Miniature Falabella Horses

The Falabella miniature horse is one of the smallest breeds of horse in the world, rarely taller than eight hands or 78cm/32inches.

We have three rare pedigreeFalabellahorses on the farm.The horses are a welcome addition to our collection of rare breed animals.

Falabellas are horses, not ponies

Leon feeding off his mum

Week-old Leon at the milk bar

If you click onFalabellayou willsee a YouTube video showing all threeFalabellas. One is called Lady May; she is a five-year old mare who has had her first foal last year which we’ve called Leon. Clickhereto see another short video of Leon discovering what it’s like to prance around in Spring snow for the first time, and then againhereto see him in a third short video in the paddock when snow turned to warm sunshine. It was exciting following the delivery of Leon – we set up a CCTV in Lady May’s field shelter so we could monitor that she was okay. The signal is transmitted to our television, so one moment we could be watching Country File, the next Lady May in her field shelter!

Leon lookkng forward

We wanted to interfere with foaling as little as possible and the CCTV worked well. Leon is due to be weaned shortly and then we have to decide whetherto breed him or let him go. If you would like to come and see him, then please call Malcolm or Lesley on the Chater Valley Farm tel number (01780 720660) or email us at hello@chatervalley.com.

Lady May also has a friend, a two-year old from France, Lola, shown in the photographs below. She is a real treasure and very, very affectionate. Clickhereto see a few early pictures of her . The other Falabella next to Lady May in some of the photogaphs is Indian Warrior, a stallion kindly loaned to us when we bought Lady May. He’s the sire of Leon.

The horses are a welcome addition to our collection of rare breed animals, which we use for educational, therapy and coaching work.

Lady May head shot

Lady May

The most recent addition to our herd is ex-Metropolitan Police horse, Chipstead. You will find some photographs of him at the foot of the page. Standing at 16 hands, he towers over the Falabellas, but he is a very gentle 18 year old, and is living out his retirement on the farm by helping Lesley with her equine-assisted therapy work. He is such a gentle giant – everyone who meets him, loves him, and comments on his friendly disposition. We are very lucky and pleased to have “Chippy” on the farm. When you come and visit us, you will see what we mean.

” . . . The most recent addition to our herd is ex-Metropolitan Police horse, Chipstead, a very loving & calm fellow, which Lesley uses in her equine therapy work along with the Falabellas . . .”

As with all of our other animals, we try to keep the horses in as natural a way as possible. So none of the horses are shod, and they have a track system which extends inside the perimeter of one of our paddocks to enable them to graze naturally and stay on the move.

Falabella history

– why small horses?

The true Falabella is a rare breed, with only a few thousand existing worldwide. The Falabella, despite its size, is not considered a pony but rather a miniature horse. They are similar to thoroughbreds or Arabs in their conformation, with a sleek coat and a slim frame.The Falabella was originally developed in Argentina, with the breeding programme of Patrick Newtall in the 1860s. When Patrick died, the herd and breeding methods were passed to his son-in-law, Juan Falabella, who added different bloodline before being able to consistency breed to a small size within the herd.

In the 1940s, a descendent, Julio C Falabella,created a formal breed registry, TheEstablecimientos Falabella,now theAsociación de Criadores de Caballos Falabella(Falabella Horse Breeders Association).

Later breeders developed the modern standard, a horse breed that averaged approximately 30inches in height. They have a wide range of coat colors and are often spotted or painted, which probably reflects the influence of Spanish horses in the original breeding programme. They can be exceptionally long-lived and have been known to live longer than 40 years.

” . . . Falabellas can be exceptionally long-lived and have been known to live longer than 40 years . . . “

This may be to due to the fact that whilst they are of diminutive size, their hearts are supposed to be the same size as standard size horses. Extremely strong for its size, the Falabella has been used in light harness capacity, and can be ridden by small children. Very important to us, is that they also have very good temperaments, are intelligent and very, very friendly.