|Falabella Miniature Horse|
Class : Mammalia
Order : Perissodactyla
Genus : Equus
Species : E. ferus
Subspecies : E. f. caballus
Hight : 25-34in (63-86cm)
Despite their tiny size, Falabellas are not considered ponies. Rather, they are miniature horses, and one of the world's rarest breeds at that. They have similar proportions to other horses, only they are much, much smaller. They are also a very adaptable breed, thanks to their history, and can tolerate changing conditions.
Falabellas have an interesting history. They were first bred in Argentina as descendants of the horses brought to South America by the Spaniards. These horses had to adapt to harsh environments and became quite hardy. By the 19th century isolated populations had seen significant amount of inbreeding, which, combined with their need to adapt, resulted in much smaller horses. It was at this time that formal selective breeding began, with Shetland and Welsh Ponies, as well as Thoroughbred horses, added to the mix. The first official registry was created by Julio C. Falabella in 1940.
There are currently about 900 registered Falabellas, and the world population of the breed numbers only a few thousand. Falabellas can only be ridden by small children, due to their size, but showing and cart-driving are popular activities for the breed. They are sweet natured horses, and are easy to handle.
Falabellas can come in all colors, as well as in a handful of patterns.