While some refer to horses as livestock, others consider horses to be a companion animal, especially if they are kept for recreational purposes. Miniature Horses—which measure 34 to 38 inches or less in height—are also recognized by many as companion animals. However, if you want to own a Miniature Horse as a pet, don’t assume a miniature size means less upkeep and expense than a full-sized horse.

Leslie Easterwood, MA, DVM, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, offered some insight on caring for Miniature Horses.

“General care and maintenance are exactly the same for miniature horses as for full-sized horses, the only difference is size,” she said. “Vaccinations, dental care, hoof care, feeding, and housing are consistent for all equines. Miniature Horses are also susceptible to the same diseases and ailments as full-sized horses. They are anatomically exactly the same as full-sized horses, so they have the same risk factors for lameness, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory issues, and other health complications.”

Miniature Horses also tend to be “easy-keepers,” meaning they can become overweight quickly if their diets aren’t planned carefully. Because of their small size, Miniature Horses have a low caloric need. Owners often mistakenly overfeed them, which can lead to obesity.

Housing requirements for Miniature Horses are smaller than that of a full-sized horse. However, they still require a pasture for adequate living space.

“Miniature Horses can live out in a pasture with trees for shade, g