WHAT IS A MINIATURE HORSE?
The American Miniature horse is a unique breed, but its origin may be traced to several sources. Miniature horses were used in England and North Europe as early as 1765 to pull ore carts
in the coal mines.
They were also bred as pets for the royal families of Europe. Some were brought to the United States in the late 19th century and used in the mines of West Virginia and Ohio as late as
The miniature is a scaled-down model of a full-sized horse and can measure no more than 34 inches at the withers (the last hairs of the mane).
The American Miniature Horse Association Standard of Perfection calls for the smallest, most perfectly conformed horses as the breed ideal. Miniatures can generally be divided into
two body types - the more refined Arabian look and the heavier-boned Quarter Horse look.
WHAT TYPE OF CARE DO THEY REQUIRE?
The miniatures require much the same care as a standard size horse except in much smaller quantities. One acre of grazing is suggested for two miniatures, but it is possible to keep
one in a good-sized backyard with supplemental feeding.
A bale of hay will usually last one miniature for a month and approximately one pound of a good grade commercial food per 100 pounds of body weight is normally adequate as a daily
ration for a stalled horse.
Like big horses, they need their shots and a good de-worming program. Because of their size, people tend to overprotect them, but they
are just as hardy as any other equine with regard to weather conditions. They need to be groomed as often as possible and their feet trimmed at least two or three times a year.
Miniatures have the same gestation period as their full-sized kin -11 months or 345 days.
Foaling does not seem to be any more difficult for them than it is for the large mare.
WHAT ARE THEY
Because of their gentle, affectionate nature and small size, a miniature horse is an excellent pet. It is not uncommon to have a little nose nuzzling you as you work in the barn or
The foals are particularly loveable as they normally range between 16 and 21inches in height at birth. Many an owner has yielded to
the temptation to pick up a foal like a baby and "rock away."
Many people buy miniatures who have big horses and want their children to love, to know how to care for, and to learn to ride years
before they are ready for even the most gentle big horse. As the child outgrows riding the mini, it can be trained to pleasure drive. They easily
pull a cart or small wagon with children and/or adults. Older people have found the miniature to be an excellent substitute for the full-sized horse
they no longer feel physically able to handle.