The miniature horse is one of the smallest horse breeds. It has two height divisions. The tallest is no more than 9.5 hands (38 inches). Miniature horses are often too small for riding.
The Falabella is a miniature horse from Argentina. Its ancestral stock includes Andalusian and Iberian bloodlines. The horse is named for the Falabella family, who selectively bred small horses to create a consistently miniature version.
Don't let their small size fool you. Shetlands are strong, intelligent, and spunky horses. But they are also gentle and often excellent with children. Hailing from Scotland's Shetland Islands, these horses were used for agricultural work and hauling coal in mines.
The Noma is the smallest native horse breed of Japan. These horses were developed during the 17th century primarily to serve as pack animals on steep terrain and remote islands. Today, they are a critically endangered horse breed but still a highly visited attraction in Japanese zoos and on farms.
The Yonaguni is another critically endangered Japanese small horse breed. It hails from Okinawa's Yonaguni Island. The breed was initially used for farm work and transportation. Today, it is often used for instructional purposes in local schools and for recreational riding. As of 2019, there were around 100 Yonaguni left.
The strong, compact Icelandic horse is about 3 inches shorter than a typical horse. The Icelandic is larger than the ponies, but their legs are shorter. These horses are widely used for sheepherding to control or manage animal flocks. They are resistant to harsh conditions.
It is believed that Guoxia horses date back to China 2000 years ago. Guoxia originated in Debao, Jinxi, and Tianyang district of China. The horse is only 40 inches in height. Guoxia is a good option for children. People commonly used the ponies for carrying fruit baskets in orchards, which reflects their name meaning "under fruit tree horse.” For centuries, the breed was forgotten and considered extinct.
The fjord horse is one of the smaller horse breeds of the world. It originates from Norway. The average height of fjord is 54 inches, about 6 inches shorter than a typical horse. This breed is used in the mountains and agricultural fields. It commonly pulls tourist coaches.
Kentucky mountain horse is 11 inches shorter than a typical horse. It is a smaller-sized Kentucky mountain saddle horse. Its average height is 49 inches. The horse is popular with beginners, young riders, and bigger kids.
The Haflinger horse originated in the Haflige province of Austria. The horse is about 3 inches shorter than the typical horse; its average height is about 56 inches. The horse is intelligent, strong, compact, and beautiful. The Haflinger horse is an excellent family horse, able to carry children and adults. Haflingers are known for their wonderful personality and temperament.