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By Smith Northam

Last updated: 3rd June 2021

Miniature Horse


Smith Northam
Last updated: 3rd June 2021

The Miniature Horse is a breed of small equines that developed in parts of the European continent and was later imported to the US. They are much known for their short stature, cute looks, and are kept both as ornamental pets as well as for horse shows. Considering their size, there is an ongoing debate whether this equine is a horse or a pony.

Miniature Horse Pictures

Quick Information

Other Names Mini Horse, Mini Pony
Behavioral Characteristics Gentle, lively, adaptable, eager, friendly
Physical Traits Despite having a short stature, the body is well-proportioned and strong; has a short head with a sturdy neck and slightly curved back with medium to short mane; the legs are strongly-built while the tail is long and dense
Coat Colors Common colors include black, gray, white, pintaloosa, pinto
Height/Size 8.2 hands (adult male and female)
Weight 225 pounds
Life Expectancy 25 to 30 years; up to 35 years
Common Uses No particular uses; kept as pets
Health Problems Prone to pick up a few issues including dwarfism, eclampsia, hyperlipemia, brachygnathism, colic, crowding, prognathism, and obesity
Type Sports horse, Show horse
Blood Type Cold
Ancestors (Bloodlines) Shetland pony and Dartmoor pony
Popular Traits Hardy, easy to keep, easily trainable, low maintenance cost
Feeding/Diet General horse diet including hay, grass, grains, etc.
Country of Origin UK, USA
Time of Origin 1600s
Associations and Registries American Miniature Horse Association

Video: American Miniature Horse Show

History and Development

The Miniature Horses were initially used as mine horses in England and the Netherlands, where they developed for the first time. In the 19th century, these horses were imported to the US for using them in the coal mines in the Appalachian regions.

Initially, the Shetland and the Dartmoor ponies contributed to the origin of the breed. Though, the genes of Hackney, POA, and Thoroughbred horses were also added with the intention to refine them further, after they were brought to the United States.

In 1978, AMHA (The American Miniature Horse Association) was founded for documenting this imported horse as their own breed. The association had also set the breed standards which the animals needed to abide by to get registered.

However, since there has been a lot many bloodlines present in this breed, different confirmations have been accepted by the Association, out of which, the proportion and the height played a significant role while registering.

At present, two classes are¬†recognized: Division A (includes those that stand under 34″), and Division B (includes those that are between 34 and 38″).

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