Frustrated - "everything seems fine until it isn't"

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rabbitsfizz

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The point is that if you turn horses of equal size out together, yes, you may well (and probably will) get accidents. But that is all they are- random, freak, accidents. If you turn horses of wildly unequal height out together you are actually part of the problem and the accident is waiting to happen.

I got away with it for some years, so have others, that is all you are doing, getting away with it. When the accident happens it is far, far more likley to be fatal to the mini than Mini on Mini accidents.

Max's Mom- I would not turn that sort of mix out together at all- let alone with a Mini in the middle! You are just asking for trouble and again it is a situation that your BO is just getting away with, it is not, I can assure you, one that any sensible person would adopt! All for the sake of convenience, too. I would take a gentle stand here and just say you are no longer happy with your (getting on in years) Mini going out with what is a potential disaster (maybe do not say that!!) and could you start thinking now about how the winter is going to be managed??
 

sparklingjewelacres

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These minis are just so tiny compared to bigger horses. Have you ever been to a dog park with dogs and seen the little dogs trying to keep up with the big dogs and get rolled and tumbled? I have.. and dogs are more made to survive this.. a horse running with big horses in play can not be safe at all.
 

Max's Mom

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Max's Mom- I would not turn that sort of mix out together at all- let alone with a Mini in the middle! You are just asking for trouble and again it is a situation that your BO is just getting away with, it is not, I can assure you, one that any sensible person would adopt! All for the sake of convenience, too. I would take a gentle stand here and just say you are no longer happy with your (getting on in years) Mini going out with what is a potential disaster (maybe do not say that!!) and could you start thinking now about how the winter is going to be managed??
Yes, I've been figuring out how to approach it in a gentle but firm manner. There would be some logistical issues, but I think they should be work-able. I am thinking that I should first approach the owner of the small pony who now lives with Max (he's only about 2 inches taller than Max) and have a conversation about this. If we both ask for this arrangement, I think that would carry a lot more weight.

Thank you all for your support! And again, thanks for bringing this topic up and making us more aware of the possible problems.
 
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Max's Mom

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Wow, was this topic timely for me! On Sunday, completely out of the blue, Max's shetland pony paddock mate (they have been together for 8 months!) attacked Max and it was very nasty. He was terrified- peeing himself and screaming and the other horse wouldn't relent. I was there and managed (after several minutes) to let Max charge through one gate and shut it on the pony. Well, I didn't think it was a great idea, but the barn owner thought it was a fluke and put them back in together the next day and it happened again! He was covered with bites and gashes and I was pretty upset to put it mildly. Luckily the barn owner now is convinced that they should not be in together again. I think the shetland would have tried to kill Max if he could. My daughter and I fenced off a section for Max to be alone while still being near everyone else, and I think this will be a good arrangement.

But anyway, this gave me a great opening to talk about how and why I don't want Max to go out with the big ones this winter. If this could happen with a Shetland pony, think of what damage a 17 hander could do! And obviously, the shetland will be in that mix, and I NEVER want them together again. What many of you have said is so true that everything seems fine until it isn't.
 

Rhondaalaska

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I hope max gets better soon.

I am so sorry for you.

I had thought to get a Shetland to go with my little 36 inch girl

But maybe I will think on that more.
 

mad for mini's

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Oh my gosh ! I'm so sorry that happened to your little guy
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Thank goodness you were there to save him. Hope he gets over the attacks and heals quickly. I would have been furious that she put them back together the very next day. Poor guy
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Hope things work out for his situation so he isn't placed in harms way again. Good luck with trying to deal with the barn owner, hopefully she realizes how serious that situation can be now.
 

MyMiniGal

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So glad your Max is ok, so sorry it happened.But glad that the place can see now, how bad it will be for Max, to be in with the big horse. I was in sort of the same situation as you. I had my Halo boarded at a place, that had no mini's.No matter how much I voiced my concern, the ranch owner wanted Halo to be in with a herd, and was getting her use to two big horses. I understand the thought, that they don't like to be alone, but I don't understand the thought of putting a mini in with big horses. So awhile back, looked at other boarding facilities, only to find faults with them also. I worried every single day, about Halo. Wondering when I would get the "call" that she had been hurt, kicked, or attacked. Then a couple weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about our mini's and one thing led to another, and now Halo is being boarded with them, and has a paddock mate...actually, two now. All mini's. Seems like God answer's prayers, when you least expect it. I no longer have to worry about being called due to a big horse. So that worry is gone. Does that mean she won't be hurt, ever? No, but at least a kick from another mini, close to her size, hopefully won't break anything, unless it is a freak accident.
 

REO

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Wow, poor Max! He's lucky to have you looking out for him
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I knew people many years ago with a mini herd. We went to visit and I voiced my concern over the big horse in with them. Oh that's my daughter's old gelding! He would never hurt them, never ever. Not a month later that sweet old gelding had kicked a mini mare in the stomach and made her lose her nearly full term foal. Messed her up inside and she didn't settle after that.

Even the most gentle horse ever can and might hurt or kill a mini.
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susanne

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To those who think it is okay to put a mini out with big horses:

I assume that you leave halters on during turnout, since everything has been fine so far...

I would also assume that you skip vaccinations, since nothing has happened so far and may never happen...

I bet you let your dogs run free, even in the streets, because they love it and have never been hit by a car. After all, this is what dogs were meant to do...

I also would guess that you let your children ride in the car without wearing seatbelts, since your parents let you do this as a child and you were never harmed.

Just because nothing has happened so far does not mean that you are right and this is okay. IT ONLY MEANS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN LUCKY.

As owners and as parents, we are responsible for beings who cannot make their own decisions. We don't wait to learn from our own tragedy but take heed of the experiences of others. Once we know of a risk, however slight, we change how we do things. To do otherwise is irresponsible.

Unless you consider your mini to be disposable (which some big horse people do), you do not put him or her in with big horses.

I apologize if this sounds harsh and judgmental, but this is a matter of life and death. (Feel free to ignore me if you don't like what I say.)
 

mad for mini's

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Susanne, Thank you. I too just can not understand the reasoning that just because nothing has happened, that it is safe to mix them. No matter how well they get along. Or especially the reasoning that horses get hurt when together, no matter the size and not take into account the mass of a large horse against another, 1/4 the size. I mean, would you want to be punched by someone your own size or someone that is 3' taller and 400 lbs heavier than you? Some people understand and take the risk anyway and others will not be convinced until the worst happens or maybe not even then. They will just chalk it up as an "accident" and continue on, that is their choice and will have to deal with the consequences. Sad that it will be the mini that pays the price though.

What really upset me was a rescue that should have been setting a responsible example, condoned this and the 20,000+ followers that saw this and were mislead into thinking it was perfectly fine. I just wanted to bring awareness to those that didn't have a clue as to how dangerous this is. It's comforting to know so many here understand this. And Thank you to the ones that were made aware and are taking action to change in order to keep their mini's safer.
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Max's Mom - I hope Max is doing better and arrangements for his care are all set and working well for him and you
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ohmt

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Unfortunately yesterday on fb someone posted about this thread and stated there were no facts on here, just opinions, and they still think minis with biggies is A-ok. I guess no matter how many times this comes up, the people that are going to do it are going to keep doing it. I have yet to read a good justification for it. As a horse owner it is my responsibility to eliminate as many dangers as i possibly can. That large of a size disparity IS a potential danger, no matter how congenial the two are. My favorite is when someone says their mini bosses the big horse and the biggie is afraid and lets the little one do whatever. Just wait til the day it bites back or does one little kick. Ticking time bomb
 

Debby - LB

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As owners and as parents, we are responsible for beings who cannot make their own decisions. We don't wait to learn from our own tragedy but take heed of the experiences of others. Once we know of a risk, however slight, we change how we do things. To do otherwise is irresponsible.
This is it in a nut shell.
 

mad for mini's

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No "facts" ? Do they need a scientific study to be done in order to believe that? It is simply good common sense. If someone tells me that they have had a horse die or knows of one that died from a similar situation that I was keeping mine in, I would not stick my head in the sand and say "Mine are fine" Heck No ! Changes would be made immediately to help prevent injuries. I would rather take advice than learn it for myself the hard way.
 

Max's Mom

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How much bigger was the Shetland than Max.

Was it close in size?
He's maybe 4 inches taller and 100 pounds heavier than Max, so they were "appropriate" together that way. Even sometimes when they are similar size one can really get after the other. I was just horrified at how Max couldn't get free from him no matter what he did, and then imagined what would happen in a similar situation if the attacking horse was 800 pounds heavier! And I was also shocked that the pony he had been living with without incident for months suddenly did this without warning. For many years Max had lived with big horses without a problem and I always thought he could defend himself or get away- but obviously this is not the case. Anyway, for all those who asked, Max is fine- just a lot of bite marks and scrapes that are healing up. Thanks everyone!
 
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Totally understand.... My mini got in with one of our standardbred geldings once. My mini promptly kicked our large horse in the chin when he got too close. Just safer for everyone if they remain friends ACROSS the fence....
 

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