The American Miniature is a "height" breed; they must measure no more than 34 inches in height at maturity. This measurement is the vertical distance from the last hairs at the base of the mane to the ground. These tiny equine are replicas of their larger breed cousins and will look like Quarter Horses, Arabs, Thoroughbreds, and Draft Horses.
The American Miniature Horse Association's Standard of Perfection calls for a small, sound, well-balanced horse, possessing correct conformation characteristics. These horses are not dwarves, runts, or "genetic" errors, but are produced by selectively breeding down in size yet maintaining as near-perfect conformation as possible.
Miniature Horses thrive on attention and display a curiosity and intelligence that make them delightful companions, allowing people of all ages to enjoy them. People who find that they can no longer handle the 1,000 pound-plus horse do not have to give up their passion for horses, they may simply switch over to the smaller animal. Those who have never experienced that very special thrill of ownership, yet always wanted to, are finding that the "mini" is a wonderful opportunity. These little horses have already proved their worth in therapeutic programs for the disabled child or adult, as well as with the aged. People in high-pressure jobs find them to be a wonderful aid in relieving stress.
It is very common to find a group of Miniature Horse owners together, either at a show or club meeting, and they will be a fascinating group, for they come from a multitude of backgrounds--white collar, blue collar, professionals from all fields, students, retirees, etc...
The cost or value of a Miniature Horse is dictated by many factors, such as age (foal or mature), sex (stallion, mare, gelding), size, conformation, show record, and the extent of its recorded background (bloodline).
Care of the Miniature Horse is the same as that of the larger breeds, however, on a much smaller scale with regard to feed, deworming doses, medication and such. Grain is measured by the cup and roughage by a particle flake of hay. The Miniature Horse loves to be outside and several will find an acre or less plenty of room to exercise and graze, while indoor facilities are adequate with a stall size of 6 feet by 8 feet.
Their transport is easy, whether it be by way of a station wagon, van, pickup truck with enclosed bed, custom-made "mini" trailer, or even a conventional horse trailer. These animals have also been known to accompany their owners on airplane flights (in the cargo bay) as excess baggage.