There is a wide range of body types and both draft types and more refined types are valued by enthusiasts. Miniature Horses were developed from a wide range of horse and pony breeds. Depending on their parentage they have characteristics of Shetland
Ponies, Arabians, Hackney Ponies, and many others.
The American Miniature Horse Registry recognizes two divisions of Miniature Horses. "A" Division Minis are 8.2 hands high (34 inches) and under; and "B" Minis are 8.2 hands high (34 inches) up to and 9.2 hands high (38 inches). Mini enthusiasts tend to use inches or centimeters rather than hands to measure.
Most Minis are too small to be ridden by anyone but the smallest child. Many owners drive their Minis hitched to carts, wagons, or sleighs singly or in teams. Owners can exhibit their horses in show classes including conformation, where the physical traits of the horses are evaluated, driving, and lead line costume, obstacle courses, jumping, and games.
Minis are used as companion animals to visit shut-ins and as guide animals to assist the blind, and hearing impaired.
Color and Markings:
Miniature Horses come in every color and coat pattern imaginable. You’ll find solid coats, pintos, and spotted coats.
History and Origins:
Miniature Horses have been bred for centuries by selectively breeding horses and ponies of diminutive size. The American Registry was established in the late 1970s and Miniature Horse enthusiasts have formed clubs, registries and associations world wide. They are also known as Miniature Toy Horses and Miniature Ponies.
Their small size makes them ideal for keeping on small acreages where there would be no room for a herd of large horses. They are great horses for the novice owner since they are small and easy to care for.
Champions and Celebrity:
Black Beauty holds the distinction of being the world's smallest pony according to Guiness Book of Records.
The diminutive stallion Bond Tiny Tim appears in many pedigrees and stood only 19 inches at the shoulder. Many of his offspring went on to be champions.