Mini horses are amazing animals that are cute but also have their own great strength for their size. They are pretty quick and agile at the same time. They have all the same characteristics of regular sized horses just in a much smaller version.
So how fast can miniature horses run?
Although they are much smaller mini horses have been recorded as going as fast as 25-30 mile per an horse. They probably can’t hold that speed as long as a horse that has been recorded as going as fast as 55mph. There are variables for this of course as in how in shape is the miniature horse and feeding scenarios.
Mini horses will have different speeds for their walks and trots then regular horses as well. Although when watching them they look like they are moving faster with those little legs. Our main focus in this article will be with their trotting speed.
The average speed of a mini horse is around 18 mph.
What Is The Trotting Speed Of A Mini Horse?
These are answers from real horse owners curated from multiple forums for your viewing. We gathers this information from Mini Horse Talk and Horse Sub Reddits.
1. HobbyHorse23 “11 mph” –I’d have to do the conversions but I know 9kph is deadly slow as a trot pace for most minis, 10kph is more reasonable as a working pace, and most of them can easily hold 11kph for awhile although it takes a strong, fit horse to maintain that pace or better over a marathon distance. B minis, of course, have an easier time with that than most A minis would.
I ran a vehicle next to Kody once but forget now what his speed was. He loves keeping up with pickup trucks going cross-county though! It’s really funny watching him canter along with his nose to the tailgate like he was glued there.
2. MinxiesMom “11-13mph” – That is a fast trot depending on how big the horse is! I can get Max (33″) routinely up to about 11 mph, and once got him to 13 mph and it was like flying! If only he would do that in an arena. Alas, the footing is never as nice as the wonderful dirt roads we drive on, and he doesn’t have to make any turns out on the road either.
3. Jetiki “12mph” – My mare while playing with a gps, was averaging 12kph, going fast 14kph, and about the movement of a western pleasure jog was 9kph. She’s 35″ by mini measures. Just in the driveway we clocked her at 10-12mph with a van
4. Marsha “11mph” – Dapper Dan is 32.5″, so 11 mph wasn’t too bad for him.
Dusty is 34″. He is so much fun; the extra couple of inches makes such a difference! And I can tell he enjoys the job.
When a horse has extension does it increase his speed signifcantly? Or does it make less work for him?
5. HobbyHorse23 “another response” – A horse performing a true extended trot (in the dressage sense of the word) will cover ground more quickly because his strides are longer but the tempo of the footfalls should not increase and it is very hard work as he’s having to balance himself, shift all his weight to the rear and propel himself forward with utmost power. Connecting the hindquarters in general however and then asking for pure speed will get you going quite a bit faster than simply chasing a horse on his forehand into a road trot as it is a much more powerful gait and the horse gets longer strides instead of just moving his legs faster. Does that make sense? I think I’m a bit loopy at the moment so I hope I said that right.
Longer strides + moving the legs faster will be faster than just moving the legs faster. That’s what I meant!
6. Keely2682 “15mphp” – i think cali, my 37″ wpc horse trots about 15 mph.
tippy in trot on mode really flies, i think i’ve gotten her to 18 still barely at a trot.
(not sure how accurate person clocking with car really is but…)
Thoughts – So somewhere between 11-13mph for trotting a mini is about right. Some people have sent us questions asking about not having enough pasture to trot their mini and have asked about going on the road. We do this all the time but we living on a dirt road so it doesn’t have really an affect on their hooves. Most were asking about pavement so we did some research on some real horse owners on this and this is what we got back.
Do You Trot Your Mini On Paved Roads?
1. BannerBrat “Good Trimming First” – f you’re worried about wearing down his/her feet then you can research and invest in some hoof boots. Or have his/her feet trimmed a little longer.
If you’re worried about concussion on the pavement you can do a few things to help if you plan on working on pavement consistently. First off is look to make sure she has a good a hoof trim. Watch her walk and see if her hooves land correctly. Here’s a link that explains what I’m talking about more in detail. Heel First Landing I think a correctly landing hoof does wonders to absorb concussion from pavement.
Another thing you can do is put him/her on a joint supplement with glucosamine and MSM which will help her joints repair themselves and keep the pavement from leaving lasting damage.
I think it’s up to you to make the decision, I work on pavement from time to time, I don’t particulary like to but I don’t think it’s totally horrible, I just prefer grass/dirt.
Also another thing to keep in mind is that pavement can be slippery in certain conditions.
Carts roll easier on pavement. 🙂
2. Fanch “Just Not All The Time” – I trot mine on payment, but not all the time. To get to and from the arena we travel along the road and theres quite a few nice paved roads for pleasure driving. I think it won’t hurt if its just for brief periods of time and when possible keep them on the bolevards.
3. MinisOutWest “Definite No” – I come from the big horses and I do not even walk my minis across the pavement! Think of the times you have seen me driving my horses at all the shows- only on dirt! too much concussion on the legs in my opinion. then think of them slipping on the pavement or spooking and taking off on the pavement. Not good. But that is just my thought.
4. Ferrah “Walking Only” – I will only walk on pavement. I don’t like to run on pavement (and I wear shoes!), so I don’t think I should make my horse run on pavement either.
5. Kendra “Not On The Regular” – No, wouldn’t trot on pavement, especially not on a regular basis.
6. Minimore “I Wouldn’t” – I don’t/wouldn’t trot on pavement either–I don’t think they need the concussion on their legs, and pavement is too easy to slip on. It’s walk only for me.
7. Keri “Do It All The Time” – I do all the time. I don’t have a huge pasture to work my horses in, so I take my seasoned ones out on the road and work them. These horses don’t spook at dogs, etc., etc. Never had problems with my horses working them on it. They are all on joint supplements to ensure they are in good shape. But I’ll walk, trot and extend a trot on the road. I mainly just walk and do a light trot though (but work them on an extended trot for a couple minutes to be sure they got it for show). Like I said, never had problems in all the years I’ve done it. My horses have never showed any signs of being hurt during or after their workout.
But you have to remember some horses are tender footed naturally. So they just can’t work on the road. My horses all have hard feet (kind of like their heads sometimes). But care for you horse properly and you’ll not have problems. If I had a better place to work them, I would. But I don’t.
8. HobbyHorse23 “Avoid when you can” – I agree with JJay- while I start cautiously, avoid pavement work when I can and work up to it over time when I do utilize it, for a mature animal who has had years of basic work I think it can increase bone density and potentially benefit their overall fitness. I’m talking top athletes here, horses who are being asked to trot 13km for CDE and still come in sound and energetic at the end, not your normal 3 year old or trail driving horse. Pavement can be slippery and hard on hooves so of course you must take precautions against wearing down the hoof wall or any potential muscular strain or injury from a slip. Wearing hoof boots is good, so is working OFF the pavement as much as possible!! None of us likes pounding the pavement but for many of us it’s the only way to get to the few places we can work our horses and there’s no sense pussy-footing along for the natural life of the horse if they’re comfortable and ready to go faster.
My riding horse was never allowed to trot on pavement, but he was about 750lbs heavier and carrying a rider to boot and he always made it clear that he found it uncomfortable. I think the larger the animal, the harder pavement work probably is on them and the more it should be avoided. That wasn’t too hard with a riding horse as he could easily fit on most of the verges where my cart cannot safely go! I led my 4 year old mini down the road at walk and trot for a long time when I got him, then long-lined him, then drove him, at first mostly walking on the pavement and trotting when we reached grassy verges. He’s very tenderfooted but I always got the impression that it was more his joints than his feet that found it uncomfortable to move out on pavement just as it had been for the riding horse. However after a few years of off-road conditioning work and regular pavement drives he stopped pulling up when we reached those cross-streets and then started to show me a true “road trot” on the pavement all on his own and got annoyed if I tried to pull him up. I kept his feet longer to help with the wear and post-trimming tenderness and I know that helped, but I think his legs had toughened and were ready for it.
I take the yearling I’ve got now for walks down that same road and we always do a little trotting in hand up the hill on the way back home; it doesn’t seem to bother him any more than it did Kody. I figure in a few years when he starts driving he’ll have a good foundation laid for bone remodeling but I will not ask him to trot on pavement hitched until he wants to and then only when I think it’s more than bravado speaking. On the one hand I don’t want to wrap my horses in cotton wool; on the other hand I think it’s important not to let them overdo it. Use your common sense, spare them when you can (which is 99% of the time) and never force a horse to trot on pavement but if they want to and the conditions are good then I really see no harm in letting them. Just be sure to pull them up as soon as they start to flag and don’t let them overdo it.
9. MiLo Minis “Designed For Hard Ground” – Horse’s hooves are designed to absorb shock and concussion from travelling at speed on hard ground. If your horse’s feet are in good condition and unshod you shouldn’t have any problem with travelling on asphalt (cement is another story) provided you work up to it gradually. Shoes only add to concussion and prevent shock absorption so they are not the answer. The biggest problem is that our horses, on a whole, are kept on SOFT ground and don’t see much in the way of rocky/hard terrain except when we do take them out driving so their feet are not in the best condition they could be.[IMG]Keeping them properly trimmed and consistant exercise on hard ground will allow them to travel more easily on paved roads. Gravel roads, unless well packed, are more likely to be tough on their feet because of the chance of bruising from random sharp stones.
Thoughts – We think you can do it on an as needed basis. Overall have a vet check them out and see what they think. Start them out slow walking and trotting mixed to see what their joints tell you. Next day if they are a little lame you know you should probably avoid the payment overall.