This Tiny Horse Wasn't Expected To Survive. Now She's Helping Countless Children Around The World.

Thumbelina is her name, and she is the tiniest horse in the world according to Guinness World Records. Not only is Thumbelina a miniature horse but she was born with dwarfism and stands only seventeen and a half inches tall. Her name was taken from the well known fairy tale about a woman the size of a thumb. Dwarfism can be problematic in miniature horses due to health issues resulting from genetic mutations. However, Thumbelina was born healthy and has been well cared for by her handlers. In fact, Thumbelina is such an easy going little horse that she has been put to work visiting and bringing joy and wonder to children around the country.

The "Thumby Mobile" travels from state to state visiting schools, children's hospitals, fairs, and other special events, while raising money for children's charities. Children love to pet Thumbelina, and she does not seem to mind all the attention, sometimes napping away while the children crowd around her to get a look. Back at home Thumbelina spends her nights sleeping in a dog house.

Miniature horses have been bred for centuries in Europe both as pets and as working animals. They were often a pet of the nobility, and they are known for having a good temperament to serve as companion animals. They were particularly used for work in mine shafts because of their small size. They have also been used as assistance animals for people with disabilities and trained for agility competitions in horse shows. Usually defined as a horse standing at under 38 inches, a miniature horse is about the size of a very small pony. In fact, there remains some controversy and debate between breeders over whether a miniature horse should be considered a horse or a pony.

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