Miniature horses are smaller than the average pony. Many of them are bred exclusively for their small size and people often get the two confused. Sure, both the miniature horse and the pony are small equines, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. What we can all agree on is that these small creatures are a delight to have around and be around due to their cuteness and calm temperament. What are for the classifications of “pony” or “miniature horse” Let’s examine the facts.
Miniature Horse vs. Pony: What is the Difference?
The Miniature Horse is considered a unique breed, a little scaled down version of a larger sized horse, measuring no more than 34 inches at the withers. The Miniature is a fairly new breed that is gaining in popularity due their appeal with children and adults alike, especially adults with a disability who can no longer manage a large horse and they are sometimes used in therapy or as guide animals. Miniature horses can be used for showing, harness, performance (trail, jumping, and hunting), breeding and most importantly, pets. A miniature horse is capable of pulling a small cart with two adults for at least 10kms. The preparation for showing and presentation is as involved as with normal size horses, even though they are small they require many hours grooming and exercising and there are Saddle companies that make special miniature tack for these wonderful small pint sized horses.
The Miniature Horse is a creature of very high intelligence, curiosity, alertness and friendliness. Minis are usually made as pets because of their gentle nature, but they still need to be treated just like a horse – which means they should also be given proper housing, nutrition, space to roam around, grooming, dental and hoof care, deworming program, and annual vaccinations.
Clearly, minis do not need as much space as a full-sized horse, but still they need their own space to move about freely. Minis can get along just fine when pastured with other horses, but being kicked and bitten can result to serious injury for the little one. Should you turn out your mini with other horses, make sure your give access to water that the smallest one can easily get to. Minis possess beautiful locks of hair which can be considered cute and adorable. But too much hair can lead to problems like overheating, as well as an invitation to equine parasites. It is better to clip the hairs at least twice a year to help them keep cool and reduce the possibility of skin infections or parasite problems. Miniature horses are prone to obesity. They should not be overfed for this reason, and also because they are easy keepers. A healthy weight should be maintained for the minis and ponies.
The Pony – Who doesn’t want one?
Ponies, on the other hand, have been around for hundreds of years. People often get the two confused, or think that they’re synonymous. While the two do share many characteristics, of course, they’re entirely different types of equine. Also, ponies range widely in size, from very small to breeds that are almost as large as a regular saddle horse.
The major difference between the miniature horse and the pony is that they are built differently. A pony is typically considered an equine under 58 inches tall when it reaches adult height, but a pony also has other distinctive characteristics other than just its small size. For example, most pony breeds have thick, broad bodies and thick necks and thicker mane and tails. They also have legs that are proportionately shorter for their body than a horse exhibits. Some pony breeds also have broad heads, especially through the forehead, along with larger eyes. Some ponies also have large hooves for their size.
Pony breeds today are used for competition and recreation, but there are also those that are used for work, such as pulling carts or as a vehicle. They are popular among children, which made them a favorite in summer camps, carnivals and even parties.
They are intelligent and can be great in training with pleasant temperament. A well trained pony makes it easy for children to mount them as their size is not intimidating and can be a perfect match for the child’s strength. Ponies can be very sociable creatures and that mean turnout is required regularly if they are kept in stall boxes. Regular grooming is also required. Their feet are tough and require regular trimming but not necessarily shoes. The best diet for ponies is low carbohydrate and low fat meals and with little to no concentrates.
Miniatures and Ponies are special breeds of horses that are cute, adorable, wonderful unique animals Of course any breed of horse can be a challenge to care for and raise, but if you familiarize with the specific needs of a breed and their temperament you will have great success and many memorable moments.