The 7 Smallest Horses in the World
The Big Book of Small Equines
Book by Johnny Robb and Jan Westmark / Format: Hardcover Edition
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Famous Little Horses
Have you met the world's smallest horses? They are some of the most famous horses in the world. Miniature horses, dwarf miniatures, Shetland ponies: these are the breeds that the tiniest horses represent.
Maybe you've seen their names in newspaper headlines or somewhere on the Internet. Some of them have guest starred on popular television shows like Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures and the Rachael Ray Show.
This hub introduces you to seven of the world's smallest horses: Black Beauty, Thumbelina, Einstein, Cuddles, Panda, Twinkie and Lucy. They are the world's tiniest, most adorable and extraordinary horses you will ever meet.
Guiness World Records
Book by Guinness Media / Format: Library Binding
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1. Black Beauty
No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. This little horse is not a photoshopped digital image with special effects. Black Beauty is a real eating, breathing and trotting miniature pony.
Guinness World Records certified Black Beauty as the world’s smallest horse in 2001. The dwarf miniature belongs to Donald and Janet Burleson, owners of Burleson Arabians and the Guide Horse Foundation in Kittrell, North Carolina.
Born on June 6, 1996, Black Beauty weighed less than ten pounds and measured barely a foot long. Five years later, at 18.5 inches tall, Guinness declared her the smallest horse in the world.
The tiny mare held the honor until 2007, when another dwarf miniature named Thumbelina claimed the title with a height of 17 inches.
Book by Heather C. Hudak / Format: Paperback Edition
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In 2007, a little brown mare named Thumbelina made history as the Guinness World Records smallest horse in the world. She claimed the title with a height of 17 inches.
Thumbelina was born on May 1, 2001. She belongs to Paul and Kay Goessling, owners of Goose Creek Farm in Ladue, Missouri. Michael Goessling, their son, is her handler.
Thumbelina is a gentle horse that just wants to be loved and petted. The dwarf miniature inspired two different organizations: the Thumbelina Charitable Foundation and the Thumbelina Children’s Tour.
The little horse has her very own picture book: Thumbelina: The World's Smallest Horse. Written by Heather C. Hudak, the book was released in 2009 by Weigl Publishers.
A Friend for Einstein
Book by Charlie Cantrell and Rachel Wagner / Format: Hardcover Edition
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Who holds the record as the world's smallest stallion? That would be Einstein, an adorable black-and-white miniature pinto stallion.
Unlike Black Beauty and Thumbelina, Einstein shows no signs of dwarfism. His owners, Charlie Cantrell and Dr. Rachel Wagner, say little Einstein is just a tiny horse.
At 20 inches tall, Einstein is considered to be the world’s smallest stallion. He is likely to make the Guinness World Record as the smallest horse ever born. Just six pounds at birth, he weighed three pounds less than newborn Thumbelina.
Einstein was born April 22, 2010, in Barnstead, New Hampshire. His owners celebrated his first birthday with a new book: A Friend For Einstein: The Smallest Stallion. Cantrell and Wagner wrote the book, and Hyperion published it in 2011.
Helping Hooves: Guide Horses
Book by Janet Burleson / Format: Paperback Edition
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Cuddles, another famous horse, holds several unique distinctions. For starters, the two-feet-tall pygmy pony is the first guide horse recognized by the United States government.
Cuddles belongs to Dan Shaw, a Maine resident who lost his vision to a degenerative eye disease. Trained by Donald and Janet Burleson, Cuddles is as smart as any guide dog. The Burlesons trained the tiny horse for three years before Shaw brought her home.
Cuddles has achieved many world records in a short amount of time. For example, she was the first guide horse to travel by airplane, subway and ferry. She was the first to visit the Statue of Liberty. And she was the first to visit the cinema; she saw Shrek, A Knight's Tale.
Cuddle's trainer, Jan Burleson, wrote a book about the little horse. Cuddles, The Guide Horse was published by Rampant Techpress in 2006.
Panda: a Guide Horse for Ann
Book by Rosanna Hansen / Format: Hardcover Edition
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She's intelligent, alert, protective and house-trained. Her owner says she loves to play fetch, take naps on the carpet and play with her toys.
Her name is Panda, and she's a black-and-white miniature guide horse that stands about 29 inches tall. She is named for the color of her coat.
Panda belongs to Ann Edie, a blind special education teacher in upstate New York. "I've had three guide dogs, but none have been anywhere near as good as Panda," Edie said.
Like Cuddles, Panda was trained at the Guide Horse Foundation in Kittrell, North Carolina. Panda's trainer, Alexandra Kurland, used a click training method with the horse.
Panda has a book, too: Panda: A Guide Horse for Ann. The book was written by Rosanna Hansen, illustrated by Neil Soderstrom and published in 2005 by Boyd Mills Press.
Twinkie, a two-feet-tall dwarf miniature, is the personal pet of Donald and Janet Burleson. The little horse inspired the Guide Horse program and helped with early training techniques.
Due to a genetic dwarfism condition, Twinkie has a normal-size torso and short legs. Although she was trained to assist the blind, the chestnut mare does not possess the agility required of a service animal.
Despite her physical disabilities, Twinkie is healthy and lives a normal, happy life with her owners in Kittrell, North Carolina. Now retired, she serves as the mascot for the Guide Horse Foundation.
Book by Rebecca L. Frankeny / Format: Paperback Edition
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Lucy, a true miniature mare, is Great Britain's smallest horse. The tiny Shetland pony weighs 100 pounds and stands 19.5 inches tall.
Like other Shetland ponies, Lucy stopped growing at two years old. Her owner, Sandra Power, was shocked to find her so small. "I've never seen anything like her before," the veterinarian said.
Lucy's body is well-proportioned and she shows no signs of dwarfism. Her mane and tail grow quickly, however, so they require frequent trimming.
Lucy lives with thirteen other miniature horses, and she is dwarfed by all of them. The little pony loves to gallop around the paddock with the larger horses, Power says.
Lucy has her own custom-made stable. People say it looks very much like a child's playhouse.
Reference Sources / Further Reading
- Burleson, Donald and Janet Burleson. (2005) "Miniature Horses for the Blind." The Guide Horse Foundation. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
- Daily Mail contributor. "My REALLY Little Pony: Einstein, the World's Smallest Stallion, Gets Set for First Birthday." Daily Mail Online. March 26, 2011.
- Environmental Graffiti contributor. (2008) "Thumbelina and Lucy: The World's Smallest Horses." Environmental Graffiti. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
- Seattle Times contributor. (January 29, 2007) "Miniature Horse a Big Help to Woman Needing a Guide." The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
- Shaw, Dan. (n.d.) "Cuddle's World Records." Dan and Cuddles: World's First Guide Horse. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
- The Telegraph contributor. (November 18, 2008) "Britain's Smallest Horse." London, England: The Telegraph. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
- Thumbelina website. (2006) "Meet Thumbelina." Thumbelina: The World's Smallest Horse. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
Copyright © 2011. Annette R. Smith. All rights reserved.
Published: May 26, 2011 / Modified: December 14, 2012.
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This Hub was last updated on December 14, 2012
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