The American Miniature Horse
-History and Development-

     Colorful myths abound about the origin of the Miniature Horse. Contemporary historians tend to support the breed as a derivative many sources. In prehistoric times, small horse breeds were likely the products of surviving harsh natural climates and limited feed. Too, with knowledge of genetics, it is possible to breed specifically for size. It is known that, at various times in equine history, Miniature Horses have been bred for pets, novelty, research, monetary gain, mining work, exhibition, and royal gifts. In addition to the prehistoric evidence of small equids, it is speculated that the Miniature Horse is a result of nearly 400 years of selective breeding from many extracts.

     The first mention of a small horse being imported to the United States was in 1888; and it appears, there was little public awareness of true Miniatures during the years preceding 1960. It is believed that the American Miniature Horse utilized the blood of the English and Dutch mine horses brought to this country in the 19th century and used in some Appalachian coal mines as late as 1950. The American Miniature Horse, as documented in the pedigrees of some Miniatures today, also drew upon the blood of the Shetland pony.

     In 1978, the American Miniature Horse Association, Inc., was organized to aid and encourage the breeding, use, and perpetuation of the American Miniature Horse, separate and apart from ponies and other small equines. According to AMHA's Rules and Regulations and Bylaws, an animal exceeding 34 inches in height is not eligible for registration with the Association.

     The Standard of Perfection was adopted at the Annual Meeting of The American Miniature Horse Association on October 14, 1978. Amended at the Annual Meeting of The American Miniature Horse Association on October 30, 1988.


About the Miniature Horse

Miniature Horses Today
Miniature Horses Facts
The Future of the Miniature
History of the Miniature Horse
The Standard of Perfection
General Care of Miniatures
Choosing the Right Miniature

Showing Your Miniature Horse

Local Show Schedule

Educational Features


The American Miniature Horse Association is a member-governed international breed association that registers the American Miniature Horse, produces national events and provides information toward the breeding, exhibiting, use and perpetuation of the American Miniature Horse.