Mystique Arabian Stud Miniature Horse Farm
Commonly Asked Questions about Minis!
What Exactly is a Miniature Horse?
… ”Minis” are simply a scaled down replica of a full size horse! They have an 11 month gestation and average birth height of 18”. They reach 90% of their adult height in their first year, reaching maturity in 3 to 5 years. Minis come in all different body types as characterized by full size horses, from miniature draft horses to quarter horses and Arabians! They also come in all colors imaginable from varying shades of solids, to roans, pintos, appaloosas and pintaloosas!
Where did Minis come from?
The result of selective downbreeding, Minis were originally bred as novelties by 16th Century European Royalty. In later years they were bred to be small pulling machines that could transport coal-filled rail carts through the dark damp mines of early Europe. The original miniature horse was a small stout animal fully capable of pulling several times its own weight. The minis had to be sturdy, determined and durable, just to survive. This was not a task that won blue ribbons however, in the hearts of many; the mini won an admiration that exists today!
The American Miniature Horse, as we know it today, was derived from many sources. It utilized the blood of the English and Dutch mine horses that were brought to this country in the 19th century and were used in the Appalachian coal mines as an experiment. Because of the Industrial Revolution, automated machinery soon took their place causing a devastating affect on the miniature horse population.
In the 1930’s, a handful of farsighted American breeders began exploring the genetic traits and attributes of the mini to revive this tiny breed. Using bloodlines of the imported small mining horses and blending them with the blood of Shetland, Hackney, POA, Welsh and small Arabians, breeders began to define the evolution of the mini into the animal we know today.
By the 1960’s, prominent breeders became more serious in their assessment of the American Miniature Horse, leading to the formation of the Breed Registries.
Can Minis be Registered?
Minis ARE recognized by breed registries…the qualifying factor is SIZE! Mature minis measured from the last hair of the mane to the ground must ultimately meet registry height requirements. There are several American Registries that recognize miniature horses. The two most prestigious with worldwide recognition are “The American Miniature Horse Registry” and “The American Miniature Horse Association.” The American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR), formed in 1971 and based in Peoria, Illinois, recognizes a height of 34” and under in their”A division” And over 34” up to 38” in their “B division”. The American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA), formed in 1978 and based in Ft. Worth, Texas, recognizes a height of 34” and under. The American Miniature Horse “Standard of Perfection” calls for a small, well-balanced horse with conformation characteristics that are required of most full size horses. The general impression should be one of symmetry, strength, agility and alertness, with the breed objective being “the smallest possible perfect horse!”
Minis…What are they good for…And, what can you do with them?
…Considered an Exotic by many, Miniature horses are still a rarity in the United States and throughout the World! Like a priceless antique, this factor alone makes them a desirable investment for the business oriented, AND, they can be depreciated as a business asset!
A unique breed, their diminutive size, exceptional temperament and affectionate nature make minis “excellent” pets for animal lovers of all ages! There is no better first horse for a youngster, senior citizen, disabled person or anyone who may be intimidated by the size and power of a full size horse. These precious little animals give unsurpassed enjoyment and satisfaction. Their ease in handling, overall care and minimal space required to keep one, add to the pleasure of owning a miniature horse!
Not only are minis excellent pets…with a disposition similar to that if you crossed a dog with a horse…They are fun to exhibit at breed shows, which are held throughout the Country each year. Here, minis can compete in a variety of classes including conformation, color, hunter, jumper, obstacle, and driving. Often times Miniature Horse Shows run for the entire weekend and are officiated by “licensed judges.” Miniature Harness Racing is a new sport recognized nationally…this is a way to demonstrate your Minis athletic ability, agility and speed! Parades and special events are also great ways to exhibit and enjoy them.
How do you care for them?
Minis have basically the same needs and requirements as a standard size horse…however…you need to think “smaller proportions!” A bale of hay will last a mini nearly a month! A good size backyard will easily sustain a mini with a bit of supplemental feed. Like their big brothers and sisters, minis need their feet trimmed regularly as well as routine inoculations and deworming. Minis are very hardy with long lifespans. Regular grooming, routine care and a little love will keep them happy and healthy for many, many years!
How much do they cost?
Prices vary greatly and depend on quality, type, bloodlines, colors and the current market! Pet quality can sell for as little as $1,000 ; show and breeding quality, or desirable bloodlines and colors can run upwards of $5,000 and easily into the tens of thousands of dollars and more! Many reputable breeders today offer “creative financing” to enable a buyer to purchase, take home and enjoy, the little horse of their dreams…while making monthly payments.
The downside of owning a Mini
A thought to consider before buying…Minis are a type of addiction…like a potato chip…you can’t just stop at one!!!