Reasons your Farm needs Miniature Horses

There are many many reasons to have miniature horses on your farm. Some are fun, some are logical and some you may have never heard of! Find out more facts about these incredible little horses that can make your dream farm better! #miniaturehorses #minihorse #farmhorse

One of the best decisions I've made in my 10 years of having this farm was to add miniature horses to it! They have brought me unbelievable amounts of joy since the first one arrived.
After my first miniature horse, Stormy, I bought 2 mini mares, then traded for 2 more mini mares then was given a miniature horse stud on trade for a future foal.
As much as I love my riding mare I worry about how long I will be able to handle the workload and cost of keeping her. She isn't a hard keeper but she certainly eats a lot more than a miniature horse and she requires shoes because she has tender feet. She also requires much more training than the miniatures do because she doesn't learn as fast. I love her dearly but these are real concerns. There's only so many hours in the day and limited money in the bank.
If you are looking for fun and love horses but are afraid of the common reasons not to get a horse (can be dangerous, expensive to feed, the time commitment for training, high maintenance care cost) then a miniature horse for your farm might be the answer!

5 Reasons to have Miniature Horses on your Farm

Driving miniature horses on your farm

  1.  Driving miniature horses is one of the more expensive activities but I got into it but still for less than the cost of a good riding horse! You can read about that here Driving Miniature Horse on a Budget There are plenty of days I just do not have the energy to clean up and tack up my mare for a ride. It takes me twice as long to groom her as it does a miniature horse. Although riding is relaxing I find driving much more so relaxing! And being able to take my grandson on a cart ride is priceless! I'll never forget that big grin on his face
  2. Safer than a large horse. Especially for someone with no prior equine experience. I learned the hard way that buying a 16 HH horse was not the best option because of my lack of experience with a horse like that and for many other reasons! As someone who is only 5'5 I felt awkward and intimidated working with him. He knew it too! If he got an attitude with me he could really kick out! Meanwhile, training miniature horses isn't intimidating at all! It's fun and if they kick out with some attitude and do get me (which they never have..yet) it's not likely to be life-threatening like it was with the bigger horses. I also feel much better with my grandson around the little ones too. Even a docile large horse can seriously hurt someone and not even mean too.
  3. Easier to train. I find them to be extremely fast learners! What takes my miniature horses to learn in a couple of days takes my riding mare and other larger horses I've worked with weeks to learn! If ever! Which works nicely for me because I'm used to training poodles and Dobermans, which learn extremely fast. I call my minis the poodles of the horse world :-) Training a miniature horse is a blast! Here is one of my Pinterest boards on Liberty Training which they excel at! Liberty Horse Training Ideas 
  4. Economical. Common sense is going to tell you they eat less than a big horse! Much less! But did you know it actually cost more to keep one of my dogs than a mini horse? They also do not need to be trimmed by a farrier as often as big horses. Honestly, if you've trimmed a goat, sheep or alpaca you can trim your miniature horses' hooves and save even more money which is what I have learned to do.  I will admit you can get a little crazy with the tiny cute tack, thank goodness for craigslist and ebay where I can usually find good deals! But it is really not necessary for my miniature horses to have purple leg boots and matching halters! or is it ;-)
  5. Pasture and yard maintenance No kidding around here! My miniature horses eat weeds and browse better than my goats did! They are not picky at all! Keeps the pastures and the yard looking nicer! Yet they don't completely destroy pastures and pull roots up like sheep do!
Miniature horses actually do a better job of eating weeds that goats without destroying pastures like sheep! #miniaturehorse #farmhorse
Comanche enjoying weeds in the vineyard area that had been closed off all summer.

Miniature Horses as Farm Work Horses

Those are some logical and even fun reasons to keep miniature horses on your farm. Now here are some reasons to keep miniature horses for a more serious-minded homesteader who wants more contribution from their farm animals!

  1. Using a miniature horse for farm work is a real thing! I'm currently working with one on my stockier bodied miniature horses hoping to prepare him for some hauling work with a wagon. Most people don't realize that miniature horses were once used to work coal mines! These strong little workhorses were put to work at 4 years of age and retired in their late teens. They hauled heavy coal all day, lived in the minds stables and were known as 'pit ponies'. Here is an article on  Celebrating Pit Ponies. Now obviously I'm not suggesting we work our miniature horses like this but the article shows what they were bred for and are very capable of working! For a more recent look into farmers using miniature horsepower, check out this article from small farmers journal on Mini Horse Haying
  2. Mare's milk is a real thing! If you've been on my blog at all you'll know I'm a huge fan of donkey milk because it improved my health! Here are some of my posts on the subject Donkey Milk Posts. But Mare's milk has a similar nutritional profile making it a wonderful choice for an alternative for people who have digestive issues and milk allergies like me! Much like donkey milk, Mare's milk is not a new thing either Wikipedia Mare's Milk! And it's still widely used in parts of Asia and making a comeback in parts of Europe! You can read about Mare's Milk benefits in this article Milk and Health Mare's Milk. For taste and health benefits equine milk is definitely my choice for milk! I can feed a mini mare for less than a dairy goat which saves me money on a very useful medicinal food source we need.
  3. Horse manure makes big gardens possible! It wasn't until I brought in the donkeys that I had enough compost to fertilize my own gardens without having to bring any in! Donkey manure breaks down faster and isn't as nutrient dense as horse manure though. Horse manure is actually slightly higher than cow manure in nutrients! And nowhere near as smelly as poultry manure! Its less likely to spread a disease to humans and properly dried makes a good fire starter! Some farmers even report it keeps deer out of gardens like in this article Mother earth News: Oh Deer not horse manure! Deer often graze with my horses so I don't think they dislike horses on my farm. But overall, Horse manure makes all my gardens possible, which is a huge part of our self-reliance and the main way out of the grocery stores!
So as you can see there are some very practical reasons to keep miniature horses (and donkeys) on a working farm!
Keeping miniature horses on a farm provides enjoyment, pasture management and help with farm work amount other things! #farmhorse #maresmilk #miniaturehorses

Already have a horse or donkey? You can check out my

Looking for healthy ways to keep your costs down on equine check out my DIY herbal health and grooming recipes
Rain Rot Remedy
Homemade Fly Repellent

There are many other reasons the keep miniature horses on a farm, I'm sure! Especially for a horse lover who can't ride or doesn't have room or money for a big horse. They are amazing little equine and have brought huge joy to me every day I go out to the barn and see them. Their energy is contagious! It's impossible to be unhappy when one of my little guys comes up and nuzzles me for scratches. If I'm feeling a little lazy with my workouts I know I can halter up a mini horse who is always ready for a nice hike.
So, although my mare was the one who got me into fitness so I could ride better, my miniature horses actually help keep me motivated! So many reasons, my friends, so many reasons :-)
They have truly been a blessing on our farm.

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