Miniature horses are sharp, lovable and gentle creatures that make wonderful pets for both kids and adults. These horses come in a wide variety of breeds and colors and normally grow up to a height of twenty to thirty-eight inches. Miniature horses also tend to live longer than normal-sized horses, living up to thirty to fifty years.
Like dogs, they can be easily trained and can serve as effective companion dogs for the blind or deaf. However, like their full-sized counterparts, miniature horses require their owners to invest time, money, physical effort and space for their proper care. This article will introduce to you the basic guidelines on how to care properly for a miniature horse to ensure they live their lives fit, healthy and happy.
- Provide an adequate shelter and a sizeable paddock. You need to provide a shelter measuring about ten by ten feet as the horses’ resting area. It is best to keep them in an airy and open shelter as they are more likely to be affected by airflow due to their smaller size. Make sure that you clean their shelter everyday and that the beddings are replaced weekly. As miniature horses are highly energetic and are likely to overeat, you should provide a spacious paddock where they can roam and play.
- Feed them regularly with a proper diet. A miniature horse must be fed at least twice a day to maintain the movement of food in their system and to compensate for their large intestinal tract. Make good quality hay the majority of their diet and incorporate grains such as oats and cereals into their meals. Ensure that plenty of clean water is constantly available to the horse. Take care not to overfeed as this can lead to obesity and other precarious health problems for the horse.
- Make sure they get enough exercise. Allow the horse to run and play in the paddock daily for at least an hour. To keep the horse stimulated and to strengthen your bond, spend some time playing and exercising with the miniature horse. Take the horse with you when jogging or biking. You can also set up some jumps that are about eighteen to twenty-four inches.
- Do obstacle course training. However, remember to introduce the horse into the exercise program slowly, as sudden work can strain the horse’s ligaments and tendons.
- Groom them regularly. Inspect the horses’ hooves and teeth weekly. Brush along the horses’ hair growth daily to keep the coat shiny and the mane and tale tangle-free. Do not bathe the horse too frequently as this can diminish the health of the coat. Visit a farrier every two months for regular hoof trimming for balance and to prevent other injuries. Make sure that you do not neglect dental care as this is a very important aspect of owning a horse. Introduce the miniature horse to a routine dental check up early to prevent resistance.
The tips above are simply basic guideline for an owner to follow. The best investment an owner must make is to employ a qualified veterinarian to ensure that the horse gets adequate professional nurturing. Coupled with personal nurturing, investing in a good veterinarian ensures long years of companionship between you and a miniature horse.