Description of breeds of mini-horses and rules of care, the smallest individuals in the world

Description of breeds of mini-horses and rules of care, the smallest individuals in the world

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A miniature horse is an ornamental pet, which differs from a pony in a proportional build. Dwarf breeds are smaller copies of tall animals. Varieties of mini-horses are distinguished by their exterior. A kind and intelligent pet will become the child's best friend. The main thing in caring for a small horse is to comb the mane, feed it properly and let it run.

The origin of small horses

The progenitors of decorative horses, ponies, have long been known in the world. The ancient Celts knew about them in the 5th century AD. The walls of sanctuaries and household items were decorated with drawings of small horses. King Louis XIV collected rare animals. Dwarf horses lived in the monarch's menagerie.

Purposeful breeding of mini-horses for the household began in 18th century England. Hardy animals were harnessed to coal carts. The first decorative breed was created in Argentina by crossing a tall horse and a pony. Falabella hereditary breeders and breeders from Buenos Aires introduced mini-horses in the early 20th century. American breeders continued the experiments of their Argentine colleagues and bred several more breeds.

Genetic features

The dwarf horse has a different genotype than the tall horse breeds. The external qualities of subsequent generations are improving. Children grow up shorter than their parents. The gene responsible for small stature, in rare cases, causes abnormalities in the development of the skeleton.

Advantages and disadvantages of short stature

Dwarf breeds are a compromise for horse lovers who do not have suitable conditions for keeping a large animal. A live horse the size of a toy rocking horse will not frighten a child. A pet will brighten up the leisure of an elderly person.

The mini horse's temperament is similar to that of a dog. She becomes attached to the owner, amenable to training. Dwarf breeds have sharper hearing than dogs. Animals are used as companions by people with physical disabilities.

Other advantages of the undersized breed:

  • easy transportation - a standard van is suitable for transportation;
  • food costs are two times lower;
  • no need to shoe;
  • less space in the stable is required - two mini-horses will fit in one stall measuring 3x4 meters;
  • live, on average, 35 years, the child will grow up with the pet;
  • behave calmly with people and relatives.

The negative side of the purchase is the high price. The cost of a mini horse foal starts at 240 thousand rubles.

Application of mini-horses

Dwarf horses have a kind character, are easy to train and look unusual. The abilities of mini-horses are used in medicine, entertainment and home keeping. Dwarf horses can be found:

  • in a private house as a pet;
  • at a specialized exhibition;
  • in a circus number;
  • in the children's neurological department of the hospital - hippotherapy treats neurosis, cerebral palsy, autism;
  • on tourist trails.

Sensitive animals serve as guides for the blind. Mini horses can withstand a weight of up to 30 kilograms on their backs, and they can pull up to 90 kilograms in a cart. They teach horse riding to young children. A pony can be clumsy and hasty for a child. An agreeable dwarf horse will help you feel confident in the saddle.

The most famous breeds

The kennels breed four mini horse breeds. Individuals differ in exterior. Their height reaches 86 centimeters at the withers.

Mini appaloosa

The birthplace of the breed is the USA. The tall Appaloosa were bred by the American Indians from Lake Palous. Breeders have reduced the height of horses to 95 centimeters. External characteristic:

  • neat head;
  • wide neck;
  • small hooves with dark vertical stripes;
  • speckled color of the body.

The new breed for Russia has long been known and loved by breeders in Europe and America.

American miniature

The breed is distinguished by its athletic build. Muscles stand out on properly positioned limbs. Features of the structure of the head - a slightly parabolic profile and a wide forehead. The American mini horse looks like a graceful thoroughbred horse. The exhibition stand is in her genes. The Spanish step is easy to teach the animals. Mini-horses of the American breed are friendly to each other and other pets. They can be harnessed to small carts.


Animals of the Argentine breed are the shortest of the mini-horses. Height at the withers - 75 centimeters. A falabella horse weighs between 20 and 60 kilograms. She has fewer ribs than other breeds. The soft, silky coat and mane require careful maintenance. Outwardly, the horse looks simple - a large head with an even profile, thin legs. Falabella horses are docile with children and the elderly. Intelligent animals are trainable. In favorable conditions, a pet can live up to 40 years.

Shetland pony

The ancestors of the breed are ordinary ponies. The task of the breeders was to breed small animals with symmetrical body proportions and a calm temperament. Shetland ponies are cute fluffy mini-horses with a massive body and straight legs, wide-set ears and expressive eyes. The features of the breed also include rounded hooves, a lush mane and tail. Well-built, hardy Shetland ponies rarely get sick.

Nuances of content

A mini horse is looked after in the same way as an animal of normal height. For one pet, you can take a corner in an outbuilding on the site. A stable is needed to keep two or more horses.

A prerequisite is to provide a pen for the pet to run and play. Dwarf horses are active, but thermophilic animals. The stable room needs to be insulated.

Mini-horses need to be vaccinated against influenza and tetanus, do worm prophylaxis and take them 2 times a year to see a veterinarian.

Stable arrangement

Requirements for the place of keeping a mini-horse:

  • stall area for 2-3 animals - 12 square meters;
  • infrared radiation;
  • an insulating layer of blankets on the wall;
  • fresh air, but not a draft;
  • a litter of sawdust or hay on the floor.

The apartment is not very suitable for keeping a dwarf horse. The pet needs space to play and freedom of movement. A mini horse does not go to the litter box like a cat does. In the USA, mini-breeds are kept in private homes, they wear diapers and boots on their hooves. But walking twice a day or a diaper will not solve the problem of lack of movement and fresh air. In the confined space of an apartment, the pet will become sad.


The mini horse is looked after according to the standard scheme every day:

  • clean the stall, change the bedding;
  • comb the wool and mane, bathe;
  • clean their hooves;
  • fed;
  • let out for a walk;
  • train.

A pitchfork and a brush are required to clean the stall. The soiled bedding is replaced with fresh straw and sawdust. The room is disinfected every six months. The horse must be moved to another location during disinfection.


The mini horse's diet includes:

  • grass, hay;
  • vegetables;
  • corn;
  • porridge;
  • vitamins and minerals.

It is useful for dwarf horses to eat root crops - beets, carrots, potatoes, cabbage. If animals live on a farm, they are released to pasture and additionally fed with mineral food. Dwarf breeds react sharply to vitamin deficiency. Mini horses chew slowly and thoroughly so that the food is gradually digested. They should not be rushed and underfed. Hungry animals swallow food, and it is poorly digested in the stomach.

The basis of the horse's diet is coarse herbal food, hay. Porridge can be given in small quantities. Otherwise, the pet is at risk of obesity. Ornamental breeds gain weight quickly, especially with a lack of physical activity. Obesity leads to metabolic disorders, diseases of the joints and spine.

More often than other breeds, Shetland ponies suffer from obesity. To calculate the rate and choose a diet based on the breed, it is better to contact your veterinarian. Water is given several times a day: 3 times in the summer, 2 times in the winter. In order for the pet to drink at any time, an automatic drinker is installed. It is important to keep the container clean and add water. Dishes for food and drink are decontaminated every month.

Hygiene and care of the mane

The mini horse's coat is cleaned every day with a brush and scraper. The average cleaning time is 15 minutes. The mane and tail are washed with shampoo and conditioner, combed with a comb. In the summer, the pet is bathed after active games. Sweat is washed off with warm water. Dry cleaning is sufficient in winter. A dwarf horse should be brushed carefully, standing in front or to the side. Despite the kind nature, the animal can reflexively kick in response to a careless action with a scraper.

The horse's hooves are cleaned after a walk. Debris is removed using a special hook. Teeth are examined every six months. An oral inspection can be included in a routine veterinarian check-up.


Falabella horses are sexually mature at 4 years of age. The females of the Argentine breed have the longest pregnancy among the ornamental species - 13 months. Breastfeeding lasts 9 months. Foals find their mother by a special smell. Mini-horses begin their independent life after a year.

Females of the American Miniature breed and Mini-Appaloosa carry their young for 11 months, like tall horses. Just like the falabella, they feed their foals with milk for a year. In the third year of life, individuals of the American breed are ready to reproduce. Appaloosa reach sexual maturity by the age of four.

Breeding for Shetland ponies is the same as for standard breed horses. A female can give birth to two foals. The newborn foal gets to its feet within 2 hours and soon starts to run. Childbirth can be difficult due to small stature, so it is better to take the expectant mother to the clinic or invite a veterinarian at home. In dwarf horses, the growth gene is dominant. If you cross between a regular and a miniature breed, the cubs will not grow taller than a meter at the withers.

Interesting facts about baby horses

In the history of mini-horses, there are cases of record low growth.

Lilliputian horses from the Guinness Book of Records

In 2006, the filly Tumbelina, also known as Thumbelina, entered the register of record holders. With a height of 43 centimeters, she weighs 26 kilograms. The horse is considered a dwarf even for a short breed. Tumbelina has short legs, like normal ponies.

A miniature filly named Bella was born on a farm in the American state of Dakota. Her height at birth is 38 centimeters, and her weight is 4 kilograms. Einstein's foal was born in England. He is shorter and lighter than Bella: with an increase of 36 centimeters, his weight did not exceed 3 kilograms.

The smallest horse in the world

Little Pumpkin, or Little Pumpkin, is a mini-horse of the Falabella breed. She was born on an American farm in South Carolina. The record holder's height was 35.5 centimeters. The baby weighed 9 kilograms. Pumpkin's record has not been broken since 1975.

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