Looking into Minis
Hi! I'm looking into buying 2 mini mares and getting one bred each year so I can train/sell the babies...I have 2 "big" horses and compete reguarly in Eventing, but I've never bred or owned a mini. I've visited a couple of neighbors who have minis, but am looking for the "dos" and "don'ts", especially on breeding and training them. Can anyone help? :?
is there a particular reason why you have decided to make more horses that you dont know what to do with? I have and love minis but there are too many people that dont know about them breeding them, they are a responsibility just like big horses but have totally different charecteristics.
That's a loaded question, I suggest you do a ton of research, figure why you want to breed, how long you have been breeding, need a great vet, lots can go wrong with minis foaling, look at my profile and read through a few threads, I think just wanting to get minis to breed is not a great move, or smart. IMO....Not to mention it is NOT cheap.
Minis are wonderful! They are loving, clever, smart and cute.They are great companions. But cute won't cut it when it comes to breeding. Listen to Ponderosa.
Unless you buy the very best breeding stock with show credentials, you will lose money breeding minis. Minis sometimes have very difficult foaling problems which result in tragedy. There is no positive guarantee on size. There are tooth problems. There can be skeletal problems or dwarfism. They can colic or get ulcers or founder if you feed too much or food too rich. Plus, the bottom is out of the market at this time. Raising a mini for profit is unlikely. You've got to know the bloodlines, the show records, the standard of perfection, breeding records and still everybody is waiting to breed that great one. Thirty year experts still have difficulty breeding minis.
Top show minis sell for BIG BUCKS, but pet minis get practically nothing these days.
You will lose money. We paid $2000 stud fee to breed to a World Champion stallion. Our mare is stunning and cost us big bucks. She was not shown, but has the right conformation. Resulting foal - beautiful to look at but had an overshot jaw. We wound up gelding him and giving him away to the neighbor's children! We took a big monetary loss in stud fee, plus shipping, plus feed/care/waiting for 11 mo., cost of gelding and we got a mini we wouldn't sell and shouldn't be bred. He made a wonderful pet - but it was our big loss.
How to make a million breeding minis?
Answer - Start with ten million.
Excellent response, SMMSLT!
READ READ READ READ. Minis have a lot more problems foaling than big horses do, you MUST MUST MUST be there and you MUST know what to do for dystocias, you don't have time to wait on the vet. I suggest the books The Complete Book of Foaling and The Complete Foaling Manual. Go to www.marestare.com and watch the births, and read the forums about them, you'll learn a lot there as well.
Thanks for the advise everyone! We are actually not really looking into breeding for the profit (although thanks for the input, SMMSLT!). We live on one of the last bits of horse properties next to a fast-growing urban area, and so the county gives us AG, or Agricultural, status (a fair cut on our taxes) if we use our land for some type of agricultural use (ie raising crops, breeding and selling an animal, etc) and so we decided on breeding minis, as we already have horses and minis would be cheaper then just buying another "full-size" (in areas of feed, supplies, bedding, etc). A few days ago we bought two chestnut tobiano registered mini mares, one a proven broodmare aged 7 and her daughter, age 3. We plan on breeding one or both of them in the spring, when the youngest turns 4 (the accepted breeding age, as we were told by the seller.)
That said, we will be careful to find homes for the prospect foal(s) well before their weaning, and if we can't, we have the faculties to keep the foal as long as necessary (we're not even sure if we will be able to give up the babies in the first place! :) ) It's true, then, that minis have more trouble foaling then "regular" horses, though? :( I will be sure to read up (thanks for the sources, CheyAut). Is there anything I should look for in a stud, beyond obvious qualities of temperment, confirmation, and bloodlines? The person we bought the minis from will give us a choice of 2 mini stallions she has (neither are related to our girls, we were told...does that make a difference? :\), so is there anything I should be wary of when choosing the stud? I can read up on that too, I suppose, but sometimes its helpful to hear it straight from horse owners, too. :)
A lot of people use stallions and mares that are OLWS positive. Personally, we will never do that, but there's supposed to be a higher chance for color. PS; Color helps sell in minis. It can be the ugliest thing ever, but someone will love it because it's colored.
There's a lot of mini books that we've purchased, and we hate them. You can find way better information online and save yourself some money!
You also have to worry about dwarfism.
Dwarfism is believed to be a genetic issue in miniatures. It's just like dwarfism in humans, the horses come out with short legs, usually larger heads with TONS of health issues. Have you heard of the 'smallest horse in the world' Thumbelina? She's a dwarf mini.
Lots of information here; Dwarfism in miniature horse
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