introducuing minis to full size horse
I'd love to hear from those of you who have had success in introducing your full size horse to your minis and let them be together for at least some time.
anything you can tell me about the first meeting and how they interact.
I have 2 mini mares I'd like to introduce to my quarter horse mare.
I've done this with my mini donkey. A few days to a week with a fence in between them. Then a bigger area, like a coral or large round pen. I had a lunge whip with just in case. With the one pushy gelding I had, I did have to get on him & make him understand that was MY donkey & he couldn't harrasse him. Kinda like a mare will tell of other horses around her foal
I have 2 mini mares that are in with a quarter horse mare, also! :) I had them in separate pastures at first, and then I put them in the same pasture together a couple weeks later and they are fine together. But in the corral, I have a very bossy mini mare so she cannot be with another horse in the corral, but it just depends on their pecking order also. My other mini and my big horse can be together because neither one of them is the boss when food isn't around.
I have two miniature horse, a mare and a gelding. They are bigger than most minis, but still minis. I knew them for a long time before I got them. When they were at the campground, right before they were sold (Not to me.), the girl put a full sized horse in with them. Butter was so jealous of them, I could hardly have a moment with them outside the fence and she'd come rambling over and herd them away from the fence, even if I wasn't feeding them something. She was a sweet mare, but when it came to other horses? She was a loner, she didn't want them around. So that situation didn't work out so great. However, when I bought those two minis later on down the road, they had to stay at my Grandpa's house for a while, with his 15.3 Quarter Horse gelding. Major was a very good horse, about in the middle of a pecking order (when he was boarded). When we first put them in together he herded Goldie and her colt, Peanut away from the mini gelding, Spirit. He would herd them around, always wanting them close to him, as if he were a stallion or something and make Spirit stay back. He never hurt any of them, never kicked at them or anything that I know of. As time went on, he stopped keeping them so close and let Spirit be around them and they all got along great together. It can definitely be done. I am about to introduce a pony to my minis and I expect all to go well. The owner said I will probably have to seperate them at feeding time, though.
My mini mare and gelding are great friends now and very attached to each other. When I got my gelding (already had my mini) I was told that he had grazed with smaller animals previously. I took it slow and gave them a couple of weeks to get to know each other while separated by electric tape. The first time I let them graze together he chased her for awhile and even aimed a few double barreled kicks at her. I separated them after that for a bit then slowly re-introduced them.
A year later and he is very good with her, definitely the boss but only has to put his ears back and she moves out of his way. It can be risky given the size difference but I think with the right horses it can be done safely. They are not in with each other 24/7 but always next to each other and she grazes with him every afternoon with a grazing muzzle on. I feed them separately and wouldn't leave them in a small area together, they are always in a large area with plenty of space. Over winter I hope to create a tracked grazing system so they can be in together during the day without her gorging herself.
You have received some good advice here and obviously situations when it worked. However - and this is a big however, most serious Mini owner/breeders, do not suggest putting them with full size horses. One kick, even playfully, from a large horse, can kill a Mini. A pushy Mini can upset a large horse. This can spell disaster and has been well documented, many times over.
If you must keep a Mini with large horses, make absolutely sure they know each other well before placing them together. We suggest though, it is better to keep the littles with littles and the bigs with bigs.
I agree with featheredfeet - it can end with very bad results. My gelding is 20, lazy and ALWAYS at the bottom of the pecking order but that didn't stop him from turning into a bully when they were first turned out together. I think the fact that for once he could be boss went straight to his big head.
Also even if things work out well at the start accidents can always happen down the road. A friend of mine grazed her mini with her horse for years without a problem then came home one day to a mini with a broken jaw due to being kicked in the head. It may well have just been a warning kick which wouldn't have hurt a larger horse but she was very lucky that he wasn't killed and the vet bill was enormous.
I guess you have to decide if it is a risk you are willing to take and remember that it is the minis that will come off second best.
introduced my minis and mare
they've known eachother across the fence for the past 8 months so they weren't strangers. I often saw them just looking at each other =). well, the intro went great!
My mommy mini went out first into the big pen with my full sized mare. It was her first time out in a big area since winter so she ran up a storm. My big mare ran along behind having a hay day. When they both tired out they just sniffed each other and went about looking for grass as if nothing was new. and then I let out the mini daughter. She did great too.
all in all it went better than I imagined.
I hope it remains that way. Remember, no more than about 2hrs grazing each day for a Mini. You can use a grazing muzzle if necessary. Best to keep them on a dry lot the rest of the time.
they are in a mostly dry lot now. but stuff grows here and there. its a lightly forested area that is fenced and eaten down by the goats and cow and now turned into our horse turn out. I actually don't let the minis graze much. Just hand grazing.
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