More years ago than I really want to remember, when I was still a starry-eyed girl, I believed that all I needed to convince my parents that we really could manage to keep a horse was to find the right one. The BBC programme ‘Nationwide’ aired a segment on Falabellas and I was hooked.
About the same height at full grown as an Afghan Hound, Falabellas are none the less, not classed as ponies. They are miniature horses because they have the perfect conformation of a standard size horse in a small package.
Generally very biddable they can at times show quite a bit of spirit. Not surprising, since they can trace their ancestory back to the noble Spanish Andalusian and proud Spanish Barb.
Falabellas originate in Argentina, where in the 1800′s a herd of small horses were seen to be running alongside the horses of the Manapuche Indians. The original development of these miniatures seems to have occurred naturally due perhaps to a harsh environment and inbreeding.
Today, the lines of the Falabella are zealously protected by Julio Falabella, the great-grandson of the man who first took an interest in this fascinating breed. Though many ranches may advertise that they have Falabellas for sale, a true Falabella has a sheaf of comprehensive certification tracing his lineage back to the Falabella Farm in Argentina.
So, can such a tiny horse be of any use, other than paddock dressing? Decidedly, yes! As a young child’s first mount, Falabellas are generally docile and highly intelligent. An average sized child of up to about 8 years old can ride a Falabella putting without overworking the little horse. Falabellas jump too – up to three feet and their quick intelligence can be directed into learning all kinds of fun games.
Falabellas are genetically ‘fixed’. They only breed to type and will not throw off larger offspring or suddenly produce a ‘snapper’. By nature they are docile and like the company of humans. they are hardy and strong, their ability to survive all types of harsh weather belying their small size. They have personality, courage and intelligence and are extremely easy on the eye.
Thank you to Establecimientos Falabella of Argentina, the first and only breeder of original Falabellas.