Horse related question

  • So I took long thought into this honestly(seems like a sudden change of heart imo) but I decided instead of buying myself a full grown horse which will cost my a fortune and drain my banks to just get myself a miniature horse and have it as a companion.

    Can anyone give me like insight details about what I could possibly be getting myself into please... Like are miniature horses more maintenance or less maintenance? If I do follow through and get myself a miniature horse I know I can't board it where I work because some of the fencing is just 3 wires strung up around where there are heavy trees at, and I don't want my little guy in a huge horse herd either... I'm googling stuff right now too so I at least have some general knowledge but I think those in the community that do have experience with the breed or have been around the breed before would be some amazing help as well.

    My aunt thinks I should drive my mini, I was thinking more in the lines of just in hand shows.

  • Administrators

    Horses of any size are not cheap to keep. Minis may be less expensive than horses at the start (though if you're looking to buy something that can win in-hand shows, you'll be looking at a sizable investment either way) and they eat less so they're less expensive in that regard, but minis will still need visits from the vet (yearly vaccinations, Coggins tests, deworming, and of course any surprise injuries or illnesses they incur) trims from the farrier every six to eight weeks (who will probably charge the same price that they'd charge for a larger horse) and boarding fees, which will again probably be the same rate you'd pay for a larger horse. Smaller horses are typically more susceptible to founder if they are on a rich grass diet, so you may have to consider paying extra for part-time stall board. You may save money on buying tack like saddles, but you'd still need whatever show gear for whatever discipline you decide to pursue. Harnesses and carts for driving can typically cost around $1,000 or more. You'd also need the same stuff around the stable you'd need for a full-sized horse- halters, blankets, grooming supplies, ointments, and supplements, to name a few.

    If finances are your reason to avoid buying a full-sized horse, you may want to consider not buying a mini either. If you really want to be around horses without such a financial commitment, perhaps consider leasing, taking weekly lessons, or even finding employment in a stable so you can spend tons of time with horses and get paid for it :D

  • Administrators

    Minis tend to be less expensive in feed upkeep as you need to feed them essentially nothing. That will mean finding somewhere that will keep them on a dry lot with solid fences that have a low enough bottom board though. Trust me, they like to escape or get where they're not supposed to be. As for the being in a herd of larger horses, all the minis I've met, really don't care. The other horses treat them the same, the minis actually usually end up being more dominant than them and holding their own. This isn't like, a solid rule, but minis and ponies seem to know to hold their own against the bigger guys.

    Vet fees can sometimes be slightly reduced just since they're not very big, my mini's chiropractor bill was pretty minimal compared to the bigger guys. Also any medication you get will last you a long long time because of how small the dosages end up being. Like one tube of Banamine lasted my mini like 2 weeks as opposed to 2 days. That of course doesn't mean it's cheap, but the costs are slightly reduced.

    Their show gear can also be a bit less expensive than say a full sized horse, but it's also a lot harder to find. The basic carts will cost a couple hundred, but you also have to look at the size of your mini. I actually had to get dog carts for my guy. Blankets are lower cost, sitting around $50-$70, but really the biggest issue with managing their temperature can be the length of their coat. Depending on the mini you get, they can end up being total fluff balls in the winter, so while this means putting the coat on less, it also means getting the clippers out more and you will want a good set of clippers. We have 3 minis, two who are more showy and halter bred so their hair gets a normal amount of fuzz, then there's my guy who becomes a puff ball by October. But of course with our more showy ones, the upkeep would be a lot of braiding and maintenance of their hair if you're wanting to take them into mini showing.

    So while yes, there are some reduced costs, they're still a pretty decent investment as is any horse. If you feel like that's what you can handle financially, then yes I super recommend getting one! You just gotta remember that even though they're small, they do have upkeep. Training, exercising, grooming, should it come up, staying on top of treatment plans.

  • I'm still keeping the same budget I was keeping for buying a horse which is four figures. I'm aware of the founder issue I've seen a lot of that pop up with my own research. Im still trying to price together how board would work since I clearly can board where I work at, to many big horses and to many areas where the mini could slip out at, we use to have minis there but idk how long ago they were there.

    The reason why I am looking at getting a mini is because yes they are cheaper, and that joyus stuff but mainly because I'd prefer to take lessons on a show horse than have to work on getting my horse show ready. Whether I truly plan on showing my mini or not I'm not even sure.

  • Administrators

    Q- do you actually want a mini horse?
    It sounds as though you want a riding horse and will settle for a mini if you can afford it

    @Serenity-Gwin said in Horse related question:

    The reason why I am looking at getting a mini is because yes they are cheaper, and that joyus stuff but mainly because I'd prefer to take lessons on a show horse than have to work on getting my horse show ready. Whether I truly plan on showing my mini or not I'm not even sure.

    It sounds to me like the simplest solution right now is 'don't get a horse yet.'

    • you can't afford the care & upkeep for the riding horse you actually want / will use
    • you don't want to work on investing the time & energy into getting your own horse ready for what you want to do with it

    These things are both completely fine, but getting a mini just because of them is a bit overkill :)

    A mini will still drain your bank account in a major way, all horses will, but you won't get to decide 'great, I'm done taking lessons on other horses and an ready to train up my own!' because your horse is tiny.

    Perhaps another option is to keep taking lessons & saving your money until you feel ready to work with your own riding horse.

    This response is based only on what you've said in this thread, of course, and you will need to judge how well the points match your situation since you know all the detail :)

  • I can't say for absolute certain with minis, but if you were planning on getting a Shetland I would not at all be concerned about it being in the field with larger horses. I've known quite a few Shetlands that were pasture mates with warmbloods or other larger horses, and trust me the one getting their but whopped is generally not the Shetland.

    That being said, it sounds like you would eventuually like to get an actual riding horse to show. If that is the case, I'd recommend choosing the smaller cost of taking lessons for the time being, and saving up until you can actually purchase a show-ready horse.

    Another option might be to be a what we in Swedish call "fodervärd" (won't even try to translate it into English) which basically means you lease a horse, whether you pay an actual lease and the owner still carries all the costs, you take care of regular costs such as board/feed/ferrier and owner takes vet+insurance, or some other arrangement. This would give you the opportunity to for all practical intents and purposes try being a horse-owner, without actually making the long-term investment and having to try and sell the horse if things don't work out.

    Another option is to try and find someone who wants/needs to shae their horse, as in you take care of a few days a week, and the other person takes care of the rest. Again, good way to try having a horse, without taking the full plunge.

  • I'm holding off on leasing since the only horse available for lease at the stable where I work is an Andalusian that is dressage and I rather be able to work on what I need to do hunter, not sure how comfortable it is to two point in a dressage saddle.
    The mini would be nice to have because probably less maintenance until I decide if I want to show or not, I've seen a few on sale websites of show minis for really cheap($700 was the cheapest). But with a mini even though it would be expensive like if I needed a vet or anything like that would really fit my budget rather than a 16.2 hh horse that could throw a shoe every so often(we have a Thoroughbred that keeps throwing shoes where I work) get injured because the herd is harassing him/her. There are actually 2 minis up for adoption at a rescue my friend runs. Not sure if I want to rescue 2 minis and give myself a handful of problems though....

  • Administrators

    All of our minis are rescues and they came with minimal issues. If they were pulled from auction there's a decent chance they came from a breeder of some kind and were just passed around. Two of them came with no issues beyond behavioral (one from being an unhandled broodmare, the other from being a jerky baby) , mine came with underlying hip tightness but is an absolute saint. It's up to you either way, you can get your perfect horse either from the breeder or from a rescue, there's no guarantee that one will be better than the other, horses from breeders aren't exempt from being problematic.

    If your end goal is having your own riding horse, I would prioritize that. Having a mini would limit your bank account, meaning it'd take even longer for you to get said riding horse. I mean, if you're waiting for the decision on if to show or do something else, I would say wait until you make that choice. It's better than getting the mini, then deciding that you want to do something else, but oh what am I going to do with my mini?

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