Photo by Loy Elliott

Land of Little Horses

There is an ongoing debate over whether a miniature horse possesses horse or pony characteristics. While technically, any member of the horse family under 58 inches is termed a “pony,” many breeds – including some miniature breeds – actually retain the characteristics of a horse. Miniature horses date back to the 17th century when they were bred as pets for Europe’s nobility, including French King Louis XIV. Not all miniature horses, however, were pampered pets of royalty. Some were used as “pit ponies,” working in coal mines around Northern Europe.

Today, the American Miniature Horse is one of the world’s fastest growing and most beloved equine breeds. The Miniature Horse comes in a rainbow of coat colors and patterns and several body types, including draft and Arabian. Miniature horses are also used as companion animals for people with disabilities.

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