How Much Does A Miniature Horse Cost Per Year

Last Updated on March 19, 2022

There is no doubt about the cuteness factor of a tiny horse, but how much does a miniature horse cost per year; is it more than a full-size horse? It is easy to make the assumption that a mini will cost less than a large horse, simply by its size. It is smaller, therefore it will cost less, right?

Cost Of Mini Horse

The first thing to look at when figuring out how much does a miniature horse costs per year is what you can expect to pay to buy one. Just like any type of horse, the price to buy a mini horse varies vastly. You can expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 to $200,000 dollars just to buy the mini.

A lot of variables influence the purchase price. Confirmation, bloodlines, competition records, and size all have an effect. Size is particularly important, with smaller, but with excellent confirmation, miniature horses worth more.

As far as to purchase cost, a miniature horse is no cheaper than a full-size horse in most cases. However, most people are not looking for a show-quality mini and are happy with one as a pet, which is cheaper.

Miniature Horse Care Cost

One area where the cost of caring for a miniature horse is cheaper is land. You do not need as much space for a mini. Instead of the minimum of one acre of land per large horse, you can safely keep up to three miniatures on an acre.

Because of the lower land requirements, it is possible to keep your mini horse at home, provided local laws allow it. You will still need fencing that is safe for their size, especially since these little horses are sometimes great escape artists. It is also necessary to provide a mini with suitable shelter, so they have somewhere clean and dry to escape the elements.

Mini Horse Care Cost

All of the usual horse care costs apply to mini horses. Some of these work out cheaper than a larger horse, but some stay the same.

Hoof Care

It is rare to put shoes on a miniature horse, unless for corrective reasons or driving. However, they still need appropriate hoof care. A mini horse requires regular hoof trims every six to eight weeks.

The cost to trim a mini is sometimes less than a regular horse. It costs between $30 to $100 dollars for each trim. However, some miniature horses need special hoof care on an ongoing basis, which can get costly, even as much as $400 every few weeks.

mini horse care cost

Feeding A Mini Horse Cost

A miniature horse does not eat as much as a bigger horse. This will cost you less in the long term. They still require hay every day, access to grass, and sometimes grain. It is important to carefully manage a mini’s diet so it does not get overweight.

If your mini is on the tubby side, avoiding grain is a good idea. But you will need to supplement some vitamins and minerals to balance the diet. For the essential basic feed, you can expect to pay around $25 a month and up to $550 a year.

While the basic feed will cost you less over time, supplement prices don’t change according to the size of the horse. However, a mini will need a smaller dose, which makes the supplement last longer. While all horses need grass, you have to carefully manage grass access for minis as too much can cause laminitis.

Cost To Keep A Mini Horse

Whether you keep your miniature horse at home or bord it, there are costs involved. Keeping it at home will cost less. If you keep your mini at home, expect it to cost anywhere from $50 to more than $150 per month.

Boarding is considerably more expensive. Some barns will charge less than a full horse bord because a mini will use less food and bedding. However, some will not adjust the price for you.

It can also be difficult to find a barn that will accept a miniature horse because they do not have the right setup. A mini will need suitable, escape-proof fencing and lower water and feed buckets. Boarding can cost anywhere from $300 to $700 per month, depending on the care available and facilities. 

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Vet Care Cost

A mini horse will need regular vet care. This includes yearly vaccinations, health checks, and teeth floating. These costs run at the same amount as regular horses. You can expect to pay at least $200 per year for the basic vet expenses.

However, you must keep in mind that emergencies can occur. A vet will not charge you less, just because the horse is a mini. If possible, it is a good idea to have a relationship with a vet, so that you can get emergency care if necessary.

Some mini horses have issues with their hooves and leg straightness. This requires intervention for the overall health and well-being of the horse. The extra care is lifelong and can considerably add to the annual cost per year.

Training Costs

If you want to do more with your miniature horse, training costs will come into the equation. Driving is a popular activity for mini horse owners. If this is new to you, you will need an expert to train your mini how to drive.

You will also need driving lessons if it is something you don’t have experience with. A driving harness for a mini will cost $400 to $1,400 dollars. A cart costs between $350 to $1,500 dollars. Training will easily cost several hundred dollars.

Check out this team of six miniature horses in driving training.

How Much Does A Miniature Horse Cost Per Year

Overall, how much does a miniature horse cost per year is easy to answer; it is cheaper. When you take out the initial purchase price, you will pay a minimum of $750 per year. However, that is without extras such as supplements, worming, and land maintenance.

If you are thinking about buying a miniature horse, do your research first. Make sure you purchase a healthy horse with little to no health problems. This will help you keep your costs under control.

If money isn’t an object and you want to take in a mini with health problems, there are several excellent rescues. These rescues take these special needs mini in, rehab them and adopt them into suitable homes.

What is the point of a mini horse?

There are many things you can do with mini horse. Many people enjoy taking halter classes with their minis, where they judge their conformation and looks, or join showmanship classes to judge handler’s abilities. You can also drive mini horses, and attend driving obstacle competitions.
Miniature horses are also used as companions and pets for children and elderly people. They are often used as therapeutic horses and are beneficial for people with disabilities as they are generally less intimidating than full-size horses. They’re also cheaper to maintain and require little room in a home or facility.

Do mini horses need shoes?

Mini horses rarely wear shoes. However, they do need a farrier visit and care every 6-8 weeks to ensure their hooves stay healthy and prevent lameness. Cleaning out the hooves regularly will help keep them in good form and prevent trush.
Hoof problems can be caused by several factors. Overgrown hooves, over-trimming or clipping, and not trimming enough are the most common causes of hoof problems. If you’re not sure if your horse needs a farrier visit, check the hooves. If the bottom is worn down to the sole, or if the heels are flat and worn down, there may be a problem. If the horse is showing any signs of lameness, consult your veterinarian for an exam. 

What is the difference between a mini horse and a mini pony?

The difference between miniature horses and ponies is not always clear, as both are considered small horses. Miniature horses are often more graceful than ponies, with a slimmer build and longer neck. While ponies are often more compact, miniature horses have a muscular body with slender form. Miniature horses and ponies are most often seen as companions, but can as well be used in equestrian sports and competition. 
Both breeds are found in many colors and have a gentle nature, but some miniature horses have more personality than ponies. When it comes to personality, miniature horses are often described as gentle, affectionate, and intelligent. Miniature horses are very trainable, and can learn a variety of tricks.

What do I need to know before buying a mini horse?

If you are considering getting a miniature horse as a pet, it’s helpful to know a bit about their care and health. It’s true that they cost less and eat less than a full sized horse, therefore the initial cost will be less and you also won’t spend that much on the feed. But they still require the same vet and farrier care that full-sized horses require, including vaccinations, teeth floating, and hoof trims. So while a mini can be cheaper to own, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to invest a lot of money in your horse’s care.

Are miniature horses expensive?

Miniature horses can vary in price from around $800-$5,000. Although their appearance may be small, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are cheap to buy. For example, the price of a show horse can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some top show miniature horses can cost up to $200,000. This is because show horses are bred for their specific size, conformation and physical characteristics. The price is determined by size, conformation, bloodline and show record. A smaller, better conformed mini horse with a good bloodline is worth more than a less correctly conformed one with no bloodline.