When you think of small horse breeds, what are the first to come to mind? Perhaps the Shetland Pony or a Miniature Horse. How about a rare and absolutely adorable breed called a Falabella Horse? Not to be confused with a pony, these horses are beautiful and have a story to tell.
History of the Falabella Horse
There are many myths about how the Falabella Horse came to be. The most adopted origin of the species starts in Argentina when Spain tried to conquer the country. After they failed, they left their Andalusians and Barbs in Argentina and traveled back to Spain in defeat.
After many years of surviving, the breed became smaller and smaller, necessary to be able to survive in ever-changing weather conditions. A man by the name of Patrick Newtall took interest in these horses and then gathered all the smallest horses he could find in the 19th century. He then started breeding for a smaller size while keeping a larger horse’s proportions. After years, he passed the stock of miniature horses to his son-in-law, Juan Falabella. After picking out specific genetic traits, the Falabella Horse was founded. The stock and documents of breeding were passed from generation to generation. In 1940, the breeds registry had officially started by the Falabella family. After years of perfecting the Falabella Horse, they were bought and spread all over the world.
The Falabella rarely stands over 32 inches tall. These horses are not to be confused with ponies as they have all the proportions and characteristics a horse that stands at 15hh does. Their reproduction and breeding are able to happen naturally without human interference. Falabellas are docile and hardy animals and require low maintenance. They can be found in many different colors from bay to palomino to leopard-spotted and are usually shown in-hand. These horses are loyal and easily trainable. An adult may be too large to ride a Falabella, but they do make great horses for kids.
Interesting Facts About The Falabella Horse
In order to be registered as a pure Falabella, the horse needs to be DNA tested to find that the pedigree dates back to the stock raised by the Falabella family. The breed was meant to be kept pure with no additives from other horse breeds.
A Falabella foal stays in the Dams womb for up to 13 months. When it is born, they stand anywhere from 12 to 22 inches tall and reach adulthood by the age of 3.
These miniature horses are so tough, their life expectancy can even range from 40 to 45 years!
Falabella Horses have quite an interesting anatomy. Veterinarians have studied the breed and usually find that they have 17 vertebrae instead of the 18 that other horses have. Falabella horses also usually have at least one pair of ribs missing, sometimes multiple. (Similar to Arabian horses!)
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