Items

Forums
The Falabella Miniature Horse
 By Saferaphus   •   29th Dec 2018   •   73 views   •   0 comments


Long before the Miniature Horse came into existence another diminutive breed held the title of the world’s smallest equine. The Falabella is very rare, and it’s thought there are only about 2000 individuals in total. Although originally developed in Argentina, there are a few breeders around the world.

Originally, it was acknowledged that a purebred Falabella would be of a certain size, and the breed did not have a specific standard. There were very few breeders, in fact one family controlled the development of the breed. But, now the registry requires that the size of the horse be included on this document. The most desirable size is in the range of 28 to 34 inches although there is still no exact size requirement to be included in the registry.

The original Falabella is said to have been developed from Criollo horses who were descendents of the first horses brought to the new world by the Spanish conquistadors. There are some legends surrounding how the horses got their diminutive size. One tale claims that a herd of horses got trapped in a narrow canyon with only cactus to survive on. Over time, only the smallest and hardiest survived.

In another tale, a herd of horses were sent to a barren Patagonia plain, somewhere in the southern reaches of Chile and Argentina. By the time someone remembered the horses were still there, generations of natural adaptation ensured that only the tiniest, who could find shelter in and eat the scanty scrub vegetation, remained. Early breeders used methods of line breeding to ensure Falabellas stayed small.

Whatever their origins, and whether the size of the breed is due to human-manipulated or a more natural selection, the original Falabellas are said to be descended from horses, with no ponies such as the Shetland in their pedigree. Later breeders added in pony bloodlines such as Shetland and Welsh to ensure the breed would stay small.

The earliest breeder was Patrick Newell, who on finding these small horses, shared his experiences with his son-in-law Juan Falabella. The Falabella family continued to improve the breed over the generations. In the 1940s, a registry was formed.

Besides their small size, Falabellas are said to be very long lived. The average life span is 35 to 40 years. This longevity is said to come from the fact that they have a horse-sized heart, despite their small size. This may be more legend than fact. Another unusual feature of the Falabella is a longer than average gestation period - some claim up to 13 months. The foals when born, are tiny, averaging about 16 inches in height and can weigh just over a pound.

The average horse has 18 vertebrae, but the Falabella, like the Arabian may have only 17. They may also have one less set of ribs. The come in every different color and some breeders will specialize in a specific color. Appaloosa-like markings are particularly prized by some. Overall, Falabellas look proportionally more like a tiny horse, rather than a pony. They weigh in, depending on their height, at around 70 pounds. And again, specific breeders may breed for certain qualities so that their stock look like mini-Arabians, Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds or other types or breeds.

Because of their intelligence and affinity as a companion, they make good guide animals. They can be ridden by very small children and are said to be quite docile, kind and friendly. They are often shown in harness, or in hand by adults and make charming, quick learning trick horses.

Today, there are breeders scattered around the world. The population is growing very slowly. And, along with the growth, some registries are developing new standards. But, all Falabellas will have the original equines from Argentina in their pedigrees.
Horse News More In This Category:  Breeds      Horse News More From This Author:  Saferaphus
 More News by Saferaphus
Kids on Horses - Cute or Dangerous
13th Jan 2019   |   Breeds   |   Saferaphus
I recently came across a YouTube video of a 3-year-old riding a 16.3 hh horse. And you’ve probably have seen photos or video that are similar. You might have done something like this yourself. Most of us will have a couple of peop ...
Horse Teeth Myths
12th Jan 2019   |   Breeds   |   Saferaphus
What goes on deep in your horse’s mouth tends to be a bit of a mystery. We know there are some big grinding teeth back there. And, there’s a big tongue, a narrow palate and some gums holding all the teeth together. And there are a ...
Hobbling and Ground Tying
9th Jan 2019   |   Breeds   |   Saferaphus
But there are other ways to secure horses. Tethering, picketing and ground tying are methods to keep a horse from wandering. But they are likely to cause raised eyebrows depending on where you are when you use them. For some peopl ...
Equine Hall of Fame Locations
5th Jan 2019   |   Breeds   |   Saferaphus
The new year is here, and it seems like a natural time to take a look back at the highs and lows in the horse world. Really, we’ve had enough of the lows haven’t we? So I’ll just take a look at some bright spots, which include ann ...
Making Winter More Bearable
4th Jan 2019   |   Breeds   |   Saferaphus
Winter has arrived and if you’re a horse owner, you may feel like everything you do to look after your horse takes twice as long, and the time you have to enjoy your horse has been cut in half - if it happens at all. There is not ...
What is That Smell
1st Jan 2019   |   Breeds   |   Saferaphus
Your horse’s ears usually smells like the rest of the horse, with a waxy odor. If there is a foul odor, it’s probably a sign of Otitis Externa. This can be caused by allergies, ticks and other biting insects, an injury, a foreign ...
Horse News
30th Dec 2018   |   Breeds   |   Saferaphus
The line in the song may have been 'Wake me up when September ends...' but I think if I had to choose, I’d like to nap my way through January. But then, there are headlines like these to keep my interested - or make me want to sti ...
Warmblood Breeds Defined
22nd Dec 2018   |   Breeds   |   Saferaphus
Throughout the 1800s, many Europeans were busy classifying and organizing animals into breeds. Studbooks were set up to record bloodlines and ensure that a Welsh Pony always looked like a Welsh Pony and a Shire always looked like ...
  View All News by Saferaphus
 
©2002 - 2019   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
368 Members Online 242,502 Registered Members 2,514 News Articles 10,521,738 Unique News Article Views 233,865,790 Website Views