It is believed that the Falabella Miniature Horse of Argentina was a descendant of Spanish Barb and Andalusian horses that were taken to the area by Spaniards in the 15th century when they intended on conquering the country. After they were defeated, their horses were left behind to roam freely, and over the course of several centuries, the horses had to adapt. Inbreeding and having to survive in a new harsh environment resulted in horses that were physically smaller but extremely strong.
In the 1840’s, the small horses were observed within equine herds by Patrick Newell. He began to create a new herd using the smallest horses that he could find, and selective breeding was then started in order to establish a true small horse breed. Patrick shared what he knew with his son-in-law, Juan Falabella, and then the Falabella family continued to impart their knowledge to future generations.
Over the course of many years, the Falabella family used a range of equine breeds including the Argentine Criollo Horse, Appaloosa and Pinto. The family made sure to keep the best and smallest horses within every generation as they sought to create the Falabella Miniature that is beloved today. In fact, some of the smallest horses in the world were bred by Julio Falabella, and these perfect tiny horses were born in all equine colours.
It was not until the 1960s that Julio Falabella was ready to send the Falabella horse to the United States and other nations. News quickly spread about this new miniature horse breed, which as centuries in the making and resulted from both natural and selective breeding across several generations.
The Falabella Miniature Horse finally became a registered equine breed in the 1970’s, with the creation of the Falabella Miniature Horse Association. Today, these horses are still found at the Falabella Farm, located in Argentina, but they are also found throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, the UK and many other countries.
(Information for the history credited to www.petguide.com/breeds/horse/falabella-miniature-horse)
Meadows Falabella Horses © 2020