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Owning Miniature Horses - the Smallest of the Small
Riley Hendersen

When it comes to pet ownership, we all have our preferences; the debate
of dog versus cat can go on indefinitely. But for those who prefer
horses, the care and feeding of their animal suddenly becomes a far
greater undertaking then simply housing a smaller, more domesticated
animal. Horses are large animals that come with an even larger
responsibility for their owners. But for some people, ownership of
miniature horses allows them to enjoy all that attracts them to horses,
but on a much smaller scale.

Miniature horses are simply the result of hundreds of years of careful
and purposeful breeding that has taken place all over the world. Today,
The American Miniature Horse Association, established in 1978,
continues to set the guidelines for these horses. To date, they are the
only organization working to standardize the specifications.

In order to be defined as miniature horses, they must not reach higher
than 34 inches in height. However, the differentiation between standard
sized horses and these horses stops here; the physical features
actually mirror that of their full-sized counterparts; but are simply
in proportion to their size. If you were to look at one with no basis
for size comparison, it would look like a typical, average sized horse.

Miniature horses are shown in competition just as their full-sized
cousins. But their manageable size makes them especially instrumental
in working with special needs individuals who wish to ride, but must
avoid the larger animals for safety reasons. Because of their size,
they are also child-friendly; children often learn to ride on these
smaller, more controllable breeds.

Those who own miniature horses will also tell you of the unique
opportunity they have to enjoy all that is special about a horse while
still enjoying all that comes with having the ability to hold an animal
in your lap!

The care is just as important as that for larger horses. Much of the
standard care remains the same - including grooming, veterinary care,
exercise and nutrition, and shelter - with special attention paid to
eating. The smaller digestive track puts them at risk for intestinal
problems; owners must be alert to the special feeding requirements of
the breed. Owners will be happy to note, however, that the care for the
horses costs significantly less than the care for full-sized horses.

For those interested in owning one, it is important to do a fair amount
of research. Just as with any breed of horse, temperaments vary from
horse to horse. Seek out and get to know a reputable breeder who can
assist you in finding the horse that's right for you and your family.

Owning a horse of any size must be taken on only after careful
consideration. But if you find that you enjoy all the characteristics
of a horse, but are put off by its normally grand size, you may want to
investigate miniature horses; all the beauty of a horse in one tiny

For more information on horses, try visiting
- a website that specializes in providing horse related tips,
advice and resources including information on the miniature horse.

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