Falabella horses — the amazing story of the most exotic breed in the world
Categories: Animals | PositiveBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/falabella-horses-the-amazing-story-of-the-most-exotic-breed-in-the-world
Falabella horses are often confused with ponies. But these are completely different categories of animals that have serious differences. Falabella are quite rare animals and if you saw these horses, you can consider yourself lucky. The highest possible chance to get acquainted with this exotic breed in Argentina. That's where these horses appeared and that's where their largest livestock is.
Falabella horses were first heard about in the 70s of the last century. The peak of popularity of this breed came in the 90s, when many were eager to get a miniature horse as a pet. The price of these animals was and remains very high, so few could afford a miniature horse.
The height of falabella horses at the withers does not exceed 86 cm . At the same time, there are adult animals with a height of only 35-45 cm. Baby horses weigh from 20 to 65 kg. The smallest representative of the breed, recorded by scientists, remains a stallion with a height of 35.5 cm, weighing only 9.7 kg.
This breed is unique not only for its size. Every next generation of falabella is born more petite than the previous one. The gene responsible for small stature turns out to be stronger in these animals than the genes of an ordinary horse. This was confirmed by breeders, crossing babies with ordinary, large animals. After fertilization, of course, artificial, small foals are born in large horses.
If you put a pony and a falabella next to each other, the differences between the breeds will be obvious. Scottish ponies are stocky, short-legged and grow up to 116 cm at the withers. This is a strong breed, whose representatives, with their own weight of about 200 kg, are able to carry 300 kg or even more on their backs. They look like reduced heavy trucks and were brought out for work.
Falabella horses, with their small dimensions, are proportionally folded. They are similar to ordinary animals of their kind, only reduced several times. The legs of these babies are slender, and the hooves are miniature. A properly folded falabella looks like an Arabian steed in miniature.
Falabella is a purely decorative breed, not intended for riding and work. Some large animals can withstand the weight of a child, but this is rather an exception. The traction characteristics of these horses are slightly better — an adult horse can successfully pull a cart with one adult or a couple of kids.
Strange as it may seem, but the history of the origin of this unusual breed is shrouded in darkness. It got its name after the Falabella farming family, which was the first to start breeding them. It is said that once a breeder left a small herd of horses in a gorge blown by strong winds, poor in vegetation.
After a while, the herd was forgotten and only the farmer's grandchildren found it. The animals miraculously survived and even adapted to the harsh conditions, becoming small. In terrible conditions, only the smallest animals survived, which did not require much food and were able to hide from the winds in the bushes. But this is just one of the legends associated with the breed.
Another story says that small horses were bred by Kayak Indians. One day, the chief, wanting to thank farmer Falabella for a certain service, gave him a pair of horses. This story is not very plausible, since the Indians living in the mountains of Argentina would hardly be engaged in breeding ornamental animals. They needed big and strong animals suitable for war and carrying heavy loads on mountain trails.
Even less plausible is the legend of a Japanese breeder who worked on the Falabella farm. Allegedly, he managed to breed small horses using the secret knowledge of his people. But the most plausible version is told by one of the representatives of the farmer's family. Julio Cesar Falabella insisted that the breed appeared in the 19th century thanks to the Irish settler Newton.
He lived on the border of Argentina and Chile during a very turbulent time. Indian tribes then attacked strangers, mercilessly killing them and taking cattle and property. Newton lived in the mountains at the ford across the river and was able to find a common language with the Indians. They often crossed the stream near his house and did not touch his family.
One morning a man found an amazing little horse at the crossing site. Obviously, she was abandoned by the Indians or she herself fell behind the squad. The animal was miniature, but it was not a disease, but its unique feature. There was no sense from such a horse, but Newton had a daughter. The man gave the child a gift, and the baby stayed on the farm as a pet dog.
When the Irishman's daughter grew up, she married a young man from the Falabella family. The girl took the little horse to her husband's farm and he was able to get offspring from him. This beautiful and quite realistic story still does not answer the main question — how and why the little horse was born. Was it a random whim of nature, or did the Indians actually own some secret?
Whatever it was, but the Falabella family was the first to start breeding a unique breed. Perfectly understanding its value, farmers were in no hurry to share their treasure with others. The breeder sold the animals, but castrated the stallions at the same time. Even to John Kennedy's family, he offered only a mare and a gelding. Falabella feared that someone would start breeding a rare breed and it would drop in price.
For the first time, Falabella horses began to be bred outside of their native farm in 1977. The Fisher family somehow managed to acquire several horses and a breeding stallion for their reserve. Later, the little horses ended up in the Netherlands, where a kennel was founded. So the rare breed ended up in Europe, from where it began to spread around the world.
Despite the fact that falabella is now bred in several countries, the number of these ornamental horses worldwide does not exceed several hundred individuals. This is an expensive breed, despite the fact that these animals have no practical use. Falabella owners are delighted with their pets. They claim that the breed has retained all the advantages of large racehorses.
Babies are very mobile and take barriers with pleasure. It seems that jumping from an obstacle gives them pleasure. They are cute and friendly animals that are well-trained and get along well with adults and children.
There are not only horses the size of dogs in the world, but also dogs the size of a horse. For example, such as the Great Dane Thunder.
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