They are adorable and no bigger than some dogs, so the temptation to keep one in your house is strong, but can you house train a miniature horse? It is important to remember that despite its small size, a miniature horse is still a horse. You cannot train a miniature horse in the same way as a dog.
How Big Is A Miniature Horse
Miniature horses are different from Shetland ponies. They have a much finer build, much like a full-sized horse. A miniature horse is similar in size to many large dog breeds.
The average miniature horse stands between 34 and 38 inches tall. They weigh up to 200 pounds. Because of this small size, it is tempting to want to keep them in the house as a pet.
However, horses have different behaviors to dogs and are much more sensitive to what they eat. This means ensuring your miniature horse does not get into anything it shouldn’t; easier said than done!
How Often Do Miniature Horses Go To The Bathroom
You can train a dog to hold it for long periods, so they don’t relieve themselves inside. Horses are a different story. As horses are grazing animals, they are designed to eat for up to 20-hours a day.
As a result of how their bodies function, miniature horses poop several times a day. It is not healthy for a horse to hold it, like a dog, as this can lead to digestive problems. Also, a horse will not give the signs you’d expect to signal that they need to go outside.
While a miniature horse will not pee as frequently as it poops, it will still do this three or more times a day. You must consider all of this when thinking about house training a miniature horse.
Can You House Train A Miniature Horse
The answer to this is certainly debatable. Some will say, yes, it is possible. According to the Guide Horse Association, “when a miniature horse is fully trained, it can avoid elimination for up to six hours.” Here’s an adorable house-trained miniature therapy horse showing how it is done.
How Is A Miniature Horse House Trained
Miniature horses like to relieve themselves in the same location. When training them, pick a spot and take them there consistently. Make sure to keep this area clean. Use a reward-based system and never punish your miniature horse. Punishment will only create fear and achieve nothing.
Decide on a trigger word for urination and pooping. Say this word every time you want your horse to relieve itself. As soon as the horse does what you want, reward it greatly with pets and a small treat. Repeat, repeat, and repeat everything with consistency. Patience is key, and the process can take longer than potty training a dog.
You should note that even though some say that a miniature horse can hold it for up to six hours, this is not ideal. Horses need regular bowel movements to avoid impaction, which can cause colic. It is best to take your miniature horse outside to relieve itself as much as possible.
The temperament of your miniature horse also affects if it is suitable for house training. All horses are curious. Some horses love to pull at and chew on things, it’s extremely difficult to stop this personality trait. Look for a miniature horse that does not have this trait, otherwise, you will end up with a very messy house!
Due to their trainability and generally quiet temperaments, miniature horses are increasingly used as therapy animals. To do this job, they require training on how to behave in an indoor environment. Some miniature horses have even taken to the sky, traveling as service animals.
Miniature Horses Are Still Horses
While they are small and cute, it is important to remember miniature horses are still horses. Horses like spending time outside. Make sure you have a suitable, safe outdoor space for them to play and graze.
Miniature horses need constant access to forage, such as grass and hay. At the same time, you need to manage their intake carefully, as they can quickly become obese. Hay is messy, so you need to think about how to manage this in your house.
Yes, you can house train a miniature horse. But to do so, you need to understand the specific needs of horses. If you are inexperienced in this area of horse training, it is best to hire a professional to help you.
Remember that miniature horses need lots of outside time and regular exercise. Consistency is the key to successfully training your horse. Create a strong bond, and you will have a fantastic companion for many years.