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MINIATURE HORSE
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History of the Miniature Horse...


The result of nearly 400 years of selective breeding, historians tend to support the Miniature Horse breed as a derivative of many sources. 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 a reality.

The first mention of a small horse being imported into the United States was in 1888; and research shows little public awareness of true Miniatures until 1960. Popular belief is that American Miniature horses utilized the blood of English and Dutch mine horses brought into this country 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 Miniatures today, also drew upon the blood of the Shetland pony. Throughout its colorful past, the Miniature Horse breed had been bred for pets, novelty, research, monetary gain, mining work, exhibition and royal gifts.

* Size. No bigger 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 found in a rainbow of colors and types.

* Personality. Eager to please, the American Miniature Horse makes a gentle and affectionate companion for individuals of any age or ability.

* Versatility. Though petite, Miniature Horses are extremely versatile and excel in a variety of disciplines including driving, halter, jumping, obstacle and others.
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.
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Standard of Perfection

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. 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 head/neck carriage. 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 pattern, and any eye color, is equally acceptable. The hair should be lustrous and silky.
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