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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has come to my attention on a few occasions that a lot of the general horse population, have seen and found photos such as these adorable.










I know there is also a photo of what is considered to be "the world's smallest horse", a photo of what is in fact a dwarf miniature horse standing next to a draft.
Here it is:


What bothers me is that people find those poor animals cute or adorable without actually realizing they have a serious genetic defect. Most of these poor horses do not make it past a few years of life, unless they receive continuous orthopedic work and general surgery.

Thought it would be a good idea to post some info about them here, for general knowledge info. Hope this thread will enlighten a lot of horse owners.

Dwarf Horses

Miniature Horse Registries have screened all foals up for registration to prevent these unfortunate dwarf miniature horses from being registered, therefor try to help prevent further breeding of sick animals.
 

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I agree. But I remeber when I was little there was one at my sisters instructers sisters place (mouth full!) She raised dokeys and she bought one donkey from theses old couple and when she put the donkey the trailer this dwarf horse came on. They just told her to keep him. She took him home and let the donkey out and the little guy took off running in the field. She hasnt been hable to catch him sence. She told my sisters and her friend if they could catch him they could keep him. I was 4 so I wasnt aloud to go out there. But it was funny watch them try to catch him. Needless to say they never caught him. he still out in that field to this day.... Talk about wild stallion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I guess thats how he wants to run his life eh :lol:
 

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Thanks for this post. Dwarf miniatures infuriate me. No responsible breeder could ever find that cute. I'm sure the natural inclination is to find them adorable for the short stature, but the bulging heads and midget legs just make me sad. Thumbalina is a monstrosity, and I find it sad that the people in charge of world records don't realize the damage they're doing by recognizing something like that as an accomplishment.
 

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I am infuriated just as much by the dwarf problem in miniatures and the fact of the backyard breeders who know nothing of the problem and breed anyway. Your problem lies with the people who buy a stallion and mare and proceed to breed them without knowing anything about them, all because they are cute, then they end up with a dwarf and they think it is cute and so on and so forth.
 

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Yeah, it's sad and it's an issue. At least they have a loving life. People don't actually breed them though, do they?
I figured people who are knowledgeable breeders understand that this is truly a genetic defect and wouldn't want it to happen again.
 

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I am not going to name anyone but their is a local farm who breeds for quantity around here and not for quality and I have went there and seen at least 12-15 dwarfs at one given time. I have seen some of the minimal dwarfs in their breeding pastures! I know people who they have suckered into buying a dwarf who knew nothing of minis when they went there, they believe they had a healthy regular miniature until they asked my opinion. I hate to say it but it is a lot more common than some people think it is in the breed because of careless breeders. People who actually breed to better minis will not breed a dwarf and if they breed two horses and get a dwarf, you better bet it will never happen again!

It is not neccesarily knowledgable breeders not breeding dwarfs but the ones who care enough to be careful in their breeding selections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's why I hope a lot of people will read this post and learn about this issue because I have read nothing but "cute" or "adorable" type comments regarding photos of those very ill little ponies.
 

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My main criterium for an animal is that it at least theoretically could survive in the wild. Although I can like or even love individual animals that are overbred, like my niece's pug, I am upset when people breed and buy them thinking the deformities are "cute". They wouldn't be considered "cute" for a human, so why for an animal?

And, yes, I wish my niece hadn't bought a pug even though Phoebe is a nice dog. My niece just bought a second dog -- a boxer, now 12 weeks old. Much more the thing. I wish my niece woud adopt rather than buy, but that's another story.
 

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Dwarf Minis

Responsible breeders of miniature horses do not usually breed for "small." They breed for correct conformation, health, temperament, and soundness. Sometimes dwarf minis are born with horrible malformation, shortened legs, terrible mouths, crooked legs, large heads and roached backbones. Very often these do not live.

Others are born which are called "minimal dwarves." These have maybe one indicator of dwarfism, but do not have the entire malformations that others do. These can live with extra care.

Most breeders will not breed either the stallion or mare whose genetics produced the dwarf. They will have the stallion gelded and often give the mare to a pet home with the understanding she would never be bred.

Dwarves may NOT be registered.

Unfortunately, there are those who breed for small, small, small, and when a dwarf appears, they sell it as a curiosity, sometimes getting more money for it than a Mini foal with good conformation. Those people make me sick selling them as cute and strange little beings.

On the other hand, many responsible breeders, if and when they have a dwarf, they feel a responsibiltiy for its care and medical conditions for its lifetime. I know some very good farms have a dwarf which they care for with love and care because they produced it and care for the little animal. At times, a family might want a dwarf and do not mind the extra expense for medical care, but that is rare.

Dwarfism is unfortunate in minis, but it is a reality which breeders strive to keep from happening again. Studies and research are being done to isolate genes or gene markers for dwarfism. If that is done, genetic testing could be done to eliminate those with affected genes from the breeding herd.
 

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Thank you for posting this! Anyone who thinks that dwarfism in minis is cute should have to listen to me rant about the 2 that were born on my grandpa's farm when I was growing up.

It was absolutely heartbreaking; the first was born out of a mare that my grandpa purchased already in foal. We struggled to keep it alive, but it died after 4 days. It had the sweetest, sweetest little spirit and to watch it suffer and die...well, people should hear that aspect of it.

The second lived, only after extensive leg braces and therapy. Even then, his quality of life was never that of a healthy horse. When my grandpa died my uncle took him in, and he died at only about 15-16 years of age, even under very good care.

Watching those heroic little things struggle to walk and live broke my heart.

Again, thanks for posting this. :)
 

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Dwarfism is a big problem in miniatures. Fortunately we are getting very close to having a test to find the carriers. Keep in mind that 2 miniatures that show no signs of being a dwarf can produce a dwarf. This is why it is so important to get the test out to the public to know who the carriers are.

IMO Minimal expression dwarfs are the worst threat because people dont know its a dwarf. The minimal is only in the expression of the gene otherwise the horse is very much a dwarf. So they get bred ughh. Minimal traits are:

Upturned nostrils
Too domey of a head
Crooked legs
Long body

I just wish more would learn about conformation and then you can spot these horses right away. But as said too many people buy a mare and a stallion and start breeding without educating themselves at all
 

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i think people who think these are 'cute' or 'adorable' are right in many ways as they do look cute and adorable. but many of them could be non horse owners/riders. if they are then they may not look deep into the breeding and structure of these little animals.

in my opinion i do think its really bad the way they breed them as i have seen many been born and died after birth. but if they do survive birth they only live for a max about 6-7 years :( i do feel for these little creatures tbh and just wish people could realise that they will be hurting them too aswell as people who really think it is bad to breed these.
 

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Oh...

It's....what the hell is that THING!?

A HORSE? Are you SURE? Really...? They look like...well, they don't look how they should. That's for certain.
That's the ever elusive Basset Horse... Wow.




Thanks for posting this thread. While dwarfs can be freakin' adorable and you want to carry them around like Chihuahuas, it is so sad knowing exactly what they are and why they are that way. I first read about dwarf horses a few years ago, and ever since have been appalled when I come across someone who purposely breeds them.
 
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