All About Miniature Horses
The miniature horse was established in Europe in the 1600’s as a breed. They were first bred as pets for the noble people and royalty of the day. They were also used in the coal mines as working stock known as Pit Ponies. In the United States in the 1800’s, the miniature horses we recognize today were bred. They were developed by crossing Thoroughbreds, Welsh ponies, Falabellas, Small Dutch Mine horses, and Shetland Ponies. By inbreeding strategically, the equines size became consistent and the miniature horse’s conformation was created.
In general, the miniature horse is a friendly, sweet animal. They are usually great pets for a family and are eager to please their owners. They are also quick learners.
A miniature horse is a very hardy animal that will typically live 25 to 30 years. Some of the miniature horse variations that are more delicate or must be clipped to be shown will likely need to use a blanket in the winter months.
There are a couple of associations for the miniature horse. Most colors and markings on the horses are accepted by the registries including pintaloosa and appaloosa. In fact, unlike the larger horse breeds, having variety in coloration is considered a notable quality of miniature horses in a lot of show circles. Our local steam cleaners have many spotted miniature horses they show.
There are a few issues that must be watched for with the health of the miniature horse because of their breeding. One is obesity. This is a big risk factor for all miniature horse breeds because of their small size. They can also tend to have dental issues such as retaining their baby teeth, jaw malformations, and overcrowding. These issues can all come from interbreeding. Miniature horse breeders are encouraged to not breed horses that have any anatomical issues.
The miniature horse is more prone to Hyperlipemia, a metabolic disorder. This is when their appetite and food intake is reduced, causing their body to use the fat that is stored. The stored fats can cause liver failure as it overwhelms the horse’s liver, or cause other health issues in the miniature horse.
By providing a miniature horse a good feed regimen and giving them plenty of pasture for exercise and grazing, your miniature can live a long and happy life.
We would love to hear from you if you have a miniature horse, thinking about adding one to your family, contact us.