What did you look for in your LAST mini.....

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Well-Known Member
Mar 12, 2006
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Suffield, CT
Like a lot (most? all?) miniature horse owners, let's say our tastes have changed since we got that first mini. In our case, the first one was to be a companion for our big horse (in a separate pasture) and needed to be a pinto so we could show him/her at Pinto shows with Target. We wanted a mini that looked like a big horse, and he/she had to have a distinctive personality. That is Cowboy (SRF Masters Touch) our B/W gelding shown jumping in my avatar.

Fast forward a few years and several minis later, and our LAST purchase is also a black and white pinto, but the similarity stops there. We bought Sox (Vermilyea Farms Exotic Exposure - the vertical photo in avatar) because she had had 4 gorgeous foals and was in foal to a National Champion for her fifth. We also loved the way she moved. So here our main criteria were foaling history/production and movement. Of course, she also has conformation and bloodlines that we like. And it didn't hurt that the sire of 3 of her foals was paternal half brother to our own stallion.

So, how have your criteria changed over the years and what might others learn from your experiences?
6 - 7 years ago when we bought our first minis we only wanted to have a mini and knew very little about them except that they should look like small horses and as horses go they were very expensive at least around here. We actually had no intentions of ever being able to own a mini but an add in our local swap book led us to the first ones we bought and we could no more have left them where they were than we could today if we saw one in similar circumstances. They were pastured with a 29 year old gelding who hated them and were being beaten with a 2X 4 because their owner was scared of them. I will say I dont blame him for being afraid of the little mare as she hated people and would come at you if you got near her to bite or kick. It took 7 months to be able to touch her.

Our last purchase was a filly out of a national champion and a mare bred to one. We have learned alot over the years and still have lots to learn. Oh and by the way that first little mare is a favorite in the barn now and couldnt be sweeter. Amazing what a little caring can do.
When i was first looking for a mini we knew we wanted a colt, under one year old and he had to be in New england. We also wanted him to be a pinto and be able to be registered in AMHA. I really wanted a b&w pinto but my mom didn't care. We found Rain on horsetopia and he was EXACLY what i wanted. A b&w pinto colt, and he was able to be registered in AMHA.

Now im looking for another mini but we definatly wanted something different.

He had to be a gelding/ or stallion, any color, over 4, AMHA registered, in New England and good conformation, like a showing quality horse and we think we have found the one. We are going to look at him on sun!

I only have one mini now so its hard to say what looked for in my last one that i didn't i my first.
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Oh yes it has

My first few, back in the day ...4 ..5 years ago, i really did not understand conformation ext. What i wanted back then was very different as well. I wanted "cute"; ..papers ..conformation ..ext did not mean anything to me really. My first few were grade's, they were cute ..i didnt really look at it from a showing point of view. I wasnt to picky ...4 legs ...a head ...tail.

My last purchase was a mare in foal that i have liked for some time, in foal to a stallion that i have liked for some time
. I would deffently say what i look for when buying has changed and taken a new direction. I have different goals ...different taste in horses.

My first horse, Coco, is now with a good good friend of mine about 30 minutes away. He is still very dear to me, love him to death and back agian, but with our change in direction he got pushed aside and broke my heart
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Pretty much everything has changed since I bought my first mini. The first one only had to look pretty lol. Actually she was an auction purchase along with her 2 or 3 month old foal. My husband and I were NOT in the market for a mini but the only person bidding on her had a reputation for only feeding her horses when someone came to see them. They were a pathetic site and the SPCA here was working on a case but it was taking years. So we could not see this poor terrified little mare and her baby, (who was already bigger than her and we learned later was sired by a paint stallion that ran in the pasture with her, the owners thought he was too tall to breed her but thats a whole nother story) go to her and we brought her home. She started our love affair with minis but when we bought more we considered conformation and breeding etc.
Not much has changed here since our first mini. The reason being that having worked for a well known farm with really good horses showed me what I truly wanted. We started out in halter and when the horses matured they went to driving. Because correct movement is so important in the horses, and being what my job [farrier] really focuses on they have done extremely well. Whether the horse is amha or amhr it doesn't matter and all the horses here except two are both. A good horse is a good horse no matter what.
OH.... i just wanted a pretty pinto girl. I wasn't interested in showing, just something to love on. I never would look at the boys.... wasn't interested in them at all, no way no how!!!!! Nothing but girls would do for me... boys (YUCK), they have cooties!!!!!

Fast forward to my last horse..... A very handsome yearling STALLION!!!!! He has EVERYTHING I could ever dream of in a horse. I LOVE the liberty classes, and he has movement to spare. He also has a natural arched neck, and attitude to boot. Never thought I would allow a boy to live here, but found out they don't have cooties after all!!! LOL
When I got my first mini (already had biggies), almost 10 years ago, I did know about conformation in terms of straight legs, good bite, good feet but that was about it. All I really wanted was a horse to raise and eventually drive. Basically, just a playmate / pet and that's what we got. Still have him, too

NOW when I look for a horse, the things I consider that were not even on the radar before are things like a high neck set, long thin neck, good bloodlines, and "presence".
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I always had large horses growing up. My first mini was a companion. Back then, all I needed was small and cute.

Now, I think I irratate sellers with all my qustions, and requests for pictures if they arent within an hour or two of here. On that note, they never seem to be an hour or two from here, more like 10 or 12 or more.

What I have learned, beyond trying to look for a correct animal with all the fixins (movement, attitude, color, pedigree ....)......is

You are only as good as your word, always be honest on your end, and hope the other person is just a honest, but get it all in writing with a signed contract just in case.

Just because someone says a mare can be bred, doesn't mean they should be bred, I always tell people this.

The number one thing that I am an advocate about......Parents, it doesn't matter if it is big or small, buy the horse because you want it, and you are willing to temporarily share it with your child, not with idea that is your child's horse.
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Our first mini was purchased because I had a bum knee and had to stop showing my QH. We wanted something that was papered just in case I decided to show again and something trained because we had no idea how to start a horse you couldn't ride!

I think they "saw us coming" as we paid a goodly price for a horse that turns out was OVER his paper height and "his" harness turned out to be a pony one (as well as the bit) and the cart was a "homemade" metal one. But it all came as a "package" deal! He is of the "old blood" and not really suited for today's shows. Turns out he's taught us a lot and has probably "earned" his price. But that's another story.

The last mini we bought is a pinto, as he was, but she was just 5 months when we got her. She comes from good stock and we paid twice what we paid for the gelding "package". We've been able to train her ourselves and she's becoming a terrific performance horse. Someday she'll be bred but not until we see her full potential in the arena.
My first mini I bought I rescued from a bad situation. I paid $250 for him, had him gelded and trained him to ride and drive. I was not planning on buying one but I just couldn't leave him in the bad situation. He was unregistered. He has a home for life.

The last mini I bought was a gorgeous silver buckskin mare, A/R registered, comes from good stock, nice conformation and in foal to a gorgeous appy stallion.
SIZE!!! I am pretty lucky in that I have chosen a lot of nice minis when they were very young foals, and they have matured well for me. I must say that my taste in how big I wanted them has changed, because my first one was chosen for flash, movement, and very SMALL size. He was to be my clicker training demo horse. I didn't really know anything about showing minis, I was firmly entrenched in the big horse world at the time. That was 29" Alladdin.


I still think I made an excellent choice in little Lad, he is beautiful and such a very good boy. I have bred him to two of my bigger mares this year. Lad draws a crowd wherever he goes with his charming personality.

Once I started showing Alladdin a little and got the bug to continue growing in the mini world, I bought a couple more that were supposed to mature in the 33-34" range, because instead of being an in-hand sensation I decided I wanted to DRIVE!!! Flirt was one of those two, and she definitely helped me achieve all my goals last year.

Then it became apparent as I began to be involved in the CDE world that I wanted to go even BIGGER. I originally bought Ally as a broodmare, but she has turned out to be an ace driving horse. She is 36-1/2" (last mane hair) and 37-1/2" (top of withers). In my mind, she is PERFECT as an all-around performance horse. She would not fit in the back of my mini-van as Alladdin did the first couple years I was showing. LOL


The last several horses I have purchased have all been in the over division. I do not want to go over about 37", because I am also in love with combined driving and the cutoff for the VSE division is 39" at the top of the wither. But I am most interested in horses being between 35-37-1/2" at this point, instead of my first, and much beloved little tiny guy. In my barn now, the smallest after Alladdin is about 33-1/2" :D.
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When we bought or very first mini we were showing AMHA only -- now we show AMHR only so our first minis were small (matured around 30") and they were gorgeous and we still have them & show them .

However, our last minis were ASPC/AMHR "B" size minis and so we now have miniature /Shetland stallions & our last mini we purchased is FILIPOWICZ THATS HIGH SOCIETY -- She is a double registered ASCP/AMHR filly -- so our breeding has taken on a new direction.

We just had our first foal off our first ASPC/AMHR stallion -- Filipowicz Entertaining The Foulks & he is a beautiful buckskin pinto -- showing black,white & buckskin at presnt. As he unfolds he is even more striking - his dam is a perlino mare Little Kings Lily The Pink.

We have named him AJ MURRAYS CLASS ACT ENTERTAINER -- he will be called "Class E " -- and he is certainly that & more.

Class E will likely be for sale.
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Interesting topic!

When I bought my first minis, I was looking at quarter horse conformation hands down. I like older style quarter horses that can halter and move and chase down cows so I was looking at legs, necks, bodies, the whole package that way. To me, if it looked like I would want to saddle him up and ride it, if he were a few feet taller, that's the horse I wanted in a miniature size. That's what I bought.

Well WHO KNEW????? Who knew way back then that wasn't going to get it now? Apparently not me.

As the quarter horse conformation evolved over time, so did the minis and look at them now. WOW!

Its a whole new ball of wax isn't it?

Now I want something different, modern, and moving up with the times.

The problem is now that I see the miniatures won't stop improving long enough for any of us to really be able to keep up with their progress!
Our first minis many years ago were bought as 'filler' until I had time to ride/devote to a 'real' horse! Who knew how hooked I'd get right away and never looked back or bought the 'real' horse!! LOL!!!

Basically we bought three on a very cold wet November day from a breeder that had had 20+ black foals that year and was looking to move some stock - so we got a super deal (didn't know that either at the time!).

I didn't know what I wanted when we went to look at minis, but loved Fresians and have always loved black horses, so we bought a black mare, black foal and a colt that we gelded (he's an appy now). Conformation (I knew what looked right and not funny), pedigrees, registries - totally clueless when the breeder was tossing names and lineage to me - Buckeroo this and Rowdy that and Orion over there! Fortunately we did buy well breed, conformationally sound, smart horses, but it was more luck than intent! The next one two months later was a more researched case than the first three! But the original three are still with us today too. They are the W, E, and S (their first initals) of our ranch name as they are what started it - Woody, Etoile, Silhouette and COmpany.

The lastest (just bought a few weeks ago) has lots of show experience at the National level, Top Tens, etc., is a hunk of gorgeous and was bought based on his look (overall, conformation, etc), pedigree, proven sire, temperament, etc. Definitely way more thought than what got me into minis! But I will admit he was not a planned purchase just came up and couldn't pass so he'll be joining us in the next couple months.

Still love black horses though and we have 14!!! If I could produce a mini Fresian w00t happy days here!!!

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