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).
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.
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
the back (unlike larger horses which are measured at the wither).
In the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) and the
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
horses are from 34" to 38".
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
ponies" which pulled ore carts underground in coal-mines. Many of these
horses have Shetland and Welsh pony blood in them. It is
nobility bred another group of small horses as novelties to entertain
their children. These horses may have had Arabian and
blood in them. Still others have descended from a breed of South
American horses known as Fallabellas. For hundreds of
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.
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
Some of the early specimens had dwarf characteristics
which still occasionally appear in today's Miniature Horses.
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
very much dependent on the feeding practices of its owner.
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.
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
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
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.
southeastern United States, Miniatures are used in a Miniature Harness
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.
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
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,
their draft counterparts whose hoof is about the size of a dinner plate.
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.
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!
ARE THERE DIFFERENT BREEDS OF
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.
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
palomino, buckskin, overo, tobiano, and appaloosa. They also have a
pattern known as pintaloosa which is unique to the
Recently there has been much interest in identifying colours more
specifically - silve dapple, chocolate dapple,
silver bay, cremello,
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
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.
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
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.
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.
deep sand or over rough terrain the load size might require adjusting.,
average full-grown horse can easily pull two adults in a cart for
distance of ten miles. A team of Miniatures in Alberta, owned by Merv
Giles of Cochrane Alberta, pulled a dead weight of 1135 lbs.
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