Equine Breed Menu

Miniature Horses

Miniature Horses

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Breed Organization
America Miniature Horse Association AMHA
Website: http://www.amha.org
Native Country
United States Of America
Other Names
Average Height
See Breed Description
Adult Weight
Rider Experience Level
Breed Description
Size: Must measure not more than 34 inches at the withers, at the last hairs of the mane.
Head: In proportion to length of neck and body. Broad forehead with large prominent eyes, set wide apart. Comparatively short distance between eyes and muzzle. Profile straight or slightly concave below the eyes. Large nostrils. Clean, refined muzzle. Even bite.
Ears: Medium in size. Pointed. Carried alertly, with tips curving slightly inward.
Throat-Latch: Clean and well defined, allowing ample flexion at the poll.
Neck: Flexible, lengthy, in proportion to body and type and blending smoothly into the withers.
Shoulder: Long, sloping and well-angulated, allowing a free-swinging stride and alert carriage of head and neck. Well muscled forearm.
Body: Well muscled, with ample bone and substance. Balanced and well proportioned. Short back and loins in relation to length of underline. Smooth and generally level top-line. Deep girth and flank. Trim barrel.
Hindquarters: Long, well-muscled hip, thigh and gaskin. Highest point of croup to be same height as withers. Tail set neither excessively high or low, but smoothly rounding off rump.
Legs: Set straight and parallel when viewed from front or back. Straight, true and squarely set, when viewed from the side with hooves pointing directly ahead. Pasterns sloping about 45 degrees and blending smoothly, with no change of angle, from the hooves to the ground. Hooves to be round and compact, trimmed as short as practicable for an unshod horse. Smooth, fluid gait in motion.
Color: Any color or marking patterns, and any eye color, is equally acceptable. The hair should be lustrous and silky.

General Impression: A small, sound, well-balanced horse, possessing the correct conformation characteristics required of most breeds. Refinement and femininity in the mare. Boldness and masculinity in the stallion. The general impression should be one of symmetry, strength, agility and alertness. Since the breed objective is the smallest possible perfect horse, preference in judging shall be given the smaller horse, other characteristics being approximately equal.

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. Undeniably, it utilized the blood of the English and Dutch mine horses, that were brought to this country in the 19th century and were 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.

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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