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Big surprises with Mini horses

4 November 2023

They say good things come in small packages...Welcome to the world of miniature (or mini) horses in Hall 5, not far from the breeders' arena. And no, we are not talking about ponies, but proud steeds. Miniature horses are mini versions of well-known horse breeds, standing no taller than 89.5 cm at the withers. "Mini horses don't have the same metabolism as ponies, and they don't have the same character either. They are real horses, just like a selle français, for example. They have the same sensibility as normal horses and are aimed more at an adult clientele," explains Céline Letort, vice-president of the Association Française du Cheval Miniature. 

This breed originated around a hundred years ago in the United States, from cross-breeding ponies with various breeds of horse, all of which became smaller. However, the breed model is still evolving, with cross-breeding that continues to refine these mini horses. "In France, we want to promote miniature horses for their working skills," explains Céline Letort, referring to the dynamic French breeding programme involving 2,000 miniature horses spread across some fifty breeders.

Around twenty of the most beautiful representatives of these mini horses have made the trip to Lyon. Visitors to Equita, le salon du Cheval de Lyon will be won over by the sheer beauty of these adorable creatures, which are barely bigger than a large dog, but they will also be impressed by the athletic abilities of these little horses. They are notably excellent for carriage driving, ski-joëring, mountain trails and hand-held jumping, a discipline in which the record stands at a height of 1.17m. Quite an incredible performance! But, is it possible to ride mini horses? Yes... provided you weigh no more than 15kg. "Above and beyond their sporting and working performances, mini horses are a superb partner for equine therapy. They adapt extremely well to the people they work with, whether it's young children or people in care homes, for example," explains Charlène Aube, President of the French branch of the American Miniature Horse Association. 

If you would like to find out more about this fascinating breed, don't hesitate to visit Hall 5 at Equita Lyon, le salon du Cheval de Lyon

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