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Smallest Horse & Pony Breeds

Smallest Horse & Pony Breeds

Horses, just like any animal, are supposedly available in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Some can be huge and beautiful, while others can be compact (small) and cute yet strong enough to carry a load. Likely, you can own a horse or a pony, depending on your requirements.

While some horseback riders go for a high horse, others may be looking for smaller breeds. So, here we are going to inform you about some of the smallest horse and pony breeds that are popular. Eventually, they can be powerful and have a great build to go in for any competition. It’s just what you prefer and how likely you are looking forward to it.

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Small Breed Horses & Ponies

In the world of horse breeds, there is almost an equal ratio between tall horses and sports horses. More so, you cannot say that a small breed of Horses will be any less strong than a huge horse breed. Likely, they inherit the same strong physique from their primitive horse breeds.

In ancient times, there was a high ratio of small horse breeds as they are today. Furthermore, with advancement, humans are likely in favor of breeding taller horses due to the high demand. Hence, there are fewer small horses in the current scenario than a few centuries ago. However, if you are looking to buy one, we will inform you of some of the most popular ones.

Classifying Small Breed Horses

Many people ask, “How do you classify a horse to be a small breed?” Well, that’s an easy question to which we’ll say, “It all depends upon the horse’s height.” So, in order to classify a horse under small horse or ponies, they need to stand between the height range of – 22 inches to 56 inches.

If you are confused about measuring the height, you may take suggestions from a horse expert. In addition, there can be cases where a small breed of horses may outgrow after a certain age. That’s when it cannot be considered the smallest horse and pony breeds.

Read Also: How to Choose the Perfect Horse for Riding Discipline?

Top 5 Smallest Horses & Pony Breeds

1. Icelandic Horse Traits:

  • They are found in Iceland
  • Have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years
  • Stands at a height of 50 to 56 inches
  • Have a strong, compact, and robust physique

These horses are usually bred for their unique coat color as they are found in low-temperature zones. More so, they are likely useful for controlling and managing flocks in agricultural lands.

2. Fjord Horse


  • Usually found in mountain areas of Norway
  • Can live up to a maximum of 30 years
  • Stands at a height of 52 to 60 inches
  • Have an incredible physique and appearance

These horses are usually bred in Norway for agriculture-related purposes. Also, they have unique coat that makes them appear different from the other horses.

3. Shetland Pony


  • Usually found in Shetland Island, Scotland
  • Have a lifespan of about 20 to 25 years
  • Stand at a height of 38 to 42 inches
  • Have a strong and hardy physique

There are many categories of ponies, but these ones are the most popular for generations. Not only are they powerful with a compact physique, but they are also extremely friendly with humans. More so, many parents own them to make their kids learn horseback riding routines.

4. Miniature Horse


  • They are usually found in various parts of Europe.
  • Can live up to 25 to 30 years
  • Stand at a height of 36 to 40 inches
  • Are small, petite, and compact in structure

Miniature horses were quite famous in the 1600s and were mainly useful for caring for elderly individuals. Even today, they are quite popular for their various traits and are in use for – driving, racing, show events, pulling carts, etc.

5. Falabella


  • They are native to Argentina.
  • Can live up to 20 to 25 years
  • Stand at a height of 28 to 34 inches
  • Have a larger head and thick neck

These horses are one of the smallest among all the other breeds. Accordingly, if you are looking to compare, they can be similar in look to Arab and Thoroughbred horses.


Coming to the last part, buying small horses and pony breeds is something that depends upon your choice of use. Likewise, if you have kids and want to teach them horseback riding at a younger age, these breeds are preferable. Also, aren’t small and strong build animals cute in general? Well, likely, there can be many other options available. You can go through them all and then make your purchase accordingly.

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Written by

Mark Lamb is a content writer who is currently working with He started to learn about horse riding at the young age of 12 years, and since then, it has become his favorite sport. On a similar note, he has a passion for writing, and through that, Mark is making a change in equine life by letting new riders know so much about horse riding and its riding disciplines.

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