Miniature Horse

When it comes to horses, there’s nothing quite as majestic as a big Clydesdale or Thoroughbred.

But what about their smaller counterparts?

Miniature Horses are gaining in popularity all the time, and for good reason.

They’re adorable, gentle creatures that can make great pets – but there’s a lot more to them than that.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Miniature Horses, so if you’re considering adding one of these little guys to your family, keep reading!

Miniature Horse Breed Info

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Miniature horse:

Height (size) Up to 3 feet (34 inches or 86 centimeters)
Colors They come in various coat (including pinto and Appaloosa-like patterns), and eye colors
Country of Origin Europe
Common Uses Family pet, driving, service animals, horse agility, therapy animals, trick animals

Miniature Horse Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

Miniature horses were first bred for their size in Europe in the 1600s.

They were popular pets among the nobility.

The American Miniature Horse Association and the American Miniature Horse Registry are the two most well-known registries for miniature horses.

In addition, supporters of the breed have established clubs, registries, and associations all over the globe.

Miniature horses are sometimes trained as service animals.

Due to their generally placid nature, Minis, provided that they have received the appropriate training and certification, are able to aid those who are visually impaired as well as those who have other types of disability.

Their popularity stems in part from the fact that they live far longer than dogs.

The smallest known mini horse was Thumbelina, a sorrel brown mare who was born in 2001 and lived on Goose Creek Farm in St. Louis, Missouri.

She had dwarfism, which explained why she was especially small.

She had the title by the Guinness World Records for world’s smallest horse, and she was 17 inches (43 centimeters) tall, and weighed 57 pounds (26 kilograms).

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!

Alternative Names



Calm disposition, friendly, intelligent, curious, gentle

Physical Characteristics

They have similar proportions to large horses, and are basically a miniaturized version of a regular-sized horse.

Although Miniature horses meet the height requirements to be classified as a very small pony, many miniature horses maintain the physical appearance of a full-sized horse and are thus classified as “horses” by their respective registries.

The head is proportional with wide-set eyes and big nostrils.

The ears are medium-sized and pointed.

The neck is long and flexible.

The shoulder is long and sloped.

Due to its short back, straight legs, and long pasterns, the Miniature Horse has a smooth and elegant gait, despite its strong build.

Their typical life expectancy is between 25 and 35 years.

These small horses do not have the stocky physique that is found in ponies, nor do they share their often stubborn nature.

Quite the opposite, their refined build sometimes evokes comparisons to small Arabian or Andalusian horses.

They may look like Quarter Horses too, depending on their pedigree.


They come in various coat (including pinto and Appaloosa-like patterns), and eye colors

Height (size)

Up to 3 feet (34 inches or 86 centimeters)






150 – 350 lbs (68 – 158 kg)

Blood Type


Common Uses

Family pet, driving, service animals, horse agility, therapy animals, trick animals


Angular limb deformities – Miniature horses are often born with extremely crooked legs, which may cause walking difficulties, abnormal hoof wear, and pain.

Surgical correction may be an option for some malformations.

Upward fixation of the patella – this disorder causes the patella to get stuck on the medial trochlea of the femur, which “locks” the stifle in extension and results in what seems to be a stiff, stretched leg.

In most cases, the horse will be able to “unlock” the patella if it can back up.

Extreme examples include both of the Mini’s rear legs being afflicted, rendering it immobile.

Treatment involves blistering, splitting, or cutting the medial patellar ligament, which connects the kneecap to the tibia below.

Luxated patella – this condition may lead to long-term lameness and have a similar effect on stance as an upward fixated patella.

Veterinarians will need to surgically reposition the tibial crest and expand the femoral groove to correct the issue.

Malerupted teeth – Minis often retain their deciduous (baby) teeth, preventing permanent teeth from erupting and creating overcrowding.

Overbite/underbite – jaw problems are quite common. When the condition is severe, Minis may have difficulty chewing their food properly.

Sinusitis – molar teeth have their roots in the sinuses of the skull. Overcrowding of the roots in the sinuses results from overcrowding of the teeth.

When this happens, bacteria that normally drains out of the sinuses is trapped and may grow, leading to an infection.

Fecaliths and enteroliths – are rock-like feces impactions caused by improper chewing of food, low feed quality, or consuming of foreign objects.

When minerals develop around a nidus, such as a rock or other foreign substance absorbed by the body, the resulting mass is called an enterolith.

They may sometimes be flushed out with fluids and mineral oil, but in most instances, surgical removal is necessary.

Hyperlipidemia/Hepatic lipidosis – Minis can store fat easily.

Fat is mobilized from the body and sent to the liver for processing into energy if they stop eating or are under stress from pregnancy, lactation, or illness.

Accumulation of fat in the liver may lead to liver swelling, reduced liver function, liver failure, and ultimately death.

With a death rate between 60% and 100%, prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential.

Obesity – Minis have evolved to be incredibly efficient at using the fewest amount of calories possible.

To prevent obesity, provide hay at a rate of 1.5 to 2% of the horse’s body weight each day, and limit the amount of time the horse spends grazing.

Dystocia – Disturbances in the birth process are prevalent in Miniature mares because of the size disparity between the mother’s pelvis and the foal’s head, and veterinarians often have to perform cesarean sections.

Dwarfism – achondroplasia (abnormally small limbs) and dystrophia (twisted limbs) are the most prevalent forms of this inherited disorder.

Achondroplastic dwarfs can usually normally move about and live normal lives.

Diastrophic dwarfs on the other hand have severe physical abnormalities, including limb deformities, a domed head, and a roached back, and they often need splints or surgery to help them walk normally.

Anterior segment dysgenesis (ASD) – Certain components of the eye, including the cornea, iris, lens, ciliary body, and retina, do not develop properly in horses with this disorder.

Horses with ASD are more likely to lose their eyesight.

Popular Traits

Small size


Small amounts of food

Country of Origin