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Old 05-30-2011, 05:02 PM   #1
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Riding a miniature horse!!!???

Hey everyone!
Quick question...
I dont have alot of experience with miniature horses/donkeys...I have trick trained a couple and I have trained one to drive...
I run a training program and miniatures just are not big in our area...anyway.
I got a email from a 17 year old girl asking me to train her mini under saddle!! Are you suppose to ride a mini? I didnt ask her if it was for a child or not...which I wouldnt see a big deal about putting a little one on a mini...but a teenager or small adult I wouldnt think would be a good idea. But like I said...I dont know awhole lot about mini's. I would just like some insight on this from you mini owners. what is the weight limit for a mini? Thanks!
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:50 PM   #2
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I would think it would would depend on the size of the mini.....and the weight of the rider....
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
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It is my understanding that minis are for halter classes, small cart pulling , and the like but not for riding. I don't think miniature horse means miniature riding-and where would you find tack to fit a little one? Seems it would be extremely stressful on their back and joints.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:40 PM   #4
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Our mini is saddle broke but she came to us that way. The girl selling her rode her into the auction sale pen. We have not ridden her because my daughter is to big and can stand over her. I have seen some really tiny saddles and have been told young children can ride them but I have never seen it.
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:23 AM   #5
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I don't understand how a mini could be started under saddle? Who is the first person to ride? I understand only the smallest children can safely ride them.
I use light weight girls on my shetlands, but they are too big for a mini? So who rides them first? Susan
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:48 AM   #6
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That is a great question who does start it under saddle!!! You are in a pickle! I like to see them pull carts but have never seen a kid ride one.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:01 AM   #7
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I have a mini that is ridden by small children. I have ridden him too (I only weigh 100 lbs and don't ride him long at the time). They are sturdier than you think. There are lots of places that sell tack (including saddles and bridles) for minis. I would have an experienced child or small adult start the mini out. I use my little mini for kids' rides all the time and he is great.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:04 AM   #8
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Riding a Miniature

Of course you can ride a "taller" miniature. Taking in consideration the size of the mini (bigger ones, Class B's) as well as the ability of the child, size, and weight. There are a "ton" of tack shops that sell miniature equipment, both English and Western. My taller mini is right under 38" and is broke to ride. I, personally only like the idea of driving, showing in halter, and jumping, but then again, I only have the one taller mini. If the rider is bigger or the miniature is smaller, please discourage this practice. ALSO, take into consideration most people have NO idea of the true size of a miniature. I had a gal e-mail me she had a mini for sale only to find out is was indeed a pony, over 38" is NOT a miniature!!!!
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:02 AM   #9
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I've owned mini's class A size and B and know alot of people that show mini's on up to shetlands. Mini's are very sturdy animals but would I put an adult or older kid on them....NO. Yes they can probably hold you just fine for a while but what is that doing to their joints/back? There is no way I would ever put more than 60lbs on a Class B size mini, class A no one should be riding! They can be taught to drive no problem but you must make sure that your cart is very well balanced!
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:25 PM   #10
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I have one mini that is used in my pony ride business/he uses a 10 inch saddle and I use him for one year old's parties. Those children usually weight less than 20 lbs. The pictures are adorable and it makes the parents day!

I buy alot of "oversize" mini's for the business too; I use them and have a weight limit of 75, unless they are older then they get down to 65. They are great because we do alot of work in the inner city and it is less scary to city kids to have a smaller pony.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:39 PM   #11
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The minis that I saw at a show, I would hate the idea of being ridden. They had such fine, delicate bones.
Now my neighbor has a mini with good, solid bones that I had no issue with their small children riding. The difficult part would be finding someone small enough with the experience to start.
Of course that is why I get so irritated when "all" ponies get a bad rep, simply because they just never got trained!

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Old 05-31-2011, 09:33 PM   #12
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Thanks for the replys everyone. I only weigh 110. I guess she dosnt want him ridden yet because he is only two. She just wants me to get him used to a saddle on him.
She said that the main reason she is sending him for training is to fix his bad habits. He rears,bites and kicks, and is hard to catch. So I will not be riding a mini.
Just fixing his bad habits.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:05 PM   #13
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Sorry, I can't resist. Can't you just pick them up and shake them, when they kick , rear or bite?
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:17 AM   #14
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^LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! All I can see in my head is somebody picking it up like a child, looking it square in the eyes saying "NO!"

Small children I think are fine with riding taller miniatures. There are some super tiny miniature horses that I would never put anything on though, IMO. When we had a miniature gelding that we were fostering my nieces and nephews rode him but he was 36", stout and they were all under age 9 and weighed as much as a sack of potatoes.

We have a Shetland currently that kids still poke around on.

They do have miniature tack but you usually can only find it online.
If the world were truly a rational place, men would ride sidesaddle.

Last edited by Chickadeez; 06-01-2011 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:57 AM   #15
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I wont be riding this boy. I dont know if shes planning on riding him eventually or not.
Hes 37" is what she said.
But, Im getting him in for training next week! To correct some bad habits of his. Looking forward to's are so cute!!
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:31 AM   #16
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Hope she, or any other adults, don't plan on ever riding this mini....

have fun with his training!
If the world were truly a rational place, men would ride sidesaddle.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:47 AM   #17
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Good luck with the mini. They can be a pain to work with as they are so short so you have to be careful not to pull UP on their halters to correct them, and they can really root down on you!
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:38 AM   #18
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We have a mini who is just under 38" and my daughter rode him, lead line style when she was very small. He's a stocky guy, not registered, so we always wondered if he was even 100% mini or if he has some Shetland in there. We was not trained under saddle when we got him, but was very well trained to drive. We introduced the saddle, some weight, and then the child with two adults there to pull her off if needed. However he never even blinked an eye at the whole process. At age 4 my daughter could ride him on her own, although he never did understand leg pressure! Of course at about age 6 she outgrew him completely so now he only drives... and hangs out and looks cute!

If I were training a mini "under saddle" I'd start by training them to drive. Get them to accept the harness, rein control, voice signal s down well first, but that's just me! I have very "little" mini experience... just have the one.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:50 AM   #19
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Weight Limit

I was told by an Equine Vet several years ago that the rider on any horse should not be more than 25% of horses weight, he stated that this could cause serious injury to the horses back, joints, and tendons.

I would assume this would be the same for Miniatures, so if you had a 250 pound miniature I would think you would want a rider that weighted more than 65 to 75 pounds..

Just my 2 cents!
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:02 PM   #20
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Individuals just like driving, showing in halter and jumping idea, but then again, I have only one more mini. If the driver is large or miniature, please stop this practice...
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