Exactly how the Miniature Horse came to be is shrouded in mystery, although there is evidence to suggest it first emerged in the late 16th and early 17th centuries during the royal Habsburgs reign of Austria. This is contended by those believing the Miniature Horse descends from the Falabella, which originally developed in Argentina.
Not only does the breed feature in artwork of the period, but it appeared in King Louis XIV’s royal menagerie alongside his entourage of exotic animals.
Selectively bred for their reduced size that made them public curiosities and easily manageable, the Miniature Horse gained favour in a number of capacities; in stark contrast to its royal association, the Miniature Horse was the breed of choice for coal miners across Britain for its strength, durability and willingness.
In appearance, the Miniature Horse is distinctively rugged and charming, with short but proportioned legs, a strong head and well conformed structure, similar to that of a horse rather than a pony. A variety of coat colours and patterns are observed in the breed. The Miniature Horse of today is commonly seen in showing and as a companion animal.
Because of its small size, the Miniature Horse makes a terrific assistance animal, not dissimilar from service dogs trained for people with disabilities. They are easy to care for and highly intelligent, making them easy to train and handle.