Close up, this horse appears to be like any other horse. They have the right proportions and similar traits. It might even be difficult to see any major difference. But back away and you will notice a horse of a different color...er size, to be more exact. This horse is the Miniature Horse.
The Miniature Horse, also known as the "miniature toy horse", "pygmy horse", or simply "minis", is clearly set apart by its small stature. They range between the height of 19 to 38 inches, but only those that are under the height of 34 inches are considered true miniature horses.
There are two types of minis. One is the draft type which are larger and stockier in build. The second is a more refined type. This type retains the characteristics that give it more of a horse appearance than a pony, hence why they are called miniature horses and not considered ponies.
They were first bred throughout Europe between the years 1600 to 1800. They were selectively bred from many horse breeds including the Arabian, the Hackney, and Shetland Ponies among others. The Miniature Horse was mostly bred as a pet for royalty; however, they were also used for driving and pulling small carts in coal mines.
They are suitable for farms of small acreage and for those who do not wish to show horses. During King Henry VIII's reign, the Miniature horse was almost lost. He had ordered that any stallion under 14 hands high would be destroyed. Some foresighted farmers did what they could to hide the horses, thus preserving the breed. They are now common in both Europe and the Americas.
The Miniature Horse comes in all coat colors and they can even have paint and Appaloosa markings. They have thicker hair than that of their larger counterparts.
So, if you are looking for a horse that is an easy keeper (and not to mention cute) check out the Miniature Horse.