Miniature horses are often neglected and abandoned
It is easy to be seduced by a cute animal! Miniature horses are certainly appealing and have become incredibly popular in recent years. Unfortunately, many of these little chaps have become victims of the trend for designer pets. Owners have been fooled into thinking that the diminutive horses are easier to care for than their larger cousins and then experience a rude awakening.
Purchased in Haste
Many miniature horses are neglected or abandoned when their owners tire of looking after them or realise that they simply can’t afford them. Animal charities are warning that too many people are purchasing miniature horses in haste as designer accessories, mirroring the trend for designer dogs.
Horses for gardens
Small breeds such as Falabella and miniature Shetland are growing in popularity, partly because buyers believe they will be able to accommodate the horses in their gardens. But the horses should be cared for in the same way as larger horses and these breeds can suffer from excessive weight gain, problems with sugar levels and dental issues. They can be more difficult to look after than other breeds, not easier.
Issues with obesity
Miniature horses walk long distances in the wild and so being confined to a small area like a domestic garden increases their tendency to become obese. Some eventually become so obese that their legs cannot bear their weight and they have to euthanised. Too many of these horses are being bought by people who have little or no knowledge of how to look after them properly and who are shocked to discover that they can be as costly to own as an average sized horse.
The tiny horses are not the cheap option that they might appear to be, especially when health issues set in as a result of the obesity and the vets bills begin to rise. They are purchased as pets but they are not like dogs and they are much more expensive to house and feed. To make matters worse, some unsuspecting new owners are investing in two or more miniature horses and then the costs quickly spiral out of control.
Miniature horses are the new micro pigs
The current trend mirrors the craze for keeping micro pigs which also resulted in many owners finding themselves out of their depth and with animals that they could not cope with. It would appear that small breeds of any animals run the risk of becoming a fad.
No resale value
There are more and more miniature horses being abandoned as they have little or no market value and are difficult to sell on. Rehoming charities do usually manage to find homes for the really small horses but 12-13hh ponies are very difficult to rehome. These horses are an in-between size and are too small for adults to ride but too big for small children and may not have appropriate temperaments for youngsters.