Falabellas: Facts & Information On One Of The World’s Smallest Ponies


Falabellas are one of the world’s smallest equines. Their small size makes them impossible for most people to ride them or use them for many things, but they can sometimes be ridden by small children. It was their tiny size that caught my attention in the first place and made me want to learn more about these tiny ponies.

What Is A Falabella?

A Falabella is a pony breed that originated in Argentina. Known for their small size, these ponies are seen all over the world being used primarily as children’s riding ponies. Falabellas are unique in the sense that they can be seen in nearly any color or pattern in the horse world. These ponies can be distinguished from other ponies because they are built much slimmer, smaller, and narrower than other breeds.

What Is The Average Height & Weight Of This Breed?

These ponies are so incredibly small that they are rarely measured in hands. These ponies can stand between 24 and 35 inches in height which would be equivalent to 6 to 8.3 hands which is tiny! These ponies must not stand above 9 hands high or 36 inches.

These tiny ponies weigh hardly anything compared to a normal horse. On average, they weight between 70 and 80 kilograms or 150 to 175 pounds! This is similar to that of a person they are so small!

What Colors & Patterns Can A Falabella’s Coat Be?

The unique thing about this pony, other than their tiny size, is the fact that they can come in any color and pattern known to horses. The colors that they can be include:

  • Black
  • Bay (can be blood bay, black bay, dark bay, and light bay)
  • Chestnut (can be sorrel, liver chestnut, light chestnut, or flaxen chestnut)
  • Gray (can be flea-bitten)
  • White or Albino
  • Buckskin
  • Palomino
  • Red Roan (strawberry roan is acceptable too)
  • Blue Roan
  • Bay Roan
  • Cremello
  • Perlino
  • Grullo
  • Dun

These ponies can also come in any pattern seen in horses. These include:

  • Overo
  • Tovero
  • Tobiano
  • Sabino
  • Blanket Spot Pattern
  • Snowflake Spot Pattern
  • Leopard Spot Pattern
  • Snowcap Marking

The History Of This Breed

The Falabella is a relatively new breed that originated in the South American country of Argentina. This breed has a very unique history and bloodlines that might surprise you.

Believe it or not, Falabellas are descended mainly from Arabian and Thoroughbred horses. The smallest of these horses were bred to create smaller Arabian Thoroughbred crosses (also known as Anglo Arabians which you can read more about by clicking here). The smallest offspring of these horses were continuously crossed before being mixed with Shetland ponies. the resulting horses were small ponies who were then selectively bred and even inbred to create the tiny horses we know today.

Because of the excessive inbreeding that took place in the first creation of this breed, these little horses don’t always have the best conformation and can appear awkward and odd in build.

How To Identify The Falabella

The Falabella is a breed that can be identified by many things. These things are:

Size

One of the easiest ways to tell that a small horse might be a Falabella is by looking to see how small they are. Falabellas are really tiny and don’t stand over 9 hands high. This is one of the first indicators that a pony might be a Falabella.

Coat Color & Pattern

Falabellas can be any color and pattern known to man. This includes rare coloration like albino, cremello, perlino, and grullo. These little horses can also have Appaloosa-like spots and patterns setting them apart from the Shetland pony.

Confirmation

The conformation of the Falabella breed may be poor because of the inbreeding that took place when these horses were first being bred. The ideal conformation of this breed should resemble that of an Arabian or Thoroughbred but on a miniature scale.

Face

Because of their Arabian blood, Falabellas might be seen with a dish in their face which was inherited from their Arabian ancestors. These little horses also have bright, expressive eyes which was also inherited from the Arabian.

Legs

The legs of a Falabella resemble those of a Thoroughbred though on a much smaller scale. The legs of this breed are thin, finely made, and straight.

What Is The Falabella Good At & Used For?

General Riding

Because these ponies are so small, they can only be ridden by small children. The great temperaments that these ponies have makes them easy for a small child to ride. This is why they make great general riding ponies for little kids.

Companion Animal

These ponies, because only small children can ride them, are most commonly seen as companion animals. Sometimes, they’re even used as emotional support and therapy animals. They are usually more commonly used as pets than for actual work and riding.

Jumping

These ponies have a natural jump so for more advanced young children, they are used for jumping. Even halter jumping is a thing that these ponies are used for where they aren’t ridden and are instead led over jumps.

Driving

Some ponies are used for driving small carts though because they are so small, they can’t pull a ton of weight. Small carts with one to two seats are about all these little guys can pull.

What Is The Average Lifespan Of These Ponies?

These ponies live a really really long time! 40 to 45 years is the average lifespan of these ponies. This is thanks to their smaller size, excellent health, natural hardiness, and notable soundness. these ponies don’t really have health issues like most other breeds do so living well inot their forties or even their early fifties isn’t unheard of.

Fun Facts On Falabellas

  • These ponies are so small that they are typically measured in inches and centimetres rather than hands!
  • Though they are considered a pony based on their height, they are actually mainly known as a miniature horse
  • The name of this breed actually comes from the last name of the Family that created the first Falabellas!

FAQs On This Breed

Are Falabellas rare?

Yes, Falabellas or at least purebred Falabellas are rare little horses. This is because there are only a few thousand members of the purebred Falabella genetic pool.

How much does this breed cost?

Regardless of their size, Falabellas are really quite expensive horses and can cost much more than a large or normal-sized horse. These ponies can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000 (USD) depending on the pony’s conformation, pedigree, age, level of training, and even their coat color.

Are there studs and studbooks specifically for Falabellas?

There are in fact studbooks for these little horses though the studbook is quite small as compared to that of the Thoroughbred or the Arabian. The studbook of the Falabella only has a few entries and only 57 Falabella foals are reported to have been born in the year of 2013.

There are a few studs dedicated to the breeding and producing of Falabella horses though these are few and far between.

Is there a Falabella society or association?

Yes, there is a Falabella association known as the FMHA or the Falabella Miniature Horse Association. This association is the first registry for Falabella hores that started in 1973.

How do you pronounce Falabella?

The name of this breed is pronounced the way it is spelled:

Fa-Luh-Beh-Luh

Hailey Johnson

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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