The roles ponies and minis have played in history have contributed to their current size, appearance, and temperament. The earliest appearance of MiniatureHorses is recorded to have been in 1650 at the Palace of Versailles where King Louis XIV kept a zoo with unusual animals, including tiny horses.
MiniatureHorses were originally brought to the United States to work in coal mines, as their small size enabled them to access underground tunnels. They have also been bred in South America over time to develop the current petite and proportional ideal standard, epitomized by the tiny Flagella.
They first appeared as domesticated stock in the United States the 1800s to be used in coal mines and for agricultural work and driving. According to the AMHA, “today’s American Miniature Horse is among the fastest growing and most beloved of equine breeds.” Miniature horses shouldn’t be ridden because of their small stature, but they are popular for driving and in-hand classes.
Some MiniatureHorses are owned as companions by families with small children or by retired adults with a passion to enjoy life, while others are purchased solely as investments.” Minis have also become increasingly popular therapy animals. Ponies come in a wide variety of breeds, and they are especially popular children’s mounts, competing in just about any type of equestrian sport, whether it be jumping, evening, driving, and more.
Though there may always be some wiggle room when it comes to classifying and defining horses, ponies, and Minis, hopefully this clears things up a bit for our petite equine friends. It won’t be surprising that many people regard these two different horses as one and the same because of their small size or height than the average horse.
However, minis are classified as a small kind of horse. Minis come in a wide range of colors and usually have unique coat patterns.
As a matter of fact, minis have been used by some to guide the blind, and they are easy to train. The common lifespan of minis ranges from 25 to 35 years.
It is because they are measured in terms of inches as opposed to the latter which are measured in terms of hands (1 hand = 4 inches). For mini horses, the maximum height is usually around 38 inches.
Minis that get pregnant will often have problems in giving birth. Because of their small size, miniature horses eat less than opposed to ponies.
By contrast, ponies being generally taller and bigger than minis, need to enjoy a bigger living space for them to run around a bit. It has also been observed that one pony is to be given an entire acre of land space while five minis can still enjoy that same area of land.
Ponies have a distinct appearance because of their thicker fur coat. They are bulkier looking than minis because of their dense bones, round bodies, well-sprung ribs, and large eyes.
Generally, ponies live for 25 to 30 years with an exception for some that can extend far more than that. Miniature horses are smaller and height than ponies.
Miniature horses are better used as home companions whereas ponies can still be used for driving and riding. If the horse in question is still a baby, you can try to guess the adult height by looking at mom.
If you are looking for the word to describe a baby horse, that is a foal, regardless of what size they will be as an adult. In fact, there are several terms used to describe horse gender which I have covered in detail in this post if you are interested.
Looking at size, ponies are not only considered to be smaller than horses, there are maximum height requirements they must be at or under. In the English disciplines, this becomes extremely important because of specialized pony classes.
Well-behaved ponies that remain short enough to compete in these classes can fetch top dollar. There also may be some variations is height maximums between show rings and disciplines, but expect them to be generally the same.
Further, the thicker coats and manes of ponies were developed over time to better protect their small bodies from the cold. If you have ever heard of the term Napoleon complex in reference to someone of something who I short having a bigger, overcompensating personality.
When it comes to choosing a pony, remember that you can’t assume just because the horse is child-sized that it will be safe for a child. When it comes to intestinal workings, ponies differ from horses in the ease of their digestion.
You may often hear the ponies are “easy keepers”, which means they generally require less food and maintain weight with fewer fluctuations. Overfeeding is much easier to do on accident than with horses, making them that much more susceptible to foundering and developing laminates.
Close monitoring of his body condition should be done to ensure that your pony does not slowly become obese over time. A pony can shockingly founder in under an hour if they are turned lose suddenly onto a lush pasture.
The perfect pasture for a pony will be one that requires more work to graze, compared to the ideal environment for a horse. These shorter, stockier, more stubborn little cuties may look like and act like bigger horses, but only to a certain degree.
In size, shape, personality and feeding patterns, ponies are very much their own animal. The American Miniature Horse Association and the American Miniature Horse Registry both determine a 34-inch maximum height or a 38-inch maximum height, respectively, for minis.
Miniature horses are much more similar in appearance to horses : they have been bred to have the same features and proportions, just scaled down. Think like someone took a shrink ray to a regular horse, with minor variations in conformation.
Their skeletal systems much more closely mirror that of a larger horse’s, and so they will not have quite the same rounded, stocky proportions of a pony. Miniature horses have historical roots tracing back to the 1600s that document them being trained and selectively bred for temperament.
They are so small compared to their equine counterparts, that they can consume too much and become obese very quickly. Most miniature horses should be fed strict diets and exercised regularly to maintain good weight.
Outside of height and carrying capacity, however, mini horses are not too far off from their larger horse cousins. Firstly, they are all members of the equine family and are all pretty many types of horses.
Miniature horses are mistakenly identified as ponies or vice versa, in many instances. Those distinctions would be more easily understood if there are enough sources of information, but it would be easier if those particulars are discussed as in this article.
In fact, Miniature horses are good as assistants to blind human patients. These useful animals are a result of the crossbreeding between different types of ponies, and they can live long with about 25 – 35 years.
In addition, they have some important features to notice including dense bones, stocky body with a round shape, short head, large eyes, and well-sprung ribs. Ponies are intelligent and friendly animals, and they are much easy to handle with not much trouble.
· They both are small types of horses, but Miniature horses are very smaller in comparison with ponies. · Ponies are useful in different equestrian events as well as in riding and driving, whereas Miniatures are mainly companion animals and useful as indoor assistants.
In fact, people care for Miniatures as an alternative for dogs, but that ponies cannot offer that kind of service to humans. · Ponies have a thicker coat, rougher manes and tails compared to Miniature horses.
The one thing that ponies are not, that many people are mistaken about, is that they are not baby horses. Both horses and ponies are of the same species (Equus Catullus) and come from the exact same family tree.
However, ponies stay small their whole life, maturing more quickly than horses. Pony foals are tiny and will rapidly mature to the approximate size of their parents.
Horses are slower growing, some not attaining full mature size until they are six or seven years of age. In fairness to the riders and these mounts, these size standards help prevent ponies and small horses from showing against larger animals, whose size might give them an advantage.
It also isn’t safe to have very small children on tiny ponies riding around the same ring with larger horses. They can be quite wily, which is why it’s sometimes easier to find a quiet horse for a child than a reliable pony.
They can pull or carry heavy loads with more strength than a horse, relative to their size. Their coats tend to grow thicker in the winter, which often doesn’t shed out until the hottest days of summer.
They begin to grow back their thick coats as soon as the days start to shorten. They are heavier boned and shorter legged in proportion to their bodies compared to horses.
In fact, it’s very easy to overfeed a pony, which makes them more prone to founder and laminates than horses. While some horses can be ‘hard keepers’ most ponies are the extreme opposite, apparently putting on weight just looking at the grass on the other side of the fence.