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Can minature horses be ridden?

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  • 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
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      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."

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      • #4
        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
        Originally posted by talkofthetown
        As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

        Comment


        • #5
          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

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          • #6
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              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).

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  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


                  And learning to lead - he is GREAT for her to lead alone

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    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

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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/

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              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

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                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

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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
                                  Originally posted by talkofthetown
                                  As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    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.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        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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