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Mini Horse Information

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Join date : 2016-06-24

Good Mini Horse Information

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:29 pm

In the past, there have been many discussions about Service Horses . Though this is not as new as one may think, it's just becoming more and more known through the media. Mini's and and even Ponys' have been used for therapy and for the physical and mental challanged individuals (adults and children alike) in the late '80's yearly '90's. In the late 1900's mini horses became Guide Horses although not many people have seen many or heard of such.

For those who may be interested in mini Horses as a service animal, well here is some research that I did awhile back.

To find the information, I had to go outside the disable community, mainly to trainers and rescuers, as well as pet owners. It was amazing to hear that as many Service Dog owners, trainers, and schools thought these animals would not make the cut per say as a service animal, that is how many if not more people that didn't work with any type of service dog that said they don't see why mini's couldn't be trained as a Service Animal.

Here's what I found out and it was quite interesting:

Argentinian Fallabella: Are the only True mini horse. Their height is 24 -34 inches (no more) this is no larger than large dogs such as Great Danes, Northern Sheps, etc.

All other so called, 'mini horses' are actually only Miniaturized versions of regular size horses: Appaloosa's, Paints and etc.

Other Small breeds include, the Welsh Mountain, and the Shetland (usually used for therapy), but they are truly ponies and not mini horses (they are Under 14.2 hands).

Genetic Problems: Miniatures don't have any more problems than a full size horse. Cushing's Disease will curtail the activities of a horse but this is usually in older horses (approximately 20 years). Occasionally, younger horses will also get the disease. Laminitis may also be a problem, again usually in older horses, or those kept in poor conditions. Prior to Laminitis you often see problems with the feet; 'foot rot' and damaged frogs (a part of a horse's foot and nothing to do with green amphibian hoppers!!!)

Cost: A mini horse is much like the cost of a puppy. The average cost of a mini in the Northeast is between $400 and $1000. Cost to maintain probably no more than a dog! (Assuming you feed high quality dog food). Though storage for the feed is quite a bit more than a dog. Mini's require little, if any grain. Vet visits and hoof trimming may be slightly higher than the average dog vet bills, but not by much.

Equipment: Well it's the same way as training your Service Dog. They too must be taught to wear equipment whether be just a leash/collar or as elaborated as guide harness. After all you don't just put a harness on a dog and expect them to understand and know what it's all about.

Horses are taught using a training aid called circingle. It's a little like a regular girth strap or cinch, but has rings through which, normally, reigns for the bridle or long reign are attached.

Shoes: They are usually the best thing for mini's because they may slip and slide not to mention to protect their hoofs. Some service dogs are starting to wear booties for the same reasons. Again these are things that needs to be taught.

Training: Mini's are trained basically just like dogs, though they are not food motivated but are trained using the clicker technique. This could be a plus sign. They also learn voice and hand signals and could learn ASL too. And just like dogs they have to be taught the Basics, Socializing, and the Formal Training. This takes time, patients, consistence and lots of praise. Without this you have a poor team but this is the same with dogs too.

Horses enjoy being around people, and also must be taught at the early age to be around other animals (socializing). If not they may have a tendency to be a little flighty (wild dogs and wolves are predators of horses.) Because of this, an extensive program of training foals, would be the only safe way to go. All horses have to be road safe too (Safety Protocol).

They can be taught to lie down under the table as well. As far as curling up, well the vets have been seeing some health problems in our dogs (such as hip and elbow). So now some trainers, schools are teaching a more informal down (down/rest) instead of the formal down/stay. The difference is that the dogs may move around a bit on a down. No this doesn't mean the dogs should stand up to move.

Mini's must be taught the Basics this is the foundation work for all training. They must be socialized, be around people, animals, sounds, traffic, etc. Then they must be taught the Formal Training as well.

Horses are not for everybody, well that could be said about dogs too. Though before choosing, as you would choose the breed of a dog that's right for you, one must do their homework. Hopefully this has enlighten some.


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