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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
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    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    Default Can minature horses be ridden?

    I guess I always thought that mini's should not be ridden, that they were shown in hand or driven.

    However, I got a Chick's sale catalog/flyer in the mail today, and there is an entire page devoted to saddles for mini's, both english and western.

    So, do any of you know if mini's can or should be ridden? Obviously it would have to be a small child riding if the answer is yes.

    ETA - the ad says the seat size is 8" ??? That seems to be pretty darned small to me!
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
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    2,199

    Default

    Yes minis can be ridden. The limiting factor is finding a saddle with a wide enough tree. Basic saddle training requires some creativity when your riders max out at about 40 lbs.

    IMO, better to use slightly larger ponies for riding and get that mini a cart!! Minis are most suited to driving, some of those little boogers have kick a$$ trots.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
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    south eastern US
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    Default

    I have the same catalog and had the same WTF reaction. Technically minis can be ridden but the same weight ratio applies to them that applies to the bigger guys. That makes for some teeny tiny riders. Most of the ones that are "ridden" are only used for lead line since they are only able to be ridden by toddlers and very small children.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2008
    Location
    North Georgia
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    2,086

    Default

    Back in the 80s when Horse Illustrated had that advertisement with the adult holding a Miniature Horse foal balanced in the palm of their hands was when I was introduced to Minis. I remember an article or a pet show saying, "Miniature Horses should not be ridden." Imagine my surprise when I saw people selling Miniature Horses broke to ride. I *guess* a well-bred, well-proportioned Miniature could handle a SMALL child (as in toddler,) but I've seen heavier
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    556

    Default

    My instincts are the same as all of yours, But... They have approved the use of minis for service work. (?)
    "Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of passions." David Hume



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,658

    Default

    My mini is a big B class mini at 37", which works out at 9h 1". I would guess that there have been quite a lot of 9-ish hand Shetlands ridden by small children over the years. But an A class mini? I wouldn't do it.

    However, having said that, I'm not sure I'd scar a child for life by using him as their introduction to riding A mini, and an appaloosa to boot, he has opinions.

    He's a very fine driving pony.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2007
    Posts
    311

    Default

    My mini is the pony ride queen of the neighborhood. She has a little english saddle and anytime neighbors have the small grandkids visiting I get the call "Can we come over and ride Fancy?"

    Fancy loves it.

    Breaking her was easy as pie. Have a friend who used to break racehorses for the track and he had a 2 YO son when we were ready to start backing Fancy. He would come over and we would just pony ride his son around. As far as teaching her to be able to be ridden alone, taught her to drive and it carried over but it is mostly voice commands . She knows whoa, back, gee, ha, trot, walk on, easy and canter very, very well.

    SHe is only allowed to carry up to 45# (my rule and if in doubt I will pull the scale out).



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2007
    Location
    SE PA
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    1,525

    Default

    When I was a kid in pony club, there was a family of 4 or 5 kids who all rode. The youngest was maybe 4, and he rode a mini that was maybe about 9 hands. They fit each other perfectly that year, but I think he outgrew him pretty quickly.
    RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2010
    Posts
    2,568

    Default

    We have a large mini (or shetland, we don't have papers) and my DD rides him. She's a measly 30# though, and so if you're using the 20% rule she is fine.

    I don't trust him off-lead though. He is tolerant, but I think he could potentially do his own thing if given the chance.

    Here she is riding him this winter, right after she got her leadline saddle
    http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y56...5/P1020586.jpg

    And learning to lead - he is GREAT for her to lead alone
    http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y56...5/P1020597.jpg



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
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    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    6,190

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    However, having said that, I'm not sure I'd scar a child for life by using him as their introduction to riding A mini, and an appaloosa to boot, he has opinions.
    I was thinking the same thing, that a child small enough to ride a mini is probably too young to do it well. I guess the leadline deal is okay, and at least if your child falls off a mini, it sure is closer to the ground.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2010
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    Default

    That's exactly my thinking. Honestly. I have a 14h pony and the mini and the 14h pony is a little more reliable, but if it came down to it, I can grab my DD off the mini A LOT quicker.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2011
    Posts
    540

    Default

    I have a 30 inch mini. I also have a 10 inch saddle for her. I saddle her, this gives my grandson something to hang on to, I lead her around.
    He is likes about a 15/20 min ride, which is good for her also.

    Currently he is well within the weight ratio for her.

    Allowing too heavy riders on the little ones is my biggest concern for them.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005
    Location
    uk
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    Default

    here in uk shetland ponies are ridden and driven
    we also have shetland grand national, lol

    look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ9DVn220RU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uomNe...eature=related



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2001
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    West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
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    15,797

    Default

    If I had a dollar for every mini I saw in the leadline classes at WEF, I could retire.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.
    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by goeslikestink View Post
    here in uk shetland ponies are ridden and driven
    we also have shetland grand national, lol

    look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ9DVn220RU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uomNe...eature=related
    I love the videos of the Shetland Grand National, it makes me laugh every time, so cute!
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ESG View Post
    If I had a dollar for every mini I saw in the leadline classes at WEF, I could retire.
    haha and they so cute haha, and we all just go urrrrrrrrrrm arrrrrrrrrrrrrh we so are dumb enough to sit and watch them each time haha

    there is just something mystic why we all love cute little faces and legs
    its sort of the same with any foals we get that
    urmmmmmmmmmmmm arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh feeling then later
    when we breka the things in, its urmmmmmmmmm arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh henry feeling hahha

    and whats cute lol now is cuter - and we go ssssssssssssssss-- t lol
    then later when we go pass that stage and they happy
    we go urrrrrrrrrrrrrrm arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr love my horsey hahaha



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2008
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    North Georgia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarafia View Post
    My instincts are the same as all of yours, But... They have approved the use of minis for service work. (?)
    "Service Work" is not the same as riding. Miniature Horses are used as Service Animals, primarily Guide Horses for the blind/visually-impaired. The reason why they are used is because they have a greater field of vision than dogs do, they live longer than dogs, and they have more years of service work than their canine counterparts.

    When Minis are used as Service Animals, they have to go through the same training that Guide Dogs do, and when they set out to work, they have specially-designed "tennis shoes" (for lack of a better word) so they don't slip on slick surfaces such as a tile floor or some sidewalks.
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    319

    Default

    My 5 year old rides a mini. I think he is 38 or 39 inches and is nearly 400 pounds. She only weighs 32 pounds and they are very well suited for each other. She can probably ride him another year before she will outgrow him. She is on lead line only now, I don't trust the pony enough to let her go on her own.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    1,244

    Default

    When my daughter was young she rode a mini occasionally. It was hard to find someone small enough to ride him that could still deal with his antics. There was also a narrow window-by the next year she was too big to ride him.



  20. #20
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    Sep. 20, 2010
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    United States of Absurdistan
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    Default

    My mini, really more of a maxi, is close to 10h and stocky. He is broken to long lines working towards a cart. I plan to break him to ride when he is 6,next yr I think, when they say the shoulders close. I'm thinking about asking my sister to do it, she is an adult but only weighs about 100lbs soaking wet and only for a few minutes at a time.

    A small one tho? No.

    LBR
    I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

    R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed



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