The New Zealand Miniature Horse Association Inc. (NZMHA) was formed in 1996 by the amalgamation of the New Zealand Miniature Horse Breeders Association and the Miniature Horse Association of New Zealand, both of which had been operating since 1990. NZMHA became affiliated to the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand in 1998 in recognition of it's efforts in establishing the breed register for Miniature Horses in New Zealand. NZMHA now has in excess of 534 members spread through out New Zealand and the World with the number of registered Miniature Horses exceeding 11,043.

The role of NZMHA is to provide a national structure meeting the diverse needs and interests of the miniature horse owners throughout New Zealand. NZMHA is a non-profit member governed organisation. All major decisions are made by the members through the Annual General Meeting or by way of Special General Meetings. The day to day management of the Association is delegated to NZMHA Council which is comprised of a nationally elected executive and regionally elected delegates. NZMHA has defined seven regions within New Zealand with the NZMHA Members in each region being represented by Regional Delegates. Within New Zealand NZMHA has a number of Affiliated Clubs which provide fellowship and education for Miniature Horse owners in their areas. All members are encouraged to become involved in these local clubs.

A horse for everyone!

The Miniature Horse holds great appeal for all kinds of people, young and old alike. A child that is frightened of a large horse will be confident in handling a Miniature. Miniatures are ideal for those who are no longer able to continue a past involvement with horses – families with young children, the elderly, people confined to a wheelchair or otherwise disabled can handle these horses easily. Because of their small size and gentle, affectionate nature the Miniature Horse makes an excellent pet. Their quiet temperament and intelligent interest ensure a place in the hearts of everyone. They are versatile in the show ring - as well as the conformation classes, the harness & and jumping classes prove popular with competitors and spectators alike.

What is a Miniature Horse?

A small, sound, well balanced horse, falling within the height restrictions set out in the rule book, possessing the conformation characteristics desirable of most breeds - in fact if there were no size reference the Miniature Horse might give the impression of being a full-sized horse. A Miniature Horse should show refinement and femininity in the mare, boldness and masculinity in the stallion; at the same time displaying impeccable temperament. The general impression should be one of refinement, symmetry, agility and an alert intelligence

Where did they come from?

There are a number of stories in relation to the origins of Miniature Horses, from selective breeding, through to them being descendants of Welsh Pit Ponies or Shetland Ponies. A London Magazine in 1796 published two articles about the importation from Bengal of a "tiny black stallion measuring only 30 inches" and a "little mare only two foot four inches high" from the East Indies. While these reports lend some credence to the belief that Miniature Horses trace their origins back to Europe where they were bred for royalty there does not appear to be records to substantiate this belief. In regards to Miniature Horses in New Zealand - In 1980 Eden Hore imported the first American Miniature Horses (5 stallions and 13 mares) into New Zealand with David Goudie importing a large shipment of American and English Miniature Horses in 1988. Miniature Horses in New Zealand include American, English, Australian and South American bloodlines

What can you do with a Miniature Horse?

Miniature Horses make wonderful pets and companions for people of all ages. Miniature Horse shows are run across the country with the youngest competitors competing in junior youth classes for children under 12 years of age. The oldest competitors are in their 80’s. Classes at shows range from Halter Classes where the horse is judged on its type etc. through to jumping, harness (horses pulling carts) and obstacle (horses being led around courses containing a number of obstacles)