There are dozens of horse breeds in the world with their unique data and history. Some of them were created by nature, some were derived by geneticists. Each of them has its own role in the world of people and its purpose. There are horses for walking, and there are for tourism, horse riding and racetrack competitions. One of the most interesting horse breeds is the American Miniature Horse.
Contrary to the name, the origin of the breed is not connected with America, but with the European continent. It is believed that tiny horses appeared in zoological collections of English royalty in the XVI century. The first official mention of miniature horses in the English press dates from 1765. Every year the number of miniature horses increased. They were massively used in mines, harnessed to carts with coal. From Europe, the “miner horses" came to the American continent, where they worked in the mines until the middle of the 20th century. The descendants of these animals made up part of this breed. The current "Americans" took shape by crossing. The breed included Shetland ponies and Argentinean Falabella horses. When breeding an American miniature horse, the breeders set themselves several basic goals: small stature, neat appearance and complaisance. Today, these babies are one of the kindest horse breeds.
In 1978, the American Miniature Horse Association was established. Breeders separated the "Americans" from the Argentinean breed "Falabella". The standard introduced by the founders provides for the registration of animals with clearly defined parameters. Horses should be no higher 34 inches (85 centimeters). Among the registered representatives of this breed there were also amazing individuals. The stallion with the funny name Little Pumpkin was listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 1975. His height was 35.5 centimeters, and the weight did not reach 10 kilograms. From that moment on, the “Americans” officially became the smallest breed on the planet. Basically, miniature horses represent a smaller copy of riding horses. Weigh 50-70 kg.
More than 250 shows of American miniature horses are held annually in the USA and Canada. The program of these events is fascinating and very diverse. Horses ride children, overcome special barriers and an obstacle course, which consists of poles and swinging bridges. The audience really likes the demonstration of equestrian training. On some shows, horse racing with small mechanical jockeys is organized.
Who are they?
Little horses are called ponies, of which there are many varieties. Their growth reaches no more than 86 cm at the withers. Today, another type of mini-horses has been developed, which has much smaller sizes. All of them can be of different heights, some are tall, others are tiny and with short legs, they are divided into different breeds. Such animals have friendliness, good nature, each horse has its own intelligence. The smallest ones have differences from ponies.
Ordinary horses and ponies have good endurance, but this can not be said about their mini-brothers.
Everyone is accustomed to seeing big horses, they are beautiful, graceful, strong, hardy and almost always go near a person, helping him in everything. Horse breeders can travel the whole world to get a good steed in their collection. Today, there are many breeds of horses that differ from each other in color, grace, growth and strength. But among these you can find a mini copy that resembles a toy
The smallest breed is the horse of the Falabella breed, which was bred many years ago. And still this breed is very popular. But this breed does not belong to the pony, however, its body is the same as that of other horses. The Falabella breed is a mini copy of the Arabian skununs, who have beautiful legs. The height at the withers of such horses is no more than 80 cm, and the weight will reach only 60 kg.
These pets are used as a decorative mini-horse, they have a good disposition, they are used for riding, but only small children with low weight are allowed to ride.
Kind of horse
- reaches a height of 75 cm at the withers, it is she who is called the smallest horse,
- has a beautiful physique: a large head, a long neck, thin legs and small hooves,
- these horses have their own peculiarity - they have 2 ribs less than other breeds of mini-horses,
- can be of different colors,
- their mane and coat are soft, beautiful and silky.
If such a horse is properly looked after, then it can live up to 40 years.
A breed of horses whose representatives are the smallest horses in the world.
There are several versions of the origin of this breed. According to one of them, a long time ago a herd of ordinary horses fell into a trap due to a landslide that blocked the exit from a large deep canyon. The minerals necessary for growth were absent in the soil, and local cacti turned out to be the only available food. As a result, with each generation, the horses became smaller until this change was rooted in their genetic code.
It is believed that these horses were found by a family of an Argentine farmer named Falabella. The animals were lifted out of the canyon using a winch and taken to the ranch. Despite the plentiful feed, the descendants of the surviving horses were also stunted.
Another theory is that the leader of the Kayak Indian tribe passed on the secret of breeding miniature horses to the Falabella family. However, this assumption does not hold water, given that the Indians in those parts were quite belligerent and sought to raise war horses.
Falabella rarely sold his legendary horses, and if he did, then the stallions were pre-castrated. Even the John F. Kennedy family managed to acquire only a gelding and a mare. Only in 1977 did the English lord John Fisher and his wife Rosamund manage to persuade Argentine farmers to sell them several mares and four stallions. Soon, the spread of Falabella horses began in Europe.
Active work on fixing the main features of the breed was carried out from the end of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century. The breed is named after the Falabella family, which has devoted many years to breeding this breed, at its ranch near Buenos Aires. The Falabella breed also contains a certain percentage of Spanish blood (Andalusian), since the initial herd, from which the breed began, was originally composed of small Spanish horses, as well as creollo.
The height of the horses of the Falabella breed is from 40 to 75 cm. Weight ranges from 20-60 kg. Any color. Stacked proportionately, elegant. They have thin legs and small hooves. Body structure: a rather large head, one or two ribs less than other breeds of horses. Beautiful mane and tail, thin skin. Movement is free, energetic. Falabella has a very kind character, they are smart, good-natured. They live unusually long, often survive to forty years or more.
The initial idea was to create a small horse, not a small pony, so it’s hard to say what function this breed should have performed, especially considering its small size and inbreeding. Such babies are not suitable for horse riding, however, despite their height, they are very strong, and therefore it is now used for light harnessing and horse riding for children. Also great as decorative horses and pets.
To date, the Falabella officially recognized by the Association of US Veterinarians as the best guide dogs. Trained horses can walk at 3 speeds, are easily controllable and not distracted. A viewing angle of 350 ° allows them to sensitively analyze the situation, including in the dark. This has served to popularize the breed of Falabella throughout the world.
Falabella is very helpful, they are smart, good-natured and friendly. They are easy to train. Such horses enjoy communicating with people. These are born jumpers who easily overcome various obstacles, like to ride over rough terrain.
At Falabella horses good disposition - they get along well with both children and adults. However, they can also kick if they are offended. They eat “traditional” foods: grass, hay plus vitamins. The coat is short or long, of different colors. Unlike dogs and cats, they do not have fleas. At home, pets are protected from drafts, taken on foot, put on blankets in the cold, vaccinated against flu, and sometimes bathed in the shower. To prevent injuries on slippery floors, horses are slipped in special slippers. Falabella is well trained. A little patience, and the animal can be accustomed to the toilet in one place.
Miniature american horse
This is another breed of mini-horses, they were obtained by crossing the Falabella and Shetland ponies. The horses turned out to be slightly larger in size, the growth at the withers a little more than 85 cm. Such mini-horses today are often exhibited at exhibitions and various shows. They exist of different stripes, are curious, have a soft character and calm. They are easily trained and can easily carry out any commands. Mini-horses of this breed can easily get along with larger relatives and humans.
2. Mini appaloosa
Bred on the basis of horses of the breed of appaloosa by selection aimed at reducing growth. Appaloosa horses were created as a result of a popular selection of the North American Native Persian tribe in the Palouse River region. Subsequently, on the basis of the surviving horses of the Indians of a specific forelock suit, the now existing breed, Appaloosa, was created.
In the breed of appaloosa there are rather stringent requirements for the origin, exterior and performance of horses; the forebrook suit is the most important breeding trait. In the XVI-XVIII centuries, the black horses were very fashionable among the nobility and the royal people of Europe.
About 900 thousand representatives of the breed are registered in Rus-Am, USA and Mexico. Accepted color: leopard (white with dark spots all over the body), snowflake (dark spots throughout the white body, more pronounced on the hips), blackcloth (dark with a white "blanket" on the croup, one-color or spotted), marble (I am speckled by the whole body), frost (white spots on a dark background).
As the stock of appaloosa grows, the Association develops various programs and events. The association holds more than 600 regional exhibitions and the annual World and National shows. Although appaloosa is usually easily recognizable thanks to my forelock suit, they also have other distinctive characteristics.
- Dark iris, clearly limited from eye proteins
The growth of the miniature appulose is 86 ± 15 cm. Any suit with patterns located on it is acceptable (chubaray)
The exterior of the mini-appaloosa is typical for a riding horse: the head is small and light, the neck is flexible, the body is well muscled, limbs with the right set, hooves are strong small.
Looking at a foal, it is not always easy to predict what color he will have when he grows up. Most foals are born with light skins, then they shed and lose their baby hair, except for gray horses that are born dark and gradually lighten.
This breed is very popular in America, Germany, Holland, in Russia the breed is exotic and is represented by individual imported specimens.
Application: participation in exhibitions and shows.
This pony was bred as a result of long work of breeders, and they achieved excellent results. The mini-horse has a small stature, beauty and has an easygoing character. Beauty is manifested in small short legs, short stature, beautiful mane and bangs. Such a dwarf horse can boast excellent health and stamina than other horses. The physique is strong and muscular, so these ponies are considered the most hardy. They may have a different color, but there are individuals that have a wool pattern.
Why do we need small horses?
The main task of small horses is to treat people, it is also called hippotherapy. In Europe, these animals are used to treat children and adults, they can cure cerebral palsy, autism in children, any nervous disorders and many other diseases. Also, these small animals help people calm down, heal the nervous system, after talking with a pony you can get a charge of positive emotions.
Abroad, mini-horses are used as guides for visually impaired people. And if you compare them with guide dogs, then the horses have more advantages, since they are calmer, do not show aggression and perfectly remember the desired route. But not every horse can be chosen as a guide, they are carefully selected, veterinarians select. When examining a horse, it is taken into account that there are no congenital diseases and disorders from the physiology side.
A guide horse should be short, usually individuals up to 60 cm at the withers are selected so that a person can easily move around with it.
Care and maintenance
You need to take care of mini-horses as well as large breeds of horses.
But because of their size, they need much less food and space for living.
When maintaining such a horse, you must remember:
- a room with a size of 3x3 m is suitable,
- up to three small horses can be kept in one room,
- they need a paddock and a paddock for walking, because just like regular horses, they need daily walking.
Some breeders keep such horses in apartments and houses, only special boots are put on hooves. They are fed in the same way as ordinary horses, mainly with hay and grass, but vegetables, fruits, and necessarily vitamin complexes should be added to the diet. Calculate the diet and nutritional value of the energy of the animal, but it is much less than that of an ordinary horse. If the horse spent more energy than usual, then a kilogram of oats is introduced into the food.
If the animal will be kept in the stable, then it must be ventilated, but without drafts. The floor is necessarily warm, for sawdust you can use sawdust or straw. Many people bring animals in the apartment and at the same time buy diapers and shoes for their hooves.
But these conditions are not too good for mini-horses, since anyway there are inconveniences for both the animal and the owner himself.
Any animals must be monitored, and mini-horses are no exception. They should be examined periodically by a veterinarian. You should also regularly conduct various kinds of vaccinations. Care for mini-horses includes the following procedures:
- daily cleaning of the animal’s place of residence, that is, it is worth completely changing and cleaning the wet litter,
- after cleaning, lay dry sawdust or straw,
- disinfect several times a year in the absence of a horse,
- often you need to wash the feeding place, and once a month to carry out disinfection,
- every day for 20 minutes, it is necessary to brush the mane, hair and tail, washing is carried out with special shampoo,
- after the walk of the animal, the hooves are thoroughly cleaned, a hook is used for this (if there is no care for the hooves, then after a while they will crack, and after that the animal may begin to limp),
- animals must take a shower, in the summer it is obligatory, in the winter it is enough to carry out dry cleaning,
- every six months it is worth checking the teeth of horses.
In 1975, the smallest Falabella horse in the world, nicknamed Little, set a growth record.Her weight was almost 10 kg, and her height was only 35.5 cm. The smallest horse-horse was nicknamed Black Handsome, his height was 47 cm. Also in the book of records is listed Tumbelin's mare, which had a height of 43 cm and a weight of 26 kg.
In conclusion, we can say that small horses are a separate independent breed of horses. Their purpose and purpose of use is for treatment and entertainment. To care for and keep these babies you need the same as ordinary horses, but you need less space in the paddock on the farm. Small horses live for a long time and practically do not picky, so almost everyone can afford the contents of this animal. The main thing is the responsibility to make the horse comfortable next to the owner.
In order to avoid unpleasant situations, it is better for mini-horses to allocate a separate place from large relatives, which can easily injure little brothers. Today, the sale of such horses is widespread, all this is due to the fact that many want to have such an unusual mini-friend. And the maintenance of these babies does not require large investments, unlike ordinary horses. Breeding of such horses is mainly carried out in the West, but recently in Russia they have become interested in such animals.
Video about the breed of American mini-horses, see below.
It is known that many other species were used to breed this breed, blood was constantly mixed from different genera of miniature horses. It is believed that the American miniature horse came from the same ancient genus as its tall brother - from the ancestor who lived in the northern part of the United States long before the advent of our era. The growth of that horse was approximately 50 centimeters.
American miniature horse in the meadow
It is also believed that this ancestor of miniature horses became the ancestor of other genera that were exported from Europe - the Argentinean Falabella and the Scottish Pony. Information about the existence of small horses in ancient Egypt was found in the tomb of the pharaoh. Regarding the European continent, this species arose around 600 BC. e.
First heard of an American miniature horse in England in the 1760s. Then, the news highlighted the fact that a small horse was delivered to the country, whose growth was only 76 centimeters.
American miniature horse overcomes obstacles
The breed association was formed in 1978, it was from this time that the American Miniature Horse began to separate in a separate genus. The standard, or in other words, the exterior of the horse, was selected according to the following criteria: kindness, small height, and also external elegance.
Special demonstrations are taking place today at which elite representatives are elected. Any suits of horses up to 86 cm tall are included in the register of the association. Today it is 114,000 heads.
The character of the American horse is very intelligent, kind and sociable, the horse loves human society and communicates with it with pleasure. Sometimes this breed takes part in driving; it is strong enough to carry an adult. The view in various shows, rings is very popular, they are happy to ride kids. Also, some representatives of mini-horses are used as guides for people with visual impairments.