Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
I gotta say, ALL of the posts on this thread have been so helpful for the OP!
My 2 cents?
You are gonna lose this friendship, one way or the other. If you want a horse, you need help and should be picking only one or two FULL SIZED HORSES, that you and your husband can truly enjoy. Minis are ponies, and without regular training they get out of control. Plus, they are strong enough to really hurt you, despite their height. I have a ~1,500 lb, 16'3hh (5'6" tall at his back) horse that wouldn't hurt a child, but it's because I train him to behave and it's every day. Horses are smart and must have good leadership.
Horseman that ENJOY miniature horses don't start with them. They are a special group of people and minis need specialized training. Most of the horse world is looking for a full sized (~14'hh-16'hh) finished horse that lets you groom, handle, tack up and ride and makes all of the money your spend and the caretaking time worth it. Many of us are happy with boarding and may not ever keep a horse in their back yard. Those that do have them behind the house (and that's me,) wished for it for a long time for this and I knew what I was getting myself into. There is not one day that I do not have horse responsibilities, unless my DD's are caring for all of my animals, the few times I go out of town.
I also keep chickens, and getting someone to care for them is far easier than even one horse.
You are a smart cookie. Don't be intimidated or bullied by your "friend" (aka, "user"), who just wants to dump her problem on you. The property sounds nice!