Last Updated on February 24, 2022 by Allison Price
Miniature horses are adorable! Although you may know that these miniature horses are quite small, many people have wondered if it was okay to ride one. They are strong and come from the same equine heritage. It is natural to wonder why:
Can you ride an miniature horse? No. Even though they are fully functional horses, the small size of miniature horses means that no one over 70 should be riding them.
This leaves little room for mini horses and mini horse riders. As long as they are handled properly, these barnyard cuties can bring endless joy.Children riding miniature horses.
The History of the Miniature Horse
The result of hundreds upon thousands of years of selective breeding, miniature horses can be described as the product of hundreds of years. Although they are descendants of smaller horses, historians believe that they were bred by humans who took advantage of these shorter breeds and tried to preserve a small bloodline.
Prehistoric horses were likely to have evolved smaller because they needed to survive harsh environments and extremes with little food. This would have been the basis for many generations of smaller horses.
It is believed that American miniatures are descendants of Dutch and English minis brought to the colonies in late 1800s.
History actually mentions the import of small horses into the United States back in 1888. However, the public wasn’t very aware or interested in these animals until 1960.
They were used as work horses and even in the mines until the 1950s. Minis of today are probably a mixture of Shetland pony and original imports.
Why can’t you ride?
Although miniature horses look stocky and heavy, they have a loading capacity. Although there are many sizes available, the maximum size for mini horses is 38 inches.
This pony is smaller than most. Many ponies can’t even bear the weight of an adult.
It is a good rule of thumb to never load a horse with more than 20% of its body weight. In my choosing the right size horse for you height and weight, I discussed the details of this measurement.
Mini horses typically weigh between 250-350 pounds and 50-70 pounds respectively.
Anything more than this puts excessive strain on their backs. It can also cause them pain, fatigue, and other internal problems. They may be unable to walk long distances, let alone trot or canter, if the load is too heavy.
Can Kids Ride a Mini Horse?
We already mentioned that miniature horses should not be ridden by adults. can carry 70 pounds and can be safely ridden by children as small as 8 to 9 years of age.
Children must be taught safe interaction with smaller animals and should always be properly monitored. To ensure that horses are not injured, gentle touch and gentle handling should be encouraged.
Minis make excellent children’s horses because they are smaller and less intimidating than larger horses. They also have been bred over the years to be friendly and docile.
They are affectionate and warm, and children find it easy to connect with them. They are more relaxed than their bigger cousins and have less tendency to take off or buck than a pony.
Before allowing your children ride a horse, make sure they are trained to handle a rider. A miniature horse may look cute and small, but it doesn’t necessarily know how to ride a horse or how to respond to leg and rein cues.
Because miniature horses are too small to be taught to ride, it can be difficult to train them. Mini horses that are able to ride are usually trained on the ground by adults, and then their training is completed under supervision by a more experienced child.
Mini horses don’t learn to ride or be guided by a rider, but instead learn to carry children while being led. These ponies can often be seen at carnivals and fairs as “lead lines”.
The Miniature Shetlands, a subset of miniature horses, are often loved by children. They are one of the tougher and more durable breeds but they are smaller than a normal mini horse. Therefore, they can only be ridden by children up to 60 pounds. They are adorable!
How Old Can Miniature Horses be Ridden?
As with all miniature horses, it is important to wait until the horse is mature before you can ride or drive him. Young horses that are still growing shouldn’t be able to pull or carry weight until they reach maturity.
Miniature horses shouldn’t be ridden before three years of age.
Although it may be cute to “just walk” a child around on a mini-baby horse, it is better to wait until the horse becomes physically mature.
You can help ensure that your miniature horse will continue to be loved by you and your family. You don’t have to worry about her growing up, as there are many other activities you can do.
- Try obstacle courses.
- Ground Driving
- Take a trail ride with your friends.
- Pony/Walk along side the cart, while another horse pulls the weight.
- Refine ground manners
- Pony parties with paint
- Photos / Photo shoots
- Enjoy the cuteness all day!
What Can You Do with a Mini Horse?
You can do almost everything with a miniature horse, but you cannot ride a horse of any size.
They are perfect for showmanship because of their adorable appearance. Their ability to learn quickly and bond with others makes them great at in-hand classes. Although you may not be able ride them on a trot or through jump courses, you can lead them!
The costume class is another fun way to showcase minis. They are easy to dress up because of their small stature and easygoing nature.
They make excellent companions for horses on the pasture.
Although their small size makes them not ideal for horseback riding, mins are great driving horses and even the American Mini Horse Association recommends that they be trained for this purpose.
Mini horses can pull 150% of their bodyweight, which is quite a bit more than the 20% they can haul as a direct load.
It will take some getting used to driving and some desensitizing from the natural spookiness that comes with pulling a cart behind you. Once they get used to it, their natural intelligence, willingness to please, and willingness to drive make them great candidates.
A lot of equipment is required, such as a cart, special bridle and harnesses, driving whips, and other special equipment. But the good news? They are unlikely to outgrow it and can use it on many other mini horses.
Mini Horse Owner
There are several things you should keep in mind if you’re considering buying a mini horse. Second, just as Great Danes can live up to 10 years, but a chihuahua could live to their 20s, so too do smaller horses live longer than larger ones.
How long does a miniature horse live? Miniature horses tend to have a shorter lifespan than larger horses. They can live up 35 years with some horses living well past that age.
Because of their small skeletal structures and owners’ tendency to overfeed them, miniature horses are at a greater risk of obesity than larger horses.
Minis can be difficult to adapt to smaller feeding amounts. They also cannot be ridden by adults so they don’t get as much exercise as larger horses.
Minis should eat a minimum of 3.5 lbs of hay per day (approximately 1.5% their body weight).
However, the rest of care for a mini-horse is similar to that for a larger one. You will need to deworm them, take care of their hoofs (shoes or filing), get vaccines and have regular dental work done. They aren’t used as often for riding, so it is important to maintain their health and make sure they get plenty of exercise.
Mini horses are like miniature candy bars in the horse world. Do you want to ride them? If you’re over 9, the answer is no. However, this does not mean that you can’t enjoy them in other ways. A miniature horse can be an excellent addition to your farm, and a loyal companion for many years.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!