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Falabella Horse: Facts, Lifespan, Behavior & Care Guide (With Pictures)

Falabella Horses

If you’re a horse lover, you will certainly appreciate the adorable miniature horse—the Falabella. Even though at first glance, you might think the Falabella is a pony, that is not true. They take the title of the smallest horse on the whole planet—very special indeed.

If you don’t have a lot of space, or the idea of a house horse has interested you, you should learn all you can before making the decision to purchase. Let us fill you in! These are authentic horses that make exquisite additions to particular living situations.

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Quick Facts About the Falabella Horse

Breed Name: Falabella Horse
Place of Origin: Argentina
Uses: Therapy, small children
Bull (Male) Size: 80 kg
Cow (Female) Size: 70 kg
Color: Brown, black, leopard-spotted
Lifespan: 40–45 years
Climate Tolerance: Warm
Care Level: Easy
Compatibility: Children, pets, people
Temperament: Friendly, intelligent, peppy

Falabella Horse Origins

The adorable little Falabella descended from South America—specifically Argentina. This breed came to be when a man named Patrick Newtall tailored the breed from Criollo in the 1840s—so this breed is quite old!

After the beginning of this stunning petite horse, Newtall brought his son-in-law on board—Juan Falabella. A few generations later, the breed was perfected and displayed to the world by great-grandson Julio Falabella.

While it likely goes without saying, the charming little Falabella received its lovely name from those who helped create it. Once Julio introduced the Falabella in the 1960s, their popularity expanded greatly after that.

Today, descendants of Julio continue to breed these beautiful horses in the homeland of Argentina. However, many also try their hand in the United States and Europe.

Falabella walking in the snow
Image Credit: Zuzule, Shutterstock

Falabella Horse Characteristics

The Falabella is the smallest horse in the world! These tiny horses stand roughly 2–3 feet high—but don’t let their small stature fool you. These are quite strong equines, capable of carrying small children and even small carts.

So, while they’re mainly bred for pets and show, they still have a purpose and can work great in many valuable areas. Breeders have diligently been working on the personality of the Falabella. These horses are known for being very docile, easy to work with, and intelligent.

Because of their agreeable nature, they work very well for small children (unlike certain miniature ponies that can be very headstrong, rigid, and stubborn).

Much like a Chihuahua has a lengthy lifespan for a dog, the Falabella horse has a longer lifespan than an average horse. They can live as long as 45 years, which is roughly 15 years longer than their full-size companions.


The Falabella is sought after because it’s very unusual, rare, and extremely small. Typically, these horses are kept for two purposes: pets or show. Although, they can pull their weight around the farm somewhat, helping with loads up to 70 pounds.

These tiny horses are excellent first-time riders for small children. So, if you’re looking to train your young child on a completely safe horse, this is certainly an excellent place to start.

We want to be clear that these horses cannot hold much weight on their backs. So, you must know the limitations. Remember—Falabella horses can only carry roughly 70 pounds. That means they can safely carry children up to approximately 4 to 6 years of age.

If your child is any older than this, they should try walking them around on a lead rather than hopping on their backs. If your Falabella takes on too much weight at a time, it can cause severe back problems, which can be expensive to treat, and in some cases, it can cause lifelong problems.

In addition to riding, folks train the Falabella to act as therapy horses for emotional support. They can also act as guide horses for people who are blind. They truly are brilliant, versatile little equines who get along fabulously with children and other pets.

A Falabella horse in a fenced field
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Appearance & Varieties

The Falabella is a tiny, strong little horse that stands roughly 8 hands high. That equates to a total height of 28 to 34 inches on average. The compact appearance was achieved using several horse breed influences, including the Welsh, Shetland, Thoroughbred, and Criollo.

These hardy little horses are physically impressive and robust. While they might appear pony-like, they are considered horses due to the major horse influence in the bloodlines.

As the breed developed, patterns such as Appaloosa and Pinto started to develop. These horses are primarily brown and black but can also appear leopard spotted.

The Falabella is hardy, slim, and compact with a dished forehead and doe eyes. They have a relatively thick mane and tail that requires regular grooming. These tiny equines are minis for good, remaining foal-like their whole lives.

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Falabellas are very unique and extremely rare. There aren’t large numbers of them out there in the world, so if you ever meet one, consider yourself lucky. And if you own one? All the more exciting!


Outside of their original home in Argentina, the Falabella exists in the United States and various countries across the globe. These beauties came to the States in 1962, and there are only roughly 2,000 registered horses in the US today.

foal mini horse Falabella
Image Credit: DraNika, Shutterstock


The Falabella horse is a rare one—it can mainly be found in the Americas and Europe. It’s primarily concentrated in its homeland but has liberally spread out across the globe since the 1940s.


The Fallabella is incredibly adaptable, fitting into a variety of living situations. They need plenty of grazing space, daily rations, and shelter from the elements to stay happy and healthy. Each Falabella horse requires an ideal minimum of 1 acre per horse.

While we don’t necessarily recommend it, Falabellas can be kept indoors. If you would like to take on the challenge of having a horse houseguest, the Falabella is definitely the breed for you.

If you choose this method of housing, take them out every day to ensure they can graze and get enough exercise. In the house, it’s advisable to put a rubber sole, or another fix, around their hooves to prevent floor scratches and protect their sensitive feet.


Are Falabella Horses Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Falabellas are extremely good for small-scale farming! These little horses take up very minimal space, and some people even allow them in the home. Granted, if you allow a horse to stay in your home, preparations must be made—and you have to understand the implications of having a horse in your home.

This fascinating horse breed can pull carts, carry children, perform, and train like any other. You may even have more unique possibilities due to their size. Welcoming one of these cuties can be difficult, as they are hard to find in some regions. Contact local breeders in your area for more information on locating a lovely Falabella.

Featured Image Credit: horsemen, Shutterstock

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