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Kymbadina 05-07-2011 11:45 AM

what are the special needs mini's have?
I've been told mini horses have special needs and are different from keeping a regular sized horse.
Like their teeth are horse sized? So they need frequent floatings?
Is this true? What else is there?
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Endiku 05-07-2011 06:16 PM

I'm not sure whether or not that is true, but I do know that we float our minis twice yearly, and have had no problems with their teeth so far.

Here is what I know so far that you should look out for or be aware of if buying and owning a mini =]

1) Miniature horses tend to have very sensative digestive systems because many of their organs are the size of a normal horse's. This means that everything is rather cramped inside of them, so when something upsets their stomache and they are more likely than a large horse to colic and twist an intestine. A simple diet of pony nuts, limited amounts of grass, and hay is a good choice for most. You must also becareful about the amount of grass that a miniature is allowed to eat, because- once again, it can make them colic or sometimes even founder. Generally if 20-30 minutes of grazing is more than enough for one day for a mini, and even less if you have rich grass.

2) miniatures horses almost always go barefoot, so you MUST stay on top of trimming. A good barefoot trimmer or someone who is very familiar with minis is a good choice when it comes to minis. Never let a mini go more than 8 weeks without being trimmed.

3) Because they should not be ridden, (their backs are extremely weak, and they were bred to be driven, so they have more power in their haunches and shoulders than the average horse) you often need to get creative with exercising a mini. Lunging is always a great thing, but they need something else too, so that they don't get bored and develope bad habits. In-hand jumping, showmanship training, trail training, driving, and trick training are fun variations that will keep a mini happy.

thats what I can think of right now, but I'm sure someone else can tell you more ^^

Kymbadina 05-08-2011 07:10 PM

That's wonderful thank you!! What are pony nuts? I was thinking I would do a ration balancer. On mine it says it can be fed to mini's.
I had no idea about their digestive system being so unique.
I don't own one yet, I board my gelding but My family has talked about buying some acreage and I want a companion for Gunnar without another fullsized horse(no time to ride two horses with work and school). So a mini would be perfect.
I'm apprentishiping with a farrier currently so trimming would be an easy upkeep. :) I could do little trims in between when he would come out for my gelding. :) Thanks so much!
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lilruffian 05-08-2011 07:51 PM

Pretty much everything Endiku said. They are quite prone to founder, so watch their feed. Also, make sure your fences are GOOD! These little buggers can be quite the escape artists. They are awesome fun, though :D

Endiku 05-18-2011 05:56 PM

so sorry, I forgot about this thread! pony 'nuts' is just what they're called around here. The feed is also called pony pellets, which you might be more familiar with. We feed ours T&T Grains Pony Pellets ( Pony Pellets ) and they do extremely well on it because they're only worked once or twice a week. Its a fairly balanced, medium protein feed that won't overentergize a pony too much.

Marlea Warlea 05-19-2011 11:43 PM

mini ponies are a lot easier to contain then the average horse, they never need to be rugged, and never need to be hard fed!
Mini ponies are perhaps the most hardy breed of any pony!!
All i can say is watch their weight as my mini pony puts on weight even when we lock her up!!

Endiku 05-23-2011 12:56 PM

I'd have to dissagree there. If you clip your mini (which many people have to do because they get too hot in the fall/spring) you MUST rug your mini, or keep it stalled. And miniatures are actually very prone to many foot, joint, and heart/intestinal problems because of their size and weak structure. You have to stay on top of their health in order for them to live to full life expectancy x]

Marlea Warlea 05-23-2011 07:19 PM

oh wow.... never knew that!!

my min's pretty darn hardy but then again we never clip her because where we live we are lucky to get an over 25 degree (celcious) day!

MagicEquus 05-24-2011 09:15 PM

It is in fact true that their teeth are almost as large as those of big horses. Since the actual space in their mouth is so much smaller this can create different dental problems. Therefore it is paramount to check their teeth on a regular basis (although this is also highly recommended for large horses). By doing so any problem can be detected early on and proper corrections can be made more easily.
As far as their hoofs are concerned, from my own experience I can tell you that frequent trimming is essential. Their hooves grow as quickly as those of big horses and are equally strong, but since the body weight of a miniature horse is only a fraction of the weight of a large horse the mini´s hooves are not as quickly worn down. Therefore frequent trimming (every month) is necessary in order to keep the feet properly balanced and avoid pathologies associated with overgrown hooves.

CheyAut 05-29-2011 08:41 AM

Never give them Quest wormer, and use banamine vs bute.

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