Some equestrian farms dedicate their lifestyle to one type of horse. Therefore, it is not unusual to see a pasture full of miniature horses. Miniature horses are popular for their petite body size and adorable appearance. However, choosing a miniature horse is not as easy as picking out the smallest or the cutest in the herd. Like with other breeds of horses, the miniature horse breed has specifications and standards for meeting excellent body, coat, physical, and disposition expectations. These should be kept in mind when choosing a miniature horse.
The first aspect that a potential miniature horse owner should examine before choosing a miniature horse is the physical appearance. According to the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA), a miniature horse should not be more than 38 inches tall. The ideal height for a miniature horse is 34 inches. This measurement takes place from the bottom hair of the mane down. There is no ideal color for a miniature horse.
View the miniature horse’s mouth and teeth. The top teeth should meet with the bottom teeth. View the horse being lead at a walk and trot. Determine if the horse has a smooth gait. View how the horse works with it feet. Some miniature horses are prone to leg problems due to their ancestry.
Next determine the purpose of purchasing the miniature horse. Miniature horses are not good for riding. They can only be ridden by small children who outgrow them quickly. However, they are frequently used for pulling carts, showing, and guide work. Bloodline and pedigree is very important when choosing a miniature horse for show or breeding purposes. Good disposition and personality is essential for guide miniature horses or miniature horses as pets.
If the choice is to purchase a miniature foal, ask to see the parents. In many cases, a foal grows to resemble its parents. Viewing the parents can tell you a lot about how the foal will develop into a horse.
Ask about the horse's health record. When you choose a miniature horse, it is important to find a horse that has been living in good conditions. Ask the owner about the horse’s vaccination history including worming. View the miniature horse’s hooves and ask about care from a farrier. Look at the horse's overall appearance. Does the miniature look well groomed?
It is also important to choose a miniature horse that can be easily handled. Even if your horse will be used for breeding purposes, easy handling will come in handy. Does the horse lead well? Is it easy to catch and halter?