Different types of miniature horses and the accompanying studbooks

Different types of miniature horses and the accompanying studbooks

Nowadays you see many different types, sizes and colors of mini horses with accompanying studbooks. For many, a jumble of information so that you can no longer see the forest through the trees. Anything small is a mini horse, right?

Anything small is a mini horse, right?

No absolutely not! Many (paperless) animals are bred, as small as possible. These are then offered for sale as a miniature horse. Unfortunately, many people come home from a cold fair when they later hear or see that their (expensive) horse turns out not to be a mini horse at all.

In this blog we try to list the breeds and studbooks for you and explain what the characteristics are.

NMPRS - Dutch and Studbook Registration

NMPRS stands for the Dutch Miniature Horse Breed Registry and is located in the Netherlands. The name says it a bit; these are the Dutch bloodlines mini horses. The studbook exists since 1993. At that time all horses under 106cm were welcome. This allowed different bloodlines and small breeds to be used for breeding the perfect miniature horse. Think of Welsh, Hackney, American mini horses etc.

The growth of this studbook went very fast. Nowadays the studbook is more closed and you can not just go there with every horse. The pedigree must be known and the parents must have been registered / inspected. NMPRS horses have a passport from the NMPRS studbook with the descendants, the premiums obtained and their measured height at studbook admission at the age of 3.

Breeding goal

General: The exterior of the Mini-Horse: The horses must be a replica of a riding horse. The horses must be finely built. The stallions must have a stallion appearance.

  • Sizes: 0 to 86 cm = Mini Size, 87 to 95 cm = Small Size, 96 to 106 = Large Size;
  • Head: Fine and noble. Profile straight. A beautiful speaking eye. Spacious nostrils. The head should be beautiful and appropriate and fit correctly on the neck and neck;
  • Ears: Ears corresponding to the proportion of the head. Pointed and bent inwards;
  • Eyes: Beautifully appealing eye;
  • Neck: Supple and well muscled, not too deep from the chest and sufficient length, slightly vertical position, smooth transition to the withers;
  • Shoulder: Inclined position, shoulder with sufficient length;
  • Back: Strong, sufficient length, well muscled and fitting to the whole;
  • Withers: Sufficiently developed;
  • Croup: Well muscled and half round, sufficient length to fit the whole;
  • Tail implantation: In a smooth line with croup;
  • Legs: Hard, dry and correct under the body;
  • Hooves: Appropriate feet of good width with sufficient heels;
  • Step: Sufficiently spacious and powerful step;
  • Trot: Large powerful trot with a lot of flexibility;
  • Color: Any color is allowed.

Inspections & Shows

Every year the NMPRS organizes various inspections and shows for the miniature horses of the studbook.

Stallion approval:

The Stallion Show is held every first Saturday of April. All stallions from 3 years, with their pedigree and parents in order, can participate. They are veterinary inspected here before they can enter the ring for priming. Every stallion that is bred with must at least be included in the studbook and have been shown on the inspection several times.

Enter Twenter inspection:

Every third Saturday in June there is the Enter Twenter inspection, also called youth inspection. All 1 and 2-year-old horses, provided that their parentage and parents are in order, can participate. There is no veterinary inspection here, just a ring priming. It is not compulsory for the youth to participate in an inspection, but of course this is very nice.

Mare inspection:

The Mare Inspection is held every last Saturday of August. Mares of 3 years and older and their foals can participate. For the adult mares there is first a veterinary inspection before they can enter the ring for priming. Here too, the pedigree and parent animals of the mares must be in order. Foals are shown in the ring at the foot of the mare. Every mare within the studbook that is bred with must at least be registered. It is not mandatory for foals to participate in an inspection.

NMPRS Summer Show:

The NMPRS Summer Show is organized every first Saturday of July. A fun fun show for both members and non-members. ALL mini horses and ponies under 106cm are allowed to participate. There are hitched classes, test classes (nice to practice for the real test), jumping and various fun and challenging other classes.

Given that the regulations of the NMPRS have been tightened considerably in recent years, we recommend that you always check a horse carefully for defects before you buy it. It may be wise to check with the studbook whether the paperwork of the horse in question and his / her parents are in order regarding studbook recording.

For more information about this studbook, it is best to take a look at the website: www.minipaarden.nl

AMHA - American Miniature Horse Association

AMHA stands for American Miniature Horse Association and is based in America. Here too the name says it all; these are the American bloodlines up to a maximum size of 34 ”measured on the last moon hair (so slightly lower than the withers). This is approximately a height at the withers of 86-88 cm depending on the horse. The AMHA is many years older than, for example, the Dutch Studbook and is now a closed studbook.

They also started crossing small breeds in order to breed a beautiful, noble miniature horse. Now that the studbook has been closed, only full AMHA horses with studbook papers that are in order can be used within this studbook.

In America, a passport is not required or normal. Imported American horses must therefore apply for a Dutch passport. The AMHA does issue studbook papers. When purchasing a horse, it is important that the transfer papers are completed and signed by the previous owner and the new owner. The previous owner means the one who is listed last on the back of the studbook paper. If this does not happen, you can unfortunately not put the horse in your name in America or use it for breeding. So check this carefully when buying an American mini horse.

Breeding goal

At AMHA, too, the breeding goal is to breed a large horse in miniature. AMHA focuses more on Arab influences. That is to say a slim built horse, with a long neck, long legs and a beautiful dish in the head. Of course with a correct construction and good movements. AMHA horses are often used for showing, the so-called halter classes, as these are also known to the Arabian horses.

The maximum size of an AMHA horse is 34 ”measured on the last moon hair (slightly lower than the withers) and has a height at the withers of approximately 86-88cm depending on the horse. In order to breed with a horse, the paperwork must be in order. This means that the horses are DNA tested, Parentage Qualified and that the papers have been converted to permanent at the age of 3. For a stallion, a so-called ball declaration must be issued by the vet.

Inspections and shows

The AMHA does not organize or use inspections. On the other hand, they organize a lot of shows worldwide. At the shows, horses can participate in halter classes, performance classes, driving (driving), color classes, jumping and much more. The shows are organized by different show organizations, operating from AMHA in America, but in Europe.

For more information about this breed, the show organizations, regulations and more, we recommend taking a look at their website: www.amha.org

AMHR - American Miniature Horse Registery

AMHR stands for American Miniature Horse Registery. The AMHR is very similar to the AMHA. This studbook is for horses that became too big for the AMHA studbook in America. The AMHR was established for the horses under and above 34 ”measured on the last moon hair. It is therefore possible that some American bred horses have double studbook papers. This is only possible for horses under 34 ”. The larger miniature horses officially only have AMHR papers.

ASPC - American Shetland Pony Club

ASPC has been around since 1888, but these miniature horse and Shetland enthusiasts have been breeding this breed since 1800 (when they were imported from Europe).

Other varieties have also been used in the last 120 years to encourage use. The ASPC and AMHR are 1 studbook but do make a difference in the paperwork. Only 100% ASPC horses receive ASPC papers. Crossbreeding ASPC horses, provided that AMHR is also registered, receive AMHR paper.

Breeding goal

Within the ASPC (American Shetland Pony Club) there are several directions:

  • Foundation: equal to the original English Shetlander;
  • Classic: finer built than the foundation and originate from crosses of the foundation type with other small American varieties. Often these miniature horses have an Arabian thoroughbred appearance;
  • Modern Pleasure: more luxurious, larger and are mainly used for driving with tension;
  • Modern: luxury horses with an extremely good movement. These sport horses are used for a lot of training, including a lot of harnessing. These horses have the looks and movements themselves like the Saddlebred or the Hackney.

The AMHR is divided into 2 groups:

  • Division A: miniature horses under 34 "(86.5 cm);
  • Division B: miniature horses between 34 "(86.5 cm) and 38" (96.5 cm).

ASPR (American Show Pony Registry): originated from crosses of the European Shetland with the Hackney pony. This cross is larger than other miniature horse breeds, they can be up to 48 "(122 cm). American Show Ponies are mainly used for the different types of hitched classes.

NSPPR (National Sport Performance Pony Registry); comparable to the NRPS (Dutch Riding Horses and Pony Studbook) in the Netherlands. It is a small sport pony that is suitable for tensioning and because of the somewhat larger size (up to 58 ", 147 cm) it is also perfectly suitable for riding by small children. At crossbreeding 1 of the parents must be a 100% Shetland or American Be a Miniature Horse, the other parent can be any other breed.

Inspections and shows

The AMHR and ASPC do not organize and use inspections. On the other hand, they organize a lot of shows worldwide. At the shows, horses can participate in halter classes, performance classes, driving (driving), color classes, jumping and much more. The shows are organized by different show organizations, acting from the AMHR & ASPC in America, only in Europe. These shows are often accompanied by AMHA shows, but not always.

For more information about this breed, the show organizations, regulations and more, we recommend that you take a look at their website: www.shetlandminiature.com


Falabellas are the Argentinian bloodlines mini horses and, just like the American and Dutch mini horses, a large horse in terms of build, but then in the mini. The Falabellas were first sighted near Buenos Aires around 1840. They started to remove the smallest animals from the herd and then started breeding. This breed also used various other breeds and bloodlines in the breeding program to arrive at a luxurious mini horse. Argentinian Criollo and other varieties were used, often with Appaloosa and variegated characteristics.

Breeding goal

As with the other miniature horse breeds, size is not the most important. A well-balanced, luxurious horse. Fine bone structure, slender construction and a soft character are characteristic.

A Falabella is only purebred if the horse has the official and correct documents and DNA data of the Falabella Studbook.

Breeding objectives and a breed standard description as established by the Falabella Studbook Europe was established after the agreement and approval of the mother studbook in Argentina the ACCF.

  • Height at the withers: The height at the withers of Falabellas measured above 3 years varies between 70 and 86 cm. The studbook attaches great importance to the small sizes and that is why this is considered one of the most important breeding objectives if correct;
  • Head: has a straight or slightly curved profile, large eyes and a slender noble forehead;
  • Neck: nice long, slender neck with sufficient muscling and not too deep from the chest;
  • Shoulders: Shoulders have sufficient space, should be nicely sloping with well-developed withers;
  • Legs: sufficient length for a square construction, correct foot position and nice narrow hooves;
  • Loins: should be well muscled;
  • Movement: the horse should be able to move actively with sufficient impulsion, with enough space in the front leg;
  • Color: all color variations are possible and allowed.

Inspections & Shows

The Falabella Studbook does not organize shows. They do have an inspection once a year where all horses (stallions, mares, foals, adults and youth) are inspected veterinary and primed in the ring. This is currently the last Sunday of August. For more information about this breed and their activities, it is best to take a look at their website: www.falabella-europe.com

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This text was translated by Google

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