If you are looking to add miniature horses to your herd or farm, you're in for a lifetime of fun with these mischievous and intelligent creatures. But, they do call for some special considerations when creating the right home for minis. Here are 3 tips from the pros.
Assess Your Fencing. Miniature horses have both similar and different fencing requirements from full-size horses. They are as smart as their larger cousins and can adapt well to similar fencing in many ways. Electric fencing, for example, can be just as useful once the horse learns what it does. However, you may want to add some lower tape in areas with minis. Regular fencing can be adjusted to minis, too, if you account for smaller sizes. Wire mesh fencing should have smaller open spaces so that minis can't get their hooves or heads stuck in it. Board fences can be lower, but they should begin lower to the ground to avoid trapping the horse between the ground and the fence. You may want to work with a qualified fence contractor at a company like Allied Fence of Tampa Bay to determine how to adjust your fencing to account for smaller bodies.
Accommodate Stalls. Miniature horses have very similar stabling needs to larger horses, but their dimensions are different. For this reason, a stable that is comfortable for your other horses to see out of may need to have a wall shortened for minis. Not reconfiguring the stalls in this way could cause the horse to sour easily. Food needs are generally similar to larger horses, but you may want to discuss dietary needs with your veterinarian before bringing a mini home.
Be Cautious with Companionship. Turning out miniature horses in the same space as the rest of the herd can be fine, but it can also be dangerous depending on the temperaments involved. Test the waters with supervised play and exercise sessions before deciding if your herd is gentle enough to tolerate a miniature. Warmbloods and younger horses may play too roughly, including running, tussling, and biting. Older horses and calmer riding horses, though, may prove to be perfect companions for a more sedate miniature horse. If needed, you can make simple turnout areas for minis to play separately because their fencing needs are less strenuous than those of full-size horses.
Miniature horses are a great addition to just about any farm or ranch, and they provide fun and play for younger kids. With proper husbandry and a living environment that's properly suited to their size, they will thrive along with all the rest of your beloved animals.
I have loved cats ever since I was a child. My parents let our cat roam around the yard without a fence when I was a child, but when I adopted my first cat as an adult, I was much too afraid that she would run off to let her outside. After keeping her as an "indoor cat" for a few years, I decided to look into backyard fencing options that she might not be able to climb or jump over. I put a lot of research into those options, so I decided to start sharing what I learned on a blog to help other cat owners and anyone else who is looking for a fence for a specific need. I have been very lucky and my cat hasn't jumped over my fence at all and she now loves her fenced in back yard!