AMHA new Halter Stock Horse Division!

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I agree with Kendra's comment about Minis going the way of the Quarter Horse-almost like 2 distinct breeds.Just wonder even now how many of the top winning refined upheaded Mins do any performance classes and place well.I am concerned about the ultra thin legs I am seeing on many of the Minis in the ring.How long before we begin to see popped splints, bowed tendons and other leg issues like big horses have that we have not seen much in Minis in previous years.
Does this mean a new standard of perfection is to be written for the stock type horse?

To me, stock horses are not the type of athlete I look for as I come from a dressage background. I look for movement and balanced conformation of a HORSE which is where I differ now and why I am at a crossroads.

The horse type I like is not competitive in either division so I am moving on to carriage driving at an entry level.
I think this is awesome!!!!!!! There are many folks out there with beautiful horses but just cant compete in the 'greyhound' classes that I have seen halter leaning towards. (though they are stunning as well) I think this is just another step in promoting a versatile aspect of the Mini world.
I definitely like the idea of requiring entry in at least one performance class for these horses! Then award a high point for the most points for halter and performance (like Pinto does) and you will get my attention. The big breeders will use it for their driving horses, but still an improvement. My issue is that I WANT a horse with good balanced conformation but don't want to do what you need to do to them to be competitive in AMHA halter. Don't confuse type or conformation with CONDITIONING.
Yes, I see the problem as it is in many breeds, including our Shetlands and current miniatures; where one type blends into another in some cases. A grey area, where a horse is almost neither this nor that in type. And then it begins to become almost fad like (don't mean this as a slur) where one type becomes the "thing" and a slightly lesser horse in "type" becomes overlooked. And it's nothing new. It's been around for ages.
Does this mean a new standard of perfection is to be written for the stock type horse?

To me, stock horses are not the type of athlete I look for as I come from a dressage background. I look for movement and balanced conformation of a HORSE which is where I differ now and why I am at a crossroads.

The horse type I like is not competitive in either division so I am moving on to carriage driving at an entry level.
I've seen plenty of Quarter Horses that are true athletes but look at AQHA the biggest horse registry in the world where they themselves have a performance halter class, sure its the complete opposite from us there open halter horses are heavily muscled that don't fit their frame and can't be athletic to do any sort of performance events they created the performance halter class to give the smaller athletic horses a chance to compete in a halter class when they themselves are nice individuals they just can't compete against the giant hulk looking halter horses.
I don't think it's wrong to allow minis to have different types. It's completely different than AQHA, which has "types" within a breed, where performance horses essentially are completely different than halter horses. Why? Because we don't have a "miniature quarter horse association" or a "miniature arabian association" or a "miniature thoroughbred association". We have a miniature HORSE association. That should mean (to me at least) a miniature of ANY BREED OF HORSE. My thoughts are that there should be room for all breed types in the mini association, similar to the Pintos, who recognize they are a COLOR breed and welcome any breed type.

I think comparisons to other single breeds are not supportable. The devil is in the details, and yes, the judging of this new division will make a big difference in how it evolves, because it too will evolve. But I don't see anything wrong with - in fact would welcome - the two divisions evolving in DIFFERENT directions. It brings in more players, which is what is needed to keep the organization viable. I wish I could show in the new division, but my "stock types" are AMHR and oversize for AMHA. : (
My hope is that it works out, too. Sadly, so many of these ideas are better in theory.
I hope this works for the shows. But someone said that "they" are picking the greyhound. Well, who is they? Judges,-they determine which type wins in the show ring. So find out what type that judge likes and go or stay home. If you care about winning. The best show manager I ever knew, always made sure she had judges of different persuasions, that wouldn't fall in line, but stick to what they liked. Also I feel that judges should have to write a little description as to what they are looking for. Judges are giving us their opinion and that is what we hire them for, but if you knew ahead what they like, you could or could not subject your self to their opinion.

Adding - Yeah I think all show managers should demand a little write up from the judges they hire, as to what they like to see in both halter and performance, not just their names.
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What an absolutely 'bang-up' idea, LaVern!! I agree 100%! Anyone worth their salt as a judge should be required to be able to clearly state what they are looking for and what their parameters are....
How exactly does a judge articulate (admit) or even notice preferences like "I will place a pretty head over a weak hip" or "I tend to pin horses with big front end action over breaks in gaits or hind impulsion?"

Judging is way too many variables in a way too unpredictable playing field. I've still got to say that for the vast majority, judges place fairly. And those who say otherwise just have sour grapes. No one can see through the judges eyes.
I like your idea Margo.When I go o our state fair and watch cattle and hog judging when the judge places each animal he /she has the mike and states why that placement was made.I think it should be that way in horses(wishful thinking)
The only way that would work is if the judge, and I don't think it would work with with more then 1 judge, explained what he likes and dislikes during the class. Make it a show/clinic at the same time. Of course people must be prepared for criticism if the judge doesn't care for your horse but IMO it's a learning experience for everybody. The problem with doing it after each class for our shows is it will take so long because our shows are long enough as it is.

But I totally agree when I was at a fair the judge was talking about each animal that was in the ring and I thought that would be awesome if we had that at one of our shows we go to. As far as the judges not picking like they are suppose to I think most of your judges are judging right and most of it is sour grapes. BUT, their have been plenty I have questioned on. Yes some will go off type, it's bound to happen, we see it all the time, but its not fair to bash an idea down already before it has begun and say people will complain because a judge will judge off type. It's going to happen, and you won't stop it from happening.
I think this is a wonderful idea!!!! I was so excited when I heard this!! It gives everyone a chance to have a good time, show their horses and win a ribbon and points and maybe even realize a dream with the horse of their heart!. I am sorry there are some who are against it, but from their posts sound like they are not participating and AMHA anyhow.

As far as having too many splits in size. I disagree. I love being able to complete against other horses of the same size. That is one of the main reasons I don't show AMHR, not enough size splits for me. As far as the World show not being prestigious enough....They are still some of the best horses in the industy and I am proud to compete in that arena!! Not trying to be rude but so many have nothing to say but negative spewing, I love to hear others ideas but the negativity and slurs get old, which is why I rarely venture here anymore
Thank you for the updates! I've followed this with much interest. With this division being developed, I'm seriously reconsidering some of my reasons for choosing not to join AMHA. It definitely gives me a venue that may be more appropriate/competitive for the types of animals I prefer. It's also another reason for me to consider competing in halter.

I'll surely be looking for an opportunity to observe it in my area!

As an aside, saw a couple of craigslist ads that had recently been updated (and prices raised accordingly!) They were touting the "these horses will do well in the new AMHR stock division" line as a great new marketing tool. I forwarded a link to this thread as well as one to the AMHA website. Included in the email I explained that I was sending educational information. Haven't received a reply and ads haven't been corrected.

Makes me sad and the misinformation just a mistake? I'm hoping so, as the the option is that it's on purpose to mislead newcomers.

Makes me SO VERY GLAD I found this forum and that so many of you give very generously of your time and experience. You've saved me from making many purchasing mistakes. You've also helped me refine my ideals and 30 year (in my case 15 year--since I got started late) plan. Being well-educated is the most effective way....for accomplish my goals.

Off semi-related soap box now!!!

Again, thanks y'all!!
I have been privileged to be part of this process and certainly look forward to seeing how things progress from here... and yes... I said progress! I feel this IS PROGRESS!

It may have a few bumps along the way, but think of the possibilities. For 2014, a year of BEGINNING for this new area, please help support this new concept by trying it out with some of your horses. Get out there! There is no way to really know how it will turn out until we GO FOR IT!!! and that is what we as an Executive Committee, Board of Directors and membership have decided to do. We need to see the people who are excited for this, the judges need to see the horses out there in the ring ~ the different types ~ so that they can in their own minds work on perfecting their judging. We need to have participation and let others see how much FUN we have.

My son and I have been showing for years. Not because of WINNING... though it sure does get exciting when the judges like what you are doing. Each and every show we go, with our horses as prepared as we can have them at that point, we show our hearts out, sometimes we place, sometimes we don't and ... sometimes we WIN! But most importantly we learn something new at each show and we have FUN!!!

At one show we were at years ago, a judge (who was judging worlds that year) came up to me after one of the classes and said... "man... you and your son sure have fun out there" ( we were showing 2 driving horses against each other and having a blast with it) I looked at him rather surprised and said..."Well, If we weren't having fun, I sure wouldn't drive 6-8 hours, work my tail off every day, clip horses when it is 100 degrees out.... we better be having FUN!" Fun is not winning every class. Fun is doing something together as a family, meeting new people who have the same passion you do, competing with other folks so you can see what you need to work on, working hard, sweating, crying when you are so frustrated, continuing to work at it and getting to a show and seeing what all that hard work has done!

I think we need to give MORE people the opportunity to have fun with us. I think sometimes the reason there are so few horses at some of the bigger shows in some of the halter classes is because many of the AMHA horses people have just could not compete in the classes with what the judges are pinning according to our current standard of perfection. Though their horses are beautiful, well proportioned and correct, they are a different type. Lets include and welcome these horses and their owners into the show world!!!

I am excited...I am ready.... come on show season 2014 ~ as soon as I can find my roundpen, and my horses are not up to their knees in muck in the ring and yard.... we will be prepping some horses for both the Stock Type and Current Standard Halter Classes!
Thanks Julie/Azariah! I feel your post was very timely for the following reasons:

First--The judges can only pin what's in the ring. Unlike dog shows, where a judge can decide NO dog in the ring meets the breed standard and can withhold placements/points, horse judges must pick a winner. More participation=more opportunities for judges to place animals they feel represent the breed most truly.

Second--it should be FUN!! The majority of us showing aren't professionals. We may be showing to showcase our breeding programs. Correct me if I'm impression is the largest percentage of us do it because we ENJOY it. With so many of the folks I've met during the last 3 years, they've come to miniatures from other breeds. A lot of more...ahem...."experienced" folks. I remember hearing stories and reading about the wonderful, close relationships people developed when they showed for FUN. Wins were celebrated as icing on the cake to hard work. Losses were learning experiences. If your neighbor did great, you celebrated with them.

Perhaps the boom days of the '80's and '90's did a disservice to show venues for ALL breeds. That seems to be when the shift from mom & pop/family shows to a BIG PROFESSIONAL bells and whistle production came about.

Mayhaps by participating in this new division, we can bring some of that homey feeling back to the show venue. As I said, for me, this came about at a good time. As I look for my replacement for Casper, I've very seriously reconsidered my position toward AMHA. That AMHA horse is looking a lot more attractive now.

The other Julie. ;-)

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