The breed of the American Miniature Horse is a result of nearly 400 years of selective breeding. Many historians believe that the Miniature Horse breed as a derivative of many horses. In prehistoric times small horse breeds were most likely the products of surviving harsh natural climates and limited feed. Today, knowledge of genetics has made the possibility of breeding specifically for size and reality.
Importing small horses to the United States was first mentioned in 1888, with research showing very little public awareness of true Miniatures until 1960. American Miniature Horses utilized the blood of English and Dutch mine horses brought into the United States in the 19th century and used in some Appalachian coal mines as late as 1950. The American Miniature Horse, as documented in the pedigrees of Miniature horse breeds today, also drew upon the blood of the Shetland Pony. Throughout its colorful past, the Miniature Horse breed has been bred for pets, novelty, research, monetary gain, mining work, exhibition and royal gifts.
The size of a miniature horse is usually no larger than a large dog. American Miniature Horses are “miniature” versions of well balanced horses possessing confirmation characteristics found in most equine breeds. Miniature horses can be a large variety of colors and types.
The temperament of the “mini’s” are eager to please, they make a gentle and affectionate companion for individuals of any age or ability.
The American Miniature Horse tends to be very versatile as a petite horse. They tend to excel in a variety of disciplines which includes: driving, halter, free jumping, obstacles and many more.
The American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) is the worlds leading Miniature Horse registry with nearly 160,000 horses and more than 12,000 members in 37 countries and provinces.
The association was founded in 1978 promoting the breeding, use and perpetuation of a standard of equine excellence in miniature , separate and apart from ponies and other small equines. Horses that are registered with the AMHA must meet the Association standard of perfection and cannot exceed 34 inches in height at the withers as measured from the last hairs of the main.
The organization was created by a group of dedicated horsemen, the AMHA was created in 1978 in Arlington, Texas. Their goal was very simple – to encourage the breeding, exhibition, and perpetuation of the American Miniature Horse. This is separate and apart from ponies and other small equines.
The AMHA is one of the worlds fastest growing equine organizations and they continue to grow to increased numbers in registrations, transfers, show entries and increased memberships each year. The American Miniature Horse Association is currently the leading Miniature Horse Registy. If you have not had the change to see these amazing horses, then you need to try to find a farm and go visit, you will not regret it. These cute little horses are absolutely incredible and well worth a farm visit.
Contributed By: Nanette Hughston