An Argentine rancher named Julio Cesar Falabella has developed the unusual - and now quite profitable -- hobby of breeding horses no larger than dogs, and in many cases, smaller.
GV Horses run on range
GV Mini horse runs past big horse and rider
GV Home of breeder and breeder on porch (3 shots)
SCU Breeder with two mini horses and wife (2 shots)
SV Breeder, mini horse and dog
GV Herd grazing (3 shots)
GV Horsers run the range
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Background: An Argentine rancher named Julio Cesar Falabella has developed the unusual - and now quite profitable -- hobby of breeding horses no larger than dogs, and in many cases, smaller.
A herd of 1,400 miniature horses run over his against ranch about 75 kilometres (46 miles) from Buenos Aires. The tiny animals have been carefully developed over years of selective breeding. He has revealed little of his technique, except to say that the work was started some years ago by an Irishman and that Senor Falabella is continuing it.
The little horses are carried by their mothers for 15 months, considerably longer than a normal horse, the when they're born their heart is disproportionately large for their bodies. Nevertheless, the breeder claims they attain a lifespan of 45 years and are strong for their size.
At birth they often weight less than 2 milograms (4.4 pounds) and when full grown can be as small as 15 inches high and weigh 27 pounds (12.2 kilograms).
Senor Falabells a found his hobby increasingly profitable in recent years. I??? specialty horse draw between on and five thousand U.S. dollars each (500-2,500 pounds sterling). He has made sales to such customers as Disneyworld, the Aga Khan and the Onassis family.