Category Archives: Wiki Dump

Miniature horses – Wiki Dump

Harter wanted to know about “little horses”, which are technically called miniature horses.

What constitutes a miniature horse? According to the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA), a miniature horse must not be taller than “34 inches at the withers, at the last hairs of the mane.” To contrast, thoroughbreds average 64 inches.

The fuck is a “wither” Blake? According to Wikipedia it’s the “ridge” between the front shoulder blades of a four-legged animal:

So is a pony a miniature horse? Thanks for asking, but no.  Wiki tells us that while these miniature horses “are the size of a very small pony, many retain horse characteristics and are considered ‘horses’.”

Then what the heck’s a pony? Ponies measure less than 58 inches, have “thicker manes, tails and overall coat,” shorter legs (proportionally), “wider barrels, heavier bone, thicker necks, and shorter heads with broader foreheads.”  Ponies also retain juvenile features on their faces causing people “unfamiliar with horses [to] confuse an adult pony with a foal.”  When looking at a picture of a miniature horse (of just the horse and no size reference) the miniature horse would look like a full-sized horse.

What are miniature horses used for then? Besides competitions and bachelor parties, they are mainly kept as companion pets.  They can be trained as service animals (like assistance dogs) for disabled people.  AMHA writes on their site that miniature horses have been bred “for pets, novelty, research, monetary gain, mining work, exhibition, and royal gifts.

Any clue when they first came about? Wiki says that as early as the 17th century they were “bred as pets for Europe’s Habsburg nobility.”  AMHA says that the first mention of a miniature horse “being imported into the United States was in 1888.”  Both sources state that the miniature horse comes from the bloodline of the Shetland pony.

So let’s see what they look like. Sure, here’s some pics for you:

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Rhodesian Ridgeback – What Blake Learned (aka the Wiki dump).

These dogs are used to hunt lions and Mark Lee thinks you should own one, so by request he asked Blake to study these animals (not in person, idiot, on the innernets).

Why Rhodesian? – Because they were first bred in Bulawayo, Rhodesia.  (What – you didn’t know that Rhodesia is now Zimbabwe?)

Why Ridgeback? – Because the hair on their spine that runs in the opposite direction of the rest of their fur forms a ridge… on their back…

What are they known for? – Besides the unique hair, these guys were used in the hunting of lions.  They didn’t really hunt the lions, but created a distraction for their owners to shoot a lion while it was tired and wasn’t looking.  (Here’s why you can’t trust Wiki – the line on Wikipedia does not have a citation… stupid dorks.)

Temperament? – American Kennel Club (AKC) describes the dog as “people dogs”, “trustworthy with children”, and “likes to be where you are”.  Wiki describes them as “loyal and intelligent”, “strong-willed”, and “penchant for mischief, though lovingly”.  They were bred for hunting and guarding and are “reserved” around strangers.

Are they cute? – 24 to 27 inches tall; 70 to 85 lbs.  You ain’t putting this one in your purse.

Shed? – Again, we quote AKC “due to their short coats Ridgebacks shed very little and require only weekly brushing.”  I used to hate brushing my dog, but she had hair and didn’t shed…  I’m a huge fan of the no-shed.

What do I have to look out for? – According to Wiki, hip dysplasia and dermoid sinus are the major health concerns in these breeds.  They live up to an average age of 11 years.

Verdict? – They look cool, sound nice, and need exercise.  Again, I prefer no-shed but will definitely keep these on my radar for inevitable dog purchase in the next 20 years.  Here are some pics and a video from Animal Planet’s “Dogs 101: Rhodesian Ridgeback” to sway you:

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