Are Miniature Horses Dangerous

Paul Gonzalez
• Thursday, 29 October, 2020
• 22 min read

They might fit into the back of the Suburban or even hang out in the living room, but MiniatureHorses need to cared for like any other horse. Minis have the same health needs and risks as other breeds, as well as a number of more unique issues.

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In some extreme cases, both hind limbs are affected and the Mini stands parked out and unable to move forward. Treatment includes blistering, splitting or cutting the medial patellar ligament that connects the kneecap to the tibia below.

This can cause a similar stance as upward fixation of the patella and might result in long-term lameness. The patella locates (Dislocates) laterally, or to either side, due to congenital abnormalities of the stifle region, including a shallower than normal femoral groove (where the patella slides) and a hypo plastic (abnormally small) or deviated tibial crest, which is the front edge of the tibia.

Veterinarians must reposition the tibial crest and deepen the femoral groove surgically. In pragmatism, or monkey mouth, the lower incisors extend beyond the upper.

Severe cases can prevent Minis from chewing food properly. Megaliths are rock like manure impactions caused by poor mastication (chewing) of food, poor-quality feed, or eating foreign materials.

Enteritis are rock like masses that occur when minerals form around some sides, such as a swallowed rock or other foreign material. Megaliths commonly develop in the small colon, whereas enteritis can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract.

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Occasionally, they will pass with fluids and mineral oil, but most cases require surgical removal. If they go off feed or are stressed due to pregnancy, lactation or disease, their bodies begin to mobilize fat into the bloodstream and then to the liver to process into energy.

Signs include anorexia, fever, colic, diarrhea, jaundice, head-pressing and circling. Minis have evolved to be very efficient at utilizing minimal amounts of calories.

Offer hay at 1.5-2% of each horse's body weight per day, minimize grazing and use muzzles as necessary. Dystrophic dwarfs have multiple limb deformities, domed heads and roached backs, and they generally need support, including splints or surgery, to move properly.

In this condition, certain parts of the eye, such as the cornea, iris, lens, biliary body and retina, do not develop normally. Owning MiniatureHorses can be a fun venture as long as you are armed with the information you need to be prepared for and care for their special needs.

Gary Magnesia, DVD, of the UC Davis William F. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, and Mark Rick, DVD, of Alamo Pint ado Equine Medical Center in Los Olives, Calif., contributed to this article. In earlier times, small horse breeds were likely the products of surviving harsh natural climates and limited feed sources.

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As human knowledge of genetics grew, it became possible to breed specifically for size. The result is a proportionate little horse that is suitable to a variety of uses: as pets, show animals, and a form of therapy for disabled people and guides for the blind.

It is important that owners of MiniatureHorses educate themselves thoroughly in good basic horse care as well as in the breed’s unique needs. While some MiniatureHorses are kept primarily as pets, they still need to be treated like horses, with appropriate nutrition, housing, room to run, regular hoof care, dental care, grooming, vaccinations, and parasite control.

As has frequently arisen with breeding a species for specific characteristics, desired traits can be accompanied by undesirable ones. In MiniatureHorses, dwarfism is an unfortunate complication of breeding, even when both of the parents appear to be normal.

In Minis, a dwarf is not only smaller than normal, it also has varying degrees and combinations of undesirable conformation faults. Although the care of MiniatureHorses is nearly the same as that of larger breeds (but on a much smaller scale with regard to feed, deforming doses, medication, etc.

Many potential problems can be avoided altogether by providing the proper care and feeding these animals require. The backyard Mini in the United States does not expend a large amount of calories in exercise.

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Those used as cart animals, show horses and lactating mares will have higher nutritional demands and can require up to 3% of their body weight in forage. Small amounts of concentrates or alfalfa should be given only during the breeding season or for exercising and showing horses.

Vitamin and mineral supplements might be required for adults or foals, depending on the diet fed. Vitamin and mineral requirements are similar to large breed horses on a per-weight basis.

Overbites (brachygnathism) and under bites (pragmatism) are common and can set a Mini up for years of abnormal dental wear if left untreated. Veterinarians at UC Davis recommend that newborn foals have their first oral exam shortly after birth to identify any bite abnormalities.

For foals with abnormalities, periodic reduction of dental overgrowth should be done from several months of age on to improve the range of motion of the jaw. Specialized equipment is usually required to examine and correct these abnormalities in their much smaller oral space.

If owners of MiniatureHorses do not invest in regular dentistry–perhaps because their horse does not wear a bit and has a voluptuous body condition–years of abnormal alignment and wear can lead to severe dental malocclusion that will predispose the horse to colic and choke and possibly shorten its lifespan. In addition to routine dental care, teeth should be evaluated any time a horse shows signs of possible dental disease (difficulty chewing, dropping partially chewed food , excessive salivation, swelling of the face, nasal discharge, or a foul odor from the mouth or nose).

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Colic –Minis have robust appetites, but their predisposition for dental problems can impair their chewing capacity. The reduced ability to grind feed combined with the robust food-seeking nature of the Mini creates a unique subset of common colic.

Megaliths are accumulations of long-stem feed, twine or hair, and manure that create a hard, rock-like obstruction in the small colon. Similarly, trichophytobezoars, which is an accumulation of feed and hair, are sometimes seen in Minis that spend a lot of time standing around and grooming each other.

Enteritis are mineral stones that form in the colon of horses fed a diet involving alfalfa hay. Although horses can pass small enteritis, surgery is often required to remove larger stones that cause obstruction.

Sand colic is also common in Minis because they tend to be scavengers and vacuum their surroundings. A fecal float consists of placing a large handful of feces into a plastic bag filled with water.

Sand can be treated with oral laxatives and psyllium, but occasionally it will cause the colon to displace or function poorly. Feeding Minis on rubber mats, adding psyllium to the monthly routine, and avoiding sandy environments can help prevent this problem.

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Late-term pregnancy, lactation, stress, illness, or any factor that impairs appetite for more than 24 hours can initiate a crisis. When the horses are off feed or stressed the lack of insulin stimulates a cascade of events, which triggers fat breakdown.

Rapid intervention with intravenous glucose and nutritional support, coupled with insulin therapy, is necessary to prevent this. Affected Minis will often show a decline in appetite, lethargy, and weakness before signs progress to in coordination (ataxia), abdominal pain, tremors, diarrhea, jaundiced coloration, seizure, head pressing, and, if left untreated, death.

Any sickness or loss of appetite should be addressed immediately to determine whether supportive therapy should be initiated. Regardless of the cause of the dystonia, once a foaling problem arises, it is more difficult to correct because manual manipulation of the fetus is more complicated in the smaller uterus.

Gestational length has been observed to be shorter in the Mini, with an average of 320 days and wide individual variation. The impending signs of parturition are similar to those in large breeds, with vulgar relaxation, softening of the tail head, mammary development, and lactation occurring within the last six weeks of gestation.

Clamps is a dramatic drop in systemic calcium concentrations that can occur in late gestation or early lactation. These small patients require extra attention to drug dosages and equipment size.

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They are prone to angular and flexural limb deformities and careful assessment of their conformation is necessary at birth. Routine maintenance of their teeth, their feet and their vaccination and deforming schedules should be similar to those of their larger counterparts.

These small horses started to arrive in the United States in the late 1800s, where they also went to work in mines. In addition, enthusiasts worldwide have formed clubs, registries, and associations to celebrate their shared love of the breed.

Mini enthusiasts tend to use inches or centimeters rather than hands to measure. The American Miniature Horse Association only counts miniature horses measuring 8.5 hands (34 inches) or less among its numbers.

In contrast, the American Miniature Horse Registry recognizes two divisions of miniature horses : “A” division minis are 8.5 hands (34 inches) or less, and “B” minis range from 8.5 to 9.5 hands (34 to 38 inches). Early miniature horses worked in mines, where their small size was an asset in the tight spaces.

Although most miniature horses are too small for riding, some owners drive their minis hitched to carts or sleighs. They also can make excellent emotional support animals because of their gentle and affectionate nature.

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This makes the mini ideal for people who live on small acreages where there would be no room for a herd of large horses. Like most horses, miniature horses require a balanced diet of grass, hay, rolled oats, and other grains with treats in moderation.

It's important to feed the recommended amount for your horse's weight and activity level. Miniature horses are generally good-natured and easy to train, but they are prone to several health issues.

This is possible because some owners treat them like house pets and don’t provide them with the exercise they need. Miniature horses also tend to have difficult births and dental issues, especially tooth overcrowding, due to their small size.

Use a comb, brush, and hoof pick on your horse daily to remove any dirt and debris. As miniature horses have become more mainstream, they've been popping up in commercials, on TV shows, and on social media.

For instance, a miniature horse named Gideon played the lovable Li’l Sebastian on the TV show “Parks and Recreation.” Furthermore, actress Gala Cuzco has turned her miniature horse Smoochy into an internet celebrity.

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Plus, their upkeep costs are generally cheaper than full-size horses, as they require less food and lower medication doses. Miniature horses also tend to be great for kids, as their size and gentle nature make them easier to work with than larger horses.

If it can’t answer your questions adequately, that could be a red flag that you’re not dealing with a reputable rescue or breeder. They are different from ponies in the way they are built, and they are easy to manage.

In many ways, a miniature horse requires the same amount of vaccines, veterinarian checks, etc. Here’s a list of things you will need to get in order to keep a miniature horse.

But the little horse can still pull them around in a tiny buggy or cart. You need to watch this number carefully in order to not overwork the horse.

They are all pretty similar in height and weight but there are differences when it comes to temper and colors. You will have a very nice and calm companion for many years and it will certainly form a strong bond with kids.

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It only measures 8 hands (32 inches or 81 centimeters) from the ground to the withers. It has been bred over many generations to be great with beginners and kids.

This breeze is one of the smallest and the worst horse breeds in the world. They are super cute with a long beautiful mane and a majestic posture.

They are actually quite similar to Arab horses in there built and riding style with a very slim and gorgeous body. Remember, that horses will only carry around 20% of their own body weight and this means that you shouldn’t expect a kid to ride it after the age of 9.

The Caspian breed is slightly bigger than the two horses we just looked at. They are also quite similar in appearance to Arab horses, and they are listed as descendants of them as well.

They are good jumpers, and they are known to have an easy temper even though they can have a mind of their own sometimes. So if you are raising a kid with an interest in horse jumping this is a very good place to start.

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They are great with kids which is probably the single most important character trait of a tiny horse. The Caspian breed is also a very strong bead and you will rarely need shoeing unless you expect to ride it on hard surfaces.

Horses typically live between 25 and 35 years so you need to plan for keeping it in the long run. You could also sell it at this point of course but this is something you need to consider before you buy a miniature horse for the household.

They are not as tough as bigger horses because their heads are closer to the ground. Justice bigger horses, you need a good routine regarding the cleaning of its teeth.

If you fail to give it good dental care it might develop sharp edges in the mouth that can cause problems for the animal. It needs to get used to the trimming and balancing of the hooves and if necessary, you should also have them place shoes on the animal.

If you want to take the little horse to shows you need to take good care of him with an everyday grooming routine. Just as with the cleaning of its teeth, it’s important to start this early on in order for the horse to get used to the routine.

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And it’s really important that you teach it properly in order for it to behave around the kids. Very similar to how you can use a service dog to work alongside a disabled human being.

The kick from a miniature horse is very dangerous, especially to kids and seniors. So make sure your kids are aware of this, so they never surprise the animal (from behind) or even stand behind the horse.

Horses do have a blind spot from the back and if you approach it directly from the front. So the best thing is to always approach it from the front while coming from an angle from one of the sides.

We have seen multiple examples where people have chosen a miniature horse for a service animal. As we mentioned, horses are wonderful at leading the way.

And they are also good at remembering a route, so they can make a great companion as a service horse. They will not work well with a blind person (of course) but for people who have trouble carrying the groceries etc.

some horses pony most horse miniature dangerous appaloosa mini
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For most people, is that a little controversial to see a horse leading a person in the supermarket or in the mall. But is not that strange really when you think about it because horses have been close friends with humans for centuries.

They love to work alongside the master, and they are good at carrying stuff. This is a really beautiful thing to watch and it just goes to show how nature has taught horses to lead the way.

And the answer lies in the way the animal is built. The pony is a little more tightly built, and they are typically very strong.

They have stronger feet, and they are broader over the shoulders compared to a normal horse. A miniature horse, on the other hand, can typically be ridden till the age of 8 or 9 (See more numbers here).

So all in all, if you are looking for the perfect please calm and easy-to-work-with horse for your little ones, the miniature horses are typically the way to go. Simply because they have a very nice temper, and they are basically just a horse that has been shrunk in size.

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Newborn foals average 16 to 20 inches tall, which is approximately 4.5 hands, and weigh around 20 pounds, making them smaller than a fully grown German shepherd. This may have to do with the fact that most foals are born in the spring due to the mare’s cycle.

The smaller the mini foal, the more likely it is that they’ll have orthopedic issues such as tendon and ligament laxity (overstretching a muscle or bone) or tightness. For six months after a mini foal is born, it stays close to its mother.

Of course, reproduction wasn’t the only thing miniature horses needed to adapt to. But people have to be careful; it is easy for a miniature horse to become overweight, making them much more susceptible to liver diseases such as hyperlipidemia (fat in the bloodstream), and hepatic lipids (fatty liver disease).

Miniature horses were appreciated as early as the 1600s to 1700s when King Louis XIV had a zoo of animals that he considered rare or odd. In these shows, a miniature horse pulls people through and around obstacle courses for sport and competition.

If a person grooms and feeds them enough, mini horses and humans can even develop bonds. They also have thick enough coats to withstand harsh weather, and only need to shed to run into if it gets too hot.

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Despite their small size, they can give horseback rides to people who weigh under 60 pounds. They hardly ever bite or kick, proving them a viable option for small children to take riding lessons.

They are also good for elderly or disabled people, who like being around them because they’re easier to deal with than full-sized horses. For instance, in the 1800s, they were used to pulling wagons through coal mines, and were given the name “pit ponies” before machines took over the job.

So that is how the miniature horse has adapted through reproduction, eating, and coexisting with other species (particularly humans) through evolution and behavior, and some challenges it has or still faces. Imagine a horse smaller than a full-grown Great Dane.

At first, they were considered as a novelty pet for royalty or the royally rich. But the miniature horse breeds have caught on in many countries, especially in America.

They have spawned a loyal following devoted to horses that most owners would never be able to ride. Despite their small size, they need the care and training methods for a regular-sized horse.

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However, the earliest known ancestor of the domestic horse is Phipps (also called hyracotherium). It was a mere two and a half feet (or 78 cm) long and weighed about 20 pounds.

Even the smallest miniature horse of today is much longer, taller and weighs about 200 pounds. Miniature horses have been painted and written about in England and America since 1765.

The first recorded intensive breeding program of miniature horses was in the 1800s in Argentina by the Flagella family. They created the first recognized miniature horse breed, the Flagella.

They have the same nature and same problems that horses and ponies of any size have. Horses cannot be house-trained and will greatly damage rooms and objects.

They need to be treated with the same care and respect as with a larger horse or pony. Very small, cute young miniature horses charm some people into letting them get away with bad behavior like rearing or nipping that would never be tolerated with a larger and stronger horse.

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There may be some savings in food costs since miniature horses do not eat as much as regular-sized horse. However, miniature horses still need vet care, blacksmith visits and equipment that costs the same as for bigger horses.

With all the expenses, horse owners can expect to pay an average of $5,000 a year. Boarding costs increases with how many services are included in the price.

Bedding : Which may or may not be included in boarding prices averages $1,100 annually. Veterinary : All horses need a check-up, worming prevention medication, vaccinations and tooth flotations.

Blacksmith : All horses need their hooves trimmed or shoes replaced every six weeks. These can be accidents, repairing fences or other unexpected, but expensive problems.

This may or may not include transportation to the new home, gelding or basic vet care. But each animal is still an important individual with unique talents and abilities.

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Some also work as therapy animals for an individual handicapped person that for some reason cannot use a dog or visits hospitals and nursing homes to cheer up the patients. However, based on the above you should enjoy your time with the tiny horse you adopted, in a carefree manner.

Posted in HORSES Many people don't realize that miniature horses are highly intelligent and, with the right training, can be very successful service animals! After Southwest Airlines announced that these pint-sized horses were welcomed on their planes as service animals, there were many opinions on if this was a good idea or not.

Many people don’t realize that miniature horses are highly intelligent and, with the right training, can be very successful service animals. 2) Miniature horses have a calm demeanor: Just like their big counterparts, with proper training these small horses can become unflappable.

Minis are the only service animal that can move their eyes independently of one another, which means they can easily sense potentially dangerous situations. A horse will always choose the safest option in any situation, which means that a mini used as a service animal will prioritize safety.

There are plenty of ordinary people who understand and practice the details of proper civilization. My days are brightened whenever I observe one child telling another to avoid the hind end of a horse, or see one collecting a baby brother who is about to wander into the street.

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Occasionally I ask nasty questions: “Which US President is on the $10 bill?” Once in a great while I'll suggest following the history of philosophy, Plato, to Bishop Berkeley, to Kant, to Hegel, to John Dewey.

They all proposed, one way or another, that our thoughts are primary, and that physical reality is secondary, a mere illusion. If you thoroughly thought it through, however, they would realize that those things could, in fact, kill their child.

Because miniatures are smaller than their horse relatives, and are cute to look at, so uninformed people think they must be harmless. Minis might be smaller than horses, but they are still big and heavy enough to seriously injure or even kill a child if they are not properly trained, and if the child in not supervised while interacting with the mini.

They're smaller so say a kick from a mini would be as dangerous as a regular sized horse. These little guys can kick hard enough to break bones, or even kill if they landed a hoof on the chest or head.

I would tell these people that I'm not the breeder for them and good luck with their search. Anyone who thinks a small pony cant be a hazard needs a reality check.

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They have medium-length coats of straight hair, with males typically displaying more prominent beards and longer manes. To keep them as pets, make sure you provide them with shelter, hay, and a fun playground to keep these good-natured goats active and entertained.

They are curious, social animals who are smart, and can be easily trained, but because they are instinctually nosy, they can create mischief in your house if their environment isn't stimulating enough. Pigs should be fed a few times a day, and enjoy fruits, vegetables, and even table scraps.

Today, these gentle, intelligent horses make great family pets as well as service animals. A typical life span is about 30 years, and they don't shed, irritate allergies, or require the amount of social attention that many dogs do.

Technically called Old English South down sheep, these miniature fluff balls are the easygoing pets as well as workers. Fully grown, they can stand up to 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weight around 100-125 lbs (smaller ones weigh even less!).

They are grass grazers and can be allowed to roam in vineyards and orchards because they will keep the weeds down, won't damage the trees or bushes, and they drop organic fertilizer wherever they go. If you're interested in acquiring some Baby doll sheep, you should make sure you're able to provide them shelter from the elements, and that you're ready to sheer their soft, silky coats each spring.

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Miniature donkeys should be given plenty of open space in which to run, fresh hay, clean water, and shelter from the rain. This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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