About the Miniature Horse

Miniature Horses Today
The Future of the Miniature
History of the Miniature Horse
The Standard of Perfection
General Care of Miniatures
Choosing the Right Miniature

Showing Your Miniature Horse

Local Show Schedule

The History of the American Miniature Horse

The American Miniature Horse is a unique breed, the limiting characteristic of which is size. It must not measure in excess of 34 inches in height, which is measured at the withers, at the last hairs of the mane. It must be a sound, well-balanced horse, possessing the proper conformation characteristics which are common to most of the larger breeds. In fact, if there were no size reference, the miniature horse might give the illusion of being a full-sized horse. The American Miniature Horse gives the impression of strength, agility, and alert intelligence and is available in all possible colors.

     The American Miniature Horse extracted from many sources in the creation of the breed. The first mention of a small horse being imported into the United States was in 1888; and research shows little public awareness of true Miniatures until 1960. Popular belief is that American Miniature Horses utilized the blood of English and Dutch mine horses brought into this country in the 19th century and used in some Appalachian coal mines as late as 1950.  It also drew upon the blood of the Shetland pony, several of which appear in the pedigrees of some miniatures today. In the past decade, several breeders have imported miniature horses from England, Holland, Belgium, and West Germany, while others have selectively bred miniatures from the larger breeds of horses. Throughout its colorful past, the Miniature Horse breed has been bred for pets, novelty, research, monetary gain, mining work, exhibition and royal gifts.

     In 1978, The American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) was formed. It is now the only registry in existence that deals exclusively with true Miniatures, 34 inches and under. Ponies over 34 inches are not considered Miniatures; they were not in the beginning, and they are not today (excluding the AMHR miniatures that measure 38 inches and under).

     The American Miniature Horse as a breed is currently being standardized. The American Miniature Horse Association was organized and incorporated in July of 1978 to maintain a registry and stud-book. A Standard of Perfection was adopted in 1978 and that two basic body types, a "draft" type and a fine-boned "refined" type, were present in the existing foundation stock, the Standard called for a blending of types into an elegant little horse.


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