You adopted a mini! Now what?
Here's a few tips and tricks to help your mini settle into their new life.
1. Your mini does not know it is home.
I know that your mini is going to be spoiled. You know that you are going to love them endlessly. But the most important thing to keep in mind, is that your mini has no idea if it hit the jackpot or is on its way to another auction house. It's very important to take things slow when your mini arrives to its new home. Yes, you want to play with them all day long and brush their hair, maybe dress them up and take them on a parade to make all your friends jealous, but the best thing you can do for your mini is to let them settle in for a few days to adjust.
2. Make your life easy. Leave the halter on.
For the first week, we always suggest you leave your minis halter on so that catching them is a stress-free interaction. Not only will this make it quicker and easier on you, but it will also help the mini learn to trust you. They won't feel like you are suddenly overwhelming them and trying to limit their freedom while you fidget with getting the buckle done. Remember, minis are horses too, and they are prey animals. Making them feel cornered or pushing them past their comfort levels, will slow down your relationship with your mini.
3. Treats are your best friend. Plain and simple.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. The best bet is that the way to your pony's heart is through food. They will learn to love you very quickly if you are always providing them with a sweet treat. Keep in mind though, minis can easily become overweight. While it is okay to feed lots of treats in the beginning to gain their trust, make sure you don't continue to overfeed once they get used to you.
4. Your mini might change color?
So many of our minis come in from the kill pens with extremely sun-bleached, matted or poorly maintained coats. We try to body clip almost all the minis when they come in so that their coat can start fresh. Because of this, when it grows back, your mini might be completely different. French Toast, for example, looked like a dun pony when he came in to the rescue, now almost 9 months later, he's a strawberry roan? Like we said...your mini might change color. With a good diet, regular grooming and a little love, you might uncover something beautiful.
5. Patience is a virtue.
Don't get defeated if you feel like your mini is taking awhile to warm up to you. Each time their environment changes, they question the world around them. We don't have past histories on any of our minis so we have no idea what they have been through. Some have become skeptical of people, while others are social butterflies. They each have their own story and personality, which makes each one unique. However, with time and love, they all come around to form great relationships with their new families.