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Miniature Horse

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Species group:

The basics:
The Miniature Horse is exactly what its name implies....a miniature horse, not a pony. The breed was developed in Europe, with records dating back to the 1650’s when they were noted as being part of French King Louis XIV’s exotic zoo. They were also bred as pets for the Hapsburg nobility in the 17th century. However, in addition to be the pampered pets of royalty, these hardy horses had a working class counterpart. Miniature Horses were also utilized in coal mines throughout Europe for centuries.

Mini horses have a reputation for being friendly, social, and hardy. Their average life span is 25-36 years. Their size, personality, intelligence and longevity make them ideal for horse lovers who can no longer ride, and they are also being utilized as service animals, similar to assistance dogs, for the disabled. The Falabella Miniature Horse is a rarer type of mini, and was developed in Argentina in 1800's.

Minis are used for driving, and as companion and assistance animals. Miniature Horses should not be ridden by anyone over 70 pounds.

Appearance / health:
26 inches

Miniature horses come in all colors and patterns. The general rule of thumb is that if you saw a photo of a Miniature Horse, without anything to indicate size, the conformation, characteristics, and proportions should be identical to those of a full sized horse.

Miniature Horses have two size categories: an "A" sized Miniature is up to 34"; and a "B" mini is from 34" to 38".

Miniature horses are generally healthy animals. However, Minis are especially prone to laminitis and founder, due to the tiny amount of feed that they need to stay healthy. Dwarfism is also a concern. Dwarf horses, while often setting world records for size, are not considered to have desirable traits, generally have incorrect conformation, and may have significant health and soundness issues. Therefore, many miniature horse registries try to avoid accepting minis affected by dwarfism for breeding stock registration.

Behavior / temperament:
Miniature Horses are inquisitive, energetic and friendly.

wonderful

perfect 4h project, great companion animals, grandkids, ideal family pets, sweet personalities

challenging

weight issue, vet bills, vet care, founder issues

interesting

thick winter coats, Pintaloosa miniatures, Therapy work, Lower feed bills, nursing homes

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