The Falabella horse is an adorable and rare breed with a height of about 6.2-8hh (66-85cm) These small horses is not only adorable with a variety of colors but also has a friendly, affectionate, gentle, and loyal nature that wins the heart of people. Its average life expectancy is up to 45 years, and one of the healthiest breeds.
A Brief History of Falabella Horse
This breed has a history of origination in Argentina brought by the Spanish of Andalusian. These were originally developed from local Criollo stock during the Patrick Newtall breeding program. After the death of Newtall, the new bloodlines were added to the method due to its passing over to Mewtall’s son-in-law short-heightened ponies (Shetland Pony, Welsh Pony, and Thoroughbreds) were produced. This way small sized horses were maintained within the herd. At the beginning of the 1940s, Julio C. Falabella, a descendant of Newtall, worked to make this horse reach a standard height under a formal breed registry named Falabella Horse Breeder Association. However, the former breeds were 100 cm in height, but the latter (modern Falabella Horse) reached 76 cm in height. The first falabella was imported into the United States 1962. Here are the 13 facts about the Falabella horse - the smallest horse breeds in the world.
1) You should not ride a Falabella Horse
You should never try to ride a Falabella horse due to its small size. Very small children can ride them but they are mostly kept as pets or companion animals for other horses.
2) Often used as Therapy animals
These little horses are often used as therapy and guide animals. Its a great option for a blind person that is scared or allergic to dogs. Their ability to adapt to disabilities and provide protection makes them this way.
Photo: Dallas doing good
3) Falabella Horses are extremely intelligent
These miniature horses are extremely intelligent and can be taught almost anything. They can learn, tricks, harness driving, guiding etc very fast. Their trainable nature makes them very easy to keep as pets - even though they are stubborn tiny horses that will outsmart you - small falabellas are known to be escape artists.
4) They have oversized hearts
Julio Falabella, the original breeder of pure falabellas (hence the breeds name) always promoted the breed as extremely healthy and in their prime when they are 20 years of age. He believed their health and long life was thanks to their oversized heart, which is the same size as a full-size horses. His horses lived until they were around 42 years old at the falabella ranch in Argentina.
5) Falabella horses can jump high
Compared to their size, falabella horses are very athletic and can jump really high. The highest jump recorded is about 90cm - which is taller than themselves.
Photo: Horse Illustrated
6) The World’s smallest horse breed
Falabella horse measures around 76cm (30 inches) in height. The average horse is 15hh, whereas this breed is only 8hh in total. People sometimes categorize it as a “pony”; however, it is still classified as a miniature horse worldwide. Falabella horse weighs around 70 pounds, equal to a large dog on average. An average horse is around 950 pounds compared to this breed is the lightest.
However, even if these horses can be compared to large dogs in weight, they can never resemble them in nature, meaning that, unlike dogs, they never crave their owner's attention. They are very focused on whatever task they are asked to perform. They like to get groomed and care for more than games and snuggling.
7) They are great with other animalsFalabella horses are great with other pets such as dogs and cats.
8) Falabella horses are expensive
Due to their smaller size, cute appearance and trainability, these horses can cost you as much as $10,000 from a reputable breeder.
Photo: falabella foals
9) Dwarf Falabella's has become a trend
The internet has made Falabella horses with dwarfism go viral. Due to their odd apperance and smaller size. However this tiny falabella has a lot of health issues including breathing problems and deformed hooves and should not be bred intentionally. Luckily the falabella miniature horse association does not accept these horses to be registered.
Photo: Cowgirl Magazine
10) Live the longest of all Horse Breeds
The falabella miniature horses usually live at least 30 years, and some even live up to 45 years which is an exceptionally long time. This healthy breed is known as one of the longest living horse breeds in the world.
11) They originate from Inbred animals
The Falabella bloodlines originate from Latin America. People believe inbreeding happened due to their bloodline shrinking and them being isolated from other herds. Therefore genetic mutations from the inbreeding and the harsh climate made them be smaller in size. Most falabella horses are however healthy today - years later and generations of selective breeding. The breed standard is regulated today and a genuine falabella horse must meet certain requirements.
12) You can keep them inside
These horses can live in stables, however if you want, you can also keep them inside. They are fun to have around and easy to deal with. Proper grooming and bathing are odor-free, so keeping them inside as pet animals is also a good idea.
13) They could fly on planes as a service animal
From 2016-2020 the Falabella horse breed could fly on planes as a service animal in the cabin. This upset a lot of people hence they were banned again in 2020.
Photo: The drive