horse's cavaletti up and she decided to jump, so I suppose I can put her over some little jumps as well. Otherwise, being in an open space is strange for her and she knows nothing about joining up or any voice commands. She does lead in hand quite well and moves laterally when cued easily.

Is that it? I just lunge her and put her over little jumps? How often should I do that, and is it enough to keep her fit-- do I need to get a cart or a small rider for her? I don't plan on showing her, just making sure she is healthy and has no trouble keeping up with the pony rides I'll have her doing.
TerciopeladoCaballo is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 32 Old 09-06-2013, 04:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Central MS
Posts: 1,380
• Horses: 2
i am giggling a lot on the inside --- a small chubby horse taking jumps --- just need a little monkey with chaps and a red cowboy hat

hope someone responds to your question
azarni and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
jmike is offline  
post #3 of 32 Old 09-06-2013, 04:19 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,402
• Horses: 0
I guess if it was me, I'd probably take her for long walks (maybe even jogs if you're up to it) much as one would take confined dogs for walks so that they can get their exercise; I'd also try for some games like the cavaletti you've used; going through and over other obstacles, etc. I'm not particularly fond of lunging big horses for any more than is absolutely necessary as I think lunging is hard on the joints and for the same reason I would avoid lunging the little one. Also, I am not particularly knowledgeable about minis but I thought you had to be very careful about riding them as even the smallest of children can be hard on their backs - I hope forum mini owners will confirm or deny this.

P.S. A photo of the little darling, if you haven't posted one already, wouldn't be amiss here!!!
EvilHorseOfDoom likes this.
Chevaux is offline  
post #4 of 32 Old 09-06-2013, 05:09 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
Posts: 7,157
• Horses: 2
Yes, even though she is a taller (class B) miniature horse, I would not be using her for pony rides personally. It is very hard on their backs since they were bred to pull, not carry.

I lunge my mare for exercise twice a week or so for about 20 minutes, almost entirely at a walk and trot, in a LARGE (30' radius) circle, but I wouldn't advise in doing too much of that for reasons already stated. And even then you should start with smaller amounts, mostly walking, then little bits of trotting and work your way up. I've also found that one good way is, if you have a quiet riding horse, you can pony the miniature off of it when you go out on trails and such. I frequently pony my 5 year old mare out with our TWH mare and go a mile or two and head back.

A cart is always tons of fun and GREAT exercise for miniature horses as well, but it can be a costly investment (carts, even simple ones, run $200 even used, and harnesses are $150+) and if you've a cart beginner yourself, you'd need to hire a trainer to teach you and her how to do things correctly. However, once you do have the necessary equipment and training it is super fun and children absolutely love it. It is also much easier on the mini's body than even riding at a walk. My mini mare can pull a load of about 250 lbs (me and one adult passenger) quite easily at a trot for quite some time without being exerted, and she is only 34" tall and light boned. It took a while to work her up to that, but she's great! It keeps her at the perfect body condition and really helps her sanity as well. She's not the sort that enjoys bumming around the pasture, crazily enough.

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.
Endiku is offline  
post #5 of 32 Old 09-06-2013, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,712
• Horses: 0
Use her for cow horse practice.....she can be the cow! Just kidding, but I have seen someone use a couple of naughty little minis to practice for cows. Don't worry it was just play for a few minutes! The minis put on a good show and were quicker than cows ever could be!
Muppetgirl is offline  
post #6 of 32 Old 09-06-2013, 05:20 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
Posts: 7,157
• Horses: 2
^ Oh goodness, that gives me awful memories. A place I used to volunteer for used to routinely use their herd of miniature horses as 'calves', and didn't score them...they actually roped, drug, and sometimes tossed them down to practice tying. I was just waiting for one of those animal's legs to snap.

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.
Endiku is offline  
post #7 of 32 Old 09-06-2013, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,712
• Horses: 0
Oh dear, that's terrible!, no wrangling involved, just a bit of herding at speed! The minis seemed to like out running the horses!!
Endiku and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
Muppetgirl is offline  
post #8 of 32 Old 09-06-2013, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Subtropics
Posts: 244
• Horses: 1
My golly! I did not thinking about taking her out on walks; I have the kind of neighborhood you can ride horses on the shoulders of roads and whatnot, we do have a trail a fair distance up a dead-end road. I can imagine taking her and my dog out together... that would be wonderful. And cute. Very cute, let's not forget my dog is a small fluffy poodle mix and this mare is a fluffy-maned critter. The pictures are of her before I shaved her, so all I have is her as a Yeti! I'll need to fenangle my phone to upload some recent pictures of her clean and clipped :)
My mare is quiet, but I know nothing about ponying. Now is it so crazy-- I've heard of people in golf carts leading full-sized horses to exercise them-- to train the mini to trot alongside a bicycle? We have a nice, steady-sloping hill with a quiet road on it that I could take her up and down. Personally I'm not all that fit myself to take it at a jog!

I do like the idea of carts... I have a next-door-neighbor who trained at least two horses to pull carts. Right now she has a trotter she recently trained to pull again, I think she could show me how to do it. When she was re-introducing her Morgan to it, I could see her long-lining him up and down the driveway, it looked neat!

I need to trim her feet, I would like to give y'all a clip of her trotting her adorable prancing trot when her toe is leveled, poor babe's due for a trim.

Also, any worries about horses and minis together? My mare needs a friend, and the two seem to be growing close, as I have their stalls side-by-side and they both raise a fuss when the other leaves. My mare neighs (haha, whoopdee doo!) and the mini will rear up by the stall door repeatedly and whinny that ridiculous little bugling noise. The mini has made a swipe at my mare's nose a few times when my mare sticks her head over the stall door to see her, otherwise I find their noses glued together and the mini doing cute antics like running over to where her hay is, and running back to my mare at the door with a mouth full of hay. I don't think my 15.2hh mare would trample her... I suppose I've had them together with a fence or wall between them constantly for about 4 days now, is it safe to let them out together on the 5th day? Also, can they be stalled together with access to a paddock? The stall is 12x14 ft.
TerciopeladoCaballo is offline  
post #9 of 32 Old 09-06-2013, 06:56 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,779
• Horses: 4
I take my mini for "walks" - my definition of walk is my lazy backside on a small 4 wheeled motorbike with Gemma going alongside.

We will do up to 6km (4 miles??) total each time we go out, she's a very fit wee thing so could probably do more now but I choose not to since she prefers to canter/gallop alongside the bike rather than to walk or trot!!

She also jumps so that is fine.. She has free-jumped almost 3' and she is only 37" high - no I didn't force her to jump that height, the jump was set up next to her one for my bigger mare and she jumped that one rather than her jump.

R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
HollyBubbles is offline  
post #10 of 32 Old 09-06-2013, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,500
• Horses: 0
I'd jump on the golf cart and trot her along. You could also pony him off another horse/pony, so long as they get along well.
Posted via Mobile Device
SlideStop is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Who would exercise more if.... Golden Horse General Off Topic Discussion 18 01-14-2014 04:31 PM
Cant Exercise :/ Hailey1203 Plus Sized Riders 41 08-21-2012 11:03 AM
Kicking his stall... the booger. Gillian Horse Talk 8 03-10-2010 08:29 PM
Booger 'how not to mount a horse' Gangsta Horse Videos 1 08-01-2008 09:10 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome