Guest Author - Kim Wende
Miniature horses are not just for kids as they are very popular among adults too. There have been several aging adults who have sold their full-sized horses and purchased miniature horses because they are easier to handle, cost less to feed and don't require that much room.
There are several sanctioned shows offered by the registries worldwide for the miniature horses with lots of different classes. Some of the classes offered are halter, showmanship, driving, liberty, costume, in-hand trail, and in-hand hunter/jumper.
Miniature horses that are of pinto coloring can be registered with the Pinto Horse Association (PtHA). Pinto coloring is a coat color that consists of white patches and any other color. The Pinto Horse Association also offers the above-mentioned classes along with gymkhana classes such as barrel racing and more.
Combined driving event (CDE) is another competition sport for miniature horses. This sport was modeled after the Three-Day Event. This competition tests their condition and versatility. The first part of the competition is driven dressage the second part is a marathon course with up to eight obstacles and the third part of the competition is the cones course.
Driving a miniature horse is a lot of fun and is the closest thing to riding that I have found. For those that can no longer ride this is a way for them to still have fun using miniature horses.
Horse Agility is a fun competition to get involved with and is great for miniatures since they can't be ridden by adults. During this competition you will work on the ground through several obstacles. Some of the competitions are only judged while others are judged and timed.
Getting a miniature horse does not mean that you have to show them or get involved with any of the above competitions as you can just enjoy grooming them or taking them down the road for a Sunday drive in the carriage.
There are two different registries the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) and the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR). Miniatures registered with AMHA cannot exceed 34” in height at the withers and in the AMHR registry the miniatures can't exceed 38” in height. Miniature horses have various colors and coat patterns.
Miniature horses often live longer than the average full-sized horse their average life span is between 25 to 35 years. They are a lot of fun and can become very addictive.