IS A MINIATURE HORSE?
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.
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"
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 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 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.
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!
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.,
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.