We all know a horse is a horse, but a newborn Te Aroha foal is so tiny, it wears a miniature dog's coat.

Miniature horse breeder Valerie Walton says the foal, which measures about 42cm, was born early yesterday and is the tiniest she's seen in her 20 years as a breeder.

"He's teeny tiny, but he's bright as a little button," she said.

"The only cover I could find that would fit him was the cover off my miniature schnauzer, all the foal covers were too big."


He was checked by the local vet, and he's in perfect health, she said.

"And he's got attitude to burn."

Unless she could find the perfect home for the foal, who's been named Tiny Tucker, she'd keep him herself.

But he'd be good with someone with a small bit of land, and could even make a city horse.

"In the US people think nothing of having them in the house," Mrs Walton said.

Miniature Horse Association president Vicky Parker said the tiny foals were not uncommon: "We've had them born at 14 inches [36cm]."