The first true miniature horse, or “mini,” originated in Europe nearly 400 years ago. These little horses were bred as pets for Europe?s royal families. King Louis XIV had his own zoo of many unusual animals, including tiny horses.
The first minis brought to the United States from Europe arrived in the early 1930s. Today, thousands of Minis can be found on family farms from coast to coast. These versatile little horses can do just about everything a full-sized horse can do. They are big fun in a small package. Their roles vary from backyard pets, to gorgeous show horses, to therapy horses for persons with special needs. Some even work as companions for elderly people. Whatever your interest in horses, there is a miniature horse suitable for the job.
This little package of a horse packs a busy schedule. Lola stands just 24 inches tall! She’s a miniature horse, and a small one at that, so she can visit schools, fairs and nursing homes. But what she loves doing most is jumping into the back of the van for a day at the beach. Carousels and grocery shopping trips are fun, when there’s time. TV appearances and radio and newspaper interviews keep her busy, too. ?And then there’s book signings. Yup? her actual hoofprint in her own activity book called The Wonderful Life of Lola, ?A Day At The Beach? (www.smallhorse.com).
Test your knowledge of miniatures. Are these statements true of false?
1.???A miniature horse’s height is measured in hands just like other horses and ponies.
2.?? The world miniature horse population is about 240,000.
3.?? A mini is slightly taller than a Labrador Retriever dog.
4.?? Miniatures are always chestnut, black or bay in color.
5.? ?Miniatures can be kept in town as long as you have a fenced yard.
6.?? Miniatures need to eat twice a day.
7.?? Miniatures can be used as guide animals for people who are blind.
8.?? To be a mini, the horse must measure less than 38 inches.
9.?? A miniature costs just as much to keep as a full-size horse.
10. Shetland ponies and miniatures are closely related.
Answers to True and False
(l-F, 2-T, 3-T,4-F, 5-F, 6-T, 7-T, 8-T, 9-F, 10-T)