My horse is lonely but I don’t want another full sized horse and there are two many coyotes here now for goats/sheep without a LGD which I also don’t want. I would like to find a mini to have or just borrow even but I can’t seem to find where people might advertise them. They don’t seem to show up here on CL. I’m in Panama City which is a bit out of the way for horses. I can probably find someone to go pick one up about 2 hours from here. Are there mini lists/forums/etc. that are not showing up on my searches?
Can’t help with sourcing but if you are considering a burro please consider 2, really no more work and they thrive with a burro buddy. My retired mare has a 2 mini donkey “posse” and is very happy. Also easier to have 2 so when you ride/travel with your horse no one is home alone.
Ask your vet; put a notice on the tack store and feed store bulletin boards, if they have them. Vet is most likely to know of needy animals, IMO.
Consider a small or medium pony, as a small mini (under the 39" limit) could be coyote bait.
Even if not killed, a pack could do some serious injury to a mini.
I’d agree to the Double Mini-donk solution, but they can be so godawful LOUD!
If you have neighbors closer than a mile, the sound can carry & they might not be amused
Look on some of the Georgia/South Georgia Facebook groups, I see minis often. Also I would look on some South Georgia Craigslist pages
2 donkeys are happy donkeys and a lots less noise, at least in my experience. Though I also find a occasional bray hilarious which close neighbors may not.
Rather than wait for a mini to be advertised, put a Wanted ad on craigslist, with a picture of your facility and offer to produce references so they know it’s a safe home. I bet there are lots of minis in backyards whose owners would re-home, but don’t want to advertise (knowing the type of people that respond to free / cheap horse ads).
I would say CL but those people have not realized the lower end horse market around the Southeast has dropped moneywise. There are some auctions around NE Alabama that usually have lots of ponies for sale and the prices have gotten a lot lower the last few sales. I sure wouldn’t bid on anything though unless I could look it over before hand.
Are there any horse rescues around? They sometimes have minis and donkeys too
Not only are minis at risk for being prey, you may find you can’t even keep a mini and a full size horse together due to drastically different forage needs. Most minis need muzzles on grass (doable), but most also can’t have ad-lib hay.
The calorie needs of most ponies presents the same problem
Most donkeys also don’t do well on the same grass and same amount of hay that most horses need
What’s the hesitation on another full sized horse?
I feed 1st cutting grass hay - orchard grass, sometimes has clover and/or Timothy - to my 3 exclusively & have done so for 18yrs & 3 sets of geldings. Including the mini for 6yrs.
Everyone in good health (per my vet).
They share the same decent pastures < “lush” has never been an appropriate description.
Mini gets about 2# of hay in his stall, but routinely shares hay in the same stall as the horse who gets ~5-6#
Hay is fed 3X daily & they have free access to pastures 24/7.
Mini is muzzled 15h/day - muzzle comes off for PM grain (1 cup TC Sr) & at 9-10P, back on at 6-7A.
He threatened laminitis 3yrs ago (when I had fed him whole oats for 3yrs, same as horses), had a flareup the following year, nothing since.
I drive him on trails & roads about twice a month for 1-2h. So in light use.
I know a lady that’s a bit East of Pensacola that has a mini mule looking for a home. The owner is heavily involved in rescue and might be able to point you in the right direction if her mini isn’t the right fit. PM if you like
I agree with the caution that minis can be high-maintenance due to significanty different forage needs. If your horse is on lots of grass, or if you have fencing that a mini could squeeze through, you might be better off to get a pony. I’ve had a mini for 20 years and I love her, but she definitely complicates life on the farm. She runs through the electric fence all fall and winter because her fur is so thick she doesn’t really get shocked. She foundered several times before I figured out how to manage her with grass. And before all that, my big horse didn’t accept her as a buddy so I still had to bring in a boarder to keep him company. Then I had a lonely mini cooped up in a dry lot for half the day. I suggest a pony or horse may be a better option. In the long run, a mini is not much less expensive to maintain than a large horse - mine has probably been more expensive.
I’m pretty sure I’ve read several comments on here about the inadvisability of housing a mini with a full-grown horse because of potential injury to the mini. @TheJenners, didn’t you have to eventually separate your small donkey and horse because the horse was too rough?
I think it would be smarter to get a sturdy quick pony which can hold its own. On that note, it seems like the sturdy pony often ends up being the boss.
I did indeed! Resulted in buying another mini donk to ve a friend to the first mini donk
My mini moved around a lot with my horse in my early 20s. We boarded at 6 different places and only once came across a horse that was a real bully for the mini. But I do find that most large horses want to chase her away for the first while. I have set up some pens that she can escape into but the larger horses can’t get into. Now that she’s at my place, the rule is that if a horse puts the run on her or tries to hurt her, they are evicted. I haven’t had to do that yet, but one mare’s behaviour was borderline, and I have turned away borders who thought their horses might pick on her. She and my gelding have been together for over 20 years and he looks out for her and puts the boots to horses that pick on her too much. It’s cute to watch.
Get a hackney pony. Super cheap in your neck of the woods, easy to handle, fast enough to give your big horse a run for their money. Most can be on grass with no issues and if not muzzling them is easier than minis.
Oooooo! Pasos are really cheap in Florida as well. A little one could be a someday project, or just a pasture ornament. They can be very sweet and fun to handle.
I wondered about this too. @summerhorse, can you give more details?
For several years, my riding horse lived with a standard size donkey. They got along well, even sharing a large barn space at night. But, I always thought they would each be happier with a companion of their own species. I have no rational reason to think this other than most of us, animals and humans alike, prefer to live among our own kind.
Anyway, when the donkey died, I looked for another companion for my horse. I adopted another gelding of similar age and maintenance requirements. (Both are easy keepers, so they need grazing muzzles, limited grazing time when grass is lush, summer grass hay, no grain, and routine vet and farrier care.) The adopted horse doesn’t require any special arrangements–I just care for him like I care for my riding horse. And it does seem to me that my riding horse is indeed happier with his horse companion, even though the adopted guy is definitely the boss. I especially love to see them racing around the fields together, which is something the donkey never did.
Auctions are one source of little equines, but be prepared to quarantine and pay in vet bills what you don’t pay in price. People often drop them off during mixed livestock sales.