Feeling more positive and mini shetlands?

FeatherPower

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26 June 2009
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251
Hi everyone,

Having had pretty a miserable 6 weeks since the accident and the sale of my lad, things are looking a little brighter. The cast hopefully will be coming off next Monday and I will be told the long term prognosis then.

Problem is all I think about is horses, riding and how much I miss my young lad and old mare, both now with a good friend.

I know that riding is an unlikely activity for the next few years (if ever) and the accident has dented my confidence around horses.

My thoughts have turned to miniature shetlands and I am considering adopting one from a rescue centre, so that I still 'have a horse' but one that cannot break bones (hopefully!)

What are they like to own and does anyone think it is a good way to build up confidence with a view to one day (leg permitting) owning my own riding horse again? Or am I mad?

Choclate all round if you got this far! x

P.S Accident was freak one involving my lad jumping electric fencing and taking it with him, and taking me out with it on his way! Nasty dislocation on impact which broke ankle/leg and metal plate + 7 screws. Came only 6 weeks after breaking ribs jumping off him when he spooked and bolted. Both totally random situations but seeing (and hearing) the sole of your own hunter wellie, from a 90 degree angle to your leg is enough to put anyone off!
 

jensheff26

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13 December 2009
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not mad shetlands are ace i have 3 and wouldnt be without them they can be just as trying as the bigger ones but if your aim is not to ride strait away they would be brilliant millhouse animal rescue has loads always for adoption
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Katie__Connie

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So sorry about the accident... i must have missed it so i dont know what happened? Hope you are on the mend
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Anyway... my friend has mini shetties and they are really nice
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Still a lot of work though so don't be fooled into thinking they aren't! (I'm sure you know that anyway) But they are very rewarding and sounds like a good idea...
 

FeatherPower

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26 June 2009
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No - not thinking that smaller = less work/money lol. I am just thinking smaller = less scary accidents and broken bones! It has really put me off, I swore never to go near a horse again at the time!

Based on going from a 16'2 ID to a 14'2 Cob, my experience is the smaller they are the cheekier they get! I imagine that any shetland has a personality to match its bigger counterparts!

What do they need in terms of feed, exercise, shelter, rugs, insurance etc? Is it same as big 'uns but everything is smaller?!

Actually see a glint of hope that my horse shaped gap might be filled one day! if only by a bite-sized filling! xxx
 

Wobblywibble

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18 June 2009
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Leekland and hating it
Great you are feeling more positive about horses!!

If you are thinking smaller, why not get something smaller but big enough for you to ride one day if you feel like it? I just think that with a shettie, you'd have all the work and build a lovely bond with a horse you'll never be able to ride (unless you go for roller skates and the Thelwell look).

Hope you don't take too long to mend
 

tashpritty

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26 May 2009
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Derbyshire
I'm sorry to hear of your accident, hope all gets better soonies!
i think its a lovely idea to rescue one, and a great way to build confidence.

its a shame it will take so long if ever to be able to ride again. have you ever considered driving. Shetlands make great driving ponies!
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jensheff26

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my shetties live out with a shelter but have lived in they only need a lightweight turnout on in very bad weather they have adlib hay and a handfull of mix and chop a day they are all rounded guys
 

ofcourseyoucan

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9 August 2009
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i love my shitty! he makes me laugh every day! they are very cheeky, need a bit of discipline! and no fence holds them! i have given up putting him in a paddock i just open his door and he goes on tour! all the big ones respect him!!!!!!!!!! (he has little man syndrome!!) and he does have a couple of special friends who he goes off to find and pops into the yard and tackroom!!!? when he thinks anything is happening! he is only stabled for his waistline!! and eats everyone elses dregs and is the best feed bucket washer ever!! on a serious note not easy to fence in .. fine to tour if you have your own yard!!
 

katie1630

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16 December 2009
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Have you thought about getting a registered shetland and showing? At least it keeps you within the pony world
Get fun for driving, we've driven ours out with everything from shires to fresians and they really hold their own!! Plus they are great confidence builders!
Then, as always, I bang on about how great the Icelandic horse is! Mine is 13hh and takes everything in her stride. She's fantastic for anyone who is nervous or novice. They are an amazing breed that I can't recommend enough!! and I always think that, worst comes to the worst, it's not far to fall!
good luck for the future
 

Enfys

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I have a mini, originally bought because he was in a sorry state and I intended to sell him on. Yep, right. Not.

Charley (posing as a unicorn in sig) is a keeper, we all love him to bits, and I don't get sloshy and sentimental over my horses. He's 32", a huge character in a little frame, smart as a button, cheap to feed, has the best feet my farrier reckons he has ever seen, and I would recommend a small pony to anyone. They may not be the best as companions as some bigger horses like to eat them, but as company for humans they are ace. Don't get me wrong, they are still horses, think like horses and take advantage like horses, they can be escape artists, and do need to learn where they stand in the order of things, but get a good one and you'll be converted.
 

FeatherPower

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26 June 2009
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This is all wonderful!
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They sound fabulous! I am thinking a rescue rather than a registered because it seems that there are more shetlands that need new homes than 'big' horses and ponies, I get the impression that they are cast aside once their little learners have out grown them - I could be wrong but it does seem these little ones are in need.

All of my animals are rescue animals (except my old mare but she was 24 when I bought her!) and I think I would feel better if I could give one a home that could give me companionship and confidence in return. I guess I could od a bit of local in hand showing - my dog won 'Best Rescue Dog' catagory in a local RSPCA show last year, so there is hope!

If I am ever able to ride again I think I would have to have help and get on a horse that I knew or that someone knew would look after me, I don't think I would be brave enough to buy my own again for riding just yet.

Thank you for all the lovely PMs though, I feel even more positive having read some of your experiences and words of support so thank you! Keep the Shetty stories coming! x
 

PopStrop

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27 October 2008
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Do it!
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I had a car crash 3 years ago which left me in a wheelchair, and I never would have said it before, but the little ones are sooo much fun!
I got a mini horse 18 months ago and haven't looked back since. They're easy to handle, and even the ones that aren't good to handle don't pose too much of a problem
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They're hardy and generally don't need rugging, or much by way of hard feed, will live out on fresh air and hay.
I think the little ones get overlooked because they're not useful, which is a shame because they have huge personalities, but you can show, and drive, and they love going for walks, and just generally being lavished with attention.
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varkie

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9 December 2004
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Hampshire, UK
We breed mini shetlands, so if I can offer advice, please let me know. We offer advice to anyone who asks, not just those who are looking to buy ponies from us! We are always happy to be on email or the end of the phone to help anyone.

Shetlands are just like any other pony, in their needs, except that they just need less of it - less feed, less hay, less wormer - proportionally. They rarely (if ever) need shoes, or rugs, and are tough little guys. They probably do need more fencing - most paddocks are set up for big horses, and shetlands just don't see that as a deterant, and just step through it. Plus, where they have such thick winter coats, even if electric is at their level, they just dont' feel it, and may just walk through it.

But. While they may be physically smaller, in their minds, they are about 16hh tall. So when handling a shetland, don't treat them as a pet or a dog - that is when they start to take over. Treat them like a 16hh horse, and you'll be just fine.

They are a wonderful breed - intelligent, bold, brave, with a sense of humour. If you could buy them at about 15hh, I'd never own anything else!

If you'd like to meet some, and are anywhere near me - I'm in Hampshire, you are welcome to come & meet our guys - just to see whether the breed is for you or not, not with a view to any of ours, as I know you're interested in a rescue. If you want to take a look at ours - you'll get an idea of personality with some of them - this is our website: www.varkiesstud.co.uk

If you go for a rescue, you'll be able to show at a local level, but you won't be able to show at group or county level. There is a whole shetland sub culture, with local groups that get together & group shows arranged, some groups even organise stud tours, etc. There is the national shetland show. Shetlands do everything - lead rein, some standards are ridden by bigger children & even small adults, they are driven, etc. There really is a whole lot of fun to be had with them. We take ours for inhand walks, we work on breaking them to ride & drive, we do inhand jumping with them, etc. Lots of fun.
 

joeanne

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Do it!
I have 3 at the mo, Matey a 30 something elderly mini (passport says 31 inch but old age has shrunk him down to about 29 inches!
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Tink, 20 yr old sweetiepie who is 32 inches and of course Little Stig, who is about as self opinionated as they come!
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Mini's are not designed to be "used" as such, so if you want to try your hand at driving, perhaps a standard would be better suited to what you need?
However if you want to just show inhand, a mini is EXACTLY what you need!
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FeatherPower

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26 June 2009
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251
Thanks guys - I will definitely be in touch! Going to have a look around the website now but I am feeling good about this and I think it could be the way back into the horsey world! Yay!!!
 

varkie

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Hampshire, UK
[ QUOTE ]
Mini's are not designed to be "used" as such, so if you want to try your hand at driving, perhaps a standard would be better suited to what you need?
However if you want to just show inhand, a mini is EXACTLY what you need!
grin.gif


[/ QUOTE ]
Minis absolutely can be ridden & driven. Bearing in mind minis go up to 34", and can be built like tanks. You just have to be realistic about the weight they can carry/pull. They can do LR and FR with tots and smaller children. They can also be driven, but if you want to do more than light pleasure driving on the flat, you'd need to consider driving a pair or a team. But just for a little local lane driving, or round your fields, a single solid up to height mini should be able to take two lightweight adults once fit - but you would need to pay attention to their fitness.
 

milomoo

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8 May 2007
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northumberland
Hi Featherpower, I am in a similar situation at the moment. My injury has'nt been as bad as yours sounds though. I ruptured two ligaments in my right ankle in Sept 08 and had a tendon transfer done a week before christmas 09 and am in week 3 of 12 in plaster.
I am unsure of when I will be able to ride or if I will even be comfortable in the saddle when I do.
I have given my fantastic loan horse of 3 years back, I was so upset to see him go.
Anyway, I used to work in a shetland stud in Northumberland and I love the hairy little so and so's. I am seriously considering buying/rehoming a standard to drive, my other health problems have been pushing me towards this for a few years now.
I have always said that Shetlands are the Jack Russells of the horse world, they are great!

I hope your ankle is healing ok.
jayne
 

jaye1780

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24 December 2009
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South Yorks
Hi I have a 4 yr old 30inch mini shetland and he's FANTASTIC :) He was quite wild when I got him but now he's like a big dog, follows u around, loves to be groomed and fussed over! He came off a 200 acre farm where he roamed free but he loves his creature comforts and will be 1st to come in at night in winter or out of the rain! I leave him unrugged but did have to clip him last spring as his coat wouldnt shed properly - he was brilliant to clip and the couple of times he did mess he's so tiny it didnt matter! So id definitely go for it, get our confidence back up with a little one :) x
 
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