Despite being one of the world’s smallest breeds, usually standing at 8hands tall or less, the Falabella is still considered a breed of horse rather than a pony.
The breed was first developed after many generations of selective breeding, with the breed named Falabella after the family of breeders from Argentina who developed the breed circa 1845. The breed was developed from local Argentinian breeds, with further genetics of smaller breeds added along the way by the breeder, Patrick Newtall. These included small thoroughbred horses, Shetland Ponies and Welsh Ponies.
Patrick created a small herd of these small-sized horses and in 1879 he handed over all of his knowledge on the breed to his son-in-law, Juan Falabella. The herd was passed down through the Falabella family and eventually, in 1940, the first formal breed registry was formed. This was soon to be known as the Asociacion de Criadores de Caballos Falabella or the ACCF-Falabella Horse Breeders Association.
Picture Below - Mother Nature Network
One of the worlds smallest breeds, generally standing at between 71 and 86cms tall, the Falabella breed has a small and compact body.
At birth, foals are extremely small usually ranging from 30 to 56cms tall. They reach full maturity at three years old and are considered a very hardy breed. Also an extremely docile breed, they are also a very long-living breed, often living to between 40-45 years old. They share a similar conformation to Thoroughbred and Arab breeds, possessing a sleek coat and slim frame. They also share features gained from their Pony ancestry, such as sturdy bones, a thicker coat and mane, tail and fetlocks.
The most common colour specific to the breed is bay, brown and black. Pinto, Palomino and spotted variations are also found, with some black/red leopard-spotted variations also recorded.
Considered and intelligent breed, Falabella horses are easily trained though are only suitable to be ridden by small children. They are generally kept for appearances at horse shows, though they can also be taught to drive and can even jump heights of up to 90cms, though only without a rider.
They are also sometimes used as guide horses. A hardy breed despite its small stature, the Falabella breed historically lived in the ‘pampas’ plains in Argentina. This meant they had to travel long distances in search of food and water and helped them to become equipped to cope with the extremely varied weather conditions in the area. Due to this, they also rarely need veterinary treatment and have a simple diet, requiring no supplementary or special feeding.
A small but powerful breed and one of the world’s rarest, the Falabella.
Main Picture Credit - amodelminiatures.com