A very brief history of minis
Miniature horses were developed in Europe in the 1600s. They were pets of nobility but also frequently used in coal mines to pull carts. The first minis were imported into the United States in 1888 for use in the coal mines. The American Miniature is a breed of mini that is a cross between the English and Dutch mine horses and the Shetland Pony. A true mini stands at less than 34″ in height.
While minis tend to be affectionate and easy to handle, they should never be ridden by any but the smallest of children; however, they are very adept at pulling a cart (you can thank their coal mining ancestors for that!).
There are many reasons to own a mini: as a pet, a hobby, a way to share an activity with children, as a therapy animal, or as a show horse in both the obstacle course and cart pulling.