Love is not enough. Please educate yourself on the proper care of your Miniature Horse. Here are some tips, accompanied by some photos of neglected and abused Minis. These are a handful of the over 80 Miniature Horses who have come to Pipsqueak Paddocks Miniature Horse Haven Society. Most of them have been neglected through ignorance.
– Minis need to have their teeth checked on a yearly basis. They have big teeth crammed in their little mouths. They can get sharp edges, spikes, points and waves. These can impale their gums and lacerate their cheeks. These sores can ulcerate and cause your Mini great pain. They can lose weight from being too uncomfortable to eat enough.
– Minis need GOOD nutrition. Do not feed your Mini “crap” hay because they “get fat on air”. Just because your Mini has a big belly, does not mean that it is fat. We see this time and time again. The big belly can be caused by malnutrition, or internal parasites, not necessarily too much food. They can be lacking in muscle on their topline and have a huge belly. This means that you have the wrong combination of feed, poor quality feed, or that you need to worm your Mini. Consult your vet.
– Your Mini will have a thick winter coat. This coat can hide injuries, parasites, infections and emaciation. Keep that coat groomed and feel through it on a regular basis to be sure your Mini is in good shape.
– A rough coat can be caused by lack of grooming, but usually it is due to lice or other parasites. Internal and external parasites can cause a dull, brittle coat. Itching causes the hair to break and they can keep scratching until they are bleeding. Consult your vet if your Mini has anything but a beautiful, even coat.
– Have a professional farrier trim your Mini’s hooves every six – eight weeks. Minis can be permanently damaged if they are not kept on a regular farrier schedule. No hoof – no horse. Healthy hooves are essential to your Mini’s well being. Lack of hoof care can lead to having to euthanize your Mini.
– Horses need horses. Your Mini should, at the very least, share a fenceline with another horse – whatever the size.
– Be sure that your Mini has a large enough area to run and play. Just because they are small does not mean that they can be kept in a tiny area. Most Minis love to go for walks and there are many sports to try, from horse agility to cross country driving!
– Be sure your equipment fits your Mini properly. Do not leave their halter on long-term. This can cause sores and deaden nerves.
– Geld your stallion. It is NEVER too late to geld a Miniature Horse stallion. It usually improves their attitude and lifestyle. Please, give him a better chance at a decent life. Geldings do not change homes nearly as often as stallions do and they make much better pets overall.
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