Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Are Mini horses good for children to ride?

Myth: Mini horses are good for children to ride.

Fact: While strong at pulling a cart, miniature horses like the kind that we deal with at Ferrand Triple K Farms are not riding horses. Most of our horses are 25" to 32" tall and can not safely carry a child more than 40 pound on their back on a regular bases. Anyone that is trying to sell you a mini horse that is for riding dose not always have the animals best interest at hart. If you are wanting something for riding we recommend that you look into Shetlands or ponies. Often in movies, while they say it is a mini or a pony, what you are actually seeing is a Shetland horse (2013 Neighbors christmas episode, or Sherlock Holmes 2) or a welsh pony. You can look up Shetland information on the AMHR website. Or you can always go for the oversized miniature horses that are 50" or taller. It happens sometimes.  There is always an exception to the rule, but look for hights over 50" and large muscles. You will want a body builder (a draft horse) of a mini, not an Arabian 

I know this looks adorable but really think about it. Would you put a kid that big, or yet this old and tall, on your St. Bernard?

The American Quarter Horse is around 1300lbs and the average rider is 180 to 250. The human is only 19% of the larger horses body weight. In this photo, the mini horse is about 150lbs, and the average American 8 year old is 70lbs. Thats 46% of the mini animals body. This may not seem like a big difference but this is when all the weight is focused on the animals middle where there is no support. Where with the larger horses your weight is focused on the shoulders. If the weight of the child is less than 19% of the animals weight then go for it. But make sure the mini you are looking at isn't overweight already just to make it heavier than the child to make the percentage work.

Also think of it this way. Take yourself at your current weight, now take the kid you want the mini horse for, do you want to care that kid every were for an hour? In the store. At a baseball game. On a camping trip. No. Well you are making this animal that is the size of a labrador do a job you wouldn't? You wouldn't even let your kid ride a dog. The simple fact is that these animals are just to small to ride. Like how you wouldn't take a Chihuahua on a duck hunt.

What size miniature horse is good for kids to ride?

If you have to have one to ride look for a Shetland Pony that is triple registered. They have Mini horse breeding and have a better mind than your ever day pony. They are a much larger horse that can handle that kind of weight. Even most of your shetlands have a better mind than ponies and are more like mini's in that regard.

It you are against a Shetland than look for other Pony breeds, there are many kinds of pony in the wold.  

There are many fun activeits for children to do with minis that are just as fun and even more safe than ridding . Such as carting. You can get as small a mini as you want and not only can your kids have fun but you can too!

You can also do jumping classes 
Then there is Trail class

SO join the mini horse cart team. If you cant show a Mini horse in a riding class in their own registry then it really shouldn't be done. Be impressive, not the joke of the barn!

Even Dwarfs can be used for many things so long as you have enough so they don't get hurt. And these guys are some very small mini horses. 

Now here is a fine example of a horse that is smaller but great for kids to ride.
Pic provided by Erin of KY

This horses name is Rascal there is like 14hh tall and he is hanovarian x quarter x welsh, with welsh being half. This horse is technical a pony because of his size. This is a great example of a small ridding hose .

When looking for a smaller riding horse you will enter a controversy of is it a mini, a pony, or a horse. Even many mini breeders call there minis ponies, and pony breeders call their horses minis. The best way to truly get what you are looking for is by asking its hight! anything that is 36" and smaller is too small for riding or will be out grown quick. This is your AMHA and AMHR registered mini horses. 37" and above is your ASPC shetland ponies. The taller you get the longer your kids will be able to ride safely. But once you hit 15 hands (the normal measurement of a normal horse) you are in average horse hight.


  1. This is a great website, so many people need this information, thanks for providing it. I love your color scheme too!


    1. Thank you so much dear! We try very hard to educate and if you ever come up with a topic idea send it to us! We love to hear from our readers and they may have a question that we have not been asked yet.

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