Miniature horses are found in many countries of Europe and the Americas. They must be no taller than 97 cm (38 in) at the withers which is defined as the last hair of the mane. They are not considered to be a separate species from full sized horses.
They were developed through selective breeding in the 1600’s as pets for the nobility. They began to be used as draft animals in English coal mines after the Mines and Colleries Act of 1842 outlawed the use of young children in mines. In 1861 they were imported to the United States and used in mines until the mid 1900’s.
In the mid 1800’s the Falabella Miniature Horse was bred in Argentina. By adding bloodlines from Welsh and Shetland ponies a consistently smaller size was attained.
Today, Miniature Horses are bred for show.
Miniature Horse @ Safari Niagara
- There is a pair of miniature horses living at Safari Niagara
- They can be found at Papa Steve's Family Farm
Did you know?
- Dwarfism is a concern when breeding Miniature Horses.
- They have the same number of teeth as a full sized horse which can lead to dental problems.
- They can suffer from colic which is the inability to vomit so their diet must be closely watched.