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.

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. 

They are great as service animals 

They make excellent pets for children

Yes, mini 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. 



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