These horses also go by the name mini horses, toy horses, midget ponies, pygmy horses, Falabellas or Dartmoor ponies. They are the smallest horse in the world and range in size, shape and color.They are not suitable to ride but are bred to be kept as pets.
This breed originated in Europe. In the 1650`s, King Louis XIV had miniature horses among his collection of unusual animals at his palace in Versailles. Miniatures were bred from Shetland ponies to create a smaller work horse for the coal mines in Wales. The U. S. imported these ponies in the early 1900`s for the same purpose. In the 20th century, there has been many independent breeding programs throughout the world and several distinct breeds have emerged.
There are more than 2o different registries for miniature horses, each with its own conformation standards. Some breeds have stout, short legs while others look like a large horse conformation in a smaller package.
Their standard height is from 28 to 38 inches tall. The American Miniature Horse Association says a mini cannot be taller than 34 inches at the last hairs of the mane, or withers. The American Miniature Horse Registry has two categories, Division A is for minis 34 inches or shorter and Division B is for minis 34 to 38 inches tall.
Falabellas are an Argentine breed that claims to be descended from a single stallion with a “dwarf” gene in the 19th century. Other breeds include micro-minis, midet ponies, the pygmy Clydesdale, and the U.K. Shetland pony.
These horses have been raised to be guides for the visually impaired. They are safe, cost-effective and reliable guides and they do not get distracted by people or crowds. They also tend to live longer than most guide animals and would be great for someone with dog allergies.
Source courtesy of http://www.ehow.com
Photo courtesy of http://www.mini-n-doc.com