Thursday, May 2, 2013
How difficult are mini horses to have?
Not really. Think of them like a dog that you don't have to take on walks or worry about regular exercise, unless you show them. They do need attention, at least an hour or more of your time and love a day, unless you also get them a friend (be it a goat, mini mule, ect.) They can spend time allows while kids are at school or you are at work but they will need your time. If you have .8 of an acer you will only need to feed them in the winter, the grass on .8 acres is enough for spring and summer. Anything less then you need to mow regularly to keep poo from accumulating. If you don't have enough land for it to dry after rain in one day you have to little land for your animals. Dirt lots are not healthy and hard on the hoofs, and mud none stop will soften their hoofs and cause very bad decease problems.
For one mini you will only need a flak of hay in the morning and night. Especially if there isn't enough grass. This is enough hay to give them something to munch on all day and night. Grain can supplement during times with no grass. They don't colic as easy as most people think but don't just switch them from grass to a very rich alfalfa hay suddenly. You will get diarrhea most often than colic, but it can happen. And this is the same rule with the larger horses too. Let them be in the paster and have hay at the same time for 3 or four days. You don't have to be this cautious with all minis. But some are more delicate than others.
Teaching is easy too. Just treat them like a kid. You give them love and discipline. Like kids they will test you and see what they can get away with. And the more you expose them to new experiences the more they will become used to them. On our farm they are not used to seeing costumiers with canes so often they fear them until the costumiers are ready to leave. Then the minis are trying to test the metal or wood with their lips to see what it is.
The more delicately you treat them the less hardy they will become. If you keep them inside all year long and their winter coat never comes in, don't just suddenly let them outside on the coldest day of the year for the day. Most often you will find a mini horse will chose to stand outside in a snow storm by a tree rather than stand in the barn given the choice.
They just need your time and your patience.