Miniature Horse Keeping Questions

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

Tess

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
122
Reaction score
34
Location
Inland Northwest
Hi,

I was wondering if I can use 4ft high cattle fence that have 2" by 4" rectangles and not electrify it? Do I need to put electric tape on the top and bottom of the fence? I have wood posts about 8' apart.

Also, What is a nice food and water container for a miniature horse? I am planing to keep the miniatures in a paddock. I have a shed that I am using as a shelter in bad weather or for shade in the summer. There is no door so it is basically three sided.

What are some good toys to keep one busy? How much excersise does a mini need? I plan to walk it everyday or so. This will be my first horse. I am going to get two minis at the same time from the same breeder.

What is a nice shampoo for a mini? I do not plan on showing or jumping my minis. Should I insure a non-showing, non-jumping mini? Also, I read that horses like apple bobbing, do minis? What are some nice treats for minis?

Thanks,

Tess
 

Rocklone Miniature Horses

past member -I gotta get a life...
Joined
Jun 15, 2013
Messages
1,062
Reaction score
450
Location
Northern Ireland
Welcome tess. Know now that you have gave your soul to the devil :D

the fence will be ok, just watch for hooves going through it. I don't think you will need to electrify it. An automatic water feeder which is lower to the ground i best, maybe 10" high. If that isn't possible a 10gl bucket filled each day will be ok. They are hardy, a 3sided shelter is fine for all weather. A lot will play for a bit but the best thing to keep them occupied is grazing and moving. They need a lot of exercise, more than a dog. I personally drive mine, or run them in a corral for 30mins. a mild shampoo is ok. insurance is up to you. a mini suffering colic will cost the same as a horse. minis like all treats. apples, carrots, mints etc
 

Ryan Johnson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
3,239
Reaction score
1,785
Location
Melbourne Australia
Hi Tess,

Welcome to the forum


I originally didn't have electric fences when I set up the paddocks for the minis at home but after seeing them laying, rubbing, stretching the fences I soon realised I did. I only have one strand of electric tape that runs around the boundaries of the mini paddocks & has done the trick in stopping them from destroying the fences any further.

Regarding your other questions , there is a search engine at the top of the page that holds the answers to a lot of your questions.

Regarding treats , carrots, apples, pumpkin pieces are some my horses love.

As im on the other side of the world I cant help with shampoos ect not sure what would be available where you are ??

Hope this helps & a big welcome once again


Ryan
 

AngC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
702
Reaction score
286
Location
Arlington, WA
For food/water dishes, unless you're doing an automatic watering arrangement (a bit more pricey) I like the black rubber dishes/buckets. They're easy to clean by pressure-washing (after a soak in a light bleach solution.)

I've used Mane 'n Tail shampoo for washing. At one point, I was researching, and if I remember correctly, it has similar ingredients to TreSemme shampoo. I quit using any crème rinse--too hard to rinse out.

About the one piece of advice I can think of... Set some funds aside for emergencies. Don't go into hock to buy the horse and then not have enough to pay for vets when things go wrong. I recollect being hugely surprised at how expensive problems can be.
 

Marsha Cassada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
8,545
Reaction score
5,211
Location
Southwest Oklahoma
Welcome to the miniature horse world! If you are getting two, are they mare and stallion? If so, that is a whole different world than having pets.

I think the cattle panels should be fine. It's possible a horse could get a foot caught; anything is possible with animals. But I've been using them for 13 years without a problem.

I mostly use the black rubber tubs for water and feed. They are sturdy.

I am a big fan of equine dentists. Miniature horses have the same teeth that large horses have, so they can frequently have dental issues, which in turn cause health issues. Most vets do not have the proper equipment to float them.

Going for brisk walks is a great way to teach ground manners. If you have access to a trainer near you, I strongly suggest a couple of lessons. Just because they are little, they are still total horse.

Looking forward to hearing more about your miniature horse adventures!
 

paintponylvr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
3,069
Reaction score
1,297
Location
Cameron, NC
Hi Tess - WELCOME to the world of Mini Horses!! And to the Forum.

I agree with Ryan - mini horses and shetland ponies are the most destructive equine around. I've found that non-electrified wire (woven, welded, small sq meant for equine, small square meant for sheep/goats, larger square for livestock, even the heavier gauge livestock panels that are 16' long and range from 33" to 52" in height) will be destroyed in a hurry once spring arrives OR with the temps doing what they are doing here this winter. Ours are typically "hairy horses" - and when the weather goes from 13*f to 70*f in 2 days - they sweat. When they sweat - they ITCH. When they itch, they SCRATCH. Whatever they put those "hairy bums" on - MOVES, BENDS, BREAKS or FOLDS OVER (including wooden or tin structures and trees). Come spring - longer days even if not really warmer - they shed. When they shed - they ITCH, then they SCRATCH. You get the idea. With two it might not be so noticeable, with my herd - even when I did only have two in a "group" - it was! Personally, to save both heart ache and your fencing $$ investment, I'd plan on at least one strand of hot wire & depending on what's on the other side of your fencing - you may need/want more.

Horses are horses. Regardless of size. I've seen injuries from legs put thru fencing - all types. Some of the worst injuries I've seen were actually from fencing made and "touted for" horses! If the horse is bored or hungry or driven by hormones (mares & stallions) - he will dig or paw at any fence line. If a good rolling spot is inches away from the fence line, he may look fine when he folds down to roll, but then go over completely and put a different hoof/leg thru each square of fencing. That can be "dicey" OR it can have no consequence whatsoever as he quietly removes his legs from their "traps" and then either rolls the other way or gets up from there.

Your fencing supplies should include a hammer with a claw end, fencing tool or a bolt cutter that you can manage BY YOURSELF in an emergency should you need to rescue your horse. If you keep wood fencing - pliers and tweezers to remove chunks and slivers.

Fencing becomes personal. It's what you like, what you can install (or have installed) and can maintain. Horses can do well in almost any fencing situation - if you watch them and keep your fences maintained. Hot wire, tape, rope - makes it a little easier and there are many kinds for all kinds of different looks.

I have a "smorgasbord" of buckets. I do know that they aren't the same today that they were in 1995 when I personally got back into horses after being overseas for 10 years. I still have some of the buckets i originally purchased in 1995 up in MT and have buckets I purchased last year here in NC that didn't last this up/down weather season. We have the little mini, hang over the fence type (hard plastic), different types/sizes of feed pans for ground feeding - plastic, stainless steel and the "old rubber tub". I also have both the 8qt rd/flat back buckets (Little Giant or Fortiflex) and the 20 qt flat back buckets (little Giant or Fortiflex) - mostly in purple since that is our farm colors but also in other colors due to needing a new one or finding some on sale. I personally like the 20 qt flat buckets best - they can be used for a multitude of uses besides just feeding and can be set on the ground or attached to fencing/walls at heights needed for the horse or for you. I have a friend that swears by the hang over the gate/fence type buckets (both the little mini sized ones and the large ones for the biggies) - but she is able to strap them down and the horses/ponies leave them alone. Mine - they removed them and then I had to go hunting them before I could feed - w/ the number of equine I have that made feeding an impossible chore!

Some of the best buckets have been the "free ones" - they come with equine supplements or from the local delis/bakeries/restaurants around us! You will find that you will use lots of buckets for many different things when you have horses (I love our BRUSH buckets that were color coded either for each horse or for each child). I, too, use bleach a couple of times a year for cleaning - try to do it in the spring and the fall.

There are many on-line catalogs now for equine. There are quite a number for Minis alone - several that are listed on this forum... You can peruse them for ideas and choices and purchasing.

Are you looking at youngsters or older trained minis? Mares, geldings? Size? How much paddock/pasture space do you have?

I find that ours pretty regularly exercise themselves - even my "oldsters" - but that's due to them all having access to each other. I have some that probably wouldn't exercise at all if they didn't have encouragement. The larger minis can be driven and many do enjoy having a "job" - whether it be driving, helping w/ farm work or in-hand exercising and therapy work. The smaller your paddock/pasture arrangement, the more exercise you may need to provide.

I have had very few equine over the years that played w/ any toys. I see all these fantastic videos (some from my acquaintances & friends) - but most of ours - don't seem to ever develop a love for any toys. It really varies with the equine, I think. My boarder has purchased several toys already for her penned mini - we spend more time chasing the darn things down when the wind pushes or blows them out then the horse plays w/ them. With our new set up here (very spread out) - I am getting much more exercise myself!

and so that you know - I LOVE our equine. I spend much time with them - not just because it's required for caring for them, but because I enjoy it. We currently own 2 larger equine, 1 "medium" 1/2 shetland pony, 1 "small" 1/2 shetland pony, 21 Shetlands in sizes from 32" - 44" in height. Our boarder has a mini that I think is 29/30" and now has one of our shetlands that is about 32/33" now (not yet 2 so still growing). Our current pasture situation is about 7 acres perimeter fenced, with paddocks w/i that (not finished yet). The two stud pens are 3 - 16' panels long and 20' (approximately) wide, 1 - 16' panel & 1 - 4' gate. Our round pen, when reconstructed, will be 60' - allowing us to work the larger ponies/horses from the ground or under saddle and actually hook/drive the smaller ones to a cart. We pleasure drive and drive for "work" - single, pairs and 3 abreast pulling farm equipment, carts, carriages and wagons. My goal is to have a 4 - 6 up hitch similar to Bsharps' set up - but not sure we'll get there... We just moved onto this property in December 2014 and the last of our ponies was picked up on January 19th from their temporary living quarters... The total property size is 21 acres - most of it in trees that will eventually have walking/riding/driving paths thru it w/o destroying the forested areas.
 

lkblazin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
1,060
Reaction score
164
Location
Northern Illinois
Welcome!! Minis are fantastic little balls of awesome. I feel like everyone has already answered your questions. If there are more ask away
 

Tess

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
122
Reaction score
34
Location
Inland Northwest
Hi,

The age of the minis I am looking at are 2,3, and 6 yrs old. I am probably going to chose the 2 and 3 year olds. According to the breeder She stood 36-1/2 inches on 7-24-14. She has a super dispodition, and prefers people to feed(usually). She has a maternal 1/2 sister thats been shown to top 10, and other siblings that have shown very well. That is the 3 yr old mini. According to the breeder Amber is a pretty little girl with a laid back, easy going outlook on life. She doesn't really care what you do. She stood 33 inches on 7-24-14. That is the 2 yr old. According to the breeder Charity is 34 inches, and a spirited, striking looking mare. She can be hard to catch, but is easy to handle once she is. That is the 6 yr old.

All three of them are mares. I want to chose two of the three minis.

My paddock is a little less than half an acre.

This is the 2 yr old mini.

This is the 6 yr old.

This is the 3 yr old.

Which two would you pick?

Thanks to everyone
 

Marsha Cassada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
8,545
Reaction score
5,211
Location
Southwest Oklahoma
The "spirited striking looking" mare that is hard to catch may teach you the most. I think a 6 year old is great as they begin to get a good mind at that time.

The gentle ones sound very nice for a first-horse. And with a show background you may have a better idea of temperament. Some so-called gentle horses quickly show another side to their natures when someone begins to ask something of them.

Sounds as though you have not met them in person. If you are young, you may enjoy a challenge. If you are older, like I am, you will want something less challenging!

Also, be sure the breeder will work with you if either of the horses doesn't turn out to be right for you. That happens; sometimes personalities just don't click. Ask in advance if you may return the horse and perhaps trade for another.
 

Tess

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
122
Reaction score
34
Location
Inland Northwest
Hi,

I have a couple more questions.

Also, I do not plan to ever breed my minis.

Can I teach a mini to lie down? How long do you think it would take?

What are the best grooming tools/what brand? How many times should I groom per week?

When my minis come I want them to be as comfortable as possible. Inside my run into shed should I put some bedding in it like a stall?

I like braiding hair. Could I braid my mini's mane/tail? Would the braids fall out? Also, I have heard of people painting their horse's hooves, is that a possibility? I would like to braid and paint not for show but just to make them look prettier. I also have heard that horses love Jolly Balls. Would a mini like one too?

Thanks for all the help with my previous questions.

I have chosen not to electrify it to start. Depending on what happens I might later. I also have chosen to use Mane-n-Tail for the shampoo. I chose to get the black rubber tubs for the food and water.



Thanks,

Tess
 

Tess

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
122
Reaction score
34
Location
Inland Northwest
The "spirited striking looking" mare that is hard to catch may teach you the most. I think a 6 year old is great as they begin to get a good mind at that time.

The gentle ones sound very nice for a first-horse. And with a show background you may have a better idea of temperament. Some so-called gentle horses quickly show another side to their natures when someone begins to ask something of them.

Sounds as though you have not met them in person. If you are young, you may enjoy a challenge. If you are older, like I am, you will want something less challenging!

Also, be sure the breeder will work with you if either of the horses doesn't turn out to be right for you. That happens; sometimes personalities just don't click. Ask in advance if you may return the horse and perhaps trade for another.
Thanks!

I have not met them in person yet. I plan to when I have their living space set up. I will [SIZE=11pt]definitely[/SIZE] ask the breeder about that.
 

Max's Mom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
151
Reaction score
85
Location
Southern Maine
You are about to embark on an exciting adventure! And you are asking great questions!

I am going to make an assumption based on some of your questions that you do not have previous experience with horses. If that is the case, I think it would be very helpful for you to get connected with someone who does, whether a trainer or a local horse friend. Mini horses are very cute and wonderful pets, but they do require handling skills that need to be learned. Some of that can be learned from videos and books, so that's a resource, too, but having someone show you in person is really helpful. I'd recommend reading up on common health and horse care issues if you haven't already done so.

If you are a beginner, I'd also be cautious about getting a horse that is hard to catch. If you are just learning, it is so much less stressful when you can learn on a horse that is already well trained and doesn't have any behavioral issues that you will need to figure out how to solve.

Grooming can be done everyday if you want to, and it's a great way to bond with your horses and check them over. Basic tools you can get at any tack shop should be fine- a rubber curry comb, a mane and tail brush, a hard bristled brush, and a soft brush, plus a hoof pick are good ones to start with, and also a shedding blade for spring. My daughter loves to braid and does it frequently, but she always takes out the braids when she's done so he won't get itchy and rub it and so he can be protected more from flies. You can find little elastic braiding bands which will stay in place pretty well. Hoof polish is very drying, so keep that in mind. It might be better just for special occasions. You might have fun with dressing them up for a photo shoot!

Taking them for walks is great fun! I love doing that. You can also set up different obstacles and practice going through and around them. It is great for training, but also fun. I do horse agility. Look that up online. It might be something else to do with them to keep you both exercised and having fun.
 

lkblazin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
1,060
Reaction score
164
Location
Northern Illinois
Laying down with my girls took about a min for my youngest and three mins for my others. If you do it in a grass pasture and let them eat the grass once down, but only when down. Mane and tail is great. Along with cowboy magic detangler.

Dirt won't hurt. In fact its good for there skin. Don't over groom. Your mini will role to deter bugs and exfoliate there skin. Also cool down. I do not prefer a brand. I just look for something that gets the job done. I am a dog groomer. So you'd think I have a preference. But I use a human hair brush and hard and soft brushes with a curry. No combs. Unless braiding.
 

paintponylvr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
3,069
Reaction score
1,297
Location
Cameron, NC
Ditto what Max's Mom and Marsha said as to training and learning.

There are several books and videos out that show how to teach a horse to lay down. Some minis do very well learning lots of tricks - usually there are others you do before actually laying down (at least the way I was taught) and then you build on that until you get the lay down.

Brushes - I always go back to old standards. I love a good rubber curry comb used counter clock wise to work hair loose, a stiff brush (for some reason - these are really hard to find these days) to brush the lifted dirt/hair off and a soft brush to finish. For the legs & head, I use the "gloves" from the bath department of Wal-Mart and then a soft brush. My guys LOVE their "scrubbies" when they are hot/sweaty after working in hand or driving. For bathing, we often use the hand held "poof scrubbies"...

bathmitts.jpg bathScrubbies.jpg

I prefer a human hair brush w/ medium soft bristles for manes/tails and to work out the inevitable witches knots I use either a hoof pick or the hooked end of pulling comb along with Cowboy Magic, Olive Oil, WD-40 or products from the Ethnic section of a drug store (Wal-Mart).

And the all important hoof pick - go to a horse store (if you have them?) - and hold several different types to see how they feel in your hand. Let the cashier/store owner know you are learning - and have them show you how to hold it to use it (different than picking it up!) If you are lucky - a trainer, knowledgeable owner or a farrier will be there when you are there and they'll show you with their invisible co-hort (the horse) how to pick up a leg and clean that hoof. Have the breeder you are buying from show you the techniques they use and allow you to get comfortable using them. NEXT BEST choice is safety and handling by Cherry Hill - LOADS of pictures.

Susan Harris's - "Grooming to Win" covers a LOT of grooming info including different styles of trimming manes/tails for specific breeds and several kinds of braiding.

Braiding - O YAY!! Who says you have to show to braid? There are all kinds of braiding out there. You can use braiding to keep hair from getting caught in mud/briars or you can use it to be pretty. Theres some for tails and some for manes. There's the Saddle type braiding w/ ribbon (not left in on pasture) and there's Continental braiding that looks like a lattice when finished. There's the draft style of braiding (a pseudo french braid) and actual french braiding (not left in when un-attended - especially the tail). We've started braiding on our young foals to train their manes and tails to lay down. Next week when we take 4 boys in to be castrated - their tails will be done in a single long braid and the longer tails will then be fed thru at the top of the braid and "taped" so they don't get into any drainage or the Vaseline we use on insides of hind legs while the boys heal. We've braided manes, forelocks and tails for hunter showing and we've done the braided manes for "draft style" for a show when driving to a wagon or parades.





the day before she foaled. Kept her tail out of the way of birthing (on pasture) and I used to do all the manes during the winter - re-doing the braids every 4 weeks or so or when the braids said they needed it.



Our attempt at show braiding - to be "perfect" the braids needed to be smaller, shorter and the tail also should have been done. BUT it was enough. Vixen is a 1/2 shetland that we bred and raised and 2 of our daughters spent many hours riding her and she was an awesome lesson pony. Still is - at a hunter/jumper barn...



Grooming can be done daily - to check the condition of your horses and to learn the ways/wiles of your new partners. Or as little as once a week. Our pastured ponies often get no more than 1x every 8 weeks - where we knock off the dust, trim and comb out manes and tails - on their "pedicure" days.
 

lkblazin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
1,060
Reaction score
164
Location
Northern Illinois
I taught my girls how to flex/bend. Then lifted there left front leg. After that gently put my weight into them, and waited for them to give. They got to the point of when I go to flex there head they already started to go down. But then I stopped training cause they are pregnant.

Also agree with talking to a local about minis
 

Tess

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
122
Reaction score
34
Location
Inland Northwest
Hi,

I have read books on taking care of them. Also, I took horse riding lessons, where I learned how to groom a horse and wash them as well as ride. I know how to put a halter on, walk and groom/wash but that's it. I have never owned a horse before.

Thanks for all the wonderful advice,

Tess
 

targetsmom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
6,147
Reaction score
509
Location
Suffield, CT
Welcome to the wonderful world of minis! Good questions and good advice. Be sure to check out the information pages on Lil Beginnings (link from the Main Page you can get to from the very top of this one) and there is also a lot of information on our website, both general info and for our 4-Hers.http://www.ontargetminiatures.com/otm-4h.html If you want a registered mini, be sure that the person you are buying from is the registered owner (the papers are in THEIR NAME), as that is one of the most common issues with new owners that I see.

Most of oiur fencing is 4" 2"X4" non-climb and over 10 years old, with no electric. BUT, that being said, I did get a nasty black eye when our largest mini (37") rolled and manged to get 2 feet caught UNDER the fence and 2 feet stuck THROUGH the fence. Luckily he did not panic, but trying to free him was quite an ordeal beacuse of his size, and in the process he managed to catch me in the eye with a back foot. No matter how safe you think things are, horses seem to be able to find a way to get hurt. One suggestion would be to find a vet and have them visit your new minis to kep them up to date on vacinnations (get their records when you buy). A good vet like ours will look things over and recommend changes for the health and safety of all concerned.

Having a mentor who can help you out is always a good idea, and perhaps you can join a local miniature horse Club and find someone. Or anyone with horse experience that is willing should be able to help. You can also find a lot of help on here eitehr by asking questions or searching for a topic. You might want to search for "books" to see what others have recommended.

Good luck and have fun as I am sure you will!
 

AngC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
702
Reaction score
286
Location
Arlington, WA
It's a smidge disconcerting to me that you're asking questions regarding what I consider to be incidentals. ...such as grooming tools, shampoos, jolly balls, etc. (The jolly ball is a nice sturdy horse toy; mine is purple and out in the barn collecting dust. The only one to show any interest was Baby, and her attention span was about 2 minutes unless I was out there jollying with her, in which case she lasted maybe 3 minutes.)

I'll be the first to admit that I charged into horse ownership without a clue. I suspect I had a little more experience than you, but my experience was sadly outdated. I gotta' say, the first things I thought of were not the concerns you've mentioned. I thought about things like a horse trailer (it cost lots; bought used; it sucked; then lost money getting a trailer that worked for us.) I checked out the nearest vet; the nearest vet hospital; found a farrier; etc. ( uhhh, you do realize their toenails need to be trimmed in addition to being painted?) Costs me 50 bucks a pop, per horse. ...every 6 weeks, except when Baby had laminitis, then I had to pay more for the special trimming; dental goo in her hooves, and trims starting every 2 weeks.

I don't know where you live; your location says "Open Prairie." Do you have a food source? For example, do you plan to feed hay? In some areas of the country, I wonder how easy it is to obtain good hay at this time of year?? A half acre might be adequate storage room for two horses, but it is not enough to feed one small horse year round. Nicky, has slightly less than a half acre; he's smaller than the 36-inch measurement of the horses you mentioned. I'd have to dig out my records, and count on my fingers, but I definitely know that he cannot last an entire year on that amount of pasture. Pasture grass grows well here, but it's just not enough.

You mentioned you've read some books. I'm keen on books. Two I would recommend are: 101 Ground Training Exercises, by Cherry Hill and Horse Agility Handbook by Vanessa Bee (that one may even have something about teaching a horse how to lie down as you wanted.) Unfortunately, our mare, is stuck on the chapter about haltering. I hired a trainer who ended up frustrated and left me with the advice that some horses might be better off sold; I've hung with Coco and she's actually doing better, but that leads to my next comment....

Your photos didn't display here on the forum, but it was an easy Google to find the website for your potential purchases, based on the description you copied into your post. I gotta' tell you, the first thing I saw were several mentions of "hard to catch." A horse that's "hard to catch" is frustrating. If I were you I'd give it some thought; just saying....

Oh and you mentioned that you didn't want to breed: Well, the older mare has this description: She can be hard to catch, but is easy to handle once she is. She has been exposed to a bay & white pinto for a July foal, but we're unsure if she took.

uhhh, I'm no expert, but since this is March, I would think they'd have tested and know by now?

Anyway I'll shut up now because I don't know if your seller is a poster here on the forum, and I really don't want to tick anyone off. One last comment, I don't know squat about pintos, and I'm not entirely sure which horses you were considering but the mention of LWO would make me nervous.
 

chandab

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Messages
12,244
Reaction score
2,418
Location
NE Montana
AngC,good post.

Just an FYI, if you're not planning on breeding, then LWO is a non issue, if the horse is alive, it's just fine. LWO is only a serious concern when breeding, because you don't want to breed two positive horses together, as you have a 25% chance of a foal with two copies of the gene and it won't survive.
 

Latest posts

Top