New here, to minis, and looking for someone to possibly mentor me

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Larissa

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Hi everyone, I am Larissa. A little background info on me ~ I am 16, I do lots of dressage work currently. I own two horses, a Morgan and a 10 month old gelding, I believe he is what you would consider a shetland blend? 1/2 stetland and half mini horse.. I am wanting to show him this year in 4h, and am looking for some in sight on quiet a few things. If anyone would be interested in kind of mentoring me and giving advise that would be awesome. Thanks in advance.
 

Larissa

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I am in Northeast Pennsylvania. I am not sure I have time to mentor with someone local. As I am a working student at a eventing barn, and I am also in 4h. I believe I am the only one in my 4h group who owns a mini though. Maybe I could just ask some of the questions I have on this thread and if someone feels like giving answers that would be awesome.

Questions

Feeding Questions

1. I currently feed my mini purina strategy professionals formula, he gets 2/3 of a cup twice a day, along with 2/3 of a cup of beet pulp once a day in the morning. I give him about a flake of nice soft grass hay once in the morning, and then he shares a hay net with my big mare at night so I can not say how much he gets at night. He is doing alright like this. He is okay weight wise. He weighs 162 ish. Please critique this. I can not change how hay gets fed at night. Him and my mare share a stall at night, when she goes to the big barn I work at for show season this will change but until then I can't change it. What would you do different with his feeding, if anything?

2. His neck appears short and thick, is there anything I can do about this? He isn't over weight.

Training

3. How do I teach him to stay next to me the way he needs to when I show him? He usually slows down so much I feel like I am dragging him along behind me, or he gets in front of me.

Those are the main questions I currently have and I appreciate any input.
 

Miniv

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We breed and have shown both minis, shetlands, and the cross of both.....We live in Oregon.

How tall is he? Have you done the "touch test" for his weight condition? Is he getting any exercise?

I would feed him on his own at night, away from the other horse as soon as you can.... Amount of feed is tricky, especially since he's

still young and growing. If you can figure out 2% of his weight in hay and grain per meal, start from there and adjust. Keep doing a touch test

every week.

When walking him, take a crop with you. Lead off his shoulder....If he gets ahead, tap his chest with the crop. If he falls behind, step back & tap his butt.

The crop can also be used between you by just pushing it against him if he crowds you. Use one word commands and stick to them....

such as WALK, TROT, STAND, and finally SET (for when you are teaching him how to stand with all four feet squared.) It takes lots of

repetition and patience. We practice show arena work only about 10 minutes at a time and always end it with a positive, even if it's

just a little positive. (When we work on "setting", we practice keeping the horse in place and encourage him/her to extend their neck/face

toward our hand which is just out of reach....without creeping forward. This is the hardest part of our training.)

We don't work on "show arena" training for very long because their attention span isn't much more than a human 2 year old's and to push it,

makes them sour to it.

That's about it without knowing more of you, your horse, and your situation.
 

Miniv

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PS: There are "neck sweats" available, but at his age I'd be careful how you use one. I've seen people abuse them.
 

Larissa

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We breed and have shown both minis, shetlands, and the cross of both.....We live in Oregon.

How tall is he? Have you done the "touch test" for his weight condition? Is he getting any exercise?

He is about 34-35" tall. I have done it, I can feel bones but can not see them. I was unsure what type of weight you want in a shetland/mini like him and have tried to keep him from getting too heavy because I know it is bad for them. He gets turned out, and he runs around etc. It has been very muddy and yucky out lately, so he has been in a stall more (12x12) but never for longer then 12 hours at a time. I was thinking maybe I should start doing more exercising with him, but knew lunging at his age isn't good on little joints.. So I need some advice as far as that goes. I could totally take him for walks that are fast enough he has to trot to keep up if that would be good for him.

I would feed him on his own at night, away from the other horse as soon as you can.... Amount of feed is tricky, especially since he's

still young and growing. If you can figure out 2% of his weight in hay and grain per meal, start from there and adjust. Keep doing a touch test

every week.

Okay, I will. And my mare should be moving to the barn for the summer here sometime this month so after that I can keep track better.

When walking him, take a crop with you. Lead off his shoulder....If he gets ahead, tap his chest with the crop. If he falls behind, step back & tap his butt.

The crop can also be used between you by just pushing it against him if he crowds you. Use one word commands and stick to them....

such as WALK, TROT, STAND, and finally SET (for when you are teaching him how to stand with all four feet squared.) It takes lots of

repetition and patience. We practice show arena work only about 10 minutes at a time and always end it with a positive, even if it's

just a little positive. (When we work on "setting", we practice keeping the horse in place and encourage him/her to extend their neck/face

toward our hand which is just out of reach....without creeping forward. This is the hardest part of our training.)

We don't work on "show arena" training for very long because their attention span isn't much more than a human 2 year old's and to push it,

makes them sour to it.

That's about it without knowing more of you, your horse, and your situation.


If there is other info I could give you, that would help please don't hesitate to ask. And thank you so much for the advice.
 

7fluffyfriends

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Welcome, Larissa!

We (my family) have never been involved in 4H, but in recent years, the University of MN Extension Program has been working with the 4H program. Together they have formed the MN State 4H Miniature Horse Program and have a facebook page under that name. You may already have something similar in Pennsylvania, but if not, perhaps they would be a good resource for you. It has had good promotion in my immediate area so I am assuming it is a growing concern.

Good luck!
 

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