Monday, Jan. 03, 2011

Miniature Horses

Little horses have been trotting the earth for millions of years. One of the oldest known ancestors of the modern horse, known as the dawn horse, stood between 1 ft. and 2 ft. (30 cm and 60 cm) high at the shoulder. Miniequines were buried with Egyptian pharaohs, and in the Middle Ages they were must-have pets. In the 1800s, miniature horses were imported to work in low-ceilinged American coal mines as pit ponies. They've since started to serve as alternatives to seeing-eye dogs, and today the American Miniature Horse Association boasts a registry of 185,000 — all capped at 34 in. (86 cm) in height. As with full-size horses, they can get prohibitively expensive: the cheapest cost around $1,000.