In the 18th century, miniature horses were used to pull carts in the coal mines in Northern Europe. The first herd of miniatures were brought to the U.S. in the 1930’s and used in the coal mines until the late 1950’s. They are very strong, hardy, horses. Miniature horses cannot take a lot of weight on their backs. They are a breed of pony intended to resemble a scaled-down horse. They have been bred for the desired properties of small size, friendly temperament, and horse-like build. Miniature horses can grow up to 34” high at the withers (the highest point of the shoulder). They have an average life span of 25 to 35 years.