Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 10/02/98; 2:00:00PM.

The American Miniature Horse

A Unique Breed of Equine!

An elegant, scaled-down version of the large-size horse, the American Miniature cannot be taller than 34 inches at the withers. The Miniature horses of today are stylish, well-proportioned and the product of nearly 400 years of selected breeding.

The American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) is the official registry of the American Miniature horse. Formed in 1978, the AMHA was organized by a group of dedicated horsemen to aid and encourage the breeding, exhibiting, use and perpetuation of the American Miniature horse. According to the Rules and Regulations and By-Laws of the AMHA, an animal exceeding 34 inches in height is not eligible for registration with the Association. Temporary registration certificates are issued to eligible Miniature horses whose parents are both registered with the AMHA. If after five years of age the horse is 34 inches or under, application for permanent registration may be made. The AMHA closed its registry on December 31, 1987, allowing only offspring of AMHA-registered parents to be registered.

Because of their gentle, affectionate nature and small size, a Miniature horse is an excellent companion. They are ideal pets for young children, adults, senior citizens and the handicapped. A small child may be intimidated by a large horse, yet that same child will show an eagerness to embrace and hug a Miniature foal. The foals are particularly lovable due to their small size, ranging from 16 to 21 inches in height at birth. Handicapped people have found the Miniature horse an excellent substitute for the full-size horse they may not be able to physically handle.

Because their size prohibits any but the smallest children to ride them, many people wonder what you can do with a Miniature horse. Although many people enjoy Miniatures as pets, many owners show their horses at the more than 250 AMHA-sanctioned horse shows nationwide. In addition to showing at halter, Driving the Miniature horse has become a very popular way owners are enjoying their Miniature horses. There are a variety of driving classes at each of the shows, including Single Pleasure Driving Classes (Youth, Amateur, Ladies, Gentlemen, Open Single Pleasure Driving 32-34 inch horse, Open Single Pleasure Driving 30-32 inch horse, Single Pleasure Driving Mares, Single Pleasure Driving Stallions, Single Pleasure Driving Geldings, Obstacle Driving, a variety of Country Pleasure Driving Classes, and a variety of Roadster Driving Classes!) In addition, there are a number of great jumping classes, costume classes and much more. Many shows across the nation have as many as 80-110 different classes!

Taken from The Official Web Site Of the The American Miniature Horse Association, Inc. 5601 South Interstate 35 W, Alvarado, Texas, USA 76009. 817-783-5600. http://www.amha.com

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