ABC's of Miniature Horses
Breeding, and Care
Miniature Horse Colors
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|Golden Palomino in Full Coat omin Same Miniature Clipped Clipped has a cream color|
Miniature Horses were said to have been bred in Europe to become pets of the
children of Royalty.
McCoy Smith of West Virginia was also a widely acclaimed early miniature horse breeder.
J. C. Williams of Dell Tera Miniature Horses in South Carolina as well as many other significant American Breeders of Miniature Horses often brought imported miniature horses into the United States to enhance their breeding programs. Their farms are well-known throughout the world as the producers of the some of the finest and smallest miniature horses ever bred in the United States.
The Falabella Miniature Horse of Argentina may well hold the most prominent
place of miniature horse recognition because of the early concentration of
breeding a miniature horse that was a true counterpart of a full-sized, very
refined horse developed by Julio Falabella. Highly-Prized
Falabella Miniature Horses have been shipped all
over the World and there was a large number bought to the United States by
Maria Falabella in the mid-nineties and sold at auction at Southfork
Miniature Horse Farm near Cana, Virginia. The offspring of a pure
Falabella Miniature Horse are called Falabella Blends because they are half
The coal-carrying days are over and now and the much more refined
miniature horses often enjoy being driven with pleasure carts, roadsters,
and even racing sulkies.
Mature miniature horses that are at least 3 years of age and are under 34"
are considered "A" Division Miniature Horses, and those that are over 34" up
to and including 38"
are considered "B" Division Miniature Horses.
Only very small children, that weigh 40 pounds or less should ride an "A" Division Miniature Horse, while a taller, and usually more muscular, "B" Division Mini can usually carry 60-80 pounds. The child's weight and height as well as the age, height, and conformation of the mini should always be a consideration when training or riding a miniature horse.
Many youths that ride have graduated to a Show Pony (over 38" up to and including 48"); sometimes thought of as an oversized "B" Mini, that often has the quiet gentle temperment of a miniature horse but is closer to a pony size. Often, Parents and Guardians prefer this size to a larger pony for a small child.
A number of pintos and appaloosas have been bred down to the Miniature Horse -Size from the Show Pony-Type.
Breeding and Care
Mares should be 3 years of age or older before producing. The same
considerations mentioned above apply to the Mare.
Good Quality hay (alfalfa,
timothy, orchard grass, etc.) and feed are necessary to produce the best
miniature horses. Breeding miniature horses requires a
substantial investment as well as the breeder's time, especially during
foaling season; which is usually March-June, depending
Some breeders may use heated barns and artificial lights to prolong the breeding season.
Mares should be properly vaccinated to protect themselves and their foals.
Check with your vet to arrange the proper schedule.
It is advisable to use a very
mild wormer for the first time when worming a foal because if a strong
product is used, too many
It is crucial that the foal receive clostrum from its Dam, usually within the first 12 hours after birth. If the foal has not nursed or if it is obvious that the Mare has no milk or clostrum, call your vet immediately. Steps can be taken to insure that the foal receives the proper protection, but it t be done while the foal is still susceptible to accepting colostrum.
There are clostrum replacements on the market today that can be administered to the foal by iv or orally. A plasma transfer that can supply the newborn foal with antibodies can be performed if the foal is 12 hours or older and has not received adequate colostrum from its Dam. It is far better to be on hand when the foal is born to make first-hand observations and to take the necessary steps if required. A foal is usually up and nursing within the first 2 hours. The Foal often begins to struggle to its feet within 10-15 minutes after birth. Most births are without incidence, and are extremely rewarding to everyone concerned. It is always best to be prepared, just in case, that 1-10% strikes.
Making certain that the foal
emerges from the "bag" may well be one of most common problem with newborns.
Some people equate tough bags that cannot be broken during birth with
fescue grass that contains the endophyte fungus.
Unusual Colors of Miniature Horses include Buckskin, Champagne, Cremello, Grulla, Perlino, Pintos, and Appaloosas. They only truly predictable color breeding is between a sorrel mare and stallion that will produce a sorrel foal. There are foal predictor indicators available online. Coat Color Calculator - Animal Genetics www.animalgenetics.us/Equine/CCalculator1.asp
B Division Miniature Horses make excellent cart horses and are as lovable and beautiful as the smaller A Division Horse.
Some Miniature Horses have beautiful blue eyes. Buckskin Colt out of a Buckskin Dam and Bay Sire
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