A lot of people love to have pets. They like the idea of having a furry and adorable creature around the house that they can cuddle, tickle and treat as family. But there has been a growing trend of adopting mini horses as pets. They are lovable and charming but is it a good idea to treat them like companion animals?
Mary Stewart, the founder and president of Angels for Minis Miniature Horse Rescue, emphasized that in every sense of the word, these animals are horses. She also pointed out that those who want to have mini horses as pets must realize that just because they are cute and cuddly does not mean they will act like a dog or cat. They still retain natural horse behavior and they will act like horses – buck, jump or kick – and bringing them inside the house may mean disaster.
Miniature or mini horses were first bred in the 1600's in Europe. They are the scaled-down versions of a standard-size equine and their height does not exceed 34 inches or a single meter. Because of their small stature, mini horses had been considered as pets by the nobility in 1765 and used in coal mines as mine workers once the use of young kids was prohibited.
Stewart's nonprofit organization has been adopting and caring for this unique breed of equines for a number of years. The mini horse rescue house is dedicated to the rehabilitation of unwanted, abused or neglected minis and the promotion of their health and well-being.
Stewart shared a few things that people should know about getting a mini horse:
- Before adopting a mini horse, make sure to have the experience of being with a standard horse first to help understand the difference between having a horse and a cat or dog.
- Take note that not all horses eat grass. There are some that just cannot take in and digest grass and thus require another food source, like hay.
- Always consider the cost of caring for a miniature horse before adopting one as they require attention and upkeep; an owner should be ready and able to afford to take care of the animal and best promote its health and welfare.
- Minis are herd animals, which means they can depressed when they are removed from their group. For that reason, they should be bought in pairs.
- When considering the adoption of a mini horse, also consider seeking out a veterinarian who specializes in this breed. An owner will want to be able to get at least two check-ups a year for their mini.
Taking care of an animal, be it a dog, rabbit, cat or mini horse, requires passion, commitment and willingness. They may just be animals but they too have feelings and understand whether they are being loved and cared for, or neglected and mistreated.