Teacup Miniature Horse

Equus

Last updated: December 2, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Julia Remezova/Shutterstock.com

Female teacup minis become sexually mature between 2 and 5 years old, but breeders typically wait until their horse is 3 before letting her reproduce to prevent complications.

Teacup Miniature Horse Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Perissodactyla
Family
Equidae
Genus
Equus ferus caballus
Scientific Name
Equus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Teacup Miniature Horse Conservation Status

Teacup Miniature Horse Locations

Teacup Miniature Horse Locations

Teacup Miniature Horse Facts

Name Of Young
Foal
Group Behavior
  • Social
Fun Fact
Female teacup minis become sexually mature between 2 and 5 years old, but breeders typically wait until their horse is 3 before letting her reproduce to prevent complications.
Other Name(s)
Miniature horse
Gestation Period
310 to 360 days
Temperament
Friendly
Habitat
Pastures
Predators
Black bears, coyotes, bob cats, and cougars
Diet
Herbivore
Lifestyle
  • Diurnal
Favorite Food
Grass
Origin
Europe
Location
Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Namibia, The Phillippines, United Kingdom, United States of America

Teacup Miniature Horse Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Brown
  • Grey
  • Yellow
  • Fawn
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Black
  • White
  • Gold
  • Tan
  • Albino
  • Brindle
  • Dark Brown
  • Cream
  • Orange
  • Silver
  • Chocolate
  • Caramel
  • Tawny
  • Beige
  • Chestnut
  • Light Grey
  • Dark Grey
  • Ginger
  • White-Brown
  • Multi-colored
  • Black-Brown
  • Sandy
  • Grey-Brown
  • Golden
  • Blonde
  • Light-Brown
Skin Type
Fur
Lifespan
25 to 30 years
Weight
200 pounds
Height
34 inches
Age of Sexual Maturity
2 to 5 years
Age of Weaning
10 to 12 months

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Teacup miniature horses make fantastic companion animals. These tiny equines were bred specifically to be miniature duplicates of fully-grown horses.

While ponies are bulky, with thick necks, short legs, and fluffy manes and tails, teacup miniature horses have refined features. In addition, they are primarily kept as companions, but some people let children ride them. However, they can’t carry more than 40 pounds.

Although they are much smaller than regular horses, they require just as much care. But, luckily, don’t need as much food!

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Teacup Miniature Horse History and Evolution

The teacup miniature horse has existed for centuries because they were selectively bred from small horse and pony breeds, including the Shetland pony.

This pint-sized equine originated in Europe during the 1600s and was a popular accessory among nobility because of its unique appearance and size. In addition, they were put to work in mines because their small frames could easily navigate the shafts.

Teacup miniature horses arrived in the USA in the late 1800s, where natives also used them to help in the mines. However, it took many decades before these tiny horses gained popularity as companions in the United States.

Teacup Miniature Horse Facts

  • Miniature horses can live long lives, up to 30 years. However, a mini called Angel reached a whopping 50 years old!
  • They are often used as therapy animals for children and people with disabilities because they are the perfect height for kids and people in wheelchairs to touch, groom, or feed.
  • These tiny horses compete in high jumping events with their owners running alongside them.

Teacup Miniature Horse Appearance

Mini horse next to a dog

©OlesyaNickolaeva/Shutterstock.com

To qualify as a teacup miniature horse, these equines can’t measure more than 34 inches high at the withers. But, despite their small size, they are identical to fully-grown horses. They have long, flexible necks, lengthy and angled shoulders, well-formed forearms, large nostrils, wide-set eyes, and pointed, medium-sized ears.

In addition, these minute horses are muscular but still manage to move gracefully, thanks to their straight legs, short back, and long-sloping pasterns.

Lastly, their head is perfectly in proportion with the rest of their bodies, and they come in various colors. In fact, they come in more colors than any horse breed in the world.

Teacup Miniature Horse Behavior

These horses have all the traits people look for in a furry companion; they are gentle, friendly, social, docile, curious, and sometimes a little mischievous. But, mostly, they are known for their intellect, obedience, and easy-going natures.

However, these horses aren’t all sunshine and roses; teacup miniature horses inherit some of their larger counterpart’s quirks, like stubbornness, independence, defiance, and nipping.

Luckily, they are far friendlier and easier to handle than regular horses. In addition, they crave human attention and don’t mind the company of other animals either.

Teacup Miniature Horse Habitat

You can find teacup minis in most parts of the world, including:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Holland
  • Ireland
  • Namibia
  • The Phillippines
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Miniature horses need a clean stall to protect them from the elements. The best setup is a three-sided stall connected to a pasture. This allows them to roam freely and provides shelter from weather conditions.

But, if you already have stables, you can renovate them to house your mini by installing a smaller door and lowering food and water troughs. They need to see over their doors, and there should always be good airflow in the barn for optimum health.

Teacup minis need a suitable-sized pasture for daily exercise and grazing. While their field doesn’t need to be as big as an average-sized horse’s area, they still need a significant amount of space. A quarter acre per horse is a good estimate.

Because of their tiny size, miniature horses need proper fencing. They are curious little things and can easily squeeze through holes to get to greener pastures. So, you must ensure that the slats are close together but wide enough to prevent the mini from getting stuck.

And lastly, these social butterflies need a companion. The best scenario would be housing more than one teacup miniature horse. But if this is not possible, they accept other animals like sheep, dogs, goats, and donkeys.

Teacup Miniature Horse Diet

The teacup miniature horse needs the exact same diet as a normal horse but on a smaller scale. The primary ingredients in a horse’s diet include:

  • Grass
  • Forage
  • Hay
  • Rolled oats
  • Various grains

However, their tiny size makes it easy to overfeed them, so you must ensure they stick to a strict meal plan to avoid any potential health issues that result from weight gain. For example, a 200-pound mini needs two to three pounds of forage a day. In addition, carrots are a nice treat, but in moderation.

Teacup Miniature Horse Predators and Threats

A teacup miniature horse’s predators include cougars, black bears, coyotes, and bobcats. Keeping them safe from these powerful carnivores is a difficult task. One option is to construct high fencing and electrify the top, so the minis can’t reach it.

Another option is to purchase a guard dog like an Anatolian shepherd or Great Pyrenees. These breeds are notorious for protecting their flocks and will bond with these tiny horses.

Teacup Miniature Horse Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

Female teacup minis become sexually mature between two and five years old, but breeders typically wait until their horse is three before letting her reproduce to prevent complications.

However, stallions mature quicker and are ready to mate around two to three years old. Mares will stay in heat for five to seven days every month, but this can vary depending on the female. Their gestation period lasts between 310 to 360 days.

While they have a long gestation period, the birth is quick if there aren’t any complications, generally only 10 minutes. Teacup mini horse mares will typically foal for 10 to 12 months.

Lifespan

Miniature horses can live long lives if they are cared for properly. With plenty of exercise and a well-balanced diet, these horses can live three times longer than an average horse. However, they are susceptible to health issues like obesity and dwarfism mutations.

But, generally, these tiny equines can live for 25 to 30 years. In fact, a miniature horse named Angel was so well-cared for she reached the ripe old age of 50!

Teacup Miniature Horse Population

Because these horses are traded commercially, it’s hard to determine their population size. However, the American Miniature Horse Association has over 185,000 registered horses.

What is the Cost of a Teacup Miniature Horse?

The price of a teacup miniature horse will vary depending on your location and the availability in your area, along with the pedigree, size, breed, and parents. Rescuing one of these cuties from a shelter will probably cost you around $300 to $400, but if you want a show pony, their prices range from $1000 to $2000.

These prices exclude the following:

  • Setup costs
  • Annual feeding
  • Farrier costs
  • Medical bills
  • Housing

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About the Author

I am a 33-year-old creative and professional writer from South Africa. Wildlife is one of my greatest passions and led me to become the writer I am today. I was very blessed to work with an abundance of wildlife (mainly big cats) and captured my unique experiences in writing. But I wanted to take it further, and I ventured into the freelancing world. Now, I get to spend my days writing about animals; what could be better?

Teacup Miniature Horse FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How long do mini horses live?

But, generally, these tiny equines can live for 25 to 30 years. In fact, a miniature horse named Angel was so well-cared for she reached the ripe old age of 50!

How much is a mini horse?

Rescuing one of these cuties from a shelter will probably cost you around $300 to $400, but if you want a show pony, their prices range from $1000 to $2000.

How many acres do you need for a mini horse?

Teacup minis need a suitable-sized pasture for daily exercise and grazing. While their field doesn’t need to be as big as an average-sized horse’s area, they still need a significant amount of space. For example, you need ¼ acre per horse.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Miniature Horse Talk, Available here: https://www.miniaturehorsetalk.com/threads/protecting-your-miniature-horse-from-predators.53208/
  2. PetMD, Available here: https://www.petmd.com/horse/breeds/c_hr_american_minature
  3. Petkeen, Available here: https://petkeen.com/miniature-horse/
  4. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature_horse#History

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