She may be small, a mere
17 inches and weighing only 60 pounds. But she is all horse.
Born as a dwarf to a miniature horse, Thumbelina is officially
the worlds smallest horse.
She may never aspire to be a champion show-jumper
she is so tiny she would find it hard to jump over a bucket.
But these things matter little to the feisty Thumbelina,
who has been officially recognized as the worlds smallest
That title was conferred on her in 2006 when the five-year-old
entered the Guinness Book of Records.
The real-life My Little Pony was born on an American farm
to a couple who specialize in breeding miniature horses.
Normally these horses weight about 250lb and rise to a height
of 34 inches when they are fully grown.
But from the day she was born it was clear that tiny Thumbelina
would never grow to that size.
She weighed in at only 8lb the size of a new-born
baby - when she was born. Eventually she grew to just 60lb.
Her amazing size has been explained as dwarfism. This makes
her a miniature of a miniature.
She may be a mini-horse, but small means beautiful as far
as her owners, the Goessling family in Goose Creek farm
in St. Louis, are concerned.
She likes to hang out with the cocker spaniels rather than
the other horses on their 150-acre farm.
When she was born, she was so small we thought she
wasnt going to make it. She looked very ill. We feared
Because her legs are proportionally smaller than her
body and her head, she has to wear orthopaedic fittings
to straighten them out a lot of the time.
But we love her and wouldnt want her any other
way, said Michael Goessling, whose parents Kay and
Paul bred the miniature horses.
She only measures up to the shins of the normal-sized horses
in the paddock.
Michaels parents have bred hundreds of miniature horses,
but they have never had one as small as Thumbelina. She
has become something of a celebrity in her home town in
She lives on a cup of grain and a handful of hay, served
twice a day.
She is expected to live to the age of 17 years because of
her size normal horses live for about 35 years.
She was just a complete fluke and we call her a mini
mini. She is too precious to sell. I think my parents would
sell me before they part with Thumbelina. She has that special
Wow factor, which you only get when you see how small she
really is, said Michael.
While she has the ability to get pregnant and give birth,
the Goessling family have decided not to allow this to happen.
There could be complications during the pregnancy, they
believe, so it is better to avoid the risks. And also they
dont feel it is right that the gene which creates
dwarfism in horses be carried on through future generations.