What is a Miniature Horse?

The Miniature Horse is a scaled-down version of the full-size horse. They come in all colors and coat patterns and body types. Minis are less expensive to feed and easier to care for than the full size horse. Although  both Miniature Horses and full size horses have the same needs, including:

  • Feed, Hay and Pasture
  • Shelter
  • Grooming
  • Regular veterinary care,
  • Hoof trimming and Shoeing
  • Regular deworming.

The Miniature Horse is certain to turn heads everywhere they go. They are Sure to bring ooos and ahhhs and smiles from everyone this little bundle of joy encounters. Growing in popularity everyday and filling many special niches from the smallest child to the elderly.

Minis make a special companion, pet and friend, much like the large dog and so much more. These little horses can do everything a full-size horse can do, although riding the smaller miniature horse is not recommended.

Extremely versatile, the Miniature Horse is well suited for everyone. From a backyard pet and companion to showing off their beauty and skills in the show ring. From therapy horses for the handicapped and the elderly.

Small children who are afraid of larger horses quickly fall in love with the Miniature Horse.  Foals are adorable, standing only 14" to 21" at birth.

Older horse people who can no longer ride due to various physical challenges their larger, full-size horses present, find the Miniature horse a wonderful addition to their lives and are discovering the joy of driving.

Miniature Horse Breed Associations

There are several registration associations for the Miniature Horse. The two best know are the AMHA and the AMHR.

The American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA)

AMHA registers Minis that are 34 inches and under. A Temporary certificate is issued until the horse reaches sixty (60) months of age. If the Miniature Horse is thirty-four (34") inches or under and sixty (60) months of age, a Permanent Certificate will be issued after certification of height by the owner.

The American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR)

The AMHR registers Minis in two divisions

  • "A" Division for Miniatures that are 34 inches and under
  • "B" Division for Miniatures that are 34 inches up to, including 38"

The AMHR also has a separate registry for the Shetland Pony.

How to Measure a Horse's Height

Horses and larger ponies are measured in hands. One hand equals 4 inches. Miniature Horses are measured in inches instead of hands and is known as a height breed.

The height of a miniature horse is the vertical distance from the last hairs of the mane (withers) to the ground.  Make sure the animal is standing squarely on a level area. Special Miniature Horse Measuring Sticks are available to accurately record the height of your miniature.

Parts of the Horse

If you are new to the world of horses, you will often hear and read about different parts of the horse and terminology that sounds foreign to you. Below is a diagram showing the main parts of the horse that you should be familiar with.

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