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How many miles is too much?

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barefoot

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I am going to ride in a organised trail ride that is 14 miles next month. I have been riding every day to slowly get us in shape for the event. So far my yearling mini has been coming along. She loves it. I have been ponying her while on my 13 hand pony.

Meara and Charlotte are the best of friends. Meara (13 hand pony)doesn't play much but lets Charlotte do as she likes. She eats out of her feed dish. Runs into her. They are great friends. When Charlotte sleeps Meara stands over her. I often see them both laid flat on their sides sun bathing. Laying in their hay only to lift their heads for a nibble. Soo precious.

Back to my point. How far is too far for a mini? We are working up to it. But I am guessing I may have to start leaving her at home at some point. So far she seems to have more energy than the pony. I haven't noticed any fatigue. I am watching her closely.

Emma
 

hobbyhorse23

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Hmm, that's a good question!
The conditioned driving minis I know are doing marathons of 13km (that's what, eight miles or so?) at a steady trot but I'd think they could go much further at a comfortable walking/jogging pace, especially unburdened. On the other hand 14 miles is a looooooong way for a little horse. My main concern is the fact that your mini is just a yearling. I'm sure she could do at least the first half of the ride if she's been worked up to it but what happens if she poops out on you like babies so often do and you're miles from home? It wouldn't be good for her to have to continue on after she's exhausted. You want this to stay fun and healthy for her.

I know what you mean about horses being best friends and I think that's awesome.
I encourage you to continue ponying her as it sounds like both horses enjoy it and you're surely doing a wonderful job of socializing your baby and exposing her to many valuable experiences that will help her later. However in this case if you can leave her home without undo trauma I probably would unless you are prepared to drop out of the ride early and take her back to the trailer when she tires. She's got plenty of years yet to go along with you and Meara!

Leia
 

barefoot

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Thank you. I didn't really expect her to be able to go on the ride with us. I am just shocked she hasn't pooped out on me yet with our daily rides. I am curious how much farther she can go. She hasn't shown tiredness yet like my out of shape pony. I am guessing because the pony is carrying her greater weight and me.

I am glad to know about the driving mini marathons that are 8 miles. Yeah I bet one could go farther it they walk. Thats exciting for us for the future, in the sense that she will probably be able to go on alot of our trail rides.

I am a firm believer that people ride their horses too young. I believe that you should wait at least 4 years when most though not all growth plates are closed. I don't know the growth cycle of mini's but I am sure it is similar. So her being a yearling and not stressing her is important.

I was wondering back to the wild horses and the foals that follow the herd. Though mini's were never wild. Interesting factors and things to think and wonder about.

Emma
 

MiLo Minis

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I have driven my mature Mini 48 kms which is just over 20 miles in one day mostly at a trot and walk with a little canter thrown in. He was tired but not out of steam by the end of it. I wouldn't try taking your yearling along on the ride either though for the same reason Leia stated.
 

barefoot

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Wow
20 miles

Cool! They are like the energizer bunny.
 

Fred

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The growth plates close faster on the minis than they do on a full size horse. I had the chart but its buried in all my paper work, but what I do remember is its about half the time than a full size horse. Yes they are like energizer bunnies. I have a colt that NEVER gets tired all I hear all day is his hard plastic ball hitting the fencing and barn.
 

Laura

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[SIZE=12pt]I would also be heisitant of taking a youngster that far, for the reasons already stated. [/SIZE]

For the future though, there is a wagon train here during July 4th week and there's a mini or two each year that are ridden (usually in circles at a trot) around and around and around their families' wagons the whole way. The ride is well over 100 miles in 4-5 days and those little guys and their young riders probably log 4 times as many miles as the wagons~LOL
 

Marty

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You also have his little feet to worry about.

Ouch, ouch, ouch.

It's way too far for him.

He's a baby.

He does not need this.

Leave him home.

Best wishes.
 

barefoot

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I am worried about the hooves the least. Charlotte has awesome little callus'. Her feet are developing beautifully. I think because they are structured and made of the same density as a full size horse, she has no problem.

They are both rock crushing. Charlotte makes me cringe cause she will canter over the big rock. I worry she is going to trip. She doesn't miss a beat. I am quite proud of their feet. I think they are doing soo well and have really gotten even better because of the extra movement. On their way to wild horse feet.

Emma

To add. I wanted to clarify that I never intended to take the mini on the organized trail ride. I think it would be dangerous to try and pony her in such a large crowd. Meara isn't quite used to that on her own. She was only put under saddle last summer.

I am wondering with my daily riding how far is too much. I take ride the pony, lead the mini and have two dogs following. We are quite a sight. Last Thursday I walked the pony with two my children on her back and lead the mini. That was a cute sight too.

It is fun and I figure I am exercising everyone at the same time.

Emma

sorry if I confuse anyone.
 

Doobie

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Since I am thinking Lori is talking about the trip we made together last summer.

I just wanted to say it was a great ride!

The only thing that was really tired was my butt!!
 

hobbyhorse23

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Emma, let the baby tell you when she's gone too far! Every horse is different and if she's still happy and frolicking when you're done then I really doubt you've done too much.
I agree with you, most single babies these days suffer from too little natural exercise and are bored, bored, bored. You don't want to force them at this age but if she's coming along willingly and happily and bouncing through it then I see nothing but benefits provided you continue your careful monitoring of her attitude and health. (Consider that a legal disclaimer, I know you're already doing that!
)

Leia
 

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