The origins of the Falabella trace back to the horses of Latin America, as well as the Andalusian horses that the Spaniards brought with them on their conquests; they were later left to survive on their own. Over time, they went through a series of environmental and biological changes that contributed to their development. They adapted and formed a new breed that is completely different from the ones of their native land. The horses had to migrate to find food and water because of the environmental issues; this refined their instincts and their ability to sense danger was sharpened. They were formed into the horses they are today by the family in which their name came from, the Falabella family, and they have continued to develop these horses through many generations. They were first developed on the family's ranch in Argentina.
After continuous cross breeding and isolation, different types of genetic mutations resulted. In fact, it resulted in a breed of horse that the Falabella family didn't see for the first time until the mid-nineteenth century in the herds of the Mapuche Indians of southern Buenos Aires province in Argentina. The selection and breeding took many years to shape the Falabella into a well built horse that stood less than forty inches in height; the qualities of the original Falabella had first acquired had been maintained over the years.
The breed stands only eight inches at birth and they reach their full mature adult height, which is only 20 inches, by two years old. For being so small their whole lives, they are exceptionally strong and able to withstand some of the toughest weather conditions in the region. The Falabella is a rare horse; but at one time it was said that the horse family had over four hundred perfect specimens. Since the breed was not found in many places in the world, it, naturally, had a high price tag among horse enthusiasts. It is said that the Falabella is a highly intelligent animal and has a high desire and love to perform, in fact, with only a few hours of training; it can learn to shake hands, bow, and many other tricks.
In an effort to improve the breed, the Falabella family began introducing specimens of European ancestry such as small Thoroughbreds, Welsh Ponies, Shetlands, Criollos, and other small horse breeds from Eastern Europe. This led to the strengthening of the breed and generations of the Falabella family raised well-bred horses. They were more harmonious in form compared to the horses of previous generations. Notably, the breed's height was reduced to the present thirty inches. Falabellas are also known for their amazing low weight; they're typically about thirty pounds. In fact, one of the smallest Falabellas to date is a mare by the name of "Sugar Dumpling."
Although it sometimes is referred to as a pony; it is in reality a miniature horse and has become one of today's most popular miniature horses.