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Smallest Horse in the World Is Too Small!

Smallest Horse in the World Is Too Small!

Is it necessary to create a horse not much bigger than a chihuahua? Or even small enough to fit in a human hand? When does meddling in the gene pool of animals reach an extreme to be considered animal abuse?

In April a horse weighing only six pounds was born on a farm in New Hampshire. (Normal birth weight for a standard sized horse is 60-100 lbs.) The new horse (named Einstein) weighs three pounds less than the previous World Record Holder for Smallest Horse. World Record for Smallest Horse? Has there been a competition going on for years breeding smaller and smaller horses, that I wasn’t aware of? What exactly is the benefit to humankind of genetically altering the makeup of horses to make them fit in a gym bag?

Some people are uncomfortable with making normal sized horses carry humans around. What would they say about people carrying horses around, say, to the coffee shop for a chat, and some very small oats?

A geneticist from the Wired article remarked, “It takes a while to work them out so that you end up with a horse that not only fits in the palm of your hand but is happy and healthy.”

So how happy is a horse the size of a tea cup going to be when it sees a normal large, 1,200 pound version? How could such genetic manipulation produce a healthy, happy animal? The whole enterprise sounds alarming and obsessive. Its very easy to imagine the kind of animal abuse that is likely to occur with artificially created munchkins that would likely be sold and treated as toys. Animals are not play things, or merely objects of gross sentiment. The effort to shrink horses down to toy size is a questionable practice. Is it a new form of animal abuse?

Note: the animal in the left portion of the photo is a mature pony, not a full size horse.

Related:
Genetically Modified Pets
Are You Eating Genetically Modified Foods?
The Healing Power of Horses

Read more: Animal Rights, Behavior & Communication, Conscious Consumer, Nature & Wildlife, Pets, Safety, , , ,

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7:05PM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

I understand that prehistoric horses were also small. That said, there must have been a very good reason for their evolution into the regular horse size which we are familiar with today. Perhaps it was to reduce predation, or in order to cover more mileage in the search for food and water. Whatever the reason, I doubt that modern miniature horses would have the self-confidence of many of their regular sized stable mates. I can`t help thinking that they are as likely to be paranoid as many miniature dogs seem to be.

I sometimes think though, that breeding miniature elephants and rhinos might not be a bad idea. That way, at least they would be more affordable to keep as pets, and in so doing would keep them in some form off the "endangered" list. Then again, I prefer to protect rather than meddle.

8:21AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

I love miniture horses but going to the extreme in breeding isn't really good.

10:33PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Little horses could be usefull like service animals in some cases, so could be a rational use of this not only entreteinment, animals are not toys.

4:53PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

LEP, According to this information tiny horses resulted from intentional breeding by people.

"Just as dogs have been bred to be small, centuries of selective breeding have resulted in miniature horses with calm dispositions. Many American miniature horses are extremely small because of the deliberate introduction of dwarfism genes."

http://www.guidehorse.org/faq_horses.htm

7:35AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Thanks, LEP - Funny how so many people jump to conclusions so quickly. I guess it's okay to breed puppies to be small enough to put in your pocket but not horses. What's the difference? Mini horses have been around a lot longer that mini dogs and yet people quickly have decided that it's not okay. What's up with that???

4:12PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

This is a legacy of a world going crazy. We have no right to interfere with the animals, size and reproduction.

10:40AM PST on Nov 19, 2011

Jill is right, that's insane.

6:12PM PDT on Apr 10, 2011

There are always those exceptional people who give free roam of the house to potty trained: pigs, goats, llama, rabbits, chickens, turtles, iguana, etc,. in the house. But in general mini horses are kept outside in the barn & paddock. And I would also like to point out, Einstein doesn't take any "crap" from anyone. He pushes around the other big horses, just as if he were just as big as them. Horses being sentient creatures, understand he is small and are careful with him. He is still kept in another paddock just in case he isn't seen & accidentally stepped on, just like any farmer would do with any & all of their barnyard occupants. Please find out what you are talking about before incorrectly slinging insults... Thank you

6:09PM PDT on Apr 10, 2011

Miniature horses have been around since before the 17th century... Please find out WHAT you are talking about before you incorrectly criticise... Mini horses are NOT genetically altered horses. They are a true breed, all on their own. Centuries ago wild horse herds have found themselves trapped in small canyons, and through evolution to keep from starving (eating up all the grass because they are trapped), they downsized. Little food means most die of starvation until after several generations, smaller & smaller foals are born, to accommodate the limited food source. That is where mini horses originally came from. So through selective breeding (not genetically altered) the mini horse thrives today. Einstein, to put it indelicately, is a freak of nature. He is a natural mini of a mini, & NOT a dwarf. Judy Smith of Barnstead NH has been breeding mini horses for 20 years. Einstein was born on her farm from two perfectly normal mini horses that have always foaled normal minis. We also have Whites Mini Horse Farm in Pittsfield NH, which has been in operation several decades. Their minis have always foaled normal minis. I live in Epsom NH which is 1 town over from both those places. Mini horses have been extremely popular in NH since always. Although all horses can be potty trained, mini horses are not kept in the house, any more than the pigs, goats, chickens, etc. There are always those exceptional people who give free roam of the house to potty trained: pigs, goats, lla

6:01PM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

Cute horse, but that doesnt make it right.

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