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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

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Mini driving question

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  • Mini driving question

    Hi! I am looking at a mini for a potential driving mini. The owner says he is 29". I am concerned that will be too small for A. finding much that is small enough to fit him and B. too small to carry any sort of weight.

    He is 3 for the record. From what I have read, they are mostly done growing by this time, so I would assume he would not get much bigger.

    Any thougths?

  • #2
    I taught a 29" mini stallion to drive and it is hard to find a cart small enough. When they're that small you have to be so careful not to overtax them and their small physique. I agree w/ you about this one being too small and is probably done growing.
    "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


    • #3
      Also remember: minis are measured at the last mane hair, not highest point of withers, so this guy could be a "hair" less than 29" (as horses/ponies are measured)
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


      • #4
        2 Dogs is right about the height location for measuring. Mini Assococcasion using last mane hair Is different than any other equine measurers.

        What amount of work do you expect from him? Even on big horses, we try not to overload them in serious work. You want to have his total load less than 80% of his body weight. Leaves you some spare so horse stays in control of his load, not always fully exerted.

        Mini folks don't seem to take that into consideration. Cart, passenger, weigh as much (or more) as the equine and still is not called out for being overloaded.

        I would look at bigger animals, measured at the withers, if you really want to drive very far or longer times, go down the road some with him. My friend drove a 36 inch one who was a determined character, when faced with harder going. Other minis would just quit. She went to a Pair pulling a 4-wheeled vehicle, because it was easier on him. She was not heavy, nor was his cart, but heavy ground, uphill work, sandy trails were just too much for only one small animal. For ring showing only, a mini might not be working so hard, so a bit smaller might manage for that kind of work.

        Deep going, like a western riding ring might be impossible for in is to pull in. Saw that happen with very slender girls driving.


        • #5
          I have a 34 inch mini and one that is about 31-32 inches. There is a big difference in their respective comfort levels in what they can pull. The bigger one is just fine with me and the easy entry cart but with the little one you can tell he is working. I do not know how much I will put into training him as a driving mini because of this. He has muscled up a lot since last Fall and it be interesting to see how he handles it when we start up with him again. He was given to me so if we get to drive it's just a bonus as I had no expectations. If I was looking again for something to drive it would probably be something bigger, maybe 10 hands or so.


          • #6
            This tends to be a hot topic with mini people (as we are finding out). You will hear that they can pull their weight and more with "no problems". I tend to disagree. For one - they may look like they can handle it at the time - but what are you doing to them in the long term?

            I switched from riding to driving about 5 years ago. We have 36 and 37" mini's. We show CDE, go on pleasure drives with varied terrains, and our training grounds at home have gentle hills. My husband weighs 180 and I am 145 - our carts are a Frey Sprint and Rebel (they weigh ~100 lbs) and we have a pairs carriage that weighs (I'm guessing) around 200-ish lbs. I personally would not go with any smaller mini's for what we do. I would agree with the 80% based on our experience.

            The mini's that I see are smaller - those tend to drive with the sulky type carts that weigh hardly anything.

            Just my 2 cents!
            Last edited by TwinCity; May. 6, 2017, 10:27 AM. Reason: grammar!


            • #7
              Belated thanks for all the comments on this thread . . . looking at/for a mini. Am looking at a 36" & from what I am hearing, the cute "littler littles" may not work for me. Thanks for the insight [and I WILL have more questions!].
              Hidden Echo Farm, Carlisle, PA -- home of JC palomino sire Canadian Kid (1990 - 2013) & AQHA sire Lark's Favorite, son of Rugged Lark.


              • #8
                Good thread ~ thank you !

                Starting to look but in no hurry ~ do not want to make a purchase I will regret •
                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                • #9
                  ZuZu you are looking for a mini? The little devils ARE a lot of fun.
                  I posted above about my 31 inch mini maybe being to small to drive, but in the months since that post I have been working with him a bit more and he is coming along. Getting stronger and finding his balance. I think he is going to be fine for me to drive comfortably when he sorts it all out.
                  He is built like a little tank, not light boned or refined and perhaps this has something to do with his ability.


                  • #10
                    We had a 29" guy we drove. He was fine on roads with a light driver and easy entry cart. Not so much in the grass with us- we are large ladies.... Deep rings, he'd understandably stop. He was sold to a petite lady who only street drives and he's doing fine.

                    My geldings are 33" and 35" and have no issues at all on any surface. Built tough, like Cayuse said. Not the super fine halter style.

                    Pic is my 35" guy at an ADS pleasure driving show.
                    Field of Dreams Miniature Horses

                    JEM Canadian Sunrise HOF: 2007 Res Nat'l Grand Champion WCPD
                    Redrock Lots O Spots HOF: 2014 National Grand Champion WCPD


                    • #11
                      cayuse on the Fun Quotient for minis!
                      Bonus Points for ease of harnessing & driving solo.
                      I realize harnessing from above is not ADS compliant, but it sure makes Life easier

                      Field of Dreams Mini Horses 29"
                      But ditto on Road vs Grass - I have been Uber-Conservative asking my 33" 3yo to carry 2 & even with just Me in the wire cart he works harder on grass than asphalt,

                      Like you both describe, my guy is more Solid than Refined.

                      Zu Zu C'mon... you NEED a mini!
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                      • #12
                        Looking around ~ want a * chestnut & white mare ~

                        Tougher to find than I initially thought ~ breeder moved in / built private facility down the road ~
                        And while he does not have the mare I'm looking for right now

                        I know he will eventually have my
                        mare ~

                        Trying to be patient • which is tough for moi !

                        Would like a shetland ~ same color code too...

                        Why not get a 'drive' in every size ?!
                        Two sizes here - two more to come
                        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                        • #13
                          Yes, you need one in every size available.

                          Food for (Future) Thought: C/W Shettie & Mini - hitched In TANDEM!!!!!
                          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                          • #14
                            They are addictive...we never thought we would be driving minis...much less a pair. These fellows are 37"!