The American Miniature Horse … Unique … Interesting … A Class All of Its Own!
The AMHR Miniature Horse is one of the most interesting and unique equine in existence. Although their actual history is sometimes debated, the American Miniature Horse developed right along with the 20th century. By the mid 1950s, many pony farms were raising diminutive horses for fun. By the early 1970s, the American Miniature Horse Registry was created by the American Shetland Pony Club, Inc., to serve the needs of this growing area of equine interest. Today, the Miniature Horse is a popular, versatile, well-respected and much-loved animal.
Miniature Horses are bred for superb conformation and outstanding dispositions. The result is a beautifully proportionate little horse that is suitable to a variety of uses. Miniature Horses require similar care to their full-sized counterparts, but based on their size, Minis require much less space which helps make them more accessible to more people. Dwindling land resources have also contributed to the Miniature Horses’ growing popularity.
The American Miniature Horse Registry is the original registry for the Miniature Horse in the United States, and it registers as many as 10,000 horses each year. It recognizes two size divisions, making AMHR the most comprehensive small equine option. Division “A” Miniatures are up to 34” in height while Division “B” Miniatures are between 34”and 38” tall. Unlike the majority of most equine breeds, Miniatures are measured at the last hair of their mane rather than at their wither. Miniature Horses come in a full spectrum of coat colorings and patterns. Unlike Shetlands, a spotted appaloosa is an accepted and popular coloring in the American Miniature Horse Registry.
Miniature Horses have become increasingly popular with both children and adults. These versatile little horses can do just about everything a full-sized horse can do, making them big fun in a small package. Miniatures are well suited for everyone from the novice horse person to the consummate show professional. Their roles vary from backyard pet to fun parade entries to gorgeous show horses to therapy horses for persons with special needs or companions to the elderly. Whatever your interest in horses, it is likely there is a Miniature Horse suitable for the job!
For those drawn to the competitive side of this breed, Miniature Horse shows are hosted around the country and attract large numbers of small equine enthusiasts of all ages. Miniatures also often compete successfully at local all-breed open shows, and they can be found in the 4-H show ring as well. The AMHR National Championship Show hosted each September in Tulsa, Oklahoma, consistently draws more than 1,500 Minis from across the U.S. and Canada, making it the single largest competition for Miniatures. In fact, AMHR Nationals is one of the larger horse shows of any kind in the United States. AMHR-rated shows offer a variety of classes from halter and showmanship to obstacle driving and fun costume to elegant park harness and speedy roadster driving…and everything in between.
The popularity of American Miniature horses is a testimony to their endearing dispositions, versatility and practicality. Miniatures are an amazing and stylized yet hardy animal. As the equine world and the general public become increasingly cognizant of their beauty and versatility, the AMHR Miniature Horse may well continue to grow in popularity.