Guilt

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by Steph16314, May 20, 2020 at 5:25 AM.

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  1. May 20, 2020 at 5:25 AM #1

    Steph16314

    Steph16314

    Steph16314

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    I just bought my first mini a month ago. I spent MONTHS researching and taking lessons (big horse) in preparation for bringing her home. I only own an acre of land (out in the country so we have plenty of room for walks) so my horse’s pen is a 4000 square foot lot (80x50) which everyone told me would be plenty. But I feel sooooo guilty! I can’t shake the feeling. She seems fine but I just feel bad. Does anyone else keep their mini in a small dry lot? How do you manage?
     
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  2. May 20, 2020 at 7:25 AM #2

    Pitter Patter

    Pitter Patter

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    Yes. I wish my area was bigger too and I have 20 acres! My 4 minis share a pretty small lot and I'm not happy about it so we do hope to expand the area. ( I went in thinking I was only getting one mare and ended up with three!). I am really bad with measurements so can't tell you how big it is, but they have more than enough room for running around and I take them for walks, spend time in the lot just sitting with them. The place I got them didn't have their area much bigger and they had several more than I have now. They do fine I think, as long as they have an outlet. I think I would be more sad if she is all by herself. They like to have companions of their own kind as well as human companionship. If there is enough stimulation it helps too. I have "toys" and treat balls (they have to really work to get a treat out).
     
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  3. May 20, 2020 at 8:09 AM #3

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    Many horses live their lives in stalls, so you have a lucky girl.
    I actually think it is a good idea to start with one horse. My avatar horse and I started together almost 20 years ago. He was an "only". We spent so much time together and he interacted with my family closely. He has a companion now, but there is nothing like that first bond.
    Taking your girl for walks is great. Look for some training ideas to use on your walks, such as giving to pressure, "whoa", "stand". One thing I would suggest is that you do not allow her to graze while you are walking. This is a terrible habit to break, once they get started. If you lead her to a grassy spot and allow her to graze, that is different than snatching mouthfuls as you try to lead.
    And there are also some great ideas for making "trails" in her lot, where she has to move around to eat and drink.
    You are beginning a great journey! A lot to learn--and there will be heartbreak. But so much fun.
     
  4. May 20, 2020 at 9:12 AM #4

    Steph16314

    Steph16314

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    Yes, I agree with the companion, Pitter Patter. I am planning on adding another companion here soon. I would like another mini but my friend has a goat she’s willing to part with soon so I think we will try that first and see how it goes.
     
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  5. May 20, 2020 at 10:32 AM #5

    dalvers63

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    Minis get fat SO fast - having a dry lot is not a bad thing. As others said, many horses spend most of their day in stalls. My girl has a 12x12 stall with a run in paddock off the back, and she gets turned out into a mostly dry lot for at least a few hours every day that it isn't horrid weather. She has friends over the fence and when my gelding is here they get turned out together. I do think having a friend is very important.

    As long as you're spending time with them and provide some type of enrichment in your area (hidden treats, having to work/find food and toys) I don't think you need to feel guilty. Your horse will let you know if they are unhappy!
     
  6. May 20, 2020 at 11:47 AM #6

    Cayuse

    Cayuse

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    You are fine with the with the turnout that size. My two minis have a paddock roughly that size and they do fine. Like you, I felt guilty at first but now I am happy to have a nice turnout where I don't have to worry about the grass. As long as the have room to run and hay to occupy them (within reason) they do fine on small lots.
     
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  7. May 20, 2020 at 7:01 PM #7

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    Biggest lesson I have learnt from having minis is "the smaller" the yard , the better !! Minis get very fat, very quickly and to have that smaller space to be able to lock them up is a godsend. It also comes in handy when the farrier is due, dentist etc. I have around 1 acre solely for the minis. This consists of 3 paddocks and one yard. One of the 3 paddocks is always a dry lot or Jenny Craig Paddock.
     
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  8. May 22, 2020 at 9:26 AM #8

    chandab

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    While goats can be good companions for horses; watch for them to eat tails (some seem to love to chew on tail hair), be mindful of what goat feed you buy (some has ingredients that are not safe for equines), hornless or disbudded goats are generally safer, and I thought I had another thought, but have lost it.
     
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  9. May 22, 2020 at 10:41 AM #9

    Pitter Patter

    Pitter Patter

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    Can I add to the goat thing? I have a 300 lb goat (didn't start that way, he was 20 lbs when we got him at fair auction). He belongs to my daughter and she used him for packing/hiking and showing at fair. If you do get a goat to be with a mini, might I suggest getting a dwarf or miniature goat. A large goat can become dangerous for smaller animals. Mine was merciless for a while with my mini stallion. Stallion is now with mares and soon to be gelded. All goats have a pecking order, and while sweet, they often rear up and come down with their front feet and head and will smash skulls with anything smaller. Mine picks which humans he likes. If he doesn't like you or you can't physically be a leader he can get rough. I cannot trust him with kids because he challenges them. I am only 5' tall and can control him easily. My goat was in a heritage parade here a few years ago and while we were waiting, he took a mouthful out of my daughter's beautiful show rooster's tail feathers while she was holding him. He was proud and carried those feathers in his mouth the whole mile parade! He isn't bad, he's just a very large goat. He is now with my two llamas and Welsh Cobb pony and they keep in him line. Most goats don't need anything more than hay or grass because like minis they enjoy their food and can get bloated fairly easy. If you are going to feed the mini any grain, separate them unless the mini can hold his or her own with the mini or give something they both can have. Goats will do almost anything to get food! Smaller goats are safer and a whole lot easier to keep and a lot of fun. Polled or de-horned ares safest too.
     
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  10. May 23, 2020 at 3:22 AM #10

    Steph16314

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    That’s great info and good to know. Thanks!
     
  11. May 23, 2020 at 1:14 PM #11

    MerMaeve

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    So would a 1/2 acre pasture be too big for two minis?? I'd rather have it bigger than smaller.
     
  12. May 23, 2020 at 6:16 PM #12

    Pitter Patter

    Pitter Patter

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    I'd say they'd be pretty darn happy! (hey, then you could always open your heart to more...lol)
     
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  13. May 23, 2020 at 7:29 PM #13

    MerMaeve

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    LOL! Yeah, if I can't decide I may need to get them all! ;)
     

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