Miniature Horses

Breed Information

   Maintaining a Miniature Horse is about 1/10th the cost of maintaining a large size horse. One acre can support as many as three Miniature horses. They can also be easily kept in many backyards. Mini's tend to thrive on pasture, sunshine and room to run and play. They are sometimes prone to overeating, so it's important to monitor their nutritional needs and avoid excessive food intake.

The American Miniature Horse
Official Standard of Perfection

        GENERAL IMPRESSION: A small, sound, well-balanced horse, possessing the correct conformation characteristics required of most breeds. Refinement and femininity in the mare. Boldness and masculinity in the stallion. The general impression should be one of symmetry, strength, agility and alertness. Since the breed objective is the smallest possible perfect horse, preference in judging shall be given the smaller horse, other characteristics being approximately equal.

       SIZE: Must measure not more than 34 inches at the withers, at the last hairs of the mane.

        HEAD: In proportion to length of neck and body. Broad forehead with large prominent eyes, set wide apart. Comparatively short distance between eyes and muzzle. Profile straight or slightly concave below the eyes. Large nostrils. Clean, refined muzzle. Even bite.

        EARS: Medium in size. Pointed. Carried alertly, with tips curving slightly inward.

       THROAT-LATCH: Clean and well defined, allowing ample flexion at the poll.

        NECK: Flexible, lengthy, in proportion to body and type and blending smoothly into the withers.

       SHOULDER: Long, sloping and well-angulated, allowing a free-swinging stride and alert carriage of head and neck. Well muscled forearm.

        BODY: Well muscled, with ample bone and substance. Balanced and well proportioned. Short back and loins in relation to length of underline. Smooth and generally level top-line. Deep girth and flank. Trim barrel.

        HINDQUARTERS: Long, well-muscled hip, thigh and gaskin. Highest point of croup to be same height as withers. Tail set neither excessively high or low, but smoothly rounding off rump.

       LEGS: Set straight and parallel when viewed from front or back. Straight, true and squarely set, when viewed from the side with hooves pointing directly ahead. Pasterns sloping about 45 degrees and blending smoothly, with no change of angle, from the hooves to the ground. Hooves to be round and compact, trimmed as short as practicable for an unshod horse. Smooth, fluid gait in motion.

       COLOR: Any color or marking patterns, and any eye color, is equally acceptable. The hair should be lustrous and silky.

        SHOW DISQUALIFICATIONS: Height in excess of 34 inches. Monorchidism in Senior Stallions. Any unsoundness or inheritable deformity. If in doubt, the show Judge may request the opinion of the show Veterinarian. Non-disfiguring blemishes not associated with unsoundness, or injuries which are temporary, should not be penalized unless they impair the general appearance and or action of the horse.

Comparison Chart Between Miniatures & Full-Size Horses
Factors Of Consideration Miniature Horse Full Size Horse
Purchase Cost $500 to $200,000
Determined by size, conformation, bloodline and show record, The smaller and more correctly conformed, the greater the value.
$500 to Millions
Determined by breed, conformation, genealogy, show record, etc.
Feed Cost Approximately $20-$25 per month/horse (includes feed and hay) $50 to $150 per month/horse
(depending upon use and purpose)
Professional Stable Boarding Cost $50 to $150 per month/horse. Miniature horses can be kept in backyards with a mini barn or shelter, depending upon local zoning laws. $200 to $550 per month/horse.
Depends upon facilities, pasture and riding opportunities.
Training Costs
$200 and up per month/horse
Family involvement is encouraged- even small children can help train a miniature horse
$500 to $??? per month/horse
Depends upon the reputation of the trainer, stable and breed.
Pasture Size
(with supplemental hay and feed)
3 Miniature Horses per acre. Minis can easily be kept in the
average residential backyard depending upon local zoning laws.
Minimum 3-5 acres per horse
$4 to $8 each
$25 to $150 each
$18 to $30 each
$75 to $500 each
Work &
Pleasure Driving
$200 to $400
$750 to $1,400
$350 to $4,000
$1,500 and up
$25 to $65
$20 to $45
Not normally used on mins.
$375 to $1,500
$85 to $200
$40 to $65
$250 and up
$1,000 to $5,000
Farrier Cost &

$10 to $18 per horse
Some owners trim and rasp their own horses hooves due to the decreased hazards associated with a smaller animal.
$20 to $35 per horse
Some experienced and very knowledgeable owners do their own trimming.
Shoeing Usually not done on Miniature Horses Except for corrections or driving on hard surfaces. $50 to $200
Suitability to Ride Children up to 70 pounds may ride depending upon age, height and body type of horse. Children any size and adults can ride. Hazards are greatly increased due to the animal's size, and the degree of training or experience of the rider,
Suitability to Drive Children: 3-4 years and up routinely drive at home, parades and in shows. Adults: A miniature horse can easily pull  1-2 adults in a cart in all gaits. Minimal experience is needed

Children: Questionable.

Adults: Dependent upon experience.


Health Resistance to Disease
Excellent---based on good care.
Treated with same medications as large horses--just much smaller doses.
Excellent---based on good care.
Dosages of medications double or triple the size given to a miniature.
Life Span 20-30 years 20-30 years

Veterinary Care

Same as for larger horses.

Same as for miniatures.

Medications & Worming
Determined by weight of horse-greatly reduced dosage due to smaller size. Determined by weight of horse- 4 to 5 times the cost of miniature due to larger size.
Suitability for Handicapped Greatly adaptable to handicapped individuals due to to smaller size and affectionate nature. Difficult for handicapped individuals to handle due to large size and unpredictability.


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