Investing in Miniature Horses
A Family Investment
Miniature horses are an investment that the entire family can take part in. No matter young or old miniature horses are manageable by most anyone. Miniature horses are great for children that may be scared of a standard size horse but will lovingly hug and embrace a miniature horse. Older people that are unable to mount a regular sized horse can still drive and enjoy miniature horses. A handicapped person can also enjoy showing miniature horses or enjoy just driving them.
Showing miniature horses is a great way to enjoy the miniature horse and can be a family event. All miniature shows have classes for the entire family. There are youth shows, armature, experienced, and senior classes that will include all family members that want to experience the miniature horse world.
Caring for miniature horses are easy and can be performed by most anyone. Teaching a child to properly care for a miniature horse will teach the child discipline, responsibility and respect. In the show ring they will learn competitiveness and sportsman ship. Winning is a great accomplishment and rewarding, building self confidence and loosing and congratulating the winner builds character which will reflect in all aspects of their lives.
Owning a miniature horse is a great experiance for the entire family but the most rewarding aspect is the togetherness that it brings to the family. The caring and showing that the entire family can take part in and support eachother in their investment.
A Miniature Perfection
When getting miniature horses, especially if you are wanting to show or breed the miniature horse it is ideal to start with the best quality that you can afford. The price of a miniature horse can stretch from a couple hundred dollars to fifty thousand dollars and the quality can be just as varied. When picking out a miniature horse it is more important to look at the over all quality of the mini rather then just the breeding or the price. This can be very difficult if it is a foal as you can't see what it will mature into so a solid pedigree can help when picking out foals.
The American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA)has set a standard for the "perfect" miniature horse. The following information has been adapted and provided by the AMHA. There is also a second registry which follows similar guidelines for the standard miniature horse but it has two classes for registry, a class A which is under 34 inches and can be double registered with both registries and a class B which is 35 inches to 38 inches.
General Impression: A miniature horse should be just that, a horse that looks as much like a regular horse as possible. Very proportionate refinement and femininity in a mare is desirable and boldness and masculinity in a stallion.
Size: For AMHA they have to measure 34 inches maximum at the withers and 38 inches max for AMHR. The wither measurement is taken at the last hairs of the main.
Head:The head of the mini should be proportionate to the head and the body. Ideally the forehead should be broad with large prominent eyes set wide apart. The profile of the head should be straight or slightly concave, much like the head of an Arabian. A very important feature to check when looking at the head is an even bite. The ears should be medium size and the tips should slightly point inwards.
Throat Latch and Neck:The neck should be proportionate to the body and head and blend smoothly into the withers. The throat latch should be well defined and have good flexion at the poll.
Body:The body should be well muscled and proportioned. The barrel should be trim and a deep girth and flank. The top line should be smooth and level with a short back and loins in relation to underline.
Hindquarters: The hip, thigh and gaskin should be long and well muscled. The highest point of the croup should be level with the withers and the tail should not sit to high or too low and smoothly rounding off of the rump.
Legs: The front and back legs should be straight and parallel when looked at straight on or from the back. Hooves should be pointing straight forward and pasterns sloping around 45 degrees and blending nicely from the hooves to the ground with no change of angle.
It is important to make sure that the mini is as correct as it can be, but honestly there is no such thing as a perfect horse. If you are picking a breeding pair you want to match a stud to a mare that complement each other. If the mare doesn't have straight legs then it is a good idea to find a stud that has nice straight legs.
Along with finding a correct miniature health is very important to consider. The horses feet should be taken care of and it should not be excessively over or underweight. The nose and eyes should be clean and not runny. You should also consider the temperment of miniature horse you are looking at. Make sure that it is going to fit in with your family and other miniature horses that you may have.
Standard of Perfection
What Do You Do With a Mini
Many people don't understand why anyone would want to own a mini or they think that they are useless. Many people want to know what you do with a miniature horse. The answer is they are like any other animal, you care for them, enjoy them, and with mini's you can also drive them.
Driving a miniature horse can be very enjoyable for the entire family. Whether young or old anyone can easily learn to drive a mini. Once a miniature horse is trained it can pull two adults for up to ten miles and anyone can easily learn to properly hitch a miniature horse. Teaching a miniature horse will take about several months to finish them before they are save for most to drive. It will depend on the horse on when it is safe for anyone to drive. Mini's are great for people that want to drive a horse but are uncomfortable driving full size or draft horses. They are also easy for children to drive on their own and give the child a feeling of self accomplishment and independence.
When picking a driving horse geldings are usually the best choice. They are well muscled and heavier built then most mares and are more attentive then a stallion would be. Mares and stallions can both be great driving horses as well as long as they are well built and willing to drive. Size should also be considered when picking a driving mini. They need to be well built and capable of driving and are usually at least 33 inches tall.
Showing can also be a great way to enjoy miniature horses and a family event. There are several classes at the shows that will allow the entire family to participate in. Showing can be a great family event and the reward of winning the first place ribbons make it worth the effort. There are shows for all types of minis of all sizes so you will find classes that fit you and your mini.
General Care of a Miniature Horse
The care of a miniature horse is much like that of a regular size horse. They have a delicate digestive track and a regular feeding program is important. The type and amount of feed per mini depends entirely on each miniature horse. Age, condition, time of year, and health all factor into how much and what you should feed your horse.
It is important to keep your horse on a regular diet, feeding it at a regular time and gradually changing feeding patterns so not to disrupt their digestive track. A mature miniature horse can consume about one 80 pound bale per week. Pregnant or lactating mares should be feed a supplement and many people regularly feed all their minis supplements or some form of grain to insure that they are getting adequate nutrition. Along with regular feeding times it is very important to keep a salt or mineral supplement for them and fresh, clean water at all times.
Keeping your horse properly feed (not to thin or over weight) will help insure that your mini is healthy and will live a long life.
Like any horse, miniature horses require some periodic care to insure that they are healthy. A yearly vet check along with the required shots for your area will help make sure that they are healthy and reduce the chance of them getting any diseases. If you show or haul your mini to different areas were there are strange horses it is very very important to make sure they are up to date on their shots.
During your vet check it is ideal to have their teeth checked. Some horses may have to have thier teeth "floated" throughout their lives. Young horses may have to have their teeth done to correct uneven growth and older horses may have to have their teeth floated due to uneven wear. If your mini drools while it is eating or stretches its neck out while chewing it may have teeth problems and needs to be check by a vet immediately. If they have teeth problems they will not eat properly and become underweight and unhealthy.
Regular farrier services is necessary to keep your horse moving well and in balance. Minis should be trimmed every four to six weeks depending on the horse. Mini's usually do not were shoes unless it is for corrective purposes and are not allowed to have shoes during shows.
The life with a miniature horse can be very enjoyable and profitable for the entire family. Once you have picked out the perfect horse(s) for your family, you can do a number of things to enjoy them such as showing, driving, or even breeding once you have done your research. Miniature horses are very smart and very loving and are willing to do most anything you ask of them. They are the right size for the entire family whether young, old, handicapped, or someone just looking for the perfect pet.
Links For Finding Your New Mini or More Information
- L\'il Beginnings Miniature Horses International
The ORIGINAL amd MOST POPULAR Internet resource for the Miniature Horse industry since 1997! Miniature horses for sale, herdsires, farm directory, trainers, tack for sale, show schedules, registries from around the world, library, forum, bookstore.
- American Miniature Horse Association
Founded in 1978, AMHA promotes the breeding, use and perpetuation of a standard of equine excellence in miniature, separate and apart from ponies and other small equine.
- Pure Ebil Ranch
Raising correct elegent miniature horses with show winning backgrounds and the temperment to win in the show ring.
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