Who keeps a mini shetland with big horses?

Tangaroo

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I am off to look at a miniature shetland tomorrow as a companion to my two boys and just wondered if anyone else keeps one as a companion to big horses?
Do the horses class it as a horse or not? If so, how big are your shetties. The one i am going to look at is 32".
 

illy89

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I have two miniture shetlands, they are currently out with my yearling but previously been out with all the big ones - 16hh plus! In my experience they give as good as they get and mine won't take any nonsense from the big horses! They are brilliant companions and very cute to look at!!
 

Enfys

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Mine is 32" and No, personally, I absolutely would not keep him with my current horses, biggest is 16h.

The risk of even a playful kick is too great as far as I am concerned, what might merely be a thump on a like sized horse can easily break legs or the neck. I like my mini too much to put him in that sort of danger, anyway, my mares don't like him.

I use him to Uncle my weanlings and he is very much the boss of them.


However, many, many minis do live very happily with large horses, and are often the boss, my friend has a 29" mini who lives with 18h Percherons, they could squash him like a bug but choose not to, I have seen him drive them back from a round bale!

It is a question of just keeping an eye on them to begin with. If a horse wants to really harm them, they will, believe me:


Another reason I don't keep my mini with the mares is that he'd have to be muzzled and he would hate that so much, in fact, I'd probably have to nail it to his head to keep it on. Charley gets fat just looking at grass.
 
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Holly Hocks

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I don't have a mini shetland, but one of my friends does and it acts as a companion to the sick, needy and stressy on the yard. It's a mare and all the other horses, whether mares or geldings absolutely adore her......go get yourself one, they're lovely little things.
 

wildwest

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we had a 26inch mini who palled up with my daughters 16.2hh ex racehorse
he loved her she was often seen grazing under his belly to keep out the rain lol
 

Tilda

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My 14.3 mare currently has a mini shetland as her field mate as her usual friend went off to stud. We put the mini in there as she wasn't very happy on her own and had become a bit clingy to the geldings in the next field and she is now much better although to see them together you have to ask why as she pretty much ignores him! But my little boy has just started riding him so we give him the love and attention he doesn't get from her!
 

Teddybully

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I have one as a companion to a 17hh! He is a gentle giant though. Just be careful with introductions, maybe graze in adjoining paddocks till used to each other to avoid injuries when hurtling around!
 

millimoo

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My Shetland is 36", and I would advise caution, and maybe go for something a bit bigger.
I've owned my shetland over 20yrs.
He moved to my parents when she had two large horses, and he was kept in the paddock with another Shetland with an electric fence dividing horses from ponies. However they escaped, and both horses had a Shetland each, and were chasing them. My mums youngster got mine cornered and was lashing out - my mum had to get between them with a broom, and my Shetland was terrified.
He went to a lovely loan home eventually, but when he came home he was the only little one.
He was kept in an electric fenced part of the field for 3 months, and I used to take him to graze in hand and sit in the field amongst the 2 big boys, then did we then try and turn them out together.
In the first week my Shetland had a huge chunk bitten out of his back... Although they did settle.
I have to confess my mums youngster is a bit of a sod.
My mum now only has this 17hh horse at home, as the old boy was PTS a few years ago.
My Shetland and him are now very close, and although my mums horse likes to herd him about, when my shettie gets annoyed he reverses into my mums horse and bucks at him (although doesn't lash out).
I think it's quite a big ask putting a mini in with two horses who will already have a bond. But I can only go on the experience I have, and ultimately they became firm friends it took a loylt of time and careful management. I'd personally go for something bigger.
 

Tangaroo

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Thanks for the replys. I do have a small post and rail paddock for a shetty as i know what great limbo dancers they are.
Neither of my boys are agressive and they would have a fence between them to begin with so it shouldnt be a problem.
 

millimoo

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Amazing pics Enfys.... When my shetland lived with another shetland they used to play like dogs, and be in their knees, scrapping about for fun.
Looking at the previous posts, you'd probably be ok if you only had one horse, and did careful introductions, but 2 horses and one mini probably wouldnt work. You'd run a very high risk of a frightened bullied little pony. Just my personal opinion ... Good luck whatever you decide
 

Tangaroo

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My big boys are not actually sharing a paddock. They have electric fence between them as would the shettie. He would only be turned out with one at a time if the other went off to a party for the day so im not going to chuck him out in the field with two big boys to fend for himself.
 

amandap

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I have three mini shetlands and three bigger horses 16hh, 15hh and 14hh. They are together much of the time and are fine. I know of someone who got a mini as companion and it's worked out great, so I think it depends on individual personalities especially if there are just the two of them.
 

Booboos

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I have a mini Fallabela x who has been in with a HW 16hh and a 16.2hh all three together with no problems, and then with a 16hh younger horse again with no problems. For me he key was to make proper introductions, take my time before letting them all out together and treat them like any other horse, i.e. keep an eye out and if they don't get on separate them. They have never fought, but they do play a bit and I suppose, like with any horse, you run the risk of injury when they play.
 

McNally

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I've literally just done this, The Shetland is 36" so maybe not mini? We introduced carefully with a fence between for a few days then once the horses were bored of the pony and vice versa we put them in together.
The shetland certainly sticks up for himself! I do have him with 2 gentle friendly horses tho' I also have a very big playful youngster at my place for a while for a friend and i wouldnt risk that!
 

china

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yes, this is mine

although i do not own him, he is borrowed from a friend who breeds them. Hes a little dude! he is only in with my semi retired tb and the shetland does more damage to the tb. He is covered in bites on his front legs and all over his neck. He kicked my tb and he had a massive leg! shettie doesnt have a scratch on him! I cannot have him with my mare though, she absolutley hates him and chased him away from the tb. i do have to watch his wasteline. He does his job though, when i ride the mare the tb stays calm in the field although they both call for her. He isnt hysterical anymore though.
 

millimoo

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Hi Stilton, sorry wasn't questioning your management.
Just going on the experience I've had.... And as mentioned my mums horse is a bit of a git with new horses so not necessarily the norm.
And also they're now very attached to each other, but my Shetland just gets cross with him now if he's being a bully.
Hope I didn't cause offence :)
 

Tangaroo

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Millimoo - no offence taken. Just thought i would explain about my set up so you all realise im not a complete numpty!
My new boy stresses when left on his own and doesnt eat so i thought a shetty might help him when i take the other boy out for the day. They can either stay out together, or in separate paddocks or they can stay in with Shetty on the yard in front of the stables. Luckily having my own land life is quite flexible.
It would be nice if they all get on to be able to let the little one out with at least one of them occasionally for a hoon around:rolleyes:
 

Paddy Irish

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I have an american mini 20" , and also a larger shettie , which I have to keep seperate from the biggies as beau the gelding got a good duffing up when they broke into the biggies paddock ( not sure which one of the biggies did the damage but it wasn't nice ) for some reason they ( the biggies) just don't like him , come to think of it the shettie mare doesn't like him much either - I can't fathom out why , cos he's very bidable , non-agressive and not at all bossy- still they make good companions as the big ones are just over the fence , so they still reduce the stress of one of the biggies if they are out alone.

 

Max123

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I have 2 Falabellas and 3 large horses. Normally the littles are kept with my big old mare who is great with them - they have been together 12 years. I have another big gelding who I would never put them with because he is an Alpha Male and bolshy so would never take the risk. I also have a 15:1 gelding that I put my little mare out with occasionally because again he is gentle natured. In a nutshell it very much depends on the horse but I have heard some horror stories. The stallion of my little gelding had his leg smashed in 14 places (and survived). A neighbour had her little filly on livery while on holidays and she was put with kids ponies with shoes and she lost an eye and lots more fatal stories. Be very cautious and introduce very carefully with fencing if you are going to go down that route but don't assume it will work because they are not a physical match and are at the mercy of the big horse being gentle with them and it only takes one petulant kick.
 

joeanne

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Stig's "herd" includes a 13.2hh two yr old and a 16.2hh five year old and Stig however is very much the boss.
That said I would not be turning him out with what we term "The Thugs" as they would probably do him serious harm.
 

Wolfie

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we had a 26inch mini who palled up with my daughters 16.2hh ex racehorse
he loved her she was often seen grazing under his belly to keep out the rain lol
Our shetland does this with my 17hh sporthorse when my boy is on his hols! It's quite cute really. The shetland is most definitely the boss though. The best bit is, the shetland is unlikely to injure my horse if he kicks him, which is a big plus, but he acts like he is about 19hh! The shetland is also used to babysit the foals if needed. Of all the horses in the yard, the shetland is the one I would not consider selling - he is far too useful as a turn out pal!
 

cptrayes

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I keep a 40 inch (half miniature, half full Shetland) with three 17 handers. They don't really see him as a horse and he is odd one out. But he is the one who pesters them, they wouldn't hurt him. I do, though, have a field with fencing that he can get under and they can't, if he does want to get away from them. And although they all live happily in one open barn together now, I introduced him with a piece of the corner roped off so that he could get away from one of my horses who is a dreadful bully to anyone new.
 

Enfys

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My big boys are not actually sharing a paddock. They have electric fence between them as would the shettie. He would only be turned out with one at a time if the other went off to a party for the day so im not going to chuck him out in the field with two big boys to fend for himself.
Ahhhh, there you go, different kettle of fish if they are in adjoining paddocks. Charley happily socialises with the other horses here with a fence between him. I just err on the side of caution perhaps.
 

Chumsmum

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I find that bigger horses do treat them the same but find them too small to have a good neck scratch with :D

However there is a big size difference so I keep a close eye on them and give them a fenced off area so they can get away if need be. Make sure your fencing is good and the lower rail is very low..

I have two minis I keep with my two bigger ponies (14.1 and 14hh). The two bigger ones are kept separate as one is elderly and the other is a bully - the Shets wander between the two.

They can stand up to the bully pretty well or just pop back under the fence if he is being a pain. I have to watch them if I feed in the field as even though they get a token feed they soon finish that and actually pull the buckets away from the bigger two if I let them..
 

Pearlsacarolsinger

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A friend has a mini gelding with a 16hh cob gelding and a 17hh ID mare. She doesn't seem to have any problems keeping them together. The mini and the gelding travel together in the trailer without a partition successfully. The mare is very grumpy with other horses, particularly mares and had been kept in a pair with the gelding for several years before the mini was bought but doesn't have any problem with the mini.
 

babymare

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whilst little they can look after self -we had one at happa who livid with the big boys and was boss of field lol i can still see "randy rocket" keeping up with herd as they had freaky time his little legs going hell for leather bless he was a cutie but damn wick - my daughter keeps her loan horse at yard that as one out with the herd all 14.2 plus and trust me they love him and he as little horse syndrom but is settled in herd and can look after self and hes only a yearling lol - as with any horse regardless of size you need to watch and be aware :)
 
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