Last Updated on January 5, 2022
If you’ve ever seen a miniature horse, it can be hard to believe how tiny they really are! These diminutive equines really do look like full-size horses that have shrunk in the wash. But just how much do miniature horses weigh?
Let’s find out all about miniature horses and discover just how small they really are!
What Is A Miniature Horse?
The different terminology used to describe horse breeds can be very confusing. We have horses and ponies, and then there is the miniature horse. So, what is the difference?
Ponies are smaller than horses, and also have very different characteristics. Miniature horses are different, as they are bred to keep the characteristics of a horse, just in a smaller size.
So, although miniature horses would be in the same size category as a pony, they are normally classified as horses.
Miniature horses are generally too small to be ridden, and they also lack the strength associated with ponies. However, some may be able to work in harness, pulling a lightweight cart.
However, these tiny equines are not completely useless! They make great family pets, enabling young children to learn about how to safely handle a horse. They are also becoming more popular as service animals, assisting mentally or physically impaired people.
Some miniature horses are also very skilled when it comes to equine agility classes – they may be small, but they certainly are not stupid! They are fast and quick thinking, making them ideal for scurry driving. In-hand showing is also very popular for miniature horses.
How Much Do Miniature Horses Weigh?
The weight of a miniature horse varies according to the breed. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular miniature horse breeds and find out what they weigh!
This tiny breed is one of the smallest horses in the world. The Falebella originates from Argentina, and is between 28 and 34 inches tall – that’s smaller than many dogs!
The Falabella is considered to be the original miniature horse and is very similar to Arabian and Thoroughbred horses in physique and stature. They are very fine and delicate, with an elegant appearance. The only giveaway that they have pony bloodlines is their thicker coat!
The average weight of a Falabella horse is 70 to 80 kilograms.
The Caspian is one of the oldest breeds of horse in the world. It originates from Iran and at one point was nearly extinct. An intensive breeding program has boosted Caspian horse numbers, but they are still very rare.
This refined and elegant breed is nimble and strong. It is popular as a children’s riding pony and for working in harness.
The Caspian is taller than the Falabella, between 39 and 47 inches tall. Therefore, it is likely that they weigh much more, and are more similar to a medium pony in weight.
- American Miniature Horse
American Miniature Horses appear very much like a regular-sized horse that has been shrunk down. They are an elegant and delicate miniature horse breed, with refined features.
This breed is slightly larger than the Falabella but smaller than the Caspian. This means it will fall midway between the two when it comes to weight.
How Much Does The Smallest Miniature Horse Weigh?
The record for the smallest horse ever was held by a mare called Thumbelina. This tiny equine weighed in at just 26 kilograms and was only 17 inches tall.
Records do not show what type of horse Thumbelina was, but she was certainly very small! This little mare was born with a condition called dwarfism, which is why she was so small. Sadly she passed away in 2018, at the age of 17.
How Is Mini Horse Weight Calculated?
If you own a miniature horse, it is essential that you ensure that they maintain a healthy body weight. If a horse is not at its ideal body weight is at risk of many health conditions, some of which could be permanent or life-threatening.
When it comes to tiny equine-like miniature horses, it is vital that you monitor their bodyweight carefully. Just a small change of a few kilograms can mean the difference between being underweight or overweight.
Best Ways To Weigh A Horse
But what is the best way to monitor the weight of a horse? It may be that you are lucky enough to keep your miniature horse in a yard with a weighbridge. This means you can weigh your horse at regular intervals and monitor for any weight changes.
You may also be able to use the horse weighing scales at your local veterinary clinic. Alternatively, look for public weighbridges in your area.
Another way to check the weight of a horse is using a weigh-tape. This is used to measure around the abdomen of the horse, where the girth of the saddle sits. Alternatively, a normal measuring tape can be used, and the weight calculated from this.
The problem with both these methods when it comes to miniature horses is that they are not very accurate. The body of a miniature horse is not always in the same proportions as standard-sized horses. This can make the calculations used for measuring a miniature horse’s girth very inaccurate.
If you are worried that your miniature horse might be underweight or overweight, you can carry out a measurement called body condition scoring. This does not give you the weight of the horse but tells you if they are close to the ideal weight range.
To carry out this method you compare various parts of your miniature horse’s body to a chart. Each part is given a score, based on how close to the ideal physique it is. These scores are added up and the final figure will tell you if your horse is underweight, overweight, or just right!
So, as we have learned, miniature horses can weigh as little as 26 kilograms. The smallest breed of miniature horse is the Falabella, with an average weight of 70 to 80 kilograms. Larger miniature horses include the Caspian and the American Miniature Horse.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about how much miniature horses weigh. Have you ever met one of these tiny miracles of the equine world? Or maybe you want to learn more about miniature horse breeds? Please add a comment below!
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Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE