Thursday, 27 September 2012

A Bit of MINIATURE Information

In response to one of my followers, I have decided to research some information about miniature horses.

Miniature horses can be found in all nations.  In the 17th century, King Louis XIV was noted to have miniature horses amongst the animals in his zoo.  European royalty bred them to keep as pets for the royal children.    In the 18th century they were used all over England and Northern Europe to pull ore carts in the coal mines.  It wasn't until the 19th century that they were brought over to America where they were also used in the mines.   

In 1971, the first registry was created to sanction and register the American Miniature Horse.  Over the next two years, the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) accepted registration of small mature equines, not exceeding 34 inches in height, with perfect form and normal function.  Head, body and legs were well proportioned.   By December 31st 1973, the registry had reached the limit for registrations.  Going forward, only horses who were bred by registered horses could be registered in the AMHR.    In 1978, the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) was formed.

There are two divisions of miniature horses recognized by the AMHR.  Division "A" recognizes horses 34 inches and under,  and Division "B" allowed for horses 34-38 inches.  The AMHA only recognized Division "A", whilst the AMHR recognizes both Divisions.  Division "B" came about because new blood was needed in the gene pool.  Also, some of the breeders were managing to get excellent stock that were over 34 inches, and wanted to start racing them with mechanical riders.  

Today, the miniature horses are shown at National Shows and shows sanctioned by the AMHR and AMHA.   They compete in halter and showmanship classes and also performance classes, such as jumping obstacles and driving carts.   

To find miniature horses in Ontario, you can search the Miniature Horse Club of Ontario  Provided on the website is a list of registered breeders found across Canada and some from the U.S.A.  It also provides you with an information section with articles written by some owners, giving advice on training and ownership.  


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