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The Falabella |
A Brief History of the Falabella
Although the origin of the Falabella miniature horse is still uncertain, there are several tales of how this rare horse came to the notice of the Argentinians.
One such tale has it that a European settler, named Newton, settled on the Pampas. Newton had built a mill on the river that dissected his property. This river provided the only water source for miles. For fear of marauding Indians, Newton would place rocks in the millwheel at night. The rumbling of the stones would echo across the vast Pampas. This lead the Indians to believe that Newton had magical powers.
Empty carriages, without occupants, were not an uncommon site at the river. Sweating teams of horses would arrive at the ford, parched from their panicked flight. It was one such occasion that a miniature horse appeared at the ford. Newton managed to capture the stallion, and it is believed that this horse was one of the forebears of the Falabella.
Other tales of the evolution of the Falabella miniature horse may be found in the colour booklet, produced by the original importers of the breed, the Latin American Zoo at Kilverstone.
The Falabella is a perfectly proportioned miniature horse, resembling the Thoroughbred or Arab, of under 34" (86.5cm). The Falabella miniature horse has a sleek coated, slim frame. True proportions may be imagined as looking through the wrong end of a telescope.
Purpose of Such a Small Horse
Falabella's can only be ridden by the smallest of children. With such amenable and affectionate natures, Falabella's are easily trained, enjoying the attention afforded by regular handling.
Due to increasing interest in the delightful breed, showing is becoming more commonplace, with specially allocated classes.
Carting remains a favourite past-time for Falabella owners. With good turn of pace, and keen intelligence, the Falabella affords all the enjoyment of a larger horse, without the associated costs, transporting and land requirements. Consequently, horse lovers without the necessary acres of pasture, can still enjoy the pleasure of owning a horse.
The Falabella horse does not normally wear shoes, although possible. Routinely, feet should be trimmed every 6-8 weeks, ensuring both the health of the horn, and correct alignment of the leg. This reduces risk of cracking, and for those who wish to oil the hooves, it can only but contribute.
Worming Adhering to the general principles of horse care, the length of time between worming should be approximately 6 - 10 weeks. Obviously, if worms are present, regular worming of 6 week intervals is advised. Rotation of worming solutions is considered highly important to reduce the risks of the parasites developing resistance.
Avoidance of infestation reduces the horses risk of colic, ensuring health and well-being in the Falabella.
As mentioned previously, the Falabella miniature horse thrives on attention, and handling. Therefore, wherever possible it is advised that they should be groomed daily. This not only maintains the coat, mane, tail, and feet in pristine condition, but also ensures that enough time is spent with the horses.
Nutrition & Accommodation
Little difference is found in the care of the Falabella, to that of the thoroughbred.
Due to their size, it is crucial to feed the right amount of food to reduce the chance of obesity, and subsequent health problems. It is very easy to spoil a Falabella with food, as their requirements are far less than our hearts tell us.
A mixture of non-heating feeds such as pasture mix, pony nuts, and mollichop, is a great combination. Depending upon the amount of grazing, and hay available, as little as half a cup may be sufficient.
As far as stabling is concerned, a normal loose box is sufficient to house three Falabella's in comfort. Specially designed loosebox's are approximately 6ft X 6ft.
Just as one might with a large pure bred horse, access to stabling is recommended, with daylight grazing for exercise and diversion.
Finally, on the subject of needs, the Falabella thrives with a lot of personal love and attention. Responding to a rub, with a wiggle of the top lip, the Falabella will prove an invaluable friend for life. Like all friends, they should never be taken for granted.
A pedigree Falabella miniature horse costs approximately £3,000 - £5,000, depending on height, sex and conformation.
In addition, costs of feed, accommodation, and veterinary fees should be taken into consideration. Approximation of additional costs are as follows, depending on sex, and age.
Vet fees: £100+pa Hard Feed: £100+pa Bedding: £30+pa Hay: £100+pa
International Falabella Miniature Horse Society
This society provides a Registry of Pedigree Falabella miniature horses, and reputable breeding studs. This non-profit organisation endeavors to maintain a strict acceptance criteria, to ensure that the breed remains bona fide.
Falabella miniature horses may only attain permanent registration with the IFMHS, at four years, if under the maximum height restriction of 34" (86.5cm)
The society also endeavors to advertise, and educate the public about this rare breed of miniature horse.
For a forty page colour illustrated booklet for the original Falabella stud, Kilberstone Wildlife Park, Please Contact the IFMHS for pricing details.
It has come to the Society's attention, in recent years, that unsuspecting purchasers have been sold ordinary miniature ponies, falsely advertised as Falabella's. As imagined, this has caused considerable heartache for those involved.
The Society advises that interested parties refer to the IFMHS to verify authenticity of the horse they wish to purchase. It also advised to buy from reputable studs, where the vast majority of Falabellas reside.
Correspondence to: The Registrar, IFMHS, Holding House, The Barracks, Newnham, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9NW, ENGLAND, .
The information in this section is kindly provided by the IFMHS.
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Updated: October 2005.