Mini horses are indeed
remarkable animals. They are
very intelligent and playful and
they can live in your backyard
and enter your house. Standing
only those less than 34 inches
at the shoulder, they are
gentle and small enough for
kids and the elderly to handle.
They can perform in shows and
are great for children in the
How To Care For Your Mini horse
If you pasture your mini horse there are a few things you must watch for. In the late summer, may
pastures have turned to dry, cracked mud and lots of flies.
Your mini will stomp to try and rid his itchy body of flies. The ground is probably uneven and he may get
hoof bruises and cracks. Both of these conditions invite bacterial infection. Soles may also get bruised
and the uneven terrain may also bruise soles and increase the risk of sprain, strain, and tendinitis.
A damp, swampy pasture or areas of high humidity can cause the hoof to expand creating gaps at the
junction of the hoof wall and sole. If you have a small pasture with many miniature horses, they may be
standing in deep manure at certain points. Parasites and bacteria will thrive under these conditions.
Frequently clean the manure from the hoofs using a hoof pick on a regular basis. Check the hoof wall
and sole, also called the frog, to check for stones or matted plant material. If you see black spots
that are sensitive to pressure, these are puncture wounds that need treatment.
Your veterinarian will probe to explore the hoof, sole, frog, and heel with fingers and a hoof tester to
locate the point of entry of the object causing the puncture. The vet may also scrape or “pare out” the
wound. You can soak the hoof in a warm Epsom salt solution an hydrogen peroxide to keep it open and
allow drainage until it heals.
Conformation and Foot Care
Conformation plays an incredibly large part in lameness. Some mini horses with fiat or thin soles, worn
heels, or thin, weak walls are susceptible to hoof injury. Miniature horses with upright pasterns--i.e.:
not enough angle from heel to hoof, contracted tendons, or knee deformities--are also particularly
prone to further damage to foot and hoof.
Regular visits by your farrier are important, especially in mini horses that have conformational faults
such as, contracted tendons or other structural defects that cause excessive damage to the hoof.
Nutrition and Health
Nutrition plays a large role in preventing foot injuries and lameness. The amount of grain, roughage,
vitamins and minerals given to your mini horse should be tailored to his pattern of exercise.
Lameness problems can be prevented by giving your mini adequate levels of electrolytes, such as
potassium, magnesium, sodium and chloride, as well as biotin, selenium, vitamin E and vitamin C.
Fresh water should always be available year round. However, if they have just finished a hard
exercise, they should not be allowed to drink until they have cooled down to avoid lameness, muscular
or colic problems.
Exercise and Health
Regular exercise is essential. If summer temperatures reach 100 degrees and it is also humid,
miniature horses should not be exercise or they will sweat excessively. Sweating excessively can
cause muscle strain, sprain, tying up, heat prostration, and simple exhaustion.
Above: A Mini Horse is Running With a Standard
Many older horse lovers have switched to miniature horses
because of the fear of injury and long-term recovery issues.
People with disabilities can freely take miniature horses
everywhere. The U.S. Department of Justice has declared that
specially trained miniature horses qualify as service animals
under the ADA.