- Start with a soft bristle brush for the face. Regular brushes are too hard for the sensitive face of a miniature horse, so save those for the legs and body.
- If eyes or face need more cleaning, moisten a washcloth and gently rub the places that need attention.
- Gently brush the forelock, mane, and tail using a pincushion type of hair brush. Start from the bottom of the tail and work your way up to the dock (in sections if needed). Remember, horses need their tails to keep those pesky flies away.
- Next comes a combination technique. It actually takes some practice (like rubbing your tummy and patting your head). Use circular motions with a soft rubber curry in one hand, following be a regular bristle body brush in the other to wipe away the dust and hair. Be gentle on the underbelly and girth area as these are more sensitive.
- Finally, clean out the feet, and you’re ready to go.
Miniature Horses stand low to the ground and are more affected by airflow than larger horses. An open, airy barn is essential in maintaining good health for Miniatures. Stalls should be built so horses can look over the partitions and receive the benefits of airflow.
Hoof Care: Hoof care in Miniature Horses is essential. Owners need to have young horses’ feet trimmed at an early age to help avoid any conformational problems. Hooves should be picked out every day and trimmed for balance on a regular schedule. Try to choose a farrier who specializes in working with Miniatures. Neglected or improperly trimmed feet can cause serious problems.
Dental Care: Miniature Horses should have their teeth checked at an early age. It is easier to do routine dental care rather than to wait until the teeth (and the problem) become challenges. Proper, routine dental care and maintenance is a very important aspect of horse ownership.
Grooming: Whether your American Miniature is a show horse, breeding stock, or companion, regular grooming is an essential aspect of his total care. Not only does the horse benefit from your grooming, he also becomes accustomed to your touch. This creates a special bond between you and your horse.
When grooming, always brush and comb with the hair, never against it. This will keep coat soft and shiny and the mane and tail free of tangles. During flu season, the horse will appreciate a light covering of fly spray.
While bathing is occasionally necessary and an important part of the process, Miniatures should not be bathed too frequently as bathing removes much of the natural oil from a horse’s coat.
Veterinary Care: If you purchase a Miniature Horse from someone in your area, ask that person to recommend a local veterinarian. You and your veterinarian will want to establish a comprehensive health program for your Miniature, which should include a regular immunization schedule. They type of immunizations required for your horse will vary depending on your intended use and geographic location. You will also need to develop a deworming program for your Miniature Horse. All horses are prone to internal parasites and these parasites can severely affect your Miniature Horse’s general health and performance if left unchecked. Your veterinarian will suggest a deworming schedule based on your horse’s living environment and geographic location. In general, it is a good idea to have a veterinarian who is familiar with your horse and his health history so the best possible care can be provided in an emergency situation.