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Upkeep of Toyhorses



Miniatures should be treated exactly the same way as other equines. At Howick when stabled they are fed good quality hay, coarse horse mix or a mixture of soaked sugar beet and crushed oats in very small amounts. 1-3 lbs per feed depending on age and size of horse.
 
When turned out they have ample nourishment from grassland from about April to November, unless drought conditions halt the growth of the grass, when hay should be fed. During the winter months hay should be given, preferably in a hayrack, rather than a haynet as it is all too easy for the little ones to get caught up in a haynet. Mineral salt licks should be readily available, as should a fresh water supply.
 
Parasite control is recommended every eight weeks and the wormer used should be changed approximately every third application, if possible. Hooves need regular paring. It is advisable for mature horses to have a annual inspection by a horse dentist.
 
At Howick, weanlings are generally stabled at night but nearly all other stock is out-wintered in sheltered pastures (i.e., with good hedges to protect them from the prevailing winds.) Although no actual man-made shelters are used in the paddocks, it should be pointed out these are advisable in more restricted conditions.
 
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Miniatures can be happily housed in small areas, so long as exercise and diet is carried out efficiently.
 
Most miniatures adapt to their new homes very quickly and soon become enchanting and loveable pets. Colt foals are often left entire without any problems. Should a young colt being kept purely as a pet become rather a handful during the first few years of its life it may well benefit from being gelded.
 
Advice on this and all other aspects of owning your first, or indeed subsequent Miniature, can be obtained by contacting Tikki Adorian at the address above.