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Mini Information ...


What is a Miniature Horse

Miniatures for The Entire Family

Miniatures Nutrition

Miniatures Housing

Miniatures Hoof Care

Miniatures Dental Care

Grooming Miniatures

Veterinary Care

Choosing the Right Miniature

Future of the Miniature Horse

 

What is a Miniature Horse?

Today, the American Miniature Horse is one of the world's fastest growing and most beloved equine breeds. Classically elegant , gentle by nature and appealing to people of all abilities, this small and unique equine - standing no taller than 34 inches at the withers as measured from the last hairs of the mane - is truly the "Horse For Everyone." Today's stylish and perfectly proportioned miniatures are the product of nearly 400 years of selective breeding. Although many purchases and breeding of miniature horses have been regularly documented in America since the early 1800's, accurate accounts and pedigrees were not maintained by most breeders until the 1940's. With the recently closed registry of AMHA, breeders will now be required to maintain accurate pedigrees on all of their stock and foals may not be registered unless both the parents are also registered with AMHA.

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Miniature Horses Are for the Entire Family

"The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man" This statement can be applied to any size horse and all people , young or old.

A small child may be afraid of a standard-size horse, yet the same child will show an eagerness to embrace and hug a miniature foal. Older people (no longer as mobile as they might like to be) who cannot mount a full-sized horse can still enjoy driving a miniature horse and showing it in Pleasure Driving, Roadster or Obstacle Classes. Handicapped people can also be very competitive in the show ring or perhaps simply enjoy the feeling of mobility while driving a mini around the neighborhood.

Showing a miniature horse can be a family affair as classes are offered for all ages: youth and adult showmanship, driving, halter and costume classes. Caring for these small horses is easy and can be performed safely by almost any age. Feeding, washing and grooming are tasks easily learned by a six-year-old.

The most rewarding aspect of miniature horse ownership is the togetherness and sharing that occur as a result. It can be a learning experience for all, and everyone will enjoy a renewed sense of accomplishment. The thrill and satisfaction that come from winning that first ribbon make all the hard work worthwhile.

Guiding a young child in the proper care of the miniature horse will teach discipline, responsibility and respect. A child's self-esteem will be enhanced from the praise received for a job well done.

In the show ring, one learns competitiveness and sportsmanship. to win is exciting, but to lose and congratulate the winner builds character which carriers over into other aspects of life.

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NUTRITION for the Miniature Horse:

It's important to understand the nutritional needs of Miniature Horses.

Miniatures are prone to overeating and can develop problems from excessive food intake. Nutrition for Miniature Horse is similar to that for large horses but the differences in body size must always be considered.

Miniature Horses will normally require a daily ration of grain and hay. Two feedings daily are the minimum when feeding Miniature Horses because of the size of their intestinal tract and the need for continual movement of food in their system.

Plenty of clean water should always be available. Pasture access must be limited when the grass is long and lush or founder (a painful and crippling condition) may result. As with all horses, feeding should be tailored to the individual animal.

Check with your veterinarian on an appropriate feeding program for your particular horse.

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HOUSING:

Miniatures, though small, are hardy animals. They thrive on pasture, sunshine and room to run and play. If you are not planning to show your American Miniature Horse, a three-sided, run-in shed for protection from cold winds and wet weather is usually sufficient shelter. During the show season, show horses are usually kept in individual stalls in a barn, but keep in mind they still need turn-out time to run and play.

HOOF CARE:

Hoof care in Miniature Horses is essential. Owners need to have young horses' feet trimmed at an early age to help avoid any conformational problems. Hooves should be picked out every day and trimmed for balance on a regular schedule. Try to choose a farrier who specializes in working with Miniatures. Neglected or improperly trimmed feet can cause serious problems.

DENTAL CARE:

Miniature Horses should have their teeth checked at an early age. It is easier to do routine dental care rather than to wait until the teeth (and the problem) become challenges. Proper, routine dental care and maintenance is a very important aspect of horse ownership

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GROOMING:

WHETHER your American Miniature is a show horse, breeding stock, or companion, regular grooming is an essential aspect of his total care. Not only does the horse benefit from your grooming, he also becomes accustomed to your touch. This creates a special bond between you and your horse. When grooming, always brush and comb with the hair, never against it. This will keep coat soft and shiny and the mane and tail free of tangles. During fly season, the horse will appreciate a light covering of fly spray. While bathing is occasionally necessary and an important part of the process, Miniatures should not be bathed too frequently as bathing removes much of the natural oil from a horse's coat.

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THE DOCTOR:

VETERINARY CARE:  If you purchase an American Miniature Horse from someone in your area, ask that person to recommend a local veterinarian. You and your veterinarian will want to establish a comprehensive health program for your Miniature, which should include a regular immunization schedule. They type of immunizations required for your horse will vary depending on your intended use and geographic location.

You will also need to develop a deworming program for your Miniature Horse. All horses are prone to internal parasites and these parasites can severely affect your Miniature Horse's general health and performance if left unchecked. Your veterinarian will suggest a deworming schedule based on your horse's living environment and geographic location. In general, it is a good idea to have a veterinarian who is familiar with your horse and his health history so the best possible care can be provided in an emergency situation.

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT MINIATURE:

After discovering the wonderful qualities American Miniature Horses possess and realizing how easy and inexpensive it is to care for them, it may be time to find one of your very own.

The first thing to consider is what you plan to do with your Miniature Horse. While everyone loves to watch a flashy, spirited Miniature it may not be the right horse for you if your interest is in pleasure driving or you are a beginner at showmanship. Take the time to look for that special American Miniature Horse that is just right for everything you want to do.

Once you have the criteria for your choice of an American Miniature Horse, you're ready to begin the selection process.

The Associations have informative websites, http://www.amha.com and http://www.shetlandminiature.com , which contain a wealth of information and photos as well as a list of sponsor farms, clubs, and businesses. When requested, AMHA & AMHR will also provide you with a directory of breeders and local clubs.

It is a good idea to make an appointment to visit the farm or breeder when you have located a Miniature Horse you want to see. Feel free to ask questions.

Ask about the horse's height, health history, level of training, previous use, and why the owner is selling the horse. Before you purchase an American Miniature Horse, you will want to observe several things. Read the 'Breed Standard of Perfection'.

Check carefully for signs of general good health and vitality: a shiny coat, bright eyes, and alert attitude are some of the things you will want to see. How does the horse act toward people? Is he friendly?

Finally, make sure all paperwork is in order. You should receive a signed Transfer Form and/ or Bill of Sale provided by AMHA or AMHR and the original Registration Certificate. Check to make sure you are purchasing the animal from the last recorded owner on the Registration Certificate.

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Future of the Miniature Horse  

The goal of any breed organization is the integrity and maintenance of bloodline records. Since the first Miniature Horses of the Middle Ages, this unique animal has survived and thrived. The Miniature Horse industry now has an exciting, financially rewarding and personally satisfying future. As more and more people discover these classically beautiful horses, their popularity and value will continue to grow.

When you purchase your first American Miniature Horse, you become part of this industry. And whether your goal is the show ring, breeding, or the pleasure of having a wonderful equine companion in miniature, your participation will be an unsurpassed experience

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