The Miniature Horse Is Despite Its Size a Very Versatile Horsebreed and Used for Driving
...are, depending on registry, considered to be horses rather than ponies. Their proportions are refined to be more horselike.
These small horses are worldwide bred and they have been developed from a number of sources. Many small sized ponybreeds, like the Shetland or Dartmoor pony, were bred for an even smaller body size. It is even possible, that Arabian bloodlines were used for refining the proportions. In the 17th and 18th century some European monarchs would keep them as pets.
The Falabella horse's ancestors were Andalusians and was bred by the Falabella family in Argentina. Juan Falabella used bloodlines from Shetland and Welsh ponies and even small Thoroughbreds. In his herd was the small body size through massive inbreeding consistent. Today they reach 28 - 30 inches of height. They look like small Arabians or Thoroughbreds, but they are sturdier and have got a thicker mane and tail.
North American breeders used bloodlines from Hackney ponies and the Pony of the Americas.
A horse of this breed is less than 34 or 38 inches, depending on different registry rules. The smallest horse is "Thumbelina". She measures 17 inches, but is affected with dwarfism. Its body proportions are horselike, and according to breeding standards it should be strong, alert and agile and sound. Their haircoat comes in all different colours and pattern. They have got a very gentle and friendly temperament and are very intelligent and live in average 25 - 35 years.
They are used for shows with the following classes: halter, in-hand hunter and in-hand jumper, driving, liberty, costume and trail.
Due to their friendly temperament they are even trained as service animals, like guide- or assisting horses for disabled people.
Miniature Horses make good pets and companions and can be house trained and can live indoors. But it is always better and healthier for them to live like a real horse outdoors.