Every stereotypical little girl wants a pony at some point in her childhood! However, as a parent, the first thought that comes to mind when your daughter asks for this adorable creature is “cha-ching!” as images of dollar signs race through your mind. Nevertheless, after enough begging and pleading, you may start to consider the idea. So how much does a miniature pony actually cost?
Just like a dog or cat, this animal needs tender, loving care all 365 days of the year. While it is not that hard to find a bargain price on this tiny stallion, it is the cost of care where things really start to add up.
After the initial costs of buying the animal and supplies, you will likely spend anywhere between $4000 and $7000 per year for a miniature pony. We break down these expenses so that you can make an informed decision about adding this furry friend to your family! Miniature ponies and horses are known for their short stature and sweet demeanor.
However, not all ponies are created equal. The cost of the animal is determined by their pedigree, breed, coloring, age, sex, and even the training they have gone through. The location also plays a big factor in price. Those who are willing to go farther out can get a bargain more readily than the folks who decide to shop in the area they reside.
If your family’s intent is to just add this loveable creature to your family, then many of these factors do not matter. This will keep your costs down with the animal ranging from $500 to $1000. However, for the individuals who intend to show this colt or filly or have plans to train the foal to be a therapy or service animal, these attributes should be taken into account. Keep in mind though, this can increase the price tremendously with some animals exceeding $50,000.
Considering The Cost Of a Miniature Pony
The Miniature Pony
|$500 – $50,000+ (One Time Cost)|
|Hay / Forage||
$125 – $175 per month
|$75 – $150 per year|
|$450 – $500 per year|
$300 – $400 per year
|$115 per appointment|
$300 per month
$50 – $150 per month
$200 – $1000+ (One Time Cost)
$30 – $40 per month
***These prices are estimations based on national averages. Location can alter these amounts.***
Sustenance For Your Miniature Pony
Hay or Forage
The average miniature pony weighs about 200 pounds. The recommended amount of feed that you should give them daily is 1.5% of their body weight. This equates to about 2 to 4 pounds of grass hay per day. Over the course of a year this will total anywhere between 730 to 1,460 pounds!
Moreover, the cost of this essential item can vary tremendously based on where you live. For those who reside in areas where the business is agriculturally driven, hay can be quite affordable. However, if you live in a big city, many times you will have to ship this commodity in from other locales.
Additionally, as Costco and Sam’s Club have taught us, buying in bulk saves money! If you have the ability and space to store excess feed, consider buying one ton of hay for $125 to $175. This is equivalent to 2000 pounds — aka more than enough for over a year, even if your little filly ends up being a little bigger than average. However, if you don’t have a place to keep the forage dry and safe from contamination (mold, dust and bugs), then you should expect to spend the same amount for a monthly supply.
Secondly, just because it is affordable to eat rice and beans every day doesn’t mean that you want to limit your diet to that. Moreover, you wouldn’t get all the necessary nutrients that you need. A horse is no different!
Regularly providing your foal with a trace mineral salt block and flaxseed as well as yummy apples and carrots can help them to maintain a balanced diet. This totals to an added $75 to $150 per year.
Maintaining Your Miniature Pony’s Health
Veterinarian visits are essential for all animals. Just like household pets that live indoors, miniature horses require vaccines, deworming treatments and wellness checks. While most of these are once yearly costs, the deworming is required every six to eight weeks. Furthermore, your foals’ pearly whites will also have to be tended to twice yearly!
In fact, miniature ponies tend to have more dental problems due to the disproportionate size of their teeth to their jaws. Therefore, you must take them for floating treatments each year. This procedure helps to remove sharp points from their teeth caused by uneven wearing.
Finally, similar to a human’s nails, horses’ hooves have to be trimmed throughout the year too. Every six to twelve weeks, you must have a farrier come and care for your filly’s feet! They will trim and balance the hooves as well as add shoes, if required.
On average, you should expect to spend between $450 and $500 for veterinary services and $150 to $200 for dental visits. This number can go up if any health issues arise. Additionally, tending to their tootsies will run you another $115 for each appointment.
Training Your Miniature Pony
While you will not be riding this bucking bronco, you still need to make sure that it has some basic training. Miniature ponies need regular exercise due to their small stature. Without it, they can become extremely obese, which can lead to a slew of health issues. Therefore, halter training is a must! This normally only takes a few months, but it can run $300 or more each month.
Furthermore, if your desire is to have a therapy or service pony, this requires a more extensive training. Sessions range from $115 to $130 and most horses take one to two years to become fully certified.
While this seems quite pricey, remember that this is a rigorous training that prepares them to appropriately function indoors and in abnormal conditions. For example, this can involve going on elevators, up and down stairs, walking on various floor types and handling jarring noises.
Finally, training treats are a must to make sure your mini stays motivated! While this is a minor cost, it does add to the bill.
Shelter For Your Miniature Pony
Depending on your preference, these tiny stallions can stay in your home, your backyard or in a stable facility. However, no matter what you decide, they need a dry and warm place to retire to each night. Stable costs can range from $50 to $150 per month. However, this is another cost that depends on where you live.
Conversely, if you choose to let them reside with you, then understand that you will need to buy supplies to create a comfortable environment for them. This includes some sort of shelter or covering, blankets and shavings for their bedding.
These initial costs can range from a few hundred to up to $1000, depending on how fancy you want their backyard stable to be and whether or not you want to add a gate. Monthly costs will run around $30 to $40 for shavings for this area.
Grooming Tools and Other Supplies
Maintenance is key for keeping your mini clean and comfortable. You will need to purchase a dandy brush, curry comb, hoof pick and tail comb as well as shampoo and conditioner.
In addition, one time costs also include a harness, leads, blankets and sheets as well as toys! Miniatures love to play and these are extremely important items to have if you only have one animal. Boredom impacts ponies just like it does dogs. If they are not entertained, they are likely to cause trouble and develop destructive behaviors.
Final Thoughts — Buying a Miniature Pony
Having a miniature pony is a big investment. While the actual horse can be an affordable purchase, the cost of care and supplies can run up to $7,000 per year. Moreover, these animals live an average of 25 to 30 years. Therefore, this should not be considered a short-term commitment.
Furthermore, it is important to note that just because it is miniature, does not mean that it needs less care. The majority of the costs will actually be about the same as a regular sized horse. The major differences are the amount of food they consume as well as the lack of riding that occurs with a mini.
For those families who are pondering the purchase of a pony, but are still on the fence, an alternative is to lease a little filly! This can serve as a spectacular stepping stone into horse ownership, while not fully committing yourself to the venture. Additionally, this is beneficial for both the lessee and the horse, who may not get as much attention otherwise. Many facilities charge as little as $100 per month, getting you access to your little stallion for a sanctioned number of visits.
While the idea of having a horse may seem like an outrageous thought, but for many this can be a welcome addition to the family! Not only that, but this loveable creature is a fantastic companion for kids and adults alike. If you have enough time to dedicate to this pint-size pony, they are worth the effort!
Heidi is a wife, mother, Newfie owner, writer and Meteorologist. She was born and raised in Texas and has worked in the broadcast industry for going on a decade.