ASPC Congress

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Are you participating??
No, I am just enjoying looking at the depth of these classes as well as cheering on ponies belonging to good friends of mine and some of the relatives of my ponies!

Sky's sire was undefeated through the Grand Championship again for the 2nd year in a row!

Screenshot 2023-07-28 11.20.39.png
I'm going to tune in for a while! I've never seen a mini/pony show!
It ended on Saturday but you can go back and watch different days here. These are all ponies with a few Shetlands being also miniature size.
Even when it was going on I couldn't find it except at the live link above....I did find past years on youtube, though.
Maybe all the classes for this year are on youtube now?
The videos will not be on Youtube due to Copyright rules. Nationals will also be livestreamed via Rumble this year for the same reason. It is the same streaming company as the one that used Youtube though and they have been doing an outstanding job. You can go back and view this year's videos via the link I posted above however.
I had mare halter on nearly all day! That was great! Some of the horses though, especially in the "modern" classes, naughty!!! I saw rearing and kicking out, my goodness, I'd be fixing that behavior at home tout suite! Not a big fan of that over exaggerated and tense movement myself. I much preferred the classic type, if I can have an opinion... I didn't see any driving classes and it seems that the video link won't allow me to jump ahead. That's disappointing. Interesting show though!!! I'm amused at the need for 2 handlers on 1 pony. I don't ever show with assistance. My animals are trained to be confident and familiar with moving out beside me and standing politely, no chasing them. Just a different world I guess....
@Standards Equine You should be able to skip ahead and see driving classes. If not, the last day was nearly all driving. Yes a lot of people are shocked when they see pony classes, but there are several factors that go into it. Firstly, a lot of the bad behavior this year was linked to swarms of noseeums and biting flies that live in the arena footing. No amount or type of fly spray was helping and the horses were miserable so a lot of them lost it in the ring as a result. Plus there is no AC in the arena so the northern ponies are not used to this heat. A lot of these ponies have minimal handling too, some don't start training until a few weeks before Congress.

Now I am not saying that it is good behavior or that I would be happy with any of my horses doing it. In some cases it is a lack of training. But I know several seasoned horses there who were acting up because of the combination of heat and flies and some mares were in heat. Even some of my most finished horses will act up at a big show like that just due to the crowd and volume of noise that they aren't used to on the local level. And the classes take much longer than local shows so they have to stand for a longer time.

Moderns are basically smaller versions of Hackneys and they were developed from them. ASPR ponies can actually be 50% Hackney so that is where the movement comes from. There are so many different types because everyone has their own style which they like.

The 2 handlers is less about confidence, (though there are some stubborn ones!) and more about getting bigger movement on the rail because that is a major factor in judging there. Also, a lot of the trainers are older and can't run fast enough with the pony themselves, so they have someone younger do the rail work. I can run but I would still have a handle behind me for rail work because they really need to move out big. If I had a weanling too, yeah I would definitely have a helper! 😅
Last edited:
I didn't see much of the show because I didn't know you could go back and watch. Lol. But I see a lot of ridiculous behavior at the smaller shows. This year I showed shetland a little instead of Amhr stock and I realized something. If your horse decides to be a little jerk in the ring...if it's from stress, or lack of training, or flies...there isn't a whole lot of correcting you are going to do with a show halter on. So if your horse doesn't have much time in the ring he might act up. And if he does he might have already figured out that he can do whatever he feels like and you won't do much to correct him. I did wonder about them passing off horses, that's an interesting rule that allows that.
The Moderns are also very likely gingered, and ginger can cause some ponies to get light behind or even kick. And yes--the tailer has nothing at all to do with a lack of training, confidence or "chasing". A good tailer does not chase! Not just anyone can tail--grabbing a friend to help out can be a bit of a disaster if they don't know what they are doing. The Moderns are shown in bits, and you want them pushed up into the bridle so they are set up just so and showing their best movement. My Classics always show with just me, and they know to trot out freely--but if I were to do one up and show it Modern Pleasure (and some of mine would do Modern Pleasure very well if I presented them that way--not all Classics can do Modern Pleasure) I would most definitely want a good tailer.

When I used to show multiple ponies in the various classes, I'd often have a catch handler who couldn't run--so she would present one pony in the line up, then when she needed to work the rail we would trade and I would trot the pony down and back--then trade back so I could run with my own entry. There is no rule against switching handlers in the ASPC division, and a good thing. It is much easier to get a catch handler if you can promise them they won't have to run!!
If your horse decides to be a little jerk in the ring...if it's from stress, or lack of training, or flies...there isn't a whole lot of correcting you are going to do with a show halter on.
Yes exactly! It also isn't proper etiquette to correct them in the ring. Some do figure out that you won't and decide to be jerks. But it can also be as simple as a stallion feeling frisky or a mare in heat. It's really something you don't have much control over.

@Minimor I am interested in learning more about the Moderns! Some of them are amazing movers. I have always shown Classics on my own, but there are a few that I feel would move out better with a tailer.
One question, I noticed most people work the pony against the rail with themselves between the pony and the judge. Is that to keep the horse straight? I would think you would want to keep the pony between you and the judge for a better view and I noticed a few people did do that.

That floating handler/tailer idea is really handy for a lot of people! In some of the youth classes, there was one adult who was helping all of the children in turn. I think it helps the trainers out a lot too, not having to run with each horse, especially with how many horses they are bringing into that hot arena.

Latest posts