We agree that, mathematically, if it’s half the horse, it should be half the price – but the miniature horse price doesn’t work that way. It revolves around the same amount as you would have to give for its larger counterpart, to be honest.
So, planning to buy a mini? If yes, then the good news is that you can get them for reasonable prices, BUT only when you know what to expect from the market and what to look for in a mini horse.
And this is what this article is about. Welcome to the cost breakdown of a mini horse. In this blog, we’re aiming to make you a mini horse price guru! From the estimated purchase and upkeep costs to the purchase locations, we’ll go over every little aspect that an amateur mini horse owner should know when embarking on this journey.
Let’s get riding.
Estimated Cost of a Miniature Horse
You can easily find a miniature horse for under $1000, though prices tend to go up to and beyond $50,000 depending on the horse’s training level, pedigree, age, appearance and your locality.
Let’s discuss this in detail.
Factors Affecting the Price of a Miniature Horse
Factors such as training level, breed quality and pedigree, appearance, age, and mini’s locality can drastically affect its price. Here’s how.
Like all other breeds, miniature horses need specific training to behave well around the farm. The lesser trained/untrained minis cost way cheaper than fully trained ones. We’re looking at a difference of about $1,500 here.
Breed Quality & Pedigree
Breed quality and pedigree matter where you have to take your mini to show or maintain your authentic-horse stable’s prestige. If you’re looking for a pretty mini horse for domestic use (unlike for showing), you can save up here.
Age & Appearance
Age is a primary determinant as it’s the basis of a mini’s temperament. Usually, miniature horses in their prime (age 7-14) behave and perform the best.
Similarly, color, size, and hair – the overall appearance determines the price. Rarer coat colors will cost more, along with the mini’s conditions before the purchase (how the previous owner took care of it).
Lastly, and perhaps mostly, your new mini’s purchase locality gives/takes the main chunk of cash you’ll be paying. The farther you purchase it from, the more shipping/handling costs you’ll have to bear.
Factors like show records, special acknowledgments, and achievements affect the price too, but they’re rare.
Cost of Keeping a Miniature Horse
As you might have already guessed, purchasing a mini isn’t the problem – keeping one is. Let’s look at some upkeep costs for a miniature horse.
Mathematically, mini horses weigh about 200 pounds on average and require 2-4 pounds forage daily (1-2% of their body-weight). In contrast, the average horse weighs 1000 pounds.. A bale or 480 lbs. (approx.) of hay/forage costs $58 in the US, which means that $58 worth of forage can last you around ten months.
However, in reality, your mini horse may weigh double, may require more food, and above all, the hay in your area may cost more due to scarcity. So, we’re looking at around $90 annually.
But hay isn’t the only food your miniature horse would be needing. Healthy horse supplements will cost you an additional $50 – $60—a total of roughly $150 per annum.
Mini horses are a hairy horse breed and require regular grooming, and if you have children around, you have to pay more attention to their hygiene. Decent horse grooming kits (brushes etc.) and supplements can cost you about $100/year.
An annual vet checkup can cost around $100, and essential horse vaccinations can cost you between $50 to $200. On top of these, you need an emergency fund which should be about $1,000 at least.
Accidents can add up to a lot, so make sure to monitor your horses and keep them safe regularly.
Just as important as any other upkeep cost is the shelter. While some equestrians save money by putting their minis in the backyard, others prefer boarding facilities for better care. Depending on your choice, it can vary from $50 to $500.
According to a price table by AMHA (American Mini Horse Association), you’ll be paying around $50-$150/month to board your mini at a stable.
Places You Can Buy Miniature Horses From
Ready to take action? Here are a few reliable sources for purchasing a mini horse.
If somebody’s told you that you can get free miniature horses, then they were probably talking about rescuing these bite-sized equines, and well: their statement is quite true.
Such minis are usually abandoned colts and foals that local organizations find and shelter, and in most cases, there’s an initial adoption and vet’s fee associated with them ($300-$500). But since this fee is much less compared to others, you can consider it free.
Rescued ones make an excellent and affordable choice if you want a new mini. If you do come across a miniature horse for adoption, don’t hesitate to take the right step!
For buyers keen to make an authentic purchase, buying from professional breeders can be the way to go. These breeding farms specialize in horse care and upbringing and often only breed high-quality pedigreed equines on their barns.
A breeder’s mini horse can cost you between $1,500 and $30,000, sometimes going much beyond this. The price increases in-line with the factors we mentioned in the first section (such as having an exceptional showing history).
You can find registered breeders across the US on AMHA’s Marketplace.
You’re even likely to meet a buyer who wasn’t aware of the on-going costs and now wants to sell because they either can’t afford or can’t spare enough time – however, you’ve to be very careful. See, affordability or time management aren’t the only reasons one might be selling his/her mini.
First-time buyers often find themselves in a bad bargain (buying an overpriced, unhealthy, or untrained mini), and they can, thus, transfer the bargain to you as well. Ask questions and ensure that the mini you’re buying stays true to all the claims the seller has made. And take someone experienced along.
You can find miniature horses for sale at auctions as well, and this is where you can get the least price for them ($75-$550). But we recommend against going for such horses as they have many hidden costs associated.
These costs range from vet checkups, vaccinations, grooming, neutering (can cost up to $2,000), and of course, on-going maintenance. The minis you’ll buy from private owners or breeders or even rescue shelters are likely to have some basic necessities fulfilled readily (i.e., vaccination and neutering).
That does not only save you money but from stress as well.
FAQs Related to Miniature Horse Price
Our experience tells us that you’ve got a bunch of questions that need answers. Try the ones below and see if they help.
How big does a mini horse get?
At one year old, mini horses measure about 34 inches and grow a few inches more in the following years. They usually weigh around 200 pounds, while some mini horses can get super fat, as they have an appetite for a fully grown regular horse.
However, different mini horse breeds can vary in size and weight, so you should investigate in your locality that how much does a miniature horse weigh (basically the breed that’s present there).
Do mini horses make good pets?
A mini horse’s dog-like appearance suggests that it can make for an excellent pet, and it is practical to some extent as well. Like dogs, you can potty train your mini horse.
The only catch of keeping a mini horse as a pet is that it’s not exactly a dog, so its upkeep is a bit more demanding. Only go for one if you can commit enough time.
Can I keep a miniature horse in my backyard?
You can keep miniature horses in your backyard, as long as you have about 1000 square meter spare land to support them and your neighbors don’t object. Although they’re not loud with their ways, your neighbors can still have a problem with them hanging around.
How long do mini horses live?
Miniature horses live for 25-35 years on average, which is relatively longer than their full-sized horses, which live for 25-30 years at max. But of course, this lifespan rating is for those minis who make it without health diseases (like fecoliths and obesity) – which they usually develop due to their infamous eating habits.
What is the smallest breed of miniature horses?
Falabella mini horse is the smallest breed of miniature horses in town, with a height of 21-34 inches at withers. These originate from Argentina, mostly in the bay and black colors, and are domestic mini horses.
People acquire Falabellas as pets, riding horses for their children, or sometimes to help around with lightweight farmwork.
Now you tell us: how much does a miniature horse cost? If your answer is “If you buy from authentic breeders, you can get one between $1,500 and $30,000, yet if you rescue one, it can be close to free – but that’s not the safest purchase.” then we’re proud of you.
No matter what animal you go for, it costs time and money to maintain them. We cannot give you an exact figure due to its subjectivity, but it’s worthwhile asking around in your local equine community how much is a miniature horse. You’ll likely find prices lower than we’ve mentioned.