General information

Shetland pony: description of the breed, especially care and breeding


Dwarf rocks appeared a long time ago, their first images are found on ancient Celtic carvings, dating back to 600 AD. Mini-horses lived in the zoo of Louis XIV, a great lover of rare and unusual animals.

Dwarf breeds appeared in 600 AD

The British started the breeding work on breeding "indoor" horses at the end of the 18th century, and from the middle of the 19th century, mini horses were already working in mines and mines, carrying trucks with breed and showing remarkable endurance.

Mini horses help in the treatment and rehabilitation of children

Nowadays, the mini-horse no longer performs heavy work, but is used as a pet and performs other very important duties - it helps in treating and rehabilitating children diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism, and also serves as a guide for light-sighted people better than dogs distracted by strangers. irritants.

Little horses - what's the difference from a pony?

The structure of the body of a mini-horse is proportional and looks like the exterior of a large horse, only reduced by 5-6 times. Muscular croup, strong withers, graceful neck, elastic body, long thin legs with small hoofs, moderately large head with intelligent expressive eyes, lush mane and tail, various suits - this is the portrait of most representatives of dwarf breeds. These horses are often mistakenly listed as pony horses, differing in a disproportionately long body with short legs.

External differences between an ordinary horse and a mini

The weight of small horses ranges from 20 to 65 kg, and the minimum height is only 40 cm. However, among them there are also their own record-breakers, which fall into the Guinness Book of Records. Little Pamkin stallion rose only to 35.5 cm, weighed just over 9 kg and was considered the smallest horse in the world.

Mini-horses as a force of force can carry loads that exceed their own weight by 20 times, and withstand a rider with a body weight of 30-35 kg, which may well be a 6-7-year-old child. The calm and kind nature of animals allows young children from the age of 1 year to receive the first riding lessons while sitting in the saddle on a mini-horse.

Secrets of content and care

Breeding dwarf breeds does not differ from the maintenance and care of large horses, with the amendment except for the size of the animals. In the wooden stall, where one horse is usually placed, 2-3 babies are lodged. Thanks to good nature, they get along perfectly not only among themselves, but also with other pets.

Bunny for mini horses

A small horse needs the same hygienic procedures as a large one. It must be cleaned daily, regularly bathed and clean the hooves from sticking various debris. In addition, small horses should be systematically examined by a veterinarian and vaccinate, as well as deworming based on their weight, avoiding overdose.

Corral for walking mini horses

One of the main advantages of keeping mini-horses is the consumption of a small amount of feed. If a large horse is fed more than 3 kg of balanced feed per day, it is enough for the little ones to eat about 10 times less.

Dwarf horses, as well as breeds of other miniature animals, are capable of obesity, so the main rule in drawing up a diet for them is not to overfeed.

In the mini-horse menu, as a rule, up to 20% of concentrated feeds are included, the rest are coarse feeds, among which fresh grass or hay predominates, depending on the season, as well as grass meal. Overfeeding with concentrates - grain, cereals, mussels should not be in order to avoid weight gain. As a dessert, mini-horses love apples and carrots, be sure to give them salted lizunets and, of course, drink clean water.

Mini horses very good get on well, even with small children

Among the miniature horses there are no aggressive animals, they are very fond of children. They are ideal for keeping even in room conditions, and natural physiological needs are realized with the help of special diapers. However, these babies love space, fast running, jumping over obstacles, so walking in the fresh air with the ability to stretch your muscles in no case be excluded for them.

Dwarf Horse Breeds

In breeding works on breeding miniature horse breeds, not only indicators of endurance and strength were taken into account, but also the nature of the animal, its intelligence and balance of character. The most popular ones are:

  • Falabella,
  • American miniature horse,
  • Mini appaloosa

Falabella - Argentine ranch mini-horse

The breed of dwarf horses Falabella was bred more than a hundred years ago on one of the ranches in the vicinity of Buenos Aires. According to the legend, it was started by a miniature stallion, who, from nowhere, picked up on the fields and was caught by the Falabello family at the nearest watering place. The original herd, from which the breed began, consisted of small Spanish horses and a creollo.

The dwarf horse is extremely elegant: its height at the withers varies from 50 to 75 cm, and its weight reaches 50-60 kg, but there are exceptions - individual specimens grew no more than 40 cm and weighed less than 30 kg.

Foalla foal breed

Falabella has a physique of a mount: a graceful neck, a large head, slender legs and small hooves. Horses have all sorts of colors of wool - from black to fly and white. They have a couple of ribs less than other animals. The harmonious structure of the body complements the elegant mane and tail.

Flabella has a good-natured character

All falabel has an extremely good-natured character, they are distinguished by intelligence and ingenuity. Mini horses of this breed live up to forty years. They are excellent partners in games with children, so it is for this purpose that they have become widespread. Small riders up to 3-5 years of age ride with enthusiasm on horseback breed falabella, and two horses in a team are able to carry an adult person of average weight.

American miniature horse - a descendant of a pony and falabella

The breed arose as a result of crossing small horses from Europe, Shetland ponies and the Argentinian dwarf horse Falabella imported into North America in 1888.

American miniature horse

Since 1978, isolated independently of other breeds. The standard provides for the registration of animals no larger than 34 inches or 86 cm. Currently, in Canada and the United States in various farms there are over 110 thousand representatives of the breed American miniature horse. With their participation, more than 250 exhibitions and shows are held annually, during which participants demonstrate the grace and power of their pets.

Herd of American Miniature Horses

Most of the representatives of the breed weigh no more than a large dog - from 50 to 70 kg. Their exterior is a small copy of the mount. Mini-horses are distinguished by a long neck, a medium-sized head with a bulging forehead and intelligent eyes, a muscular body and slender legs. Their movements are light and smooth, at the same time strong and agile. The coat color is allowed by the most varied standard.

American miniature horses at the exhibition

American miniatures are famous for their soft intelligent disposition, they are sociable and do not like to be alone, they are friends not only with their fellows, but also with other animals living in the estate. Well amenable to training and previously widely used in circus performances of stray corpses, until they were on the verge of extinction. Like animals of other dwarf breeds, they get along well with children and are used in various rehabilitation programs for young patients with Down syndrome, paralyzed, suffering from nervous system disorders after stressful situations.

The little horse quickly adapted to the Russian winters. To their beginning, it is covered with warm wool, which in the spring is cleaned and sheared in compliance with all fashion trends.

Mini Appaloosa - Spotted Elegance

Dwarf horses of this breed were the result of popular animal breeding appaloosa breed, focused on reducing growth. The Indians of the North American non-Perce tribe living in the valley of the Palouz river, for many years, were selected to cross small deer horses until a modern mini appaloosa appeared with a distinctive feature - spotting of the skin, expressed by the following kinds of stripes:

Currently, more than 900 thousand horses of this breed are registered living in the farmsteads of Mexico and the USA. In addition to easily recognizable spotting, mini-horses of the appaloosa are also characterized by other distinctive features: distinct stripes on the hooves, dark iris of the eye, 86 cm tall with a correction of 15 cm both in the smaller and in the larger direction. The exterior of the mini appaloosa is exactly the same as a horse with a beautiful flexible neck, a small head, a strong body, resilient limbs with strong hooves.

Horse Breed Mini Appaloosa

The small horse is very popular with German, American and Dutch horse breeders, in Russia it is rather an exotic rarity and is represented by only a few imported specimens. Its main use is participation in various exhibition events and shows.

Mini apaloosa participate in various shows and exhibitions

Dwarf breeds also include miniature Shetland ponies, horses, obtained by breeding, aimed at improving the nature of animals and reducing their growth.


Animals of this breed have their own characteristics:

  • high life expectancy
  • the character is bold and very independent,
  • have a sharp mind and ingenuity
  • easy to train (bad habits also seize on the fly),
  • can be stubborn
  • very hardy
  • prone to obesity,
  • often there are blue-eyed individuals (formerly called belozor),
  • do not differ in big playfulness and elegance of movements,
  • they have a rough coat, long tails and a mane,
  • selection for working qualities, without taking into account other signs, provided a variety of stripes in the breed.

While the foal is small and looks more like a plush toy, inexperienced owners make a serious mistake by spoiling their pets. An adult uncontrollable three-year-old pony weighing 200 kg and a height when lifting up to 2 meters will become a problem. The severity of education must be present necessarily. It is necessary to demand full and unconditional obedience for any actions on the part of a person (cleaning the horse or cleaning the stall).

Another nuance - a ride under the saddle. A small horse with round sides so nimble that it is almost impossible to stay on it. Experienced horse breeders first visit the youngsters in the cart. Having accustomed obedience to the voice commands and ponies (about a month later), they quietly stop by.


Despite the enormous popularity and demand for small horses, the issue of animal cleanliness has not been a concern for horse breeders for many years. Nobody was involved in breed Shetland pony. Breeding with the correct breeding began only in 1870. A great lover of horses, Lord Londonderry on the island of Bressay (Shetland archipelago) laid a stud farm for breeding pony. Experts carried out the most severe selection to consolidate the characteristic features and the exterior type of horses.

The Shetland Pony Breeding Society was established in the first breeding book of the Londonderry manufacturers. Although the company closed in 1899 due to the decline in demand for ponies, many modern champions of the breed still have famous factory manufacturers in their pedigree.

Up until the nineteenth century, breeding was carried out "clean" without the influx of foreign blood. The desire to use ponies as riding horses set for horse breeders the task of increasing the growth of animals. The result of the work was the appearance of several intrabreed types, or offspring:

  • Semberg. In the middle of the century, on the Somberg peninsula and the southern coast of the island of Meinland, Shetland ponies were covered with mare fjord stallions. The height at the withers of the offspring reached 130 cm.
  • Fitlarskoe. The application of the method of reproductive crossbreeding with a brood Arabian stallion (he was a descendant of the legendary Bolivar). Hybrids grew to 120 cm.
  • American Shetland. Obtained as a result of first crossing the Shetland mares with stallions of the hakne breed, then by adding blood of Arabian and purebred riding breeds. Height at withers to 130 cm.

Such human intervention led to the division of the breed into two classes:

  • "A", or the basic type (main), animals include up to 107 cm,
  • "B", or refined type, - animals from 107 to 120 cm at the withers.

The end of the 19th - the beginning of the 20th centuries were marked by the massive export of ponies to all countries of the world. Livestock outside the UK at times exceeds the number of horses in the historic homeland.


Lack of damp, drafts, dry bedding, high-quality food, clean water, daily exercise - such are the requirements for keeping Shetland pony horses. Care does not require special conditions. On the contrary, horses are unpretentious, hardy, they can stay on pastures as long as possible. Thick coat in stable conditions shears. The friendly nature of the animals allows you to keep two animals in one stall (size 3 m by 4 m).

Preferably, the ration is based on hay or grazing grass, oats sometimes cause an allergic reaction. They clean as they are polluted, with stable maintenance - daily. Usually no pony need to strike. Veterinary treatment is the same as for ordinary horses.


Shetland pony is widely used in equestrian sports, and not only in children. In 1960, Little Model performed at the Olympics in Rome in dressage, and in Mexico City in 1968, Stroller took the silver in jumping. The growth of both horses was within 145 cm.

Ponies are frequent participants of circus performances, they are used in riding schools, rentals. Many animal lovers give birth to them as pets. The brilliant mind and the great reaction of the little ones allow them to work as guides for the blind. In Holland, they still have not abandoned small workers and cultivated vegetable plantations with them.

How did the pony come about

Both ordinary and miniature horses share the same common ancestor - Equus ferus caballus. This wild subspecies, in turn, is descended from the oldest prehistoric species Solutre, evidence of which was discovered by archaeologists in the south of France. And it was in this country, according to scientists, that ponies of the modern species first appeared. Today, on its territory, the reserve Camargue (an island in the Rhone River Delta) is organized. It is home to wild mini-horses.

Another possible pony homeland is called the northern regions of Scandinavia and the western European islands. On the local stony soils, only scant vegetation survives, so the horses on such a poor diet naturally crushed during evolution. Climate features forced animals to adapt to adverse weather and cold weather, which resulted in the appearance of stunted, hardy and unpretentious in eating species. Today, ponies are bred around the world, in the same areas where ordinary horses are.

Exterior and special features

Mini-horses have a smooth and calm character, so they are often purchased as pets for children. Ponies are not as whimsical in care as tall species, although they still require attention. Other standards are imposed on their appearance, but this does not mean that they are less beautiful than horses and trotters.

Pony and ordinary horse

The dense and sturdy figure of small horses is the result of the effects of natural habitat. A small-sized body needs less food to maintain its vital activity, its short stature provides stability and protection from strong winds. In addition, low ponies make it easier to reach the stunted grass of northern pastures. Strong legs with hard hooves are used by animals for digging up edible roots. The dense and fluffy wool helps to escape from the frost. Even the ponies are distinguished by a thick and long mane, which in front passes into a fringe.

Ponies have a thick mane, rolling in front of the fringe

The weight of animals can be 100-200 kg. Growth standards for mini-horses vary from country to country. In Russia, ponies include individuals up to 110 cm in height, in Germany - up to 120 cm in height, in the UK - up to 145 cm. In general, the international classification distinguishes five types in height: “A” - 110-117 centimeters, “B” - up to 127 centimeters, "C" - up to 137 centimeters, "D" - up to 148 centimeters, "E" - up to 157 centimeters.

The smallest ponies in the world

Existing Pony Breeds

A total of about 20 varieties of miniature horses are known. В Россию завезены около десятка, из них часть приобрела особую популярность и чаще всего используется для разведения на отечественных конезаводах и фермах.

Таблица 1. Популярные породы пони

Фалабелла (карликовая порода)

Уход за копытами

Каждый месяц необходимо самым тщательным образом осматривать ноги питомца, также это нужно делать, если мини-лошадка начинает вести себя атипично: нервничает, неохотно двигается, норовит лечь, показывает, что ей больно. It is better to check the state of the hooves every time the pony returns from a street walk, or after a riding session. If an animal often walks on stony ground or asphalt, carries a rider on itself, then it must be shod.

Without proper leaving, the hooves crack, the horn plate grows uneven and begins to interfere. Sometimes pebbles or other sharp objects get stuck in it, which is why a pony can become lame. The main thing is to notice the defect in time so that the fragment of the stone does not penetrate deeper. To remove a foreign object, use a special hoof hook. For the prevention of cracking, their surface is smeared with special oils and compounds intended for this purpose.

Pony hoof structure

How to care for pony hooves: step by step instructions

Step 1. After each walk, the pony’s hoof must be thoroughly cleaned from dust, dirt, clay, or other contaminants. In the process, each hoof is inspected for damage.

You can use a nylon brush to clean your hooves.

Step 2. Next, the hooves need to be cleaned from the bottom, paying special attention to the horseshoes. To do this, use a special blunt metal hook.

It is important to use sharp objects is prohibited so as not to damage the icing on the hooves of the pony!

It is more convenient to get a hook combined with a brush

Step 3. Wash the pony's leg, wiping it dry thoroughly. This procedure is necessary in order to save the horse's hooves from inflammation, but you need to understand that you can only wash the hooves and the leg of the animal (up to the brush) at a temperature above zero. In the cold pony with wet feet sick!

Pony's hooves should always be clean and smooth!

Bathing miniature horses

Often it is not necessary to wash the pony, but sometimes you can’t do without it. Usually, dirt from the skin is cleaned with special brushes, but in hot weather, when animals sweat a lot, they can be pampered with a refreshing bath or shower. Wool mini-horses after swimming becomes shiny and beautiful, abundant moisture does not harm it. And animals like water procedures very much. You can take them to the lake or river, but a suitable option is pouring warm water in the yard.

Horse shampoos, scrapers and sponges are used to wash ponies. It is necessary to gently lather the pet so that the composition does not get into the eyes and ears. You can not touch the head at all, but only pour it with clean water and wipe it with a sponge. The shampoo is applied according to the growth of hair, slightly scrubbing the skin, collecting foam, wiping with a sponge and washing off with warm water. Then separately washed mane and tail. Water is collected from the body with a scraper, after which the ponies are dried with a towel or an old sheet.

Sometimes ponies need to be bathed.

What to feed

Since the origin of ponies is associated with the influence of harsh natural conditions, they have genetically incorporated unpretentiousness in food. Theoretically, they can exist on one pasture, but a poor diet is unlikely to please domestic animals. It is in the wild that they have no choice, and next to a person they have the right to count on including all kinds of goodies in the menu.

On the pasture of the mini-horses they get grass for themselves, although they overlook weeds and harmful plants. In winter, they definitely need to give hay, which should be prepared in advance. Also in the diet you need to include oats and feed, but their proportion should be moderate: due to too much of the animal may have an upset stomach.

Pony need and other food, except grass and hay

To pamper a homemade pony, you should stock up on apples, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes. Bread and sugar are not recommended.

Ponies are fed in small portions - their stomach is small and overeating can greatly harm the animal. Drinking water should be clean and fresh, so it is regularly changed in drinking bowls, and the tanks themselves are washed every day.

Water should be given at room temperature, fresh, without harmful impurities.

Where and how can a pony be used

Breeding a pony for a farmer can be a source of profit. Yes, and keep hardy mini-horses on the farm is very beneficial not only as entertainment for children. Animals can be rented to those who want to go and tourists. They are also often used for emotional and physical rehabilitation of people. Communication with cute and affectionate animals has a beneficial effect on the psychological state, and horse riding has long been known as an excellent means of rehabilitating children with cerebral palsy and patients with diseases of the musculoskeletal system. In Europe, ponies are even used as guides for the blind.

In the farm for mini-horses, too, there are lessons. They can be used for transportation of goods, plowing fields, trips over short distances. In general, they successfully cope with all the work that is entrusted to ordinary horses.

Pony can be harnessed to the cart


The stunted horses of the pony differ from their fellows not only by growth, but also by unpretentiousness, as well as endurance and invariably gentle character. That is why they remain the favorites of children of all ages, but adults cannot remain indifferent to them. These animals can be bred not only as funny pets, but also for use in agricultural work. They do an excellent job with the transport of goods and passengers. There are no particular difficulties in keeping ponies, but they live very long. A couple of dozen mini-horse breeds have spread in the world, of which about ten in Russia.

Video - Mini pony horse

Nikolay Zhuravlev Chief Editor

Author of the publication 11.10.2018

Like this article?
Save to not lose!

What do they look like

The exterior of the pony was formed due to the harsh climatic conditions of northern latitudes with humid and cold winds from the Atlantic Ocean, as well as due to the poor pastures of rocky islands.

Ponies are squat horses with short legs and a strong deep body, their hair is thick and fluffy. A long lush mane covers the neck, bangs fall on the forehead. Short stature allowed the horses to be content with grass on poor vegetated hills, with muscular legs they plucked roots from the frozen ground. Thick and warm wool saved from strong winds and cold in harsh winters.

Usually horses are equated to ponies, the height of which does not exceed 140 cm, but in different countries this scale is not the same:

  • in Germany, ponies consider small horses no more than 120 cm tall,
  • in Russia, the maximum growth characteristics are 110 cm,
  • in England, they include horses that grow to 147 cm.

How much a pony weighs will depend on height: the mass of some individuals is no more than 100 kg, animals larger and reach 200 kg. There are also tiny horses, whose weight barely falls to 14 kg.

How modern ponies look can be seen in the photo.

Species Difference

Currently, dwarf horses are spread all over the world. We list the most popular breeds of ponies in Russia.

Breed Welsh pony formed in the north of the valleys and hills of Wales before the arrival of the Romans. Small horses were used as a force for transporting coal and peat, fallen trees. But with the arrival of foreigners, Arabian blood flowed to them, which influenced the modern appearance of the pony. The result was a magnificent breed with a large but graceful head, strong back and muscular legs, small ears and expressive eyes. The suit is monotonous, there are red individuals, bay, gray dun and brown.

The growth of the Welsh is not limited to strict limits, they are divided into types.

  • Type A These include the smallest representatives of growth up to 122 cm.
  • Type B. Horses are larger (137 cm), have a strong constitution, they are called "merlins".
  • Type C and D (cobs). The racing qualities of the ponies were improved by crossing with large breeds, the growth of such horses exceeds 137 cm, and in category D it reaches 147 cm. They do not only ride, they look great in harness. Participate in sports competitions and driving, show the ability to jump.

By the nature of the Welsh pony is calm and docile, he can be trusted with children. Horses are beautiful and artistic, because they are indispensable participants in competitions and shows.


The ancestors of modern horses lived on the Shetland Islands for two thousand years before our era, the breed is considered the oldest in the world. Pony height 65 - 107 cm, looks like a little heavy truck, the color of the horses is usually pinned. Due to the good-natured disposition, appeasable nature and unpretentiousness are very popular among fans. Shetland along with other breeds participate in competitions, carry mini-sleds, ride children on horseback.


The birthplace of the species is Scotland and the adjacent islands, so horses are also called Scottish. At present, the breed is the result of crossing with Arabic, Spanish, and Clydesdale horses, and the blood of the Percherons was added to them. Horses have become more mobile and stronger, they are considered the most hardened, hardy and strong of all breeds of ponies. There are both low types (107 cm) and rather tall animals as high as 142 cm. In the Middle Ages, they were used for hard work, now horses accompany tourists on hikes in the mountains. The Scottish pony takes part in dressage, horse racing and hunting. Color includes all shades of sand color, less often you can meet horses with a black and brown suit.

These are stunted horses up to 147 cm, designed for riding to participate in sports in the equestrian polo. Feature type - mind, strength, high speed. This is not a separate breed, but a species of large ponies, which are bred in China, America, England, Iceland and other countries. From the age of three, they are actively trained to rapidly pick up speed during the race, maneuver and stop at the rider's request, and not be frightened at the moment of a difficult situation on the field. With age, the horse begins to join the game itself, helping the rider to win the competition. The cost of a prepared pony is 10-50 thousand dollars.


The view originated in the southwestern islands of Britain. The horse has retained purebred features, its height is 125 cm, it has a peculiar jaw structure: it has a seventh molar, like in prehistoric animals. The suit is mostly bay of different shades, around the nostrils the wool is light. The eyelids are swollen, so the eyes are called "toad".


The growth of the Icelandic horse reaches 140 cm, but there are also small individuals below 125 cm. It is believed that the ancestors of the species are wild forest horses and Celtic horses. Their descendants - the Norwegian horses, in the VIII century, the island was brought to the Vikings. But since then, crossing with other breeds only worsened the quality of the species, so they were forbidden to take out and pour in someone else's blood. Icelandic ponies are considered the purest breed.

Horses are distinguished by their ability to move in different gaits, they are characterized by telts and amble, for which lovers especially appreciate them. In winter, ponies in Iceland, like real predators, independently catch and eat fish.

Dwarf horses

The most famous and rare breed of dwarf horses is falabella. The average height of a representative of the species is 86 cm, but they are also quite tiny: around 40 cm. Weight ranges from 20, maximum reaches 65 kg. Animals are proportionally folded, they have thin and high legs, in appearance they resemble a smaller copy of the Arabian horses.

In the pedigree of this tiny, but real horse there is the blood of the Spanish Creollo, Shetland ponies, as well as English breed horses. Therefore, there are colors red, bay, spotted, black, with different hooks. They are used in the harness to carry small children, but more often they are contained simply for aesthetic pleasure. Horses are very intelligent and good-natured, love to ride over rough terrain and overcome obstacles.

It is noteworthy that the falabella have 2 ribs less than other horses. And with the insemination of a normal mare, the dominant dwarfism gene prevails, and a dwarf foal is born.

3 posts

Feeding minik
The maintenance and care of mini-horses are no different from those of large horses and ponies, with only one amendment - the size of the baby. So, 2-3 miniature horses usually fit into an ordinary stall of 3 × 4 m, depending on their caliber. By the way, the maintenance of horses in small groups in the stalls is even better than a single horse - mini horses have a calm disposition and get along well with each other, often even adult stallions calmly graze beside them and do not conflict with each other.

Like big horses, mini horses need to be cleaned and cleared their hooves. It is necessary to regularly vaccinate and deworming the horses, but it must not be forgotten that, in order to avoid overdosing, all drugs are given to mini-horses based on their body weight.

Miniature horses can be successfully contained even in the house, instead of a dog (for these purposes, special diapers for horses and boots were developed in the West so that the claws do not clatter), but one should not forget that miniature horses especially need walking and movement. Despite its seeming tenderness, mini-horses are not at all slender. In the presence of shelters and a small top dressing with hay and concentrates, mini-horses feel great all year round in the pasture. They easily tolerate the winter cold: by the winter mini-horses grow thick wool. However, like large horses, babies need to be protected from drafts.

The diet of a mini horse should be varied. Nutritionally concentrated feed should be up to 20%, the rest of the diet - coarse feed. Rough feed (hay, grass, grass meal) can make up almost the entire ration of a mini-horse and be set abundantly, while concentrates (muesli, etc.) should be given with caution, in small quantities, as with insufficient physical activity mini-horses quickly become fat, acquiring with obesity a number of diseases associated with metabolism.

The rate of giving concentrates should be consistent with the weight category of mini. Apples and root vegetables are usually given as a treat in the winter.

Miniature horses graze well on the pasture throughout the pasture season with minimal feeding. But even during the pasture season and during the stall one should not forget about mineral and vitamin supplements, since they are particularly sensitive to the lack of nutrients and minerals in the feed.

Mini horses are a very special kind of animal. His main distinguishing quality, of course, is small stature and a particularly good character. But do not forget that this is a small, but still a horse, which, like other pets, requires care and concern.

All breeds of miniature horses are mainly used as decorative animals. Due to the attractive exterior, various colors and extraordinarily small growth of mini-horses, the desired participants of various shows and broods. Due to the small stature, the minicar does not take up much space and may be kept at home as a favorite pet. Due to their sweet temper, patience and comprehension, miniature horses will be excellent playmate partners for children. On mini-horses you can ride children from 6-8 months, and at 3-4 years old children under the guidance of an experienced coach can begin to learn the basics of riding on them.

Mini-horses have long been successfully replaced guide dogs. They quickly memorize the necessary route and, thanks to the calm, balanced character, less than dogs, react to external circumstances.

Veterinary Medicine: The smaller the horse, the greater the problem
// ЗМ №7 (75) 2008
Currently, there is some confusion among equestrians and horse owners about who such ponies are. For most uninitiated people, these are just little horses. However, in fact, not so simple. And they have their own diseases, and not at all simple ...

I part. Features of the structure and feeding ponies. Real ponies are really small horses, but they still have some exterior features (external structure), which distinguishes them from ordinary horses: a big head, a short neck, a long body and small legs. Free in nature, such ponies live mainly on the islands of Great Britain, and one of the characteristic representatives can be considered a breed of Shetland ponies. Most of the other breeds known to us (gäflingers, Welsh, Estonian ponies), as well as their mixtures, are not at all like Shetland horses, because along with their small stature they have an excellent harmonious physique and look more like riding horses. miniature. Therefore, they are often called simply riding or sporting ponies.

Grow ponies are built
Popularization and active development of children's sports, especially pony sports, led to the need to somehow streamline and classify small horses. In the International Equestrian Federation, rules were adopted that all horses, regardless of breed, whose height does not exceed 150 cm at the withers without horseshoes or 151 cm with horseshoes belong to the pony class. And inside this pony-class horses are divided into groups, but also only depending on height. При этом в одну группу могут попадать совершенно разные породы и их помеси: арабские чистокровные, терские, башкирские и собственно пони-лошади – гафлингеры, уэльские, эстонские и т.д. Бесспорно, для спорта такая классификация просто необходима, но вот с точки зрения зоотехнии (науки о правильном содержании, кормлении и разведении) ставить в один ряд столь разных лошадей весьма сложно, а иногда даже опасно.It is no secret that most of the health problems in horses originate from non-observance of elementary zoo-technical standards in their maintenance and training. As for ponies (author's note: hereinafter, the word ponies will be understood only as horses that belong to pony breeds: Welsh, gafflers, dales, Estonian, Shetland, etc.), these animals are in nature ( and conditions close to it) are extremely strong, durable and have excellent health. However, in practice, as soon as they get into stable conditions, it is often much faster than any other horse breeds are exposed to adverse factors that significantly “undermine” their health and lead to various serious diseases. And basically it concerns problems with the digestive and respiratory system. What are these factors, and what should be the first thing to pay attention to when keeping ponies - this is what we'll talk about in the article.

Similar and different features
The anatomical structure of sporting horses and pony breeds is absolutely identical, except for size. This means that the ponies have exactly the same structure of the bones of the skeleton, the number of teeth, the location of the intestinal sections, etc., as in ordinary horses, but only miniature. From a physiological point of view, large and pony-breed horses still have some differences. For example, the average respiration rate in ponies is 14–30 breaths, and the heartbeat is 30–45 beats per minute, whereas in horses this figure is lower and equal to 8–16 for breathing and 24–42 for the heartbeat. Moreover, it is important to note that the smaller the pony size, the more often its heartbeat and respiration rates will be. Regarding the body temperature, there is no significant difference between horses and ponies, and therefore variations adopted for horses within 371/2 -381 / 20C are also suitable for ponies.

Do not overheat the pony
Ponies, especially Shetland, have very thick wool, and in winter there is also an undercoat. In outdoor conditions, it helps animals resist bad weather: they do not freeze