|Home | About | Facts | History | Events|
Is this a pony or miniature horse?
A miniature horse looks like a pony!
Yes, this would be your instantaneous question when you take a look at the Falabella horse. The horse with a maximum growth of about 32 inches in height at the withers has all the features of the thoroughbreds or Arabian pony. When you take a look at this horse, you would naturally wonder whether this is a pony horse or miniature horse. As a matter of fact, Pony has a normal height of 3438 inches whereas the miniature horses have 7 hands high which is equal to about 32 inches. According to American Miniature Horse Registry, horses that are less than 32 inches up to withers are classified as Class ‘B’ and these are recognized as miniature horses. On the contrary, as already said pony has normal height of 3438 inches and these are classified as Class ‘A’. Further, the American Miniature horse Registry suggests that height of the horse should be measured by inches up to withers and not by the measure of hands. Interestingly, if you take a photograph of the miniature horse and the pony both look identical.
Historical development of breeding: According to history, horses were found in South America and Spanish, Iberian and Andalusian are believed to have brought them to Southern Hemisphere as they were found to be ideal during the time of war and also as a perfect alternative to carry loads of materials. These horses bred within themselves in accordance with their respective geographical conditions. It is believed that breed of miniature horses also grew as a result of their respective geographic conditions. It was during 19th century that Mapuche Indians in South Buenos Aires in Argentina brought the inbred horses that were smaller than the pony. It was in the year 1868 that Pattrick Newtall started to experiment with the smallest pony in the group so as to bring a breed of mini horses. After the death of Newtall, the art of breeding the mini horses passed on to his daughter in law Debbie.
Constant effort to breed mini horses: With consistent effort and inbreeding, Falabella gained much consistency and thereafter the breed got the name ‘Falabella Breeding’ miniature horse. However, it was during 1940, Julio C Falabella who is a descendant of Falabella gained much consistency than his predecessor and achieved an average height of about 40 inches. Subsequent breeders worked further to standardize the height to 32 inches.
Characteristics: Interestingly, these mini horses have inherited all the features of the thoroughbred horses. They have sturdy bones, strong legs and thick hair and so on. But, they have comparatively larger head and stout neck. The mini horses normally have brown or black color with red spots. These mini horses are known for their intelligence and trainers feel the easily understand the commands and it is comparatively easy to train these miniatures. Children normally ride these horses which can jump up to a height of about 3 feet (without the rider). In fact, in the year 1962, Regina Winery bought 12 Falabella Stallion horses from John Aleno or Argentina. These mini horses were used drive a small stagecoach which was used as a means of promoting their brand of wine. But, the lifespan of the mini horses is limited if not too short.
A precious breed: Young Falabella mini horses fetch considerable amount of money. Many horse lovers have a fascination for this mini horse and they love to keep them as a precious breed.
Photo Credits: Jim Cole / Associated Press / LA Times