Miniature pet horses – 6 Things to know

17 Mar, 2022

Miniature pet horses – 6 Things to know

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There are pet owner who love horses, and other hooved animals. But not many people know much about miniature pet horses. They make excellent pets and live a good life. Read on to learn 6 things about this mini horses you likely have never heard before…

Miniature pet horses – 6 Things you probably don’t know

miniature pet horses
Much loved by kids miniature pet horses make excellent pets

Mini horses or miniature pet horses, have earned their name due to their small height. They are native to many countries across Europe and America, and are the direct result of selective breeding over generations. The average height of the horses can vary depending on the particular breed. However, the average height is around less than a meter, between 85 – 94 cm.

Curiously, mini horses have kept many distinguishable character traits of the full-sized horse. Therefore they resemble them in almost everything except size. This makes them particularly interesting to buyers, and another thing they have kept is the behavior, the eagerness to fight or to flight.

They generally receive some treatment like the grown-ups and are family-friendly companions great to have around. In the text below, you can find out 6 interesting things about this particular horse breed. 

The origin and history

The extensive history of mini horses could surprise every history lover. The first use of mini horses in Europe dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The wealthy  aristocrats preferred them as a party or show animals. They used them as pets and history, art and culture shows that they were fond of the little creatures.

They also found practical use for them in the 18th century, during the industrial revolution. Coal miners used them instead of little children in the mines. After the Act of 1842, when children were prohibited from working in this dangerous environment the horses replaced them. The horses were a perfect fit and size and were sadly used in these harsh conditions for a long time.

There are different breeds of miniature horses all across America, South Africa, and Europe. Nowadays, they are mostly classified as show animals and are used for entertainment purposes. 

Is it a dwarf, pony, or something else?

Most people think of the mini horses as dwarfs. However, there is a distinguishable line between these horses and the ones stricken with dwarfism. Dwarfism is a genetic mutation and this classifies them as undesirable when it comes to the world of mini horses.

They are more prone to specific diseases and have unattractive character traits. Therefore, the dwarfs are no longer classified as miniature horses, and do not appear in any registry.

It’s a horse!

When it comes to these miniature horses, different registries are classifying them like ponies, however, there is an ongoing debate whether they are or are not. Essentially, both terms have been incorporated into English dictionaries. Miniature horses have some specific traits, such as short yet robust pony-like legs, the distinctive tail, and other recognisable traits.

Others are called mini horses due to their resemblance to full-sized ones. However, yet again there is little consensus on this matter. Generally, all horses less than 147cm in height are called ‘pony’. Miniature horses come somewhere in between ‘ponies’ and ‘dwarfs’. And yet again the exact lines of demarcation are hotly contested still. 

They have a longer life span 

When it comes to miniature horses, one might assume they have more health issues than full sized horses. It is easy to believe that because of the multi-generational breeding. However, this is not necessarily true. As a matter of fact, miniature horses have a longer life span than their full-sized counterparts and can live for around 25 – 35 years.

This is quite impressive for any animal. Of course, the size comes with a reduced intake of food and fewer diseases. So selective breeding has some benefits. 

Miniature pet horses are great as service animals 

Yes, miniature pet horses can be trained to be service animals for the disabled and those in need. These highly intelligent creatures are notorious for their sharp wits. Yes really! Some people consider them a substitute for dogs.

In addition, they live longer and are believed by many to be fast learners. However, there is some controversy around this topic. The main argument is about their nature and horse instincts. Some believe they are less disciplined than dogs. Some believe that they are at risk of following their flight or flight instincts.

Also, opponents highlight the legal issues this might attract. Because in most US states they are still regarded as livestock. Therefore creating suitable accommodation might be an issue. They actually need a stable and more room than one imagines for them to move around when restless. 

They are great around kids 

Of course, they do have horse-like behavior. Occasionally they show the aggressive traits of some horse breeds. However, most miniature horses are bred as domestic animals and have a history of behaving well around kids and people. On most occasions, they are completely harmless and great animals for children. 

The smallest miniature horse in the world

The currently smallest mini horse in the world is Thumbelina. Almost unbelievable, the horse is only 45 cm in height, making him a world record holder. Of course, the natural explanation is dwarfism and Thumblina. This explains this extraordinary height. 

Miniature pet horses in summary

These exceptional creatures are unique in every possible way, so we hope you enjoyed learning about them a bit more.  If you have pets you need pet sitters!

How to find pet sitters for when you travel

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Using a trusted housesitting and petsitting network you can connect with pet lovers who will pet sit for free

Depending on the kind of pet you have you will need to find a petsitter who will be caring and attentive. Dogs and cats are the most popular pets in our Housesitmatch network. However, we have many other pets that we care for including smaller pets like rabbits, and pocket pets like guinea pigs.

Find pet sitters well ahead of your trip then you and your pet can relax and enjoy the break

At Housesitmatch we can help you to find pet sitters who will travel to your home at their expense. They will live on your property while looking after your pet and pay for their own upkeep. It is a very affordable collaboration that benefits both you and the pet housesitter.

Try a network that offers trusted pet sitters who pet sit for free

The beauty of a trusted housesitting and petsitting network like is that we have thoroughly ID checked all our members for safety.

So every one can see when the checks are clear and complete. We like to offer transparency to build trust within our network.



At we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters useful.

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Preparing a home for a house or pet sitter

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