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Miniature Horses. By: Darcy Hiatt. What is a Miniature Horse?. Size breed Measure horse from last hair of the mane to the ground Anything over 38 inches is considered a pony Falabella-Smallest miniature horse Rare AMHA Registry: Horses have to be under 34 inches to be registered

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miniature horses

Miniature Horses

By: Darcy Hiatt

what is a miniature horse
What is a Miniature Horse?
  • Size breed
  • Measure horse from last hair of the mane to the ground
  • Anything over 38 inches is considered a pony
  • Falabella-Smallest miniature horse
    • Rare
  • AMHA Registry:
    • Horses have to be under 34 inches to be registered
  • AMHR Registry:
    • Under 34 inches is an A size
    • 34-38 inches is a B Size
variations of miniature horses
Variations of Miniature Horses
  • Many different colors
  • Draft body type
  • Refined body type
  • Many different uses
17th century

Developed as pets for Europe’s nobility

19th Century

Used as pit ponies in coal mines

1868 Falabella developed

Horses under 30 inches

In Argentina by Patrick Newell

Descended from Andalusion and Spanish Barb horses

development of the breed
Original horses were left to roam free

Developed stamina and ability to withstand extreme weather

Patrick Newell passed breeding program on to Juan Falabella

Added Welsh ponies, Shetlands and small Thoroughbreds to breeding program

Inbred to get consistent size

20th century

Miniature horses popular in US

Hackney and POA bloodlines were added

1978 AMHA registry and standards developed

Development of the Breed
costs of owning a miniature horse
Miniature Horse

Purchase Cost: $100 to $200,000

Feed Costs: About $25 per month per horse

Space Requirements: 3 horses per acre

Shoeing Cost: Shoes are not usually used

Vet Care: Similar to full size, medications and worming decreased dosages

Full Size Horse

Purchase Cost: $500 to Millions

Feed Costs: About $50 to $150 per month per horse

Space Requirements: 3 acres per horse

Shoeing Cost: Minimum $50 a month

Costs of owning a Miniature Horse
common health problems
Problems foaling

Dystocia- difficult delivery

Due to smaller birth canal

Up to 1/3 of foals may die because of dystocia

Premature foals

Miniature horses are often born early

Premature foals are born weak and have underdeveloped joints

Supplemental feeding and braces are often needed


Digestive problems are the top killers for miniature horses

Obesity and founder

Very easy keepers

Prone to Founder

Severe founder can kill

Common Health Problems
  • Two Types
    • Achondroplastic
      • Short, crooked limbs
      • Short ears
      • Normal neck, torso, and internal organs
    • Brachiocephalic
      • Facial abnormalities
        • Dished face
        • Flat nasal bridge
          • Causes difficult breathing
      • Bad legs
        • Enlarged joints
        • Twisted legs
      • Dental problems
        • Severe under bite
        • Retained Caps
      • Spinal issues
        • Protruding vertebrae
        • Hunched back
        • Short neck

Achondroplastic Dwarf

Brachiocephalic Dwarf

genetics of dwarfism
Genetics of Dwarfism
  • Dwarfism is a recessive trait: dd
  • If the foal is a dwarf each parent has to be a carrier: Dd or dd
  • A horse that is Dd does not show any characteristics of Dwarfism
  • If normal looking parents produce a dwarf foal, both the sire and dam should be pulled from the breeding program
managing for health problems
Managing for health problems
  • Foaling
    • Select mares and stallions with good conformation and low rates of dystocia
    • Pregnant mares should need to have nutrient requirements met but should not be overfed, vaccinations and worming needs to be up to date
    • Mares nearing parturition should be under 24 hour surveillance
      • Proper facilities for foaling
      • Foaling kit in case of emergency
      • On call vet
  • Dwarfism
    • Do not breed horses that have dwarf characteristics
    • Do not breed horses that have produced dwarfs
    • Do genetic and pedigree research before purchasing an animal you intend to breed
what can you do with a miniature horse
You can show them

You can race them

You can drive them

You can use them as a guide animal

Children can ride them

They can be your pet

What can you do with a Miniature Horse?
miniature horse shows
Miniature Horse Shows
  • Halter classes
    • Separate classes for mares, broodmares, stallions, geldings, foals, yearlings, and color classes
  • Driving classes
    • Country pleasure, roadster, western country pleasure, fine harness pairs, roman chariot, draft team, obstacle driving
  • Other classes
    • Jumping
    • Leadline
    • Costume
    • Versatility: Horse is shown at Halter, jumping and driving
    • Liberty
chariot racing miniature horses
Chariot Racing Miniature Horses
  • Started in Richfield, Idaho in 1999
  • Racing team consists of two horses a chariot and a driver
  • Horses run 200 yards
  • Lap and tap starts are used, each team has two headers for the start
  • Miniature horses are on feeding and training schedules similar to full size race horses
guide horses for the blind
Guide Horses for the blind
  • Guide horse foundation was founded in 1999
  • There are many benefits of using a horse for a guide
    • Good for people who are allergic to dogs
    • Long life span (30-40 years) the lifespan of a dog is only 8-12 years
    • Guide horses are calm in chaotic situations, they undergo the same desensitizing that riot control horses get
    • Horse’s vision has a range of almost 350 degrees
    • Horses are prey animals so are very safety conscious, and constantly on the lookout for danger
    • Horses also have high stamina, and are not addicted to attention like dogs and will be more focused when on duty
    • Horses can also be house broken, but still can spend the majority of their time outdoors
other uses of miniature horses
Other uses of Miniature Horses
  • Children up to 70 pounds can ride them
  • Miniature horses also make good pets