Keeping a mini with large pony
I am curious if I would be able to keep a mini with my ~14hh Welsh X pony. She has foundered and lives on a dry lot, and she will be by herself for the winter. I have enough extra hay to feed a mini or small pony, and I think the dry lot/slowfeed hay nets and pillows kind of set up would work ok for one, but is a 14hh pony too big to keep with a mini? I am looking for an animal strictly as a companion, and minis have been suggested several times.
Not too big at all. My huge horse (just under 17hh) was kept with a mini and honestly the mini ran the show! But they shared hay and were fine.
I think it all depends on your horses temperament as minis can be easily injured by a bigger horse even if its just in play. My old gelding is great with his mini girlfriend, she is in what I am trying to turn into a dry lot after showing signs of laminitis. I put him in every day with her for a few hours so they can hang out and he can help out with getting the grass down. As long as you are careful with introducing them slowly with a fence between to start and let them get used to each other safely.
I kept my two separate with hot tape dividing them for a couple of weeks then turned them out together. He did a bit of chasing and kicking out at her but after a few days they were fine together. He only has to put his ears back and she moves out of his way. Is your dry lot fairly large as the more space they have the safer it will be. You could also look at taping off a corner that the mini can run under if need be and make sure the hay nets are far enough apart to prevent any kicking wars. I don't feed my two together to avoid that situation as he will kick out at her if food is involved.
Minis and even a 14 hand pony - no. All it takes is one ill-placed kick and that mini is dead as their heads are right at that height where it would contact. Maybe try a larger shetland pony or even grade pony of at least 11 or 12 hands?
I turn my mini out with my 5 other horses and have never had a problem. As long as your other pony is not overly aggressive, and they are introduced properly in my opinion they would be fine.
Thanks for the help, guys. My dry lot is really quite large because most of my property is heavily wooded, so there is plenty of space. I'm really not looking to take on another nearly full-size equine, so I would not want a 12hh pony as a companion. Whatever I get her needs to be small enough that I can afford to feed it and pasture puff pony with her expensive vet bills, and keep my riding horse boarded. I understand a mini has vet bills, too, and have emergency funds, but on a regular basis, I couldn't afford a third near full size horse. I do not have enough hay or storage space, and can't afford to buy by the bale or substitutes for them. Maybe I should look in to getting her a goat to hang out with.
I think you should get a mini. They are such easy keepers and are so easy(at least around here) to find. I doubt you will have a problem with herd ranks as long as you don't have anything to cranky/mean... I'd get a gelding.
Depends on temperaments - if your pony is non aggressive and you introduce them carefully then you should be OK
We had an 11 hand mare that was the boss of any horse she went in with.
Another idea might be a small donkey. They can be anywhere from miniature sized to mammoth, but a lot of times you can find a ~10-11hh donkey who might be great as a companion. They're bigger, but they have such low nutritional needs (just some 'eh' quality hay and possibly a RB will do them very well and they'll be fat and healthy) that they really aren't hard at all to keep. If anything they're overly-easy. The only problem you might have is finding a farrier who can do donkeys in your area.
That way though, you could have a larger animal in with your girl but it wouldn't cost you more.
IMO if you get a larger Shetland (usually 36"-44" tall is the average) that is docile, and if your mare is docile, they should be fine together. I wouldn't feed them right next to each other to be careful though.
I think that Gypsy would be ok as long as her food isn't too threatened. She isn't terribly aggressive, but she will bite another horse if they try to take her food when she's really hungry. She has been getting better since we started using all the slow feed stuff. She was politely sharing with my other mare when they were together lately. I am hoping she will continue to improve as we get closer to having 24/7 hay available. I had thought mini/small pony because I thought a dry lot and slow fed hay would work well for them. I know they tend to be easy keepers. I will also look into a donkey. One of my neighbors breeds them and has several babies, so that might work out. I think he is thinning down his herd in general, too, so I could get an adult. I have a small pasture in addition to the dry lot, so it is no problem to introduce slowly. Thanks everyone for the advice!
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