Please make sure to take a look at our sponsorship recognition page! Every donation helps. Read more...



Commercial Banking Centre

With a lot of dedication and paperwork, we are pleased to announce that Whinnying in Life is now an officially registered non profit charitable organization!


ELITE DRIVER & INDEPENDENT RIDER REGISTRATION Driving is a great way to increase confidence, self-esteem and self-awareness. Read more...

The Equitherapy program encourages participants to get up close and personal with the miniature horses and Hoss with his canine friends.


DAY PROGRAMS For those interested in registering for our day programs, please contact us by email or by phone at 705.969.1283


VOLUNTEERINGYou can help support Whinnying in Life by donating a few volunteer hours a month. You can find out what opportunities are available here.



5134 Dupuis Drive
Hanmer, ON P3P 0B3
fax 705.969.9679

Care and Mainentance

Anatomy of a Horse

One of the first things any aspiring Horse Person must do is learn the proper anatomical terms related to horses. Click on any of the labels on the picture below to see a written description of the term.

POINT OF SHOULDER The point of shoulder is a hard, bony prominence surrounded by heavy muscle masses.

BREAST The Breast is a muscle mass between the forelegs, covering the front of the chest.

CHEST An ideal chest is deep and contains the space necessary for vital organs. A narrow chest can lead to interference with the front legs. Chest muscles should be well developed and form an inverted "V". The prominence of chest muscling depends on the breed.

FOREARM The forearm should be well muscled, it extends from the elbow to the knee.

KNEE The knee is the joint between the forearm and the cannon bone.

CORONET The coronet is the band around the top of the hoof from which the hoof wall grows. 

HOOF The hoof refers to the horny wall and the sole of the foot. The foot includes the horny structure and the pedal bones and navacular bones, as well as other connective tissue. 

PASTERN The pastern extends from the fetlock to the top of the hoof.

FETLOCK The fetlock is the joint between the cannon bone and the pastern. The fetlock joint should be large and clean.

CANNON BONE The cannon bone lies between the knee and fetlock joint, and is visible from the front of the leg. It should be straight.

HOCK The hock is the joint between the gaskin and the cannon bone, in the rear leg. The bony protuberance at the back of the hock is called the point of hock.

GASKIN The gaskin is the region between the stifle and the hock.

STIFLE The stifle is the joint at the end of the thigh corresponding to the human knee.

FLANK The flank is the area below the loin, between the last rib and the massive muscles of the thigh.

CROUP The croup (rump) lies between the loin and the tail. When one is looking from the side or back, it is the highest point of the hindquarters.

LOIN The loin or coupling is the short area joining the back to the powerful muscular croup (rump).

BACK The back extends from the base of the withers to where the last rib is attached.

WITHERS The withers is the prominent ridge where the neck and the back join. At the withers, powerful muscles of the neck and shoulders attach to the elongated spines of the second to sixth thoracic vertebrae. The height of a miniature horse is measured vertically from the withers (the last hair of the mane) to the ground, because the withers is the horse's highest constant point.

NECK Lightweight horses should have reasonably long necks for good appearance and proper balance. It should blend smoothly into the withers and the shoulders and not appear to emerge between the front legs. 

SHOULDER Shoulders should be overlain with lean, flat muscle and blend well into the withers. 

ELBOW The elbow is a bony prominence lying against the chest at the beginning of the forearm.

POLL The poll is the bony prominence lying between the ears. Except for the ears, it is the highest point on the horses body when it is standing with its head up.

CREST Moderately lean in mares but inclined to be more full in stallions. Curved topline of the neck.

FOREHEAD The forehead should be broad, full and flat.

NOSTRILS The nostrils should be capable of wide dilation to permit the maximum inhalation of air, yet be rather fine.

Reproduction in Minis

If you are considering a breeding program, breed only healthy, quality, mature miniature horse stock. Following a regular worming and vaccination schedule is a necessity.  Rely on your vet's advice as different areas have different requirements. Good Quality hay and feed are also necessary to produce the best miniature horses. Breeding miniature horses requires a substantial investment as well as the breeder's time, especially during foaling season. Read more of this article...


Gestation Table

This foaling chart is designed for Miniature Horses only and is based on a 330 day gestational cycle. Mares should be watched more closely starting around 300 days.

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How Tall Will Your Mini Be?

Grooming Your Horse

Grooming is an essential part of owning a horse whether it is a pet, breeding stock or show horse. It helps to tone its muscles, clean its skin, stimulate the blood circulation beneath the skin and improve its appearance. It gives you an opportunity to form a special bond with your horse as you work with him. Always brush and comb with the hair, rather than against it, to keep the coat soft and shiny and the mane and tail free from tangles. Read more about how to groom your horse...


Weighing your Mini Without a Scale

Since many medications must be administered based on weight, it is important to determine your horse's weight accurately to avoid the complications of over or under-dosing. This weight table was designed by veterinarians who recognized this problem. To use the table, take a standard tape measure and measure your horse's girth. Then use the table to determine his/her weight.

Heart girth in inches = body weight in pounds.

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Hoof Care

The hoof is one of the most important parts of a horse. Many otherwise young and healthy horses have lost their lives (yes, I mean their lives) to poor hoof maintenance.

The person you call to look after your horse's feet is called a farrier. These people are trained to give simple trims, corrective trims, and to shoe horses.

Miniature Horses go barefoot. In other words, we do not shoe a mini since their hooves are so small and cannot accommodate horse shoes.

When horse hooves are trimmed, excess hoof wall is removed to allow the horse a natural way of going.  Sometimes trimming may be done in a specialized fashion to alter the way of going, or change the appearance of the horse's feet and legs.

Trimming should leave the foot's ground surface on a single flat plane at right angles to its bone support column and preserve natural angulations of the hoof/pastern/shoulder axes.  Removal of too much hoof wall causes the horse to be sore and removal of too little wall may cause angle and balance problems before another trimming is scheduled.  Average trimming is 6 to 8 weeks but may extend to 9 weeks, depending upon hoof growth. Hoof growth is often influenced by the weather.

It is important to check your minis feet for stones or other debris and clean them with a hoof pick regularly, especially if you have been driving them on a gravel road.

In simplified terms, trimming a horse is much like giving a human a manicure. Just like a manicure, a horse does not feel the trimming.  A “hoof pick” is used to clean debris and buildup of dirt out of the hoof. A special knife is then used to cut away and trim the sole and frog. After that is cleaned out a “nipper” is used to clip a little off the hoof wall . A “rasp” or “file” is then used to even off the hoof all around the bottom of it. Too much hoof cannot be taken off at any one trimming so it is advisable to have the hooves done regularly to avoid having them grow too long.

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What is Your Horse's Body Condition?

Body Condition Scoring is a visual and hands-on method to evaluate the amount of body fat a horse has. Developed at Texas A&M University by D.R. Henneke and others, this system is a good management tool to determine the optimum amount of body fat for every type of horse.

By evaluating each horse's body condition regularly, the feeding and exercise program can be adjusted up or down to maintain the desired condition. Each class of horse, based on age, workload and use has an optimal body condition score. For example, a performance horse need enough body fat stores to use as an energy source to maintain performance, while too much fat can decrease performance. Learn how to score your horse...

Make Your Own Horse Cookies

1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1 cup flour
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp. Salt
1 T. sugar
2 T. corn oil
¼ cup water
¼ cup molasses

Mix ingredients in a bowl in the listed order.  Form small balls and place on cookie sheet sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  

2 cups flour
5 cups oatmeal
½ cup corn oil
1 clove garlic
1 cup diced carrots

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and form into small balls. Flatten with fork and place in pan or on a sheet (for mic’s) Zap for 6 minutes per batch.

1 cup sweet feed
2 cups bran
1 cup flax seed
4 large carrots, shredded
1 cup molasses
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup applesauce

Mix molasses, brown sugar, carrots and applesauce in a bowl. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients the slowly combine the molasses mixture with the dry mixture. Add only enough molasses mixture to form a thick dough, add more bran if needed. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and use approx 1 T. of mixture per cookies. Flatten with fork. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour, turn and bake for approx ¾ hour, until they are dried out….watch they don’t burn.

Shredded carrots

Mix carrots, molasses and grain until it looks good.

6 cup bran
2 cup oatmeal
2 cup cracked corn
2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 T. salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
16 oz. Sweetened apple juice
6 T. corn oil.

Roll dough into 1 or 2 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake for 45 minutes (or until they are dry and crisp) in 435 deg oven. This dough is very sticky. I find dipping my hands in water every once in a while helps.

1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup sweet feed
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup flour

Mix ingredients in a bowl as listed. Take tin foil and mold into a rectangle about 2 inches wide and 6 inches long with sides about 1½ inches high. Spray tin foil with Pam. Scoop ingredients into tin foil.
 Put on a pan and place in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 22 minutes. Let cool in the freezer for 15 minutes. Turn tin foil over and the bar should fall out. Makes 1 bar.

1 ½ pint (500ml) molasses
1  jar applesauce
½ cup corn or vegetable oil
8 cups large flake oatmeal
4 cups bran (horse or people cereal bran)
½ cup salt
1 ½ T baking soda
2 lbs shredded carrots
10 cups whole wheat flour

Mix all ingredients and drop by large spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes in 350 degree oven.