A new foal named Kachina weighed just 12 pounds when she was born in Joseph to Sweat Pea, an American Miniature Horse, on Sept. 12.
According to owner Bill Locken, the American Miniature Horse is a unique breed, the limiting characteristic of which is size. It must not measure in excess of 34 inches in height, which is measured at the withers, at the last hairs of the mane. Miniature horses are very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways, from guide horses for the blind to a family pet.
The earliest history of miniature horses was in the 1650 A.D. records of the Palace at Versailles where King Louis XIV (The Sun King) kept a vast zoo, replete with unusual animals, including tiny horses.
In the mid-20th Century, many distinct small horse breeds emerged including the Miniature Shetland Pony, the Miniature Toy Horse and the Midget Pony.
These breeds formed this historical foundation for the Miniature Horse breed.
In 1978, the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) officially established the "Miniature Horse" as a separate horse breed.
The world's smallest horse, as officially recognized in Sept. 2001 by the "Guinness Book of Records," is owned by Burleson Arabians. Black Beauty, born on June 6, 1996, weighed less than 10 lbs. and was less than 12 inches tall. At age 5, she measured 18.5" at the withers.