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Miniature Horse

Miniature Horse
The term "Miniature Horse" is often thought of as more of a designation than a breed, though in the last few decades a few organizations have popped up to make Miniature Horses an actual, standardized breed that is separate from other small equines like Falabellas and Ponies.

Miniature Horses were developed from all sorts of different horse and pony breeds, both large and small. Shetlands and Dartmoors are among those ponies that can be found in their history. There is some argument over whether Miniatures are Ponies or small Horses. The definition of a Pony is a horse under 14 hands (56in). As Miniatures are under 34-38in (depending on registry), they fall within this category. However,  if you look at the basic body shape of many Miniatures, the proportions are more horse-like. Different organizations prefer different looks, as there is no universal standard.

Guide Horse
Miniature Horses serve many different purposes. They are companion animals, they can be ridden by children, and they can compete in shows relating to things like jumping and obstacle maneuvering. They can even be trained to pull carts!

Did you know that some Miniature Horses are being used as guide animals? They can be trained to assist visually impaired individuals due to their focus, excellent vision, calm attitudes, and great memory. One additional plus is that they are able to live 25-35 years, much longer than a dog, which makes their training more cost effective. The practice has only been around since 1999, but it has been growing over the years. (My favorite feature is that the horses wear tiny tennis shoes, so that they don't slip while walking on tiled surfaces)

And just for good measure, watch some foals!

Status : Domesticated
Location : Worldwide
Size : Height up to 38in (97cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Perissodactyla
Family : Equidae -- Genus : Equus -- Species : E. ferus -- Subspecies : E. f. caballus




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