National Geographic : 1985 Mar
charmed by their friendly, confident nature. Horses shorter than 141/2 hands (58 inches) at the withers (top of the shoulders) are tech nically ponies. The Shetland, around 43 inches tall, is called a pony, not a miniature. Miniatures start nine inches shorter, and prices go up as size goes down. "For a mature animal 32 to 34 inches you could expect to pay $1,000 and up; 30 to 32 inches, at least $5,000; 30 inches or less, probably $10,000 or more," Jack Gerhart, AMHA's former president, told me. "In the East, add perhaps another $1,000." That's pretty expensive just to have something cute grazing in the backyard. Many miniatures, however, are bought for breeding, as an investment. "What advice would you give those start ing out?" my wife, Jane, and I asked breed ers from California to the Carolinas. Joan Embery, mini-horse breeder, television per sonality, and goodwill ambassador for the San Diego Zoo, spoke for all: First, be well informed.