In the year 1600s and 1700s, miniature horses were developed in Europe. These small horses were usually seen as pets of the noble people. Some of these horses were used by miners to transport coal in mines in England and other parts of Europe. The use of ponies in mines was popularized in the 1800s after an act was passed and approved which prohibits the use of children in mines. Ponies were brought to the US in the 1800s and were used as helpers in the mines.
Ponies are very strong. There are several stories about where the strength of ponies comes from. For their miniature sizes, they are comparatively very strong. The Shetland ponies has cultivated the land in England for several centuries, they have also carried peat and seaweed for the farm fields and also are used as transportation for people.
As for the miniature horses, there is an ongoing controversy whether its characteristics will be that of a horse or pony. There are breeders that prefer the characteristics of a pony. The short, big legs and elongated torsos are preferred than other breeders. The name of the miniature dispute is also a topic hot with controversy. There are those that use midget pony, pygmy horse and miniature horse.
There is also a debate if miniature horses are appropriate to be used as assistant for people with disabilities. Those who are in favor of using horses to assist people reason out that miniature horses are much stronger, live longer and could be trained better than dogs. Another reason to point out is that there are some cultures that consider the dogs unclean which would not make them suitable for the job. Those who are not in favor of this view are concerned of the nature of the miniature horses to be prey animals. These animals have an instinct to either fight or go away which will greatly reduce their usefulness.
Some business minded people take the pony as their brand trademark. Brony.com has been in the business of retailing my little pony stuffs for several years now. Their products range from toys to garments like my little pony pajamas.