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New to Minis and jumping in with lotsa Hooves!!

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Barbie-GypsyFeverFarms

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Hi everyone,

I'm in southern California and have just purchased, adopted, saved, whatever we are going to call it, three mini mares that have all originated in sale lots across the country :( So we will be doing some QT for them of course and have a little work cut out for us. I will be picking them up Monday if not before. Eager to get them. My friend has adopted a tiny colt (solid bay) from the group as well, not sure on age, looks to be over 2 though and stands approx. 28". He doesn't look like he is a dwarf but we will see when we get our hands on him more etc. So any and all tips, tricks and advice are welcome. Please no shaming for not buying registered from a breeder, that was my initial intention but with plans to have them just as pets this group caught our eye and I couldn't leave a girl behind, they were in a group of 17 colts and 3 jacks. So who knows what the future holds for them. Chestnut tobiano is under 2 so she should hopefully be clear, but not sure of the others. Supposedly they're all under 6 but the one black tobiano looks like she could be closer to 10, we will see when I check teeth. All the wrong ways to buy a horse I know, but we will get them into better condition and gentled and settled into a nice soft spot here at our Gypsy Fever Farms (we raise and show Gypsy Vanner Horses). Thanks for reading through, eager to share more pics as they get brought home Monday. It's raining all week next week so no clean pics until it warms up LOL.


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chandab

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That first one is lovely. If anyone shames you for rescuing, adopting or whatever you want to call it, just tell them to stuff it. Yes, when you rescue, you get into unknown health and personality issues; but it's your choice, and you can do what you wish.
Main thing is to remember they are still horses, expect the same manners from them as you would your Gypsies. Training is the same, with maybe a few adjustments to account for their small size. I find the line of draft on a rope halter is all wrong on a mini, so prefer to use web or leather halters.
What to feed depends on what you've got for horses; easy, regular or hard keepers (minis come in all three and everything in-between). Many do well with quality grass hay and a good ration balancer or vitamin mineral supplement; but others need more calories to maintain good weight and condition, so need a commercial feed (lower carb is usually a good choice) and even a bit of alfalfa. I wouldn't go for all alfalfa as that is pretty rich in protein and calories for minis, and the minerals can be hard to balance properly.
 

Barbie-GypsyFeverFarms

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Thanks so much Chandab, these guys will be definitely learn manners and will be treated as horses, but I agree things get toned down some for size factor etc. I usually use leather or nylon halters for ease of use but will pull out a rope halter if someone is extra dull on their manners (drafts can be dull and pushy). But these guys are going to be ultra sensitive at least for a while coming from their experiences. We feed alfalfa and Teff hay, so I do feel Teff hay will be a good friend to the minis, maybe some alfalfa for the three that need some weight at first. I imagine they'll be a lot like feeding my gypsies, we kind of feed them a bit like a pony with regard to lower carbs and such.

Any advice on how far along you can do an external ultrasound on them to check for pregnancy? I want to be sure they get what they need if they are. I suspect the black mare possibly, but maybe she's just in the best condition overall. My vet is an excellent repro vet but doesn't do external US. So thought I'd throw the question out here. I did see the WeeFoal kits that can be done at 120+ days so that is also an option down the line a few months. Here's a body shot of the black mare.

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chandab

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I don't have a vet that will internal ultrasound a mini, and the external is only good at certain time frame, if at all from what I was told. Being they all need TLC and quality nutrition, what you do to build up their condition will likely be good for pregnancy nutrition as well.
With the little ones and their ton of fluffy winter hair, you really need to feel through the hair to access condition. Feel the spine, hips and ribs; there should be a light layer of flesh between skin and bone. If you readily feel bone, they are too thin; if you have to push to feel bone they are too heavy. Thin along the topline (spine and hips) is usually a protein (and exercise) issue; thin in the ribs is usually a calorie issue.
 

Marsha Cassada

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It is very satisfying to rehabilitate horses like you are doing. My sister and I once bought 3 mares and a stallion out a group like that, just because they needed to be taken out of the owner's breeding pool. All were genetically unsound. It's all we could afford. Hope your new herd works out well for you. Keep us posted on their progress.
 

Barbie-GypsyFeverFarms

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Boy oh boy, well the tiny stud that my friend got out of the group is for sure over 15, let me know your thought's based on this pic. It looks like the white mare is under three is my guess and the red is under two, and boy is she ever sassy lol. The black mare I'm thinking maybe close to ten, have to get a pic of her teeth to show you guys but I definitely think she's pregnant. They all actually are pretty simple to catch, which is good since they've been being roped daily to be given penicillin injections so they're a little over humans at the moment but still do try to reach out and be sweet (except ears back red LOL) but they all loved some cookies. The black tobiano mare had water diarrhea and the stud has quite a lot of gas. We easily gave them all 5ml of Performance Equine Microbial Gel. I plan to wait at least a few days before I deworm them but that stuff is really good for the gut during times of stress which is definitely right now. Send me any thoughts, age guesses on him and ideas. Thanks guys!
 

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Willow Flats

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Wow, this group has landed in the right home! Quite sure they are going to thrive under your care. I had to laugh about your red mare. I've got sassy red mare too. She is turning out to be a great driving horse, but her attitude sometimes, oh my.
 

Maryann at MiniV

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Welcome! And KUDDOS to you for rescuing your little group. I have a friend in the Silverton, Oregon area - Linda Dennis, who started out with minis and has branched out to Gypsy Vanners too! Chanda has made two great posts above. (She and I tend to agree a lot regarding mini management. LOL.) As already stated, Alfalfa can be too intense for minis. We buy locally grown Grass Hay....an Orchard/Pasture mix. One of your little ones looked underweight, so be sure to do the "touch test" that Chanda described. For a mini who is underweight, a youngster, last trimester pregnant mare, lactating mare, and also our very old ones, we feed a locally made 14% grain. Amount depends on their need. Everyone else gets the hay plus a mineral supplement. (Both the grain and the supplement contain selenium which horses need in our area in Oregon.)
TWO things that are different with minis to remember -- 1. Never use Quest Wormer (or the generic version) and 2. Avoid using Bute for pain....We use Banamine (or the generic) only.
 

chandab

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The tooth picture is really too dark to see much of anything to help determine age, good angle, but needs better lighting.
The only thing Maryann and I seem to disagree on is bute, cause I do use it very cautiously in the minis, as it's the only thing that touched my mares discomfort due to laminitis. I have a scale weight, and carefully measure out the amount to dose with, usually going a little light to be safe. Minis definitely are more prone to the side effects, so if giving more than a dose or two, they need to be on an ulcer prevention at the same time (not given at the same time).
 

Barbie-GypsyFeverFarms

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Thanks everyone, yeah the older guy is the one needing the most weight. He stands 28" and the weight tape said 167 pounds. The white filly and red filly were both right about 200 and they feel good. The black mare was almost 300 on the weight tape. Good news, the equine dentist should be out tomorrow afternoon if his schedule permits! The black mare had a perfect stool tonight which is a change from straight liquid yesterday after their arrival here. I got them the Purina Pony and Miniature Horse pellets and they liked them, will start small of course but also needed something to mix with their SMZ's and teeny amount of sand clear.
The young red filly has been so sleepy, they are all really decompressing I think from their experience and she's very happy to lie down in the shavings while having breakfast lol Her cough is intermittent and just a teeny bit of a white discharge from her nose. The vet will take a peek at everyone tomorrow as well. They are getting Teff hay and a little alfalfa between the group and it's in front of them all day.
The stud was all about being curried as was the young red filly. The black mare needs more time for sure. They all do. Anyways, thanks for all the tips and I'll keep you all updated, especially when we get some more accurate age estimations tomorrow from the vet and the dentist.

I have videos and pics posted here on a page on my website that I will update often.

https://www.gypsyfeverfarms.com/minis
 

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Barbie-GypsyFeverFarms

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Teeth got done today! No one's were too horrible, even the old guy (dentist said 18-20 :eek:. They were all angels, some even wanted hugs lol, he's a really excellent dentist and does lots of minis, they literally stood around him waiting their turn. So he said the black tobiano mare is right about 5 years old, the white mare 4 years and the red filly barely 2 so she did not get her teeth done. I was happy to hear the black mare was younger than I suspected. She looks more pregnant to me every day now that she is getting a full belly of hay.
 

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Barbie-GypsyFeverFarms

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Doing great on day four home, the black mare's good eye is now clear of discharge. Everyone is gobbling down their Purina Mini feed and SMZs, started Tri Amino today for them and they're getting sand clear once a day as well. The red filly is really, really into me now, in full stalker mode LOL Love her scratches and loves. We discovered the old stud knows the command to give (or receive) kisses on his nose and he is also totally into big time neck scratches and will sidepass over to me to get more LOL. Didn't get any pics today as it rained all bloody day long here. These poor things have been jipped of their dreams of California sunshine LOL. :cool:

Still working on names!!
 

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