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Buy Miniature (Poney) Horses For Sale. The horse (Equus ferus caballus) is a domesticated, one-toed, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, close to Eohippus, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BCE, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BCE. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses. These feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term refers to horses that have never been domesticated. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, size, colors, markings, breeds, locomotion, and behavior.
A miniature horse is a breed or type of horse characterised by its small size. Usually it has been bred to display in miniature the physical characteristics of a full-sized horse, but to be little over 100 cm (40 in) in height, or even less. Although such horses have the appearance of small horses, they are genetically much more similar to pony breeds such as the Shetland. They have various colors and coat patterns.
Miniature horses are present in several countries, including Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Namibia, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States. In some countries they have the status of a breed; these include the Falabella of Argentina, the Dutch Miniature or Nederlands Mini Paard, the South African Miniature Horse and the American Miniature Horse.
They are commonly kept as companion animals, or for sporting activities such as driving or other competitive horse show events. A few have been trained as guide horses for blind people.
At a show in Avaré, São Paulo, Brazil
Miniature horses originated in Europe, where there is written and iconographic documentation of them from the late eighteenth century. In the first half of the twentieth century small horses were bred in England by Lady Estella Mary Hope and her sister Lady Dorothea.
The Falabella was developed in Argentina in the mid-1800s by Patrick Newtall. When Newtall died, the herd and breeding methods were passed to his son-in-law, Juan Falabella. Juan added additional bloodlines including the Welsh Pony, Shetland pony, and small Thoroughbreds. With considerable inbreeding he was able to gain consistently small size within the herd.