MEADOWIND MINIATURES
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HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU MAY HAVE WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT MINIATURE HORSES BUT DIDN'T KNOW WHO TO ASK!!

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WHAT IS A MINIATURE HORSE

HOW TALL CAN THEY BE
WHERE DID THEY ORIGINATE
HOW DID THEY GET SO SMALL
HOW MUCH DO THEY WEIGH
WHAT DO THEY EAT
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THEM
DO YOU PUT SHOES ON THEM
CAN YOU RIDE THEM
WHAT KIND OF TEMPERAMENT DO THEY HAVE
ARE THERE DIFFERENT BREEDS OF MINIATURE HORSES
WHAT COLOUR CAN THEY BE
HOW LONG DO THEY LIVE
WHAT IS THE SMALLEST ADULT MINIATURE HORSE THAT EVER LIVED
HOW STRONG ARE THEY

WHAT IS A MINIATURE HORSE?

The America Miniature Horse is an elegant, refined and well-balanced horse
whose eligibility for registration depends on its height and its parentage. Miniature Horses cannot exceed 34" in height at the last hair of the mane in order to be registered with the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA), and the Miniature Horse Association of Canada (MHAC). The American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) has two divisions, the "Under Division " for horses 34" and under and the "Over Division" for horses over 34" to 38". (Horses of unknown parentage may be "hardshipped" into the AMHA registry, provided that they are 34" or less at the age of 5 years or into the AMHR registry at 3 years of age.

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HOW TALL CAN THEY BE?
The original registry, AMHR, determined that miniature horses are 34" tall, as measured at the last hair of the mane, just where the neck joins the back (unlike larger horses which are measured at the wither). In the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) and the Miniature Horse Association of Canada (MHAC), 34" is the maximum height allowed at the age of 5 years. In the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR), Miniatures designated as "Under" measure 34" and under at the age of 3 years, while"Over" horses are from 34" to 38".

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WHERE DID THEY ORIGINATE?
Miniature Horses go back several hundred years and are believed to have had different origins. Many of them probably descended from the "pit ponies" which pulled ore carts underground in coal-mines. Many of these horses have Shetland and Welsh pony blood in them. It is possible that nobility bred another group of small horses as novelties to entertain their children. These horses may have had Arabian and Thoroughbred blood in them. Still others have descended from a breed of South American horses known as Fallabellas. For hundreds of years, the Fallabella family raised small horses, using small specimens from breeds such as the Thoroughbred and South American Horses to develop a fine, well balanced little horse.

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HOW DID THEY GET SO SMALL?
Several horse breeders were intrigued with the small horses that were used in the coal- mines in the Eastern United States. They collected the smallest specimens and selectively bred them to develop what is now known as the American Miniature Horse. Some of the early specimens had dwarf characteristics which still occasionally appear in today's Miniature Horses.

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HOW MUCH DO THEY WEIGH?
A full-grown Miniature Horse may weigh up to 250 lbs. Newborn foals weigh approximately 15 to 25 lbs. The weight of the adult miniature is very much dependent on the feeding practices of its owner.

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WHAT DO THEY EAT?
Miniature horses eat the same kind of feeds that large horses do including grains and hay. The difference is in the amount they eat. One square bale of hay will last a Miniature Horse about 3 weeks. A large round bale of hay could last a Miniature Horse all winter while the same round bale would only feed its saddle horse counterpart for about a month.

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WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THEM?
Besides making wonderful pets and companions, Miniature Horses can be very easily trained to pull carts, to jump and to move through obstacle courses.

In recent years, some Alberta Miniature breeders have begun having chuckwagon races with Miniature horses pulling miniature chuckwagons. They made their first racing appearance at the Calgary Stampede in 1998 and delighted the crowds.

In the southeastern United States, Miniatures are used in a Miniature Harness Racing circuit.

For those with a more competitive spirit, there's nothing like the thrill of leaving the showring with a beautiful red (in Canada, or blue in the USA) ribbon following a pleasure driving or an obstacle class. Showing horses can often become a family affair with many classes to choose from in both halter and driving.

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DO YOU PUT SHOES ON THEM?
Although some breeders may choose to put small shoes on a Miniature Horse for the purpose of correction, Miniature Horses are never shown shod. The hoof wall is too thin to put nails into in order to keep the shoes on. Their tiny hoof would just fit into a teacup, compared to their draft counterparts whose hoof is about the size of a dinner plate.

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CAN YOU RIDE THEM?
Smaller children can ride some larger Miniature Horses. However, the child should not be over 60 pounds, and the horse should be a mature horse. Adult supervision of highly recommended.

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WHAT KIND OF TEMPERAMENT DO THEY HAVE?
Generally miniatures have the pleasant temperament of their larger counterparts. They are very easy to train and love being with people. Of course there are exceptions to every rule!

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ARE THERE DIFFERENT BREEDS OF MINIATURE HORSES?
No. Although miniature horses come in a variety of types, they are a "height breed" simply known as the American Miniature Horse. The types found in Miniatures includes Quarter Horse, Arabian, Morgan and Draft type.

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WHAT COLOUR CAN THEY BE?
Miniature horses come in all colours and coat patterns found in larger horses, including some of the more unusual colours and patterns such as palomino, buckskin, overo, tobiano, and appaloosa. They also have a pattern known as pintaloosa which is unique to the Miniature breed. Recently there has been much interest in identifying colours more specifically - silve dapple, chocolate dapple, silver bay, cremello, etc .

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HOW LONG DO THEY LIVE?
Miniature Horses have a long life span. It is not uncommon for them continue reproducing while in their twenties and to still be in good health on into their thirties. One mare, Komokos Sexie Lady is 29 years old. She had her last foal at the age of 25 years.

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WHAT IS THE SMALLEST ADULT MINIATURE HORSE THAT EVER LIVED?
The smallest full grown Miniature Horse recorded in the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) stud book was a horse by the name of Bond Tiny Tim. He measured in at a whopping 19 " tall. Smith McCoy of Roderfield, West Virginia owned a mare called Sugar Dumpling, which weighed 30 lbs. and was only 20". There has been much discussion about records for the "smallest horse". There are those who believe it is acceptable to include dwarf miniatures in such records, while others believe that in order to hold a record as the smallest horse, the horse should be a normal Miniature Horse in good health.

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HOW STRONG ARE THEY?
It is generally said that a miniature can pull 3 to 5 times its own weight. Of course it also depends on the type of surface underfoot. In deep sand or over rough terrain the load size might require adjusting.,
An average full-grown horse can easily pull two adults in a cart for the distance of ten miles. A team of Miniatures in Alberta, owned by Merv Giles of Cochrane Alberta, pulled a dead weight of 1135 lbs. in a horse-pulling contest. A single horse pulled a dead weight of 900 lbs. Merv no longer demonstrates horse pulling because of the misunderstanding of onlookers, who accused him of cruelty, even though his horses pulled willingly without the use of a whip. Many people do not realize that these horses have been bred to have the stamina to pull heavy loads, due in part to their heritage as "pit ponies" in the mines.

 

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