Meet Gene Smith, owner of Hannay Miniature Horse Farm.
As an owner of a miniature horse breeding farm, I get a lot of questions about miniature horses. To begin with they are not ponies. A miniature horse cannot measure more than 38 inches at the withers (or last hair on their mane). Over 38 inches to 56 inches are ponies. Miniatures have different personalities than the ponies or full size horses. Don’t know exactly why. Unless they have been mistreated, they really seem to like people, especially children. They are very intelligent and easy to train. Most of ours are trained to drive and pull a cart or a wagon. Some are trained to drive as a team.
They are also great for younger children because they are on their level, are gentle and seem to really like kids. In the 12 years that we have been raising them, I have never had one kick me, which I can’t say for the full size horses we have had over the years. Because of their temperament they are also great therapy animals and are even trained to be guide animals. Advantage is that they live about three times as long as guide dogs. One disadvantage might be when the person being guided goes to a restaurant for lunch, the manager will probably almost faint until he/she realizes that it will behave in that setting as well if not better than a guide dog. And of course feed cost is quite small. As an example, a bale of hay provides two meals to our current 15 horses. In addition they each get a cup of grain with each meal. And with that menu, they are all well filled out (some might even be called a little fat).
In summary, they are a lot of fun to drive, they are great for younger children to work with and learn about horses because of their size and temperament, they have many talents and are great pets. We welcome farm visits by appointment.