Horses can be amazing pets and companions, but few things are as cute as miniature horses. These seemingly shrunken versions of the riding horse can be great companions for people of all ages. These little cuties are very common and much cheaper to purchase and care for than large horses, but they are a commitment.
Miniature horses live 25 to 35 years when well cared for by the owner. There are numerous minis up for adoption as people sometimes forget the commitment that must be made. Consider adoption if considering a miniature. Miniature horses are called miniature for a reason, they are under 34 inches tall and the smallest ever was 18.5 inches once full grown. These tiny wonders can be used in therapeutic environments and have been trained to be guide horses for those with disabilities. Miniatures are unlikely to ever be ridable, but this does not mean they are not great companions, even for large horses.
Miniature horses eat grains and grass just as larger horses, but they also need access to plenty of fresh water and salt and trace mineral blocks. Many miniatures also have a sweet tooth and enjoy apples, candy, and even soda, but owners must be careful not to over feed their companion. An overweight miniature is often unhealthy and a shortened lifespan may be the result. One thing that many people forget about miniatures is that though they are small, they are still horses. They must have a shelter, the right kinds of food, and be treated with respect. Even a miniature can spook, bite, and kick. Though they are small, a kick or bite can still cause a bad injury. They must also have room to run and play, especially as babies. Additionally, horses, even miniatures, are social, herd animals. Having at least two miniatures is best or having another animal that can be a companion is best. Some people even use miniatures, typically mares, to watch over flocks of sheep or goats.
If you are considering a miniature companion horse make sure you are prepared to have a farrier, a shelter, room for your mini to run and play, proper feed, and a veterinarian on call. Horses of any size are a big commitment that should not be entered into lightly. However, if you do decide to make the move to buy or adopt, enjoy your new little fuzzy bundle.