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what is a Miniature Horse, heightchart etc.
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A Miniature horse is, in brief, a miniature version of its large brother, the riding horse. And as many different types of riding horse we know, as many different types of Miniature horse there are: a small Arab horse, a small Thoroughbred, a small Quarter Horse, etc. As with any other breed, the Miniature horse is the result of long years of selective breeding and combining different breeds of small horses and ponies. However, it is not a Shetland-pony or any other type of pony: the Miniature horse has another build and other proportions: a Miniature horse has a small stature, has an expressive head with pointed ears, a well muscled, trim barrel and long, slender legs with refined joints. The Miniature horse is elegant and athletic in build.

It is not merely the beauty and small stature but also the characted that appeals to so many in the Miniature horse. They are pleasant companions, have a gentle nature and are excellently suited as a friend for young and older, adults and children alike.
They have an inborn curiosity and can therefore be taught different disciplines. Usually they like pulling a light sulky and some excel in jumping. Children really enjoy obstacle classes and grown- ups like to show their horses off in the showring or to keep them as a companion.

Because of their small stature they are close to the ground and can put forth unbelievable tracitve power. Pulling a buggy will not harm a Miniature horse, on the contrary, most horses enjoy the freedom that it gives them.

One of the most mentally challenging classes is the jumping class. The handler leads his Miniature horse through a course where the horse is required to jump over hedges, to walk through water, make a pattern created with poles (serpentine) and so on. An obstacle class is a pleasant and clallenging type of sport for the horse, the handler and the audience.

The halterclass is the class in which horses are judged for their conformation, quality, presence, way of going and type.This class is a foremost important competition for breeders. The results of their horses show them which are their better and lesser qualities and in what way they can improve the future specimens of the breed.

Where do they come from?
The Miniature horse is not an "old" breed that has developed. Some decades ago, man started cross breeding various breeds of horses with the purpose to breed a horse in a small package. To obtain this small stature, amongst others Shetland ponies and Falabella's were chosen. To reach the refinement amongst others Welshpony's and Arenosa's were used. To get the real "horse-look" they were cross-bred with Hackneys.
Some of the modern Miniature horses show a great resemblance with the Arab horse breed, e.g. their intelligent head with eyes wide apart and prominently set, the well-known "dish" and the appealing floating movements with high set tail. We can't be sure about the different breeds that were used to obtain today's Miniature horse, but we do know that we find some awesome Miniature horses over in the USA and that it is over there that we find the first registered Miniature horse.
The first studbook for Miniature horses that we can trace, was founded in the USA. The American Miniature Horse Association has closed their registry some years ago and no more crossings with other breeds can be registered.
What is a miniature horse?
Standard of perfection:
Heightchart. Predict the height at maturity of your young horse.
Taking care of a miniature horse:
A Miniature horse is a small, sound, well-balanced horse, possessing the correct conformation characteristics required of most breeds -refinement and femininity in the mare, boldness and masculinity in the stallion. The general impression should be one of symmetry, strength, agility and alertness. Since the breed objective is the smallest possible perfect horse, preference in judging shall be given the smaller horse, other characteristics being approximately equal.

Must measure not more than 34 inches at the base of the last hairs of the mane.

In proportion to length of neck and body. Broad forehead with large prominent eyes, set wide apart. Comparatively short distance between eyes and muzzle. Profile straight or slightly concave below the eyes. Large nostrils. Clean, refined muzzle. Even bite. 

Medium in size. Pointed. Carried alertly, with tips curving slightly inward.

Clean and well defined, allowing ample flexation.

Flexible, lengthy, in proportion to body and type and blending smoothly into the withers.

Long, well-muscled hip, thigh and gaskin. Highest point of croup to be same height as withers. Tail set neither excessively high or low, but smoothly rounding at the rump.

Well muscled, with ample bone and substance. Balanced and well proportioned. Short back and loins in relation to length of underline. Smooth and generally level topline. Deep girth and flank. Trim barrel.

Long, well-muscled hip, thigh and gaskin. Highest point of croup to be same height as withers. Tail set neither excessively high or low, but smoothly rounding at the rump.

Set straight and parallel when viewed from front or back. Straight, true and squarely set, when viewed from side with hooves pointing directly ahead. Pasterns sloping about 45 degrees and blending smoothly, with no change of angle, from the hooves to the ground. Hooves to be round and compact, trimmed as short as practical for an unshod horse. Smooth, fluid gait in motion.

Any color or marking pattern, and any eye color, is equally acceptable. The hair should be lustrous and silky.
As a Miniature horse is a scaled down version of a large riding horse, the same rules apply for its nutrition. Generally speaking, one kg of food per day is necessary to feed a horse of 100 kg, divided over at least two meals a day, supplemented with one kg of hay. It is advisable to feed at regular hours every day. Plenty of fresh water should always be available. It is crucial for the horses' mental health and physical well-being that they spend at least a few hours a day outside in the field. Although, when spring or early summer brings long, rich and plenty of grass, grazing should be limited, thus avoiding laminitis.

The feeding program needs to be adapted to each individual horse, depending on its age, training, physical condition, etc. The needs are very specific for different stages of life and often special, adapted, ready-mix food is available at the horse-feed suppliers. There is foal-mix for the youngest (often milk powder is added to the mix), yearling cubes, mare cubes for gestating and lactating broodmares, high protein food for the horse in training and a low-fat maintenance food as a supplement for grazing.
An appropriate show condition could never be achieved by simply cutting down on the feed, the only result will be a loss of muscle substance and weight.
It can only be reached through adapted training and adequate feeding, not just a few weeks prior to the show but at least for some momths.

Miniature horses need - as much as their large counterparts - plenty of exercise. The best way of providing this is by putting them out in a field. They certainly can be out in wintertime too, as they develop a natural thick wintercoat as protection to the cold weather. Therefore, a blanket is not needed and even strongly advised against as it would prevent the coat from growing, making the horse vulnerable. During heavy rainfall, especially when accompanied by strong wind, it is necessary to provide the horse with a shelter or to keep it inside.

Like any other horse, the Miniature horse has a natural need for grazing. By keeping the grass short, we can avoid those big "grass-bellies", saving us work and the horse a diet when preparing for a show.

The best barometer for a horse's health is his coat condition. A few basic tips can help you achieve this:

· clean the stable every day by taking out manure drops and urine
· groom the horse regularly
· provide your horse with regular worming (once every three months is advisable) and be sure that the yearly vaccination is updated
· supply your horse with a good quality food, adapted to his specific needs.

Appropriate hoofcare contributes to the horse's correct leg development. This implicates trimming by a professional farrier on a tight three-months schedule.

Height at maturity calculated by age of the foal in months.
First look up the age of your young horse in months, then, look in the row right of the monts what height the horse currently has. On the top of that row you can see how big your horse is going to grow up when it has reached maturity.
(the chart has proven to be 90% accurate (1/2" plus or minus)).

To calculate in centimeters:
centimeters = inch X 2.54
(inch = centimeters : 2.54)
calculate the height of your miniature at maturity
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