What can you do with miniature horses?

For some reason, the most common question that we’re asked is “What can you do with a miniature horse?”  The answer is: lots of things.  They are used for companionship, show, as therapy animals, for investment, or any combination of these things.

Miniatures are great as pets/companion animals.  They’re smaller than “big” horses so they can be kept in the back yard just as you’d keep a dog or cat, and are lower maintenance than other breeds of horses.  They take up less space, eat less, make less of a mess, and don’t require shoes like many other breeds.  They can be handled by children (I started showing when I was 3), or by the elderly (one of our customers bought a mini for his mother’s 96th birthday).  Any age will do.  For people who are intimidated by big horses or had an accident with them in the past, or just don’t have the energy for them anymore, miniatures are the perfect alternative to still be able to enjoy the beauty of the horse.

At shows you can do anything you do with a big horse except for ride.  That might sound like a joke at first, like there’s nothing left if you take riding away, but boy would you be wrong.  The two major associations for miniature horses, the American Miniature Horse Assciation (AMHA), and the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) and their clubs offer halter, color, liberty, showmanship, jumper, hunter, obstacle, driving obstacle, and costume classes to youth, amateur and open exhibitors at local, regional, and world level shows.

Many have probably heard about miniatures being used as therapy animals.  The seeing-eye-miniature horse idea got some publicity for a while there.  However, our favorite use of them therapy-wise is done by Hearts and Hooves.  Hearts and Hooves is a non-profit organization that takes miniatures to hospitals, nursing homes, and many other places to provide emotional healing.

Finally, miniatures, like many other animals, can be used as investments.  Developing a winning history in the show ring can increase a miniatures value, as can breeding.

Lauren Greaves

Posted in Lauren's Articles, Miniature horses | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Color: Appaloosas, Blue Roans, and Grays


Many appaloosas are born with lots of color while others are born solid and gradually acquire appaloosa coloration. It is very difficult to know at birth what color the foal from appaloosa parentage will be. Below is an example of a Xenon-Light Van’t Huttenest son that was born bay. When he was sold at four months of age he showed absolutely no appaloosa characteristics. He had no white hairs, no striped hooves, no scelera, and not even a speck of pink skin. Here you see him pictured at four months, three years, five years, and six years. He is Little America’s X- Skipper and is owned by Billie Lindale in New Jersey.


Here are some typical examples of appaloosa patterns. Pictured below are a snowcap blanket which is said to be homozygous, although currently there is no genetic test to prove this. The horse is Little America’s Tex Lil Feather, a son of Little America’s Sesquicentennial Tex. The next is a black blanketed app, Little America’s Tex Two Timer LHH, another son of Sesquicentennial Tex.  The next is a leopard appaloosa, also by Tex, named Little America’s Tex Kickapoo. I might add that all three of these colts were born the color that they are shown and have pretty much stayed the same color. By the way, the last two colts are out of solid mares with no appaloosa background!

Blue Roans and Grays

The A photo is a mature mare that is a true blue roan. You will see that her legs and head are black but her body is a mixture of black and white hairs making her appear bluish in color. When she has her winter coat she is mostly black.

The photo B is two grey fillies…. a weanling and a two-year old. The weanling was born black and the lighter one was born silver. Both will be white by the time they are eight to ten years of age.

The bottom five pictures are ALL OF THE SAME HORSE at various ages. C is at one day old. You can hopefully see that he shows some white on his nose and over his eyes. By the way, both his sire and dam are grey.

D is the same colt as a yearling. You will notice that he has lots of white hair scattered throughout his face (and also his body which you can’t see in this picture).

E is about three years of age… notice the dark at the top of his tail and his legs are still fairly dark. He is also showing dappling at this age.

F is about a year older … notice his legs have lightened and the tail is lighter. He still shows some dappling, but not as much as the year before.

G is age six… note the tail is almost totally white but he is still keeping some of the black in his mane but all the dapples has disappeared. He is now eight years old… sorry I don’t have a current picture. He is almost totally white… his mane has a slight greyish tint but the body is totally white.

The horse is NFC LA Egyptian King Rapsody…. by Hemlock Brook Egyptian King and out of Soat’s Lil Rapsady… Here is another dramatic example of the greying gene:


Posted in Colors, Miniature horses | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment