About the breed

About the breed ~ Breed standard AMHA


About the breed

Today´s Miniature Horse is the result of nearly 40 years of selective breeding. This unique breed is a refined, well-proportioned, scaled-down version of the standard-size horse. The American Miniature Horse has several confirmation types, including for example, Draft, Quarter Horse and Arabian. The breed comes in a rainbow of coat colors and markings, an extra challenge for breeders, and gives Miniature Horse lovers a world of choice.

This small and unique equine stands no taller than 34 inches (86 cm) with AMHA as measured from the last hairs of the mane. The foals are especially lovable at 16 to 21 inches (40 tot 53 cm) at birth.

Today, the American Miniature Horse is one of the world´s fastest growing and most loved equine breeds. Miniature Horses of good quality can command a high price, but can be seen as a good investment since Miniature foals of good quality and bloodlines are always in great demand.

Maintenance of a Miniature Horse is about one-tenth of the cost of a full-sized horse. They basically have the same needs for feeding, stabling and care, but the size makes a considerable difference.

The versatile American Miniature Horse makes an ideal show partner with talents ranging from in-hand showing and driving to jumping and obstacle courses. There are various different competition classes including youth, amateur, special needs and open. The fancy dress is always popular with the younger generation.

Miniature Horses make excellent companions with their gentle affectionate nature and small size. They can be cared for and maintained by both young and old.

Children who may be cautious around a full-sized horse often jump at the chance to embrace a Miniature Horse or foal. Guiding a young child in the proper care of the American Miniature Horse encourages discipline, responsibility and respect. Working with a Miniature Horse builds confidence and self-esteem, and in the show ring they learn about competitiveness and sportsmanship.

Special needs individuals and older people no longer as mobile who find a full-sized horse difficult to manage are discovering the benefits of the Miniature Horse whether in competition, recreation or as an investment. Miniature Horses have long been used in therapeutic settings with positive results. hey are also being trained and used as guide horses for the blind, and with their long life expectancy and broad vision (350°) they are especially suitable for people with a dog allergy or a special love for horses.

The versatile American Miniature Horse - the horse for everyone!



Breed standard AMHA

Breed objective
To produce the smallest possible perfect horse

General impression
The American Miniature Horse is a beautiful, small well balanced horse that if all reference to size were eliminated, would have the same conformational proportions of other full sized light breeds. The mares demonstrate refinement and feminine qualities. The mature stallions show boldness and masculinity. The general impression is to be a balanced individual regardless of size with symmetry, strength, agility and alertness. Movement is strong, natural and athletic. In motion the horse will exude athleticism as demonstrated by suppleness of the shoulders and engaged hocks. In judging when characteristics are almost equal, preference must be given to the smaller horse.

Temperament is reflected in its personality. The American Miniature Horse is intelligent, curious, gentle, sensible, willing to cooperate and easy to train.

Measuring at base of the last hair of the mane, the mature animal must not exceed 34 inches.

Any coat color, pattern, white markings and eye color are equally acceptable.

The head is beautiful, triangular in shape and comparatively small in proportion to the length of neck and body. The forehead is broad with large, prominent eyes. The eyes are set well apart and are placed approximately 1/3 the distance from the poll to muzzle. The distance between the muzzle and eyes is comparatively short. A profile may be straight or slightly dished below the eyes, blending into large nostrils on a small, refined muzzle.

When viewed from the side, the meeting point of the center incisor teeth should be equal and even. A slight deviation no more than half the width of the tooth’s surface is permissible without fault. The accuracy of the bite may vary according to age. As the premolars and molars move into location, the alignment of the jaw could vary during this process.

The ears are set on top of the head and carried alertly. They are medium in size, well shaped with pointed tips curving slightly inward.

The neck is set on the top of a well-angulated shoulder, departing well above the point of the shoulder and blending into the withers, giving the impression of the neck sitting on top of the withers rather than in front of them. The slender neck is slightly arched forming a gentle curve from the poll to the back. Its length is in proportion to body with the top line being considerably longer than the bottom line. The throatlatch is clean and well defined, allowing flexion at the poll and normal respiration.

The shoulders are muscular, long, sloping, well angulated (45-50 degrees), allowing for a free swinging stride and alert head/neck carriage.

The body is compact with a short back, close coupling, broad loins, deep flank and well sprung ribs. The back has a long, level, well muscled croup and is smoothly rounding at the hip. The tail is well set. The underline of the body should be long but not tucked up at the flank. At maturity, the top of the hip must not be higher than the withers. The chest is medium width with defined muscular development.

The legs appear longer than the body is deep. They possess flat bone, and an apperance of over-all substance with refinement. Legs are structurally straight and parallel when viewed from the front and back with hooves pointing directly ahead. The pasterns have ufficient length and angulations to provide a light, springy step. The front legs possess a well muscled forearm, relatively long in proportion to a short cannon. Front pasterns slope 45 to 48 degrees and blend smoothly with no change of angle from the hooves to the ground.
The rear leg structure must demonstrate good angulations and proper flexion of the hocks for athletic movement; have the stifle placed well forward and low in the flank area with thighs and gaskins well muscled. The gaskin is relatively long in relation to the cannon. The rear cannons are perpendicular to the ground when points of hocks and buttocks are in the same vertical lines. Back pasterns slope 40 to 50 degrees and blend smoothly with no change of angle from the hooves to the ground. The hooves are trimmed to a practical length and have sufficient toe length and angle with spread of the heels for the size and proportions of the animal.

The walk is a natural free flowing, four beat gait with length of stride proportional to the height and length of leg. The trot is a natural forward, free flowing two beat diagonal gait where the knee and hock are synchronized in their elevated, flexed and extension movement. When viewed at a walk and trot from the front, the horse will replicate the structural correctness of its stance. The American Miniature Horses’ conformation allows them to trot willingly and freely at liberty or pulling a pleasure cart.

This breed standard was taken out of the 2013 AMHA rulebook.