Small but mighty

By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

Miniature horses are exceptional equines bred to be no taller than 38 inches. However, that diminutive size can be both a blessing and a curse.

Minis tend to have problems with obesity, because some owners feed them like a larger horse and exercise them like a house pet. Dental problems are also common due to crowding of teeth in a petite head. Mini mares can have difficulty giving birth as foals try to pass through the small pelvic canal. Another difference between regular horses and smaller steeds is hyperlipemia [hy‐per‐li‐pe‐mi‐a]. If a Mini doesn’t eat much for just 24 hours, fat starts to break down and move to the liver for energy production. The result can be fat-saturated blood and life-threatening liver damage.

Minis are small but mighty, with gentle hearts. Just be sure you’re aware of their special health concerns before bringing one home.