South East Wisconsin Miniature Equine Club
The American Miniature Horse History
The American Miniature Horse is a unique and original breed. The miniature horse is a scaled down version of the standard size horse. Division "A" miniature horses measure only 34" or less at the withers and division "B" miniatures range from 34" to 38". The history of the miniature horse is varied and traces to several sources. Miniature horses were used in England & Northern Europe as far back as the 1700's to pull ore carts in the coal mines. In the 19th century, some miniatures were brought to the United States to be used in the mines in Ohio and West Virginia. Many early breeders imported horses from Europe, especially England and Holland, which helped to create the miniature breed, as it is known today.
On January 1, 1972, the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) officially opened and began accepting registration of small equines, not exceeding 34" in height at maturity. Around 1978, the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) opened in Texas. The AMHA only recognizes miniature horses up to 34" tall, however, in 1986, the AMHR voted in a "B" registry, which allowed a 34" to 38" division of miniatures.
Both the AMHR and the AMHA have sanctioned shows, including National Shows, where today's miniatures can be shown in halter and showmanship, or compete in performance classes, such as driving, jumping, and obstacle. There are even special classes in which the physically disabled can participate in with their miniatures.
Miniature horses are easy to handle and fun to show. Today's miniature horses also make wonderful family pets, because of their gentle nature and small size. They are small enough for a young child to safely handle and care for. They can be trained to easily pull a cart or small wagon. Even though they can't carry a large amount of weight on their back, they are very strong and can pull three times their weight. They are the perfect size for parades, fair exhibitions, to be shared at schools, nursing homes, and parties, as well as in your own backyard. The elderly enjoy them, as miniatures make a good alternative to the full sized horse, which they may no longer feel physically able to handle.
You can own a miniature horse without the need for big pastures and large barns. You can feed several for the cost of feeding one standard size horse. Miniature horses can provide as much fun and excitement as a standard size horse, but in a much more economical package.