AMHA Hardship Closing

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Charlotte

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Regarding AMHA & AMHR, first I would like to say that what I am writing isn’t about which organization is ‘better’. Each organization is it’s own unique entity. One isn’t better than the other, just ‘different’ from the other, which is as they are meant to be.

What I am writing is simply to try to clear up some misconceptions about AMHA. There don’t seem to be very many AMHA members that read/ post here any more so I think a lot of misconceptions go unaddressed.

To begin with, AMHA is set up a bit differently than AMHR/ASPC.

In AMHA the membership must vote on and approve of all Rule & Bylaw changes. The BOD can’t change what the membership has voted unless there is overwhelming reason such as legal council advises such, or the vote is found to be against the ByLaws (usually this was missed during research phase) or there is reason to believe the item voted on may cause great damage to the organization. In my 20+ years as an AMHA member I have only seen a few times when member vote has been overturned and most of the time the item required rewriting and presenting again.

In AMHR the BOD has the final say on any changes within the organization. The members attending convention may vote on issues but the Board has the final say.

Neither of these methods of governing the two organizations is better than the other! They are just DIFFERENT!

Now I’ll address some of the things I have read on the ‘Closing AMHA' thread.

1. The closing of hardship registry by AMHA should not have slipped up on anyone. It was voted in 3 years ago by the members and was circulated through the process for a year before that. At the time it was passed by the membership, foals born that year would reach three before the new rule went into effect. Plenty of time for anyone to get horses hardshipped.

2. Although becoming a recognized breed certainly entered into the thinking of many members, closing the registry is based on much more that just that. The AMHA has passed a new standard of perfection that describes a horse like animal, not an American Shetland Pony. American Shetland Ponies no longer fit AMHA’s standard of perfection to the same extent they used to when the standard was more vague. The people who have gravitated to AMHA very much want a small, 34” and under, horse like animal. Please refer to the AMHA Standard of Perfection on the web site.

3. I would be very surprised if another rule change extending, or reinstating, hardshipping would be passed by the membership. The members who attend the meetings and vote seem to like the direction AMHA horses are going and support the closing of the registry.

4. Every time an oversize division is brought to the floor, it is voted down. I have my doubts that closing the registry will change that. I wouldn’t bet on a lawsuit changing anything either. First, the 34 inch limit is fundamental to AMHA. It is in the articles of incorporation, in the bylaws and in the rules. It does not compare in importance to what was called excessive white in the AQHA. In addition, anyone wanting to sue the AMHA now has to go to mediation and is on the hook financially for part of that cost. Third, the only place the AMHA can be sued is in a Texas court in the same county the AMHA resides in. No organization should be subjected to repeated ‘frivolous’ law suits. We are all aware of the cost of a suite happy society when we pay our various insurance premiums.

5. It is felt by the majority of members that once the only way to get an AMHA horse is to acquire one born of AMHA registered parents, the value of AMHA horses may go up all around the world.

6. As far as the hardshipping fees being too expensive, all registration fees are voted on and set by the membership.

7. For most of their history, the animals of AMHA and AMHR have been pretty much the same. Look at all the double registered horses, if you need proof. Things are now changing. The AMHA is breeding towards a small Arabian type of horse like animal and AMHR is going to the American Shetland Pony type of animal. The AMHR show judges have been told to pick pony characteristics not horse characteristics and that smaller is never better. This is a fundamental difference from AMHA. Although it is not talked about here on Lil Beginnings, there are many who feel that the AMHR is going to become the American Miniature Shetland Pony Registry. At least as of now, that is just not the direction the AMHA members want to go. The goal of the AMHA has always been to breed the smallest and most perfect horses.

8. I do find a bit confusing the statements about the small gene pool of miniature horses. Many years back when Frank was asked to research DNA identification testing for AMHA he had several geneticists tell him that miniature horses had the most diverse genetic pool of any modern day horse breed. I can certainly understand that considering the different and various horse and pony breeds and crosses that have gone into the making of Miniature Horses.

To end, please remember what I said in the first paragraph…..Each organization is DIFFERENT from the other and that is JUST FINE!
 

ohmt

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Thank you for posting, Charlotte! While I agree with you on some points (each registry has its good and its bad) , I do disagree with you on some points. Yes, 3 years was plenty of time to get horses hard shipped if you are looking at time only. As far as saving up to pay the high cost of hardshipping, well that is a whole different story. We progeny hard shipped a stallion last year (which was a nightmare), and that will be our last. I have quite a few mares I had wanted to hardship/progeny hardship, but after looking at costs and the market of what we sell and what we want to breed, we will be hardshipping all of our AMHA only horses into AMHR and will leave it at that. Maybe with more time to save, I'd do a few more, but I know that the registry can't please everyone.

I greatly disagree with you regarding point 7. I find AMHR to be MUCH closer to a small arabian (an more "horse" like as some put it-though they are ALL horses so I find that usage....strange) than what I see in the AMHA ring, though neither are really as close as some would like to think. AMHR is getting the longer necks (that don't need sweating), shorter backs, and much better length of leg in most cases. I will still be breeding for 34" and under, but I am not apposed to using a miniature horse (which is defined as being 38" and under) that is a little bit taller than that to get to where I would like my horses to be conformationally. I believe it is the same for many who are using shetland influence, but still wanting "A" sized horses. The AMHR shows that I have attended, it is always the most conformationally correct horse that wins and there is rarely a show where I think a judge is specifically looking for the shetland influence. I see "AMHA" horses beat "AMHR" horses with shetland influence, and vice versa. The best conformation wins, thank goodness. I have not seen the new AMHA standard of perfection. That's ok though, I will not be showing AMHA anymore and will only be registering AMHA to preserve the papers. AMHA used to be our go to registry here, but now AMHR is more convenient for showing, more cost efficient, and more attuned to what I'd like to produce. Maybe one day that will change and I will still be supporting AMHA through registrations, but it will no longer be absolutely necessary that our horses be AMHA.
 

Minimor

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Can you post the AMha standard of perfection here please? I am curious as to how it excludes an American Shetland that is under 34"

Quite frankly I have seen dozens and dozens of American Shetlands that are more 'horse like' than any AMHA mini is so I am curious as to the wording of the standard.
 

Charlotte

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"I will still be breeding for 34" and under, but I am not apposed to using a miniature horse (which is defined as being 38" and under)"

OHMT, any horse over 34" is not a miniature Horse by AMHA definition.

MINIMOR, SOP is on AMHA web site.

Unfortunately I don't have time to reply to everyone. I am sorry for this and just hope the above helps to clear up some misconceptions.
 

Lewella

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The AMHR show judges have been told to pick pony characteristics not horse characteristics and that smaller is never better.
Really? Exactly when and where was this supposed to have taken place? Last time I checked this most certainly is NOT part of AMHR judges training and would be in contradiction to AMHR's standard of perfection and show rules.
 

mdegner

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I could swear I saw a Judges Clinic video over the past two years with--I think--Amber Montgomery saying something to the effect the pony characteristics and standard was the desirable one for the AMHR. That was my impression while watching it but again that was some time ago and my memory is not great. I borrowed the video from someone so I can't double-check. Fortunately, judges are human and I have seen AMHAish horses win in AMHR and vice versus this past year.

We spent considerable money over the last 5 years getting the last of our horses registered in AMHA. Plan to stay with both and as Charlotte said above, each registry is different. The biggest reasons I like the AMHA are DNAed horses--you know what you really have--and that in my personal experience, AMHA will investigate misconduct. AMHR has many more shows in my area and tends to be a more inclusive organization. If we could find a triple registered stallion that we liked, we would consider acquiring him. I probably won't acquire an AMHR/ASPC stallion--don't care what he looks like--because I want to keep the AMHA registration. We will see how it all falls out and like all the evolution over the years, will be interesting. Just my opinion....
 

JMS Miniatures

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I'm curious as to what is the difference between the new SOP vs the old one. I read the new one some time back but really was confused at to what changed.

I also agree that AMHA and AMHR are going different routes, which is why I think some members would leave AMHR and vice versa. AMHR is definitively a stronger shetland influence, and I also agree that it seems to be becoming the American Miniature Shetland Registry. Also made me almost changed to AMHA, but cannot afford to change my program now. Maybe in the future but right now AMHR offers more to me. But the Shetlands do bring something extra too the registry and better horses are being bred. I do feel AMHR needs a more detailed Standard of Perfection but I know it will be written towards the shetland look. Also mandatory DNA on breeding animals.

I hope no lawsuits will happen on oversize AMHA miniatures and be a financial stable decision. The only thing that really concerns me is closing it when no test yet too see which lines are dwarf producers. If this succeeds great, I think AMHA is a strong organization that has nice horses and hope it continues to do so.
 

JMS Miniatures

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I could swear I saw a Judges Clinic video over the past two years with--I think--Amber Montgomery saying something to the effect the pony characteristics and standard was the desirable one for the AMHR. That was my impression while watching it but again that was some time ago and my memory is not great. I borrowed the video from someone so I can't double-check. Fortunately, judges are human and I have seen AMHAish horses win in AMHR and vice versus this past year.
I think she said something like that. I also believe she said that she liked to see a great mover and would like to see them judged on the rail like the Shetlands do. Of course that's just one person.
 

Minimor

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I too would like to see AMHR shown on the rail the way ponies are...I don't know how AMHA shows, if they have any emphasis on movement yet?...I do think movement should count for something in a halter class.
 

disneyhorse

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I fail to see what the difference between what an American Shetland type and a full size Arabian... Except maybe a more extreme head.... I think the American Shetland type is so popular because it features the long legs, long neck, and flat top line that the mini has lacked for a long time, plus movement...

I see a few AMHA registered American Shetlands... So then what?

I don't think closing the AMHA registry is a bad thing. I also don't believe the gene pool is small... The miniature breed is one of the largest in the country...
 

Riverdance

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Thank you Charlotte for explaining to everyone. AMHA people hardly go on Lilbeginnings because of all the arguing with AMHR members. I used to show AMHR many years ago, and I have known for years that the judges have been told by AMHR to go for the pony characteristics. Remember, AMHR is a pony club, run by pony people. No one in this club has any final say. At the time I was a member, only people who have had ponies for at least 5 years could even be on the board. After several years of showing AMHR, I realized that unless my horses looked like miniature Shetlands, AMHR was not the club to show in. They have tried for years to get people to buy ASPC horses. Back then, they were not worth much. For now, it seems to have worked. I believe in the future the pendulum will swing the other way once you can no longer hardship anything into AMHA.
 

ohmt

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OHMT, any horse over 34" is not a miniature Horse by AMHA definition.
So if you had a foal from two of your "under" horses grow to be 34.5" and someone came to see said horse (unfamiliar with horses), would you tell that person it is a miniature horse?

Just curious
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Becky

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So if you had a foal from two of your "under" horses grow to be 34.5" and someone came to see said horse (unfamiliar with horses), would you tell that person it is a miniature horse?

I would tell them it had outgrown it's AMHA registration papers.
 

Belinda

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Thank you Charlotte for explaining to everyone. AMHA people hardly go on Lilbeginnings because of all the arguing with AMHR members. I used to show AMHR many years ago, and I have known for years that the judges have been told by AMHR to go for the pony characteristics. Remember, AMHR is a pony club, run by pony people. No one in this club has any final say. At the time I was a member, only people who have had ponies for at least 5 years could even be on the board. After several years of showing AMHR, I realized that unless my horses looked like miniature Shetlands, AMHR was not the club to show in. They have tried for years to get people to buy ASPC horses. Back then, they were not worth much. For now, it seems to have worked. I believe in the future the pendulum will swing the other way once you can no longer hardship anything into AMHA.

I would just like to say First everyone has their right to their opinion !! Next I want to say as a Director for AMHR ,a Trainer ,a breeder, a Senior Carded Judge for ASPC/AMHR and a person that has been to the Judges Clinic at Convention every year for the last 10 or so Years , I HAVE NEVER HEARD ONE OF THE FOLKS GIVING THE CLINIC tell the Fellow Judges when Judging AMHR Mini's make sure that they look like a Shetland
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:frusty Why does a topic like this always turn into a R againist A
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This is more than likely why lots of folks have stopped coming on these subjects and posting .. And Look it was NOT a AMHR saying oh me look at AMHA they don't believe a miniature horse can be over 34".. It was a peson saying that R tells their judges to only look at ponies , Do you know that maybe 90 % of the judges judge both AMHA & AMHR , and do you know that I have seen many times the same horses win at Both shows
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:yes ,

So I am sorry Riverdance if you feel that is what judges are told , but in all my years and in viising with fellow judges from many other ASSOC. I have never had one person tell me anything close to that .. This world is plenty big enough for both AMHA & AMHR and both offer good things for everyone .. And let me say the Shetland blood has been in the AMHA horses since time begin !!
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They did not just drop out of the sky , And if closing the reg , is thinking it is keeping more of the shetland blood out YOU are WRONG , It is already there by the truck loads.. So why don't we all just try and get along and enjoy what you personally want to do with your horses /ponies
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:GiveUp

Ok have not posted on here in sometime , but I am off my soap box now .. Oh I wish everyone a safe trip to R Nationals , I hear we have over 1,500 horses entered so looks like another successful year .. with lots of great compettion..
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ohmt

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Well, ya! But, that wasn't the question and i'm well aware of AMHA guidelines. I'm guessing you'd register the horse AMHR and still call it a mini.
 

sdmini

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Alright Amanda, a horse out of two AMHR parents that goes over 38".....still a mini? Not by AMHR definitions.

AMHA wants to be separate and different from AMHR. That is not a bad thing folks! If both associations were exactly the same what benefit would there be to being a member of both?

The one place I've got to call attention to is AQHA did NOT get sued over excessive white (which was a fundamental defining definition back at the inception of AQHA anyways). AQHA was sued by reiners and cutters who did embryo transfers and the resulting foals not allowed into the association because of the AQHA rule that stated one mare, one foal per year. The state of TX, in Amarillo no less, said that a horse could not be denied registration from two parents in good standing with the association. I'm fairly certain AQHA's lawyers told them they wouldn't loose either. Seeing the writing on the wall AQHA did away with the excessive white rule as well as the "albino" rule.
 

Riverdance

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Belinda,

I am not saying anything bad about either registry and do not know why you are taking it that way. I have been told by AMHR judges (many years ago), that is one of the things they were told. If you have not heard that, then great, but my experience way back when was just that. (it has been years since I showed AMHR). Looking at what, for the most part ,is winning today and seeing everyone in AMHR wanting to now own Shetlands, they have accomplished what they have been trying to do for years. Does that make AMHR a bad club or less than AMHA? No, they just like a different style. To me that is great and separates the two clubs goals even more. With the closing of the AMHA books, hopefully in the future the 34" and under minis will look like little horses and not little ponies. I know that triple registered horses have done well in AMHA at the shows, but many people in AMHA are not happy with that. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT ONE CLUB IS BETTER THAN ANOTHER, JUST THAT THEY LIKE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES.
 

ohmt

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In that case, no! But there are two registries and unless AMHA wants to say AMHR counts for nothing, a mini is 38" and under. If not, why are people registering their oversized AMHA horses with the American MINIATURE Horse Registry? There is not, however, a reputable miniature horse registry that allows over 38".

I have two wonderful registries at my disposable and will continue to enjoy them both for my minis 27" to 38"
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Will lay this silly argument to rest.
 

Dontworrybeappy

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The state of TX, in Amarillo no less, said that a horse could not be denied registration from two parents in good standing with the association.
Which will certainly help if AMHA closes its books, to allow horses from two AMHA parents to keep it's papers even if it goes over 34"
 

Jacki

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Which will certainly help if AMHA closes its books, to allow horses from two AMHA parents to keep it's papers even if it goes over 34"
I'm satisfied with AMHA closing it's book, as a buyer it is very important to me when a horse is registered both AMHR and AMHA. I'm relatively satisfied with the partial closing of the AMHR book, it could be completely closed and I would be happy. So I really don't have a problem with the way either association is currently qualifying registration.

That said, I'm not sure I understand how the TX QH lawsuit impacts AMHA and yet it does not AMHR? If it impacts AMHA and could force them to recognize a horse from two AMHA parents that goes over 34" then does AMHR have to register a horse from two AMHR parents if it goes over 38"?

I look forward to hearing more about this. Thanks.

Jacki Loomis
 

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