The Falabella horse

Is it a horse or a pony? - The Falabella is a very special breed, the gentle nature and characteristics of which have been established after many generations of selection. Falabellas are not at all like Shetland ponies or other miniatures.  They are delicate, gentle, inquisitive, intelligent,  and very, very much like dogs in their attraction to humans.  We at the Merrylegs stud try to maintain these important characteristics as well as breeding very special colours!

The name 'Falabella' actually comes from the son in law of the original man who first started to develop the breed in the nineteenth century. The breed was actually established in the 1850 by an Irishman named Patrick Newtall. He noticed a number of small horses being kept within the tribes of some Indians. After acquiring some, and after many years of breeding he passed his small herds onto his son in law Juan Falabella. Juan added some English thoroughbred blood, some Criollo and even Shetland. By 1893 the herd had become stable and the characteristics for the breed were firmly established.  Since this breed has been shown to be man made it is in fact a breed of horse!

Although pure bred Falabellas are called Falabellas, only those exported directly from the ranch can use the prefix 'Falabella' . If a horse is bred from 2 ranch Falabellas and registered and dna tested without the time limits set out by the ACCF it can use the prefix RG.

Today the numbers of pure bred animals are still few, but by maintaining DNA records we can ensure that these horses maintain the ideal standards that have been fixed through generations of breeding.

No horse can 'become'  a Falabella if it is not pure bred and proven to be so by having either an offical Argentinian breeding certificate or  by being DNA tested, but Falabellas can 'become' other breeds such as American Miniatures.  In fact it  is probable that the American Miniature horse breed owes quite a lot to this breed for many great blood lines, it being only officially established in 1971.  Many registered American Miniatures are in fact Falabellas.

Falabellas are extremely tough due to their natural rearing. They are a true horse and very clever, with a bold gait and bright eye. They still retain their miniature height which is generally under 38” -and they can be very easily humanized!

What is a genuine Falabella horse?

A genuine Falabella horse is one that has a pedigree of uninterrupted bloodlines of animal stock originally bred by the Falabella family.

 Any horse that does not have a bloodline solely from those originally bred by and accredited to ESTABLICIMIENTOS FALABELLA Av., quintana 494 piso 6, A1129 BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINIË is not a Falabella. It is a mixed breed, and cannot legitimately be called a Falabella.

Some breeders and traders are selling horses as Falabella when they are not. They are mixed breed, with some Falabella in their bloodlines. Buyers of these horses are being defrauded. We know that fraudulent traders are selling such horses as we have bought them in the past and they are worth a fraction of the value of the rare Falabella breed.

The UK Falabella Studbook is the only UK certification source of pedigree horses accredited to ESTABLICIMIENTOS FALABELLA Av., quintana 494 piso 6, A1129 BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINIË. The European Falabella Studbook (Stamboek) is the only European certification source of pedigree horses.

 If you are interested in a horse that is not documented with a lineage solely related to stock from the Falabella ranch, and is not dna tested, be advised that its value may be inflated. Any stock bred from such a horse will not be a Falabella. Any stock sold as such is fraudulently traded.  Breeding from such stock may lead to disappointment.

Many of our 'Falabella blend' horses are with us because the father was fraudulently sold to us.

  and..How do you tell?

A Falabella is the smallest miniature horse in the world and the only miniature horse breed. It is a rare breed of horse and no horse can become a Falabella they have to be born from Falabella parents!

Other miniatures on the other hand, although beautiful at times,  are  just a type of small mixture of horse and pony  to which you can buy your horse membership if you so wish.  The American miniature horse for instance is not a closed breed and the horses are artificially and physically manipulated in order to give their extreme looks.  An American miniature horse does not have to have American Miniature parents !

A real Falabella will be sold with proof that all its ancestors can be traced back to the Falabella ranch in Argentina, It is as simple as that! - Most 'real' Falabellas are now DNA tested to prove their parentage as it has been proved time and time again that accidents do happen.

If you buy a Falabella with a British Falabella studbook or European Studbook  or even a Falabella Miniature Horse Association registration (FMHA America) then it is a real Falabella.

If you buy a Falabella with an IMHPS or BMHS registration then it might not be.  If you buy a Falabella with an IFMHS (International Falabella Miniature Horse Society) registration  then it very probably is not a Falabella as this organisation was set up by a stud called 'Holding park' to register their own horses which were all part bred.  How do we know this? - Because they only ever had one Falabella stallion and none of their mares were pure! Because of this they continued to register other peoples horses without regard to the horses parentage as they received money for doing this.

Falabellas are actually very rare and as such a pure bred is probably worth about 5 times as much as one without credentials.  We breed 'Falabella blends' or part breds and their prices are on this sort of scale unless we have an exceptional animals and then it would be worth fractionally more.

There is no DNA test which will prove your horse is a Falabella- Anywhere!
There is a test which together with parentage details and parentage DNA tests, and  a paper trail which leads back to credible horses , can be used to reconfirm the animals heritage. - that is all