The Falabella Breed

Falabella Breed Description

Height Not exceeding 30 inches (76 cm) at the wither.
Colour The Falabella can be any colour. Black, bay, gray, appaloosa and pinto coats are common.
Head The Falabella’s head is small, and fine, and should be proportionate in size to the small body.
Body The body is short and compact. Falabellas have two fewer ribs and vertebrae than the normal horse or pony. It boasts an abundance of mane and tail hair.
Coat The coat is long and silky, but doesn’t have a thick, warm undercoat.
Limbs The limbs are not the best feature of the Falabella. The feet tend to be somewhat boxy. The legs lack in bone, and the breed tends to have bowed legs in front. The hocks are usually weak and cow-hocked.
Temperament The breed is known for its friendliness and intelligence.

Falabella Breed History

The Falabella, despite its size, is not a pony, but is a miniature horse. It has a horse’s proportions and characteristics. It is the smallest horse in the world. The Falabella breed was developed by the Falabella family of Argentina. The origin of the breed is believed to be the crossing of Shetland pony mares and small Thoroughbred stallions. The Falabella family through the years selectively bred the smallest of the offspring to each other, and through this inbreeding, the Falabella breed developed. In the process, the strength and vigor of the Shetland has been lost, and conformational weaknesses have resulted.

The constitution of the Falabella is delicate, and it must be looked after carefully. Unusually, the gestation period for this breed is two months longer than for most horses and ponies – close to 13 months. The foals are tiny, standing at 16 to 17 inches (41 to 43 cm) at the withers, but they grow quickly in the first year.

The Falabella is a popular pet, and it can be used in harness. It cannot, however, be ridden.

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