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Miniature Horse FAQs

How many horses does the monastery have?
The count varies as the foals are born in the spring, as horses are sold, and yes - as occasionally the older horses die, but on the average we usually maintain a herd of around 60 horses.

What is the lifespan of a miniature horse?
The miniatures have the same lifespan as a full-size horse, that is to say, 20-30 years is the average. Our oldest at present is 29. We retire them from our breeding herd when they are about 18, and they get to just "hang out" in the pasture during their retirement years.

Do you have any newborn foals?
The foals are born during March, April, and May, and average around 18"-20" and 20 pounds at birth. They grow fast, though, reaching about 90% of their adult height during the first year. The mares are bred during April, May, and June, and the gestation period is eleven months, so only in the spring will you see the tiny newborns.

Can the miniature horses be ridden?
If the horse is at least 2-3 years old it could carry an average-size three year old child, but because the children outgrow them so quickly we don't break the horses to saddle.

So what DO you do with them?
They make nice pets; they can also be shown in miniature horse shows in classes such as halter, costume, jumping, obstacle, and driving. A mini that is at least two years old can be trained to pull a cart with several adults on board!

May we take pictures of them?
You are most welcome to take pictures of them! If you forget your camera, we do have disposable cameras for sale in the Art Barn gift shop. We also have postcards of the horses for sale.

May we feed them grass/carrots/apples?
Sorry, but we have to say a firm "No" on that one. You see, horses learn VERY quickly - if you feed it very carefully, YOU may not get bitten. But you have also just taught it to associate hands with food, and so the next person who puts a hand out to pet that horse just may get bitten because the horse thinks there will be - or at least SHOULD be - food in that hand!

What is the average price of a miniature horse?
A ballpark price for our horses is anywhere from $500 to $5,000. Size, age, lineage, gender, conformation, training, and sometimes even color all play a factor in determining the price.

How did this breed of horse get started?
People have long been fascinated by miniature versions of things; by selectively breeding the smallest horses they could find to see how small they could get them, a new breed was created for horses under 34" (measured at the base of the withers, right at the end of the mane).

How long has the monastery been raising them?
Since 1981.

How and why did the monastery get into the business of raising horses?
Good question! The answer is too long to get into here, though, so we are writing a book about it. Stay tuned!

If this is a community of nuns, why is it called a "monastery" instead of a "convent"?
The residences of cloistered, contemplative Orders - whether they be monks OR nuns - are called monasteries. The convents are inhabited by Sisters of the active apostolates, such as teaching or nursing, to name just a few.

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