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Deaming of Minis

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2005
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Hi. I am Stephanie. I am interested in getting involved with minis. I own full-sized horses of my own and I show them so I have experience with equine. Is there anything that you might suggest that I might need or should do to get to know the miniature horse more? I have read information on them but info sites don’t get too technical, I want to learn from someone’s personal experience with minis.

We have a barn, good hay and grain and pasture. We have a smaller space next to a stall that I think could be made into a stall for a mini so we have the resources for a mini. There are minis around us that are for sale but I want to know what to look for in a mini that makes it pet or a show horse. I want to know is a mare or gelding better for a first time mini owner. If there is anyone out there who could help me with this it would be MUCH appreciated


Well, let me cover a fews things different with minis and big horses..

Never ever give a mini Quest wormer

And they are very addicting, no way you are going to be able to get out of them!!

Oh, and a very wrm WELCOME to the forum!
i always advise people new to minis to buy a nice trained gelding for their first mini. This is the best way imo to learn about minis and see if you want to go further with them. There are some beautiful show quality geldings at great prices. This way you can also give showing a hand and see if you like it or not before you invest in a pricer show filly or mare.

Also go to some shows and see what is winning in your area and that will give you a good idea of what a show mini looks like.

Once you find a type of mini you like you can do research online to find the right one.

And I agree that a gelding is always a wonderful first mini! (However, be prepared to get your mini another as a companion.....

I also agree with the above warning about the Quest wormer for minis.

That said, since you have a few mini owners/breeders in your area I would recommend visiting them. Visit them ALL before buying anything. Ask them questions - pick their brains.

You'll want to figure out exactly what you want to do with your mini. Will it be a pasture pet? Do parades or therapy work? Will you want to show it? Do cart driving? Show it in hunter/jumper classes? Show it in obstacle (trail) classes? Any or all of the above?

Miniature horses vary widely in height and type. They can be as small as 28" (and even under) to as tall as 38" at the last mane hairs of the whithers. You'll want to see that for yourself and decided which you prefer. The taller ones of course are more versitile for driving and other performance showing.

There are two registries that are recognized the most all over the world. The American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) registers minis only measuring up to 34 inches. The American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) has two divisions for two different height catagories. Division A is up to 34". Division B is up to 38".

Both registries are great. But some areas of the country have more shows with one registry and not the other. Find out which one is stronger in your area if you plan on showing. (I happen to be lucky enough to have lots of shows in BOTH in my area.)

If you do NOT plan on showing, then the registry issue won't be so important.

Lots of stuff to learn about. So don't be shy in asking both your local sources AND here on the Forum!

One thing I didn't see mentioned is to join both registries. That gets you the two magazines, the World and the Journal, which are full of helpful tips, club news, and beautiful photos.

It's nice to see you asking for help and advice BEFORE you buy - shows a great mini person in the making.
Thanks ruffian! I was getting the magazines for my b-day
(aug 27, I am going to district
with the horse in the picture to the left!) but is the Journal mostly studs because the Paint Journal is
. One more thing when buying a show quality gelding what should I look for, any certain age, size, price, or something?

Thanks again

Hi Stephanie. Be sure that the mini you are interested in doesn't have dwarf characteristics.. chose one that looks much like a full sized horse. Also be sure to check papers to see if it is registered in the sellers name. Make sure the papers match the horse in size and markings. Miniatures are measured to the last hairs of the mane rather than the top of the withers. They also do well on good grass hay rather than alfalfa, which is so rich for them.

Just like any animal, look for a healthy, shiny coat, clear eyes and nose, check feet for founder, cracks, thrush, etc. Check teeth for even bite. Chose one with good manners. I think everyone has given you good advice! I hope you find the mini you are looking for!
Hi Stephanie, Your first mini "can" be a wonderful choice, and seeing that you already have a horse should make your selection of one, a little easier... With hindsight behind me, I would like to suggest that your go on the Breeders Connect that is listed on the front page of the LB site, and check out the farms in your area..If you are thinking about showing, then see if you can find someone who currently shows, and knows what is winning, and take him, or her along with you, to help make that choice if possible. Or at least see what they are showing and winning with... I remember with my first mini, everyone told me that they were offering show quality,(but they wern't) so if you bring along a "trained eye", to confirm that fact, you are less likely to be dissapointed by your choice. Just a little "heads up," from me.
i have seen great geldings on the sale board and some of them even have show records already. I would get a 3 yr or older gelding preferrably one trained to drive if you have any interest in that. As far as size that is a personal preference. I will say though the taller horses win a bit more in AMHR. So if you wanted a 34" or under to show i would get a 33 or 34" horse. Or if you like the B division I would get a 37".

Going around to different farms is a great idea. Remember you can tell alot by a farm by how great their geldings are

Also miniature horse conformation is the same as big horse conformation. So if you know what is correct on a big horse that will help you alot. Read the standard of perfection for both registries and that will help too.

Should I be looking for any certian price when looking for a show quality gelding? $1000,$1500,$2000 and up?
I know alot of people recommend geldings on here, which is good, but mares are just as nice and not all of them are nasty when in heat, etc. rather than going for a certain sex, just look for the good conformation, healthy horse, good teeth, etc, like you would with a normal horse. and temperment goes without saying.

good luck and enjoy! just remember, they are like potato chips!

p.s. price is soooo subjective! i have purchased horses that were very nice and show quality for less than some pet ones because i was willing to travel and look at many different farms. some people sell for less because they do not show but the quality is just as good.

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Prices do vary from farm to farm... I would expect to see the range for a good quality mini to start at 1500,2000,and even higher depending on a good show record, and ability. Farms offering horses for sale on the sales board, and herd dispersals, sometimes have discounts from time to time to give an added incentive to buy.... Take your time, do your homework on good conformation, and check with the registries to make sure all of the paperwork is in order.. "dont rush into it," and you may get a very good mini for a good price too.
If I do show is there anything that I should lean more into that if better for beginners? Like would hunter be difficult for someone who has just started with minis. I know if I got the right mini and practice I could do anything but is there a class (in hand trail obstacle, jumping, hunter, showmanship, liberty, and driving classes: pleasure driving, roadster, obstacle driving, team driving.) that any of you would suggest I do or does it matter?
You've gotten some great advice. Welcome to the wonderful world of minis. They are very addictive, both in ability, and personality... be prepeared to be totally captivated!
Thanks CountryHaven!
I am planning on going to my neighbors after I go to District with my horse. They have show quality minis. vist their site at:

I have met Jerry Hallis and gone trial riding with him but not his wife Debb (she is the one who owns he minis and shows them) I hope to get some info from her too and maybe she will let me come with her to some shows.

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