What is a Miniature Horse? (Origin, Size, Colors & Behavior)

Do you always admire a horse with many characteristics and one that will give you a humble management time? Miniature horses will provide you with all you need and in a small package. If you’re not familiar with this type of horse, we’ll tell you all about it.

It’s an honor to own horses, but it’s happier to have a miniature horse at your place. Yes, other breeds of horses are trendy, but with miniature, you will have a friend that will interact well with you.

So, are you ready to know much about these horses? Let’s first start with a brief description of miniature horses.

What is a Miniature Horse?

A miniature horse is a mini-horse that comes from breeding two horses with good physical looks and outstanding characteristics. But what will be the result? The product of the breeding is a horse of a small scale that you can use as a pet, during shows, and as mental therapy for the blind and any other person in need.

What is the Origin of the Miniature Horse?

You can get these horses in many places, especially in Europe, the South, and North America, but what is their origin? Well, you can track the source of the horses back to the early 1700s in Europe.

Just before the American Revolution in the mid-1800s, the queen of England saw them as pets of the rich. After 1842, miners began using these horses to pull loads because the law didn’t allow kids to work in mining places.

In 1861, John Rarey, an American, brought four Shetland horses to the U. S. A. These animals were a breed of miniature horses. Also, other people began bringing the mining mini-horses from England and Netherlands to the United States.

Patrick Newell and Juan Falabella brought a new breed of miniature horses to Argentina in the 1900s. The two added good physical features to the horses.

Also, in 1945, Wynand de Wet bred smaller types of these horses in South Africa. So, from this point, the horses spread across many parts of the world.

What does a Miniature Horse Look Like?

What does a Miniature Horse Look Like

It’s not hard to identify miniature horses. In whichever place you are, during shows, in fields, or someone’s farm, you will not need anyone to tell you that this is a mini. So, minis are unique because of their size, character, and color.

Here are the features to know that the horse is a miniature.

Body Size

The small body size of the mini-horses is their trademark. All miniatures have a height of 8.5 hands or lower. So, if you get a horse with a height greater than 8.5 hands (38 inches), that is a pony.

Even if the part of the horse is a miniature breed, the height should be 8.5 and below. Most farmers use the height feature because every small horse breeding aims to create a horse with a smaller size. Remember, the height preference majorly applies to the mature horses alone.

Different from ponies, these mini-horses look like full-size horses, but they have shrunken posture. Expect them to look like a breed of big dogs. So, with their body size, it’s suitable for people who have a small land and wish to have many horses.

In the Guinness Book of World Records, the most petite miniature horse is 17.5 inches tall. Its name is Thumbelina, and it is a dwarf.

Minis appear to be strong for their size. Most have a small head and eyes that are wide apart but with a good proportion. What about their ears? All of them are sensitive.

Expect their legs to be shorter than the whole-body size. With the mini-horses that do heavy works, people give them shoes to protect their hooves and make them strong.


Miniature horses all have the color of the horse family. In many of the horses, you will find coats, coats with dots, and pintos’ markings. Also, some breeds of miniature horses have Appaloosa dots and markings.

Still, some colors in the minis are rare in typical horse breeds. Also, separate from the usual horses, their skins are more beautiful. The manes and tails are thicker.

Mini-horses come with a wealth of colors on their bodies. So, don’t get a shock when you go to a horse show and find competition for the most colorful miniatures.

Remember, the most popular coat of the minis is Pintaloosa. It is a combination of Appaloosa and pinto coatings.


Do you ever wish to get a humble horse? Well, miniature horses are the best option for you. Expect them to be good friends with you, social, and have a high level of curiosity. Being around them will make you want to learn a lot about their life.

Mostly, the minis will want you to please them. So, it makes them easier to train than other pets like dogs and cats. In your house, you can find them sleeping in your bed or sofa.

Also, miniature horses have a sense of affection and will always stick around for you to scratch, brush, love, and pet them. Even if the chances are not that much, most people fall in love with minis at home. So, because of their friendly nature, you can easily create moments of fun and experience.

Minis have a very short temper which means you will rarely see them get angry. Only young children can ride the mini-horses and not adults because of their personality and size. But those who work with miniature horses say that minis can choose not to cooperate, especially when they don’t want to finish a task.

What Can You Feed Your Miniature Horse?

Every pet under your care needs good feeding. So, you should understand the type of food the mini needs and what age and time. Minis eat a lot of food, which then can cause a nutritional problem for them.

Also, minis eat the same type of food as normal horses. You can feed them with hay, grass, rolled oats, and grain. But, before you give your miniature horse food, consider the age, breed, and size.

It would help if you fed your miniature horse every day with a good ratio of grain and hay. Remember, the two feedings are suitable for the intestines of minis and to maintain the flow of food in their body. Also, it will make the minis grow faster and in good health.

Check with your vet to create a good feeding program for your mini. Ensure that you give them plenty of water every time. It will reduce the time they spend in the pasture and keep them healthy.

What about Breeding of Miniature Horses?

Do you ever imagine that a fully mature horse can be similar to a big dog? A miniature horse that you can carry like a cat? Well, because of breeding the big horses, there are many types of minis.

With breeding, mini stallions become sexually mature at the age of 2 to 5. Mini mares gain fertility at the age of 2. But vets and breeders consider a miniature horse to be fully grown at three years.

You will know the age of the newborn mini by mating one stallion at a time to a mare. To control the behavior and care of the minis, use the hand breeding method. Also, ensure the mare gets vaccines and deworming medicines from gestation to birth.

5 Tips to Keep a Miniature Horse Healthy

5 Tips to Keep a Miniature Horse Healthy

Miniature horses need the same care that you give to a large horse. With the help of your vet, there are guidelines to help your mini stay safe and friendly for many years. So, here are the tips to help keep you mini healthy.

Give a good housing

Like any other pet, minis will need suitable housing. Ensure that minis’ shelter has good air circulation for the sake of their health condition. Also, each of the minis should have their stalls to give them spaces to run around.

Hoof Care

Miniature horses’ hooves need good care. For the young minis, trim the hoofs at a young age to avoid health problems. For the ones that work, give them shoes to protect the hooves.

Dental Care

What of their teeth? Both are young and grow up minis need to have a regular check-up of their dental condition.

Ensure you give them a good grooming

Whether your mini is a pet, a breeding animal, or a racehorse, grooming is essential. Do it regularly to keep your mini healthy and to create a bond with it. So, you can brush the mini’s hair frequently.

What about bathing them? Miniature horses need a bath, but frequent bathing reduces the oil quality in their coat.

Provide proper vet care

Always keep in touch with your vet to develop a good feeding program for your miniature horse. Also, the vet will help you have an excellent deworming and vaccination program to keep your mini-horse healthy.


The miniature horses are very nice because of being more than just an animal. Most features on mini-horses are similar to that of a big horse. With their small size, you will have an easy time managing the minis.

However, ensure you take good care of this sweet breed of horses by observing all the care tips about them. It will make them live healthily and for long. Is there anything that is not clear to you about mini-horses? Please feel free to ask us.

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1 thought on “What is a Miniature Horse? (Origin, Size, Colors & Behavior)”

  1. Hi our mini just foaled yesterday but she is prone to laminitis. What is best to be feeding her now that she is lactating? Thanks


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