Frequently Asked Questions & Answers (FAQs)
Q. I've just purchased my first Miniature and would like to know what and how much to feed it.
A. Thankfully, Miniature Horses tend to thrive on pasture, sunshine and room to run and play. They are also prone to overeating, so it's important to monitor their nutritional needs and avoid excessive food intake. At the same time, you want to provide nutrition appropriate to your geographical environment and to your horse's age and activity level. We recommend a call to your veterinarian and to some of the Miniature Horse trainers and breeders in your area for information specific to your location.
I can fax you a copy of the breeders in your area from our current Breeders List. You might also want to visit our website where many breeders are listed. Another great source of information is the bi-monthly magazine, Miniature Horse World, provided as part ofmembership in AMHA.
Q. Is it okay to turn my Miniature Horse out with large horses?
A. Ideally Miniature Horses should share their own pasture. While Miniature Horses have been known to successfully pasture with large horses, doing so adds a real and increased risk to the Miniature. One friendly or not-so-friendly kick or bite from the large horse could significantly injure the Miniature.
Q. Do people ride Miniature Horses?
A. Miniature Horses should not be ridden by anyone over 70 pounds; however, Miniatures are extremely adept at learning to drive. Although small children are of the appropriate weight and many Miniature Horses are gentle and willing mounts, as with any combination of horse and child, caution is advised.
Q. What can you do with a Miniature Horse?
A. Practically anything you can do with a large horse (with exception of riding) including training, showing, breeding and having fun. American Miniature Horses are shown at halter, in-hand hunter/jumper, obstacle, showmanship, single pleasure driving, country pleasure driving, roadster, multi-hitch driving, liberty and costume. Because of their size, relatively inexpensive upkeep, gentleness and affectionate natures they also make wonderful equine companions.
Q. How much do Miniature Horses weigh?
A. An average adult may weigh between 150-250 pounds.
Q. Where did Miniature Horses come from?
A. The result of nearly 400 years of selective breeding, historians tend to support the Miniature Horse breed as a derivative of many sources. In prehistoric times small horse breeds were likely the products of surviving harsh natural climates and limited feed. Today, knowledge of genetics has made the possibility of breeding specifically for size a reality.
The first mention of a small horse being imported into the United States was in 1888; and research shows little public awareness of true Miniatures until 1960. Popular belief is that American Miniature Horses utilized the blood of English and Dutch mine horses brought into this country in the 19th century and used in some Appalachian coal mines as late as 1950. The American Miniature Horse, as documented in the pedigrees of Miniatures today, also drew upon the blood of the Shetland pony. Throughout its colorful past, the Miniature Horse breed has been bred for pets, novelty, research, monetary gain, mining work, exhibition and royal gifts.
Q. Can you give me a list of Miniature Horse tack suppliers?
A. I would be happy to send you the "Horse For Everyone" booklet in which tack sponsor listings are included or fax you the listing page. You may also want to look for sponsor links on our website.
Q. Where can I buy a cart for a Miniature Horse?
A. Visit local AMHA-approved shows and talk with exhibitors in the driving classes. Or, I would be happy to send you the "Horse For Everyone" booklet in which tack sponsor listings are included or fax you the listing page. You may also want to look for sponsor links on our website.
Q. Do Miniatures have more reproductive problems than big horses?
A. Miniature Horses have been successfully reproducing for many years. Some deliveries, though, may be affected by the small size of a Miniature mare and, for that reason it is wise to not only practice good pre-natal care but to also monitor mares during actual foaling. Finding a veterinarian familiar with Miniature Horse anatomy and reproduction is also very important.
Q. I want to donate my Miniature Horse to a good home - can you help?
A. As an Association, we are not in the position to move, place or sell horses; however, I can give you the name of a contact in the AMHA approved-club in your area and they may be able to help.
Q Is it true that Miniature Horses are used as guide horses for the blind?
AMHA is not affiliated with the Guide Horse Foundation but we are aware of the press coverage in which such claims have been made.
Q. I'm writing a book and need photos of Miniature Horses. Will you send me some?
A. At this time, AMHA does not own copyrights of photos representative of the Miniature Horse. Photos used for promotional purposes for the Association are provided as a courtesy of AMHA Members. If you would like, we can provide you with breeders in your area for you to contact.
Q. May I have permission to publish photos from your website?
A. At this time, AMHA does not own copyrights of promotional photos. Photos used for marketing purposes for the Association are provided as a courtesy of AMHA Members. Your best source for photos and permission to publish them are individual Miniature Horse Breeders.
A. Contact the AMHA National Office at 817.783.5600 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. I am interested in purchasing a Miniature Horse and would like advice on how to locate a Miniature Horse breeder.
A. A good start is to let AMHA send you the latest Breeders List so you may locate farms in your area. Other steps…
1. Check with multiple breeders.
2. Locate an AMHA club in your area and talk to some of the AMHA Members.
3. Always measure the horse when you purchase it. AMHA transfer documents require both the buyer and sellers signature to verify height. (AMHA will only register 34" and under)
4. Is the seller offering any sort of guarantee. Sometimes if you buy a mare in foal, the seller will guarantee a live foal and/or that the horse will not go over 34".
5. AMHA has a Studbook Online to research pedigrees for AMHA registered horses. If you are going for a specific bloodline this should help you.
6. Become a member of AMHA to receive a bi-monthly magazine called the Miniature Horse World with ads from breeders all over the US. IT also shows the conformation of winning horses in some of the shows. The cost is $75 per year.
7. Take your time! Learn as much as you can before you buy. Information is the key!
You can find more FAQ's here.