What Are the Smallest Horse Breeds?

If you’re shopping for a pony for your child, be sure to consider some of the smallest breeds. They tend to be quieter and gentler than larger horses, making them an excellent option. Plus, their closer proximity to the ground reduces chances of trauma-inducing injuries.


Yonaguni horses are an endangered breed that inhabit the island of Yonaguni in Japan, making them popular tourist attractions and an easy horse to tame for beginners and children due to not startling easily; their small size also makes them easily manageable.

Yonaguni horses play a crucial role in the local economy despite their threatened status, representing culture and history of Yonaguni Island as one of eight native Japanese horse breeds; today there are only 130 of them left living semi-wild on their home island of Yonaguni.

Although their exact ancestry remains unknown, it is believed they originated in Korea over 2,000 years ago. A recent DNA study demonstrated they are closely related to Miyako and Tokara small island breeds whose DNA studies also reveal low haplotype numbers due to limited maternal origins.

Shetland pony

Shetlands are an original breed of pony that were developed in Scotland. These thick-coated animals were originally used for agricultural work like pulling coal out of mines and transporting peat, as well as for pulling coal from mines themselves. Nowadays they’re more frequently seen used for riding, therapeutic and therapeutic purposes – and known for their friendly personalities!

Modern Shetlands are lively and energetic breeds, but are highly trainable. These dogs can be taught various disciplines including dressage, liberty training, in-hand obstacles and show jumping – making them suitable companions for children as well as beginners looking to enter more advanced divisions of competition.

Falabella ponies were developed through crossbreeding to produce this small breed, distinguished by their graceful proportions and wide array of colors. Ideal for people seeking an easy-going horse, Falabellas are an ideal companion.


Falabellas may be small horses, but their proportions still resemble that of real ones. Although small in stature, their muscles make them highly strong enough for pulling heavy carts with ease; additionally, they’re extremely intelligent and easygoing pets – perfect companion animals!

Falabellas are native to Argentina and descend from Iberian and Andalusian horses brought over by the Spanish. Over time, their ancestors adapted to survive harsh Argentine pampas conditions by natural selection and inbreeding; evolving into hardy yet intelligent horses that would ultimately become Falabellas.

Falabellas typically reach between 28 and 34 inches at their withers as adults, similar to Arabians or Thoroughbreds in appearance with slim frames and sleek coats. Falabellas are quick learners, quickly picking up routines like petting, hosing off, and walking with a halter in no time at all. While adult Falabellas may not be suitable for riding due to being too small in stature; children can ride them with some training.

Narragansett pacer

The Narragansett pacer is a small horse renowned for its endurance and stamina. Bred for speedy travel over rough terrain, these animals could carry riders for fifty miles or more on any given ride. Sometimes known as draught horses – due to being larger than usual, bred specifically for heavy labor like hauling cargo or pulling carts – this breed also is commonly referred to as an Narragansett pacer and acts like one.

Rhode Island-bred horses earned their name due to being Paul Revere’s chosen mount on his iconic ride. George Washington loved them too and many gaited breeds have evolved as a result of these horses.

The Narragansett Pacer may no longer exist, but its legacy lives on in other breeds – as a foundation breed for Standardbred, Tennessee Walking Horse and American Saddlebred horses.

Appaloosa pony

Horses come in all sorts of breeds, each one with its own characteristics. Some, such as Clydesdales used to pull grand carriages, can reach vast sizes; while smaller breeds offer beautiful examples of grace, strength, and spirit in smaller packages.

Welsh Ponies are one of the most beloved pony breeds, prized for their hardiness and pleasant disposition. This small pony features wide-set ears with characteristic pony eyes – making them an excellent choice for young riders and capable of competing in various disciplines such as dressage and show jumping.

The Fjord Horse is another small breed used as workhorses, native to Norway with a characteristic dun coat and unique markings. Gentle and easy to ride, its smooth natural gait allows it to pull tourist coaches effectively.


Many are surprised to learn that miniature horses have been around for over four centuries, first as noble courts’ pets before finding practical applications in coal mines – pulling ore carts through tight passageways through mine shafts thanks to their small size and considerable strength.

These small horses make great companion animals. They form strong relationships with humans, enjoying interaction. Their friendly disposition and trainability has led them into various competitive disciplines like halter, jumping and driving.

The M’Par is an equine breed native to Senegal’s Cayor region and, commonly referred to as Cheval de Cayor. As part of the Appaloosa breed, these small stallions stand between 12.2-13 hands in height with large heads and long backs; their coat features primitive markings in grullo colors with primitive markings.

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