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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2012
    Posts
    33

    Default Mini as a companion?

    I am looking into getting a companion animal for my older Arabian who lives alone. Do miniature horses make good companion animals? Also, would it be safe to turn the mini and the Arab out in the pasture together because of their size difference (the Arab is about 14 hh)? Thanks in advance!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,832

    Default

    I have a mini as a companion for my other horses and they get along fine; my mini is a 22 year old ex-broodmare so she doesn't cause any trouble, and she is smart enough to avoid chaos if it starts (e.g. if the big horses get running she will stay out of the way, or at least run along far behind them). Temperament can be a factor, but if you get an older companion for an older horse it will probably be fine. My vet said that often the mini can be just as much of a bully as a larger horse, so you want to remember that when choosing one.

    The biggest danger with putting them on pasture together is the pasture part, not the size issue (in my opinion, and I know many people do not think they are safe turned out together). My could not go out 12 hours overnight with the bigger horses because it's just too much grass. So it depends on your definition of "pasture".

    (Because then you need a companion for your companion, and then when they don't like each other you need to reorganize the herd...so my herd has more "drylot" friends than pasture friends now.... argh!)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    The Prairie
    Posts
    5,457

    Default

    While not officially a mini, I once got a very small Shetland/mini ish pony (probably 10 hh)as a companion for a middle aged wb mare. Although she was the alpha mare type he wasted no time telling her he would not be bullied; she trotted over to tell him she would be in charge and he responded with the loudest screaming whinny I have ever heard come out of a horse and a volley of double barrelled kicks that quickly established him as no push over. They had an understanding that evolved into friendship and I had no concern for his safety.

    However, he had to spend the summer in a grazing muzzle as he had a history of founder. He hated it and we went through several as he was very ingenious about destroying them. I had to seperate them to feed grain as he tried and usually succeeded in eating hers if they were fed together.

    IMO the biggest issue with mini as companion would be limiting the access to pasture.
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,190


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,641

    Default

    How good are your fences?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2005
    Posts
    2,607

    Default

    Mine loved the goats she used to live with.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,832

    Default

    Just for fun...here's mine not long after I got her: https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...90483515_n.jpg



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 19, 2007
    Posts
    174

    Default

    I only have one riding horse and the two miniatures. They are his companions & herd, but I also drive them. I would be very careful about turning a mini out with just any horse, or a herd of horses. One kick is all it would take to badly injure or even kill one. Mine do go out with my one horse, but he has never been aggressive, but still a risk. There is also the fact that miniature are generally very easy keeps and just founder cases waiting to happen. Mine are either stalled or dry lot at night, and wear grazing muzzles when out on pasture during the day.

    http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1.../1010613-3.jpg



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,625

    Default

    My 16.2 hand gelding had an older mini for a companion and absolutely loved him! So i think a 14h horse would be fine. They make great buddies and i agree you do need fencing that can keep them in and need to be careful about too much grass access.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,495

    Default

    Snort is currently keeping company with a tiny Shetland pony, not quite a mini. As long as they get on well and the fences are tight - Andy pony can squeeze his portly little tummy through a door I can just get through sideways - things should be fine.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,778

    Default

    My gentle mare gets on fine with her mini companion. (Perhaps not a very good idea with an aggressive horse). Mine live out, hair to hair, with access to their bedded stalls - but there is a stall guard on the mini's where he can run under if things get a bit much for him, and he can eat his hay in peace.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 3, 2002
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    945

    Default

    Not all horses are safe to have a mini as a companion. Some horses can be very mean and aggressive with them. And one kick to the head can severely injure them or kill them. I've seen otherwise calm horses who would not tolerate a mini. I think a large goat is a safer choice but then some horses do not like goats either.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2012
    Posts
    208

    Default

    We had a horse boarding at our barn that was not ok when horses were taken out of his paddock during the day, even for an hour or so. When we got a mini, all of it ended. He is completely satisfied as long as the mini is with him.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,778

    Default

    Horses definitely know their own kind, and I think prefer them. Size of attitude is more important than physical size. Obviously you use common sense when introducing them, same as with any new horse.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 27, 2011
    Location
    My Little Bit of Heaven
    Posts
    249

    Default

    I'd go for a small pony rather than a mini simply because they can eat normally, albeit in small amounts.

    My lusitano gelding loves his pony as do I. I have a second riding horse now and the three of them make a great little herd.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2008
    Posts
    2,591

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daatje View Post
    Daatje LOVES hers.
    Gorgeous pony!!

    Here's my sweet miniature donkey.

    It's absolutely true that the mini could get kicked by the big horse. I do worry about that. But ours has been a wonderful lone-horse companion for 11 years now.
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2010
    Posts
    2,554

    Default

    I've had a mini for about 7 years and he's gotten along fine with every big horse I've put him with, with the exception of one horse who had been alone and was very aggressive. I think it just depends on the personality of the horses. Our mini is totally nonchalant, so he's not seen as a threat at all.

    I've enjoyed having him, he's easy, he isn't a real founder-obesity prone guy, so I don't have to be as concerned about the grass, he is actually more of a normal keeper, so the grass is great for him.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2008
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Posts
    193

    Default

    It always depends on the horse...some of them LOVE ponies and others not so much. One of our TurboFriesians, who is 16.3 and can push his weight around when turned out with other full-sized horses, is TOTALLY cowed and bullied by the mini-herd. They are not averse to double-barrelling him, chasing him, etc. Since he is an air fern, the mini's netted, rationed hay works well for him. He appears in this collection of clips and outtakes that I threw together of the ponies...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRitKd4D404


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    4,220

    Default

    I don't have one, but after watching my next door neighbor try to mini-proof her place, I'd opt for a pony. Her mini is a houdini!
    "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2005
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    4,762

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Bandit View Post
    Loved the video. Thanks for sharing.

    ************************
    \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"



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