difference between mini horses and pony?

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by StellaLenoir, Dec 5, 2007.

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  1. Dec 5, 2007 #1

    StellaLenoir

    StellaLenoir

    StellaLenoir

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    I am sorry if this is a stupid question. I understand minis are horses and ponies are ponies, but what is the real difference? What makes a shetland different than a mini horse?

    How would you tell the difference? [​IMG]

    My minis were sold to me as mini horses. Yet I have had a few horse people say no, they are ponies. I dont care what they are, but at the same time I want to be able to tell the difference.

    I saw so many of the youtube videos of idiots riding small horses. But its ok if they are shetland ponies? I just dont understand why if they are the same size? Does it all depend on build?

    uhg, I am just confused [​IMG]

    But if anyone would like to try to educate me I would really appriciate the help!
     
  2. Dec 5, 2007 #2

    mininik

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    Miniature Horses are a height breed. Being under 14.2 HH, they are ponies. "Shetlands" are a bit more complicated. There are the UK Shetlands and American Shetlands. American Shetlands include Foundation, Classic and Modern types. Some American Shetlands are also registered Miniature Horses due to meeting the height requirements.

    Not a lot of what you'll find on YouTube is correct. Obviously it is NOT okay to over burden ANY animal, regardless of what it's called. [​IMG]
     
  3. Dec 5, 2007 #3

    rabbitsfizz

    rabbitsfizz

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    Oh, please, do not start this again............. [​IMG] :DOH! [​IMG]
     
  4. Dec 5, 2007 #4

    Dona

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    "Miniature Horses" ARE PONIES! :DOH! Technically, anything under 14 1/2 hands is considered a "Pony". "Miniature Horse" is just the name given to the "breed".
     
  5. Dec 5, 2007 #5

    Shari

    Shari

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    The "Miniature horse's" title is a marketing stratgy(spell). Way back when when Shetland pony sales were not good...some breeders got together, started a Registry and called them miniature horses. The Pitch worked. Is as simple as that.

    So yes...our miniature horse's started from old Shetland pony stock and refined over the years.

    They are called Miniature horse's by Registry and Shetland pony by blood.

    They still have the pony winter coat and most have pony type ears.

    What they call "Shetland Pony" in the Registries in the US, are nothing like the original shetlands... many have Hackney blood in them and have been super refined and high action.

    Then there are the original Shetlands.... still bred in the Island's and few other places in the UK. There are very few Originals in the US.

    When I compare Maggie in her winter coat... to a real UK Shetland.. they look the same. Only difference is when you clip Maggie out and I loose half the horse. <VBG>

    I know what my mini's are and have no problems with them. Pony or horse they are still loved by me.

    Added: for riding.. I would not allow anyone to ride my mini'a...they are too small.

    The UK Shetlands can handle more wieght but most I know, just drive them.

    If you want something smaller to ride but bred for Adult weight... look into Icelandic's or Fjords.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2007
  6. Dec 5, 2007 #6

    StellaLenoir

    StellaLenoir

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    Sorry Rabbit, if I opened a can of worms!

    I was just wondering. But what has been posted makes sense. I really do NOT trust anything on Youtube, but it just seemed like riding shetlands is ok, minis no. Which did not make sense to me. I agree an adult or large child should NOT ride a mini of any type.

    I too love my mini whatevers no matter what! They are great and sweet and furry and cute and if their only job is ever that, then thats ok! [​IMG]

    thanks! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Dec 5, 2007 #7
    well to answer your question I am of the belief that MANY NOT ALL BUT MANY minis can be ridden depending on build. I know I had a pony as a kid that met the height for minis he was about 35-36 in and I rode that little guy all day long now he was not ultra refined nor was he huge like a draft pony he was safely in the middle.

    I think alot depends on the build, the age and riding ability of the child.

    A child who is a bit bigger but is an experienced rider will be easier for a pony to carry then a slightly smaller child who is bouncing all over the place however really despite what people say about them many ponies have taught many a kid how to ride and took us from the bouncing all over the place to being able to stay on them during all of there little pranks.

    * edited to add by a bit bigger I dont mean 100 lbs

    Raven is 11 and just under 70 lbs she is tall but she has sat on most of our minis of course not the 29.50 one but none had an issue with it and a couple of them could easily handle her for a couple of laps around the arena no problem
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  8. Dec 5, 2007 #8

    Charlotte

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    Good answers here and we get this question all the time from those just finding miniatures for the first time.

    We have devised a standard answer that is simple for a 'newbie' or the 'just curious' to understand. That answer is ... "A pony is big enough to be ridden, a miniature horse is not big enough to ride" This answer satisfies most people without going into a longer and confusing explanation which the questioner usually isn't interested in anyway. [​IMG]

    Charlotte
     
  9. Dec 5, 2007 #9

    Shari

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    Oh goodness,,,you did not open a can of worms. Is a lot of info folks just don't know or do not want to know about.

    Do not mind folks asking questions at all!! I prefer that folks ask the questions. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Dec 5, 2007 #10

    kaykay

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    miniature horses are a height registry. American shetland ponies are a bloodline. An american shetland pony can be registered miniature horse if it meets the height requirement but a miniature horse can never be hardshipped American Shetland pony.

    Most miniature horses were bred down years and years ago from American Shetland ponies. But their breeders threw away the american shetland papers [​IMG]
     
  11. Dec 5, 2007 #11

    StellaLenoir

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    I do want to know more than just the standard answer. [​IMG]

    I understand the height difference being a registry thing, but good to learn shetlands are a bloodline. Thanks! [​IMG]

    So some shetlands can be minis, but minis cannot be shetlands, unless they were shetlands first? [​IMG] just kidding. I do get that part.

    I am asking more about the body structure, or physical difference (if any0 between a mini and a shetland (or any pony)

    Like, how would you decide what was a mini and what was a pony if you were just able to look at it? no papers or records.
     
  12. Dec 5, 2007 #12

    Minimor

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    In many cases, you wouldn't. Certainly there are some that you would look at & figure it was almost certainly a pony, not a Mini and some you'd look at & figure that has to be a Mini...and even then sometimes you might be wrong!
    As far as riding one and not the other--IMO if you've got a Mini and a shetland...be it an island shetland or an American shetland...if the Mini and the shetland are the same height and more or less the same build, if one was sturdy enough to ride then both are sturdy enough to ride. Assuming of course that the rider isn't too big for either of them. I just don't believe in a 36" shetland being ridden by an overly large rider just because it is a shetland; nor do I believe in a 36" Mini being off limits for riding by a suitably sized child just because it's a Mini.

    As for youtube, there is some incredibly stupid stuff posted on there, and I don't care if the equine in question is a pony or a mini, if the rider looks much too big for the small equine, then he/she is too big to be riding that animal, be it Mini or pony.
     
  13. Dec 5, 2007 #13

    StellaLenoir

    StellaLenoir

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    this seems like one of those things that there is no 'right' answer.

    As far as riding one and not the other--IMO if you've got a Mini and a shetland...be it an island shetland or an American shetland...if the Mini and the shetland are the same height and more or less the same build, if one was sturdy enough to ride then both are sturdy enough to ride. Assuming of course that the rider isn't too big for either of them. I just don't believe in a 36" shetland being ridden by an overly large rider just because it is a shetland; nor do I believe in a 36" Mini being off limits for riding by a suitably sized child just because it's a Mini.

    I 100% agree with this.

    and youtube is full of stupid people! oh my that web site makes me hurt and feel ashamed to be a human [​IMG] I hardly ever go there, but sometimes you just get sucked in somehow! Like if you watch, it will have not been real horses, or I dont know,that it will end better. but it is sad a lot of the time.

    thanks for all the info and anyone else please share your opionions or experience telling the diff in minis and ponies. [​IMG]
     
  14. Dec 5, 2007 #14

    kaykay

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    i think what confuses people is that there always have been american shetland breeders that for years have bred for very small shetlands. These are the ones that are really hard to tell apart from a miniature horse. Then you have the bigger shetlands like my patches. She in no way looks like a miniature horse [​IMG]

    Also I have found the larger shetlands act much more "big horse" like then like a miniature horse. This IS NOT to say they are hot and hard to handle!! The difference is very hard to explain unless you see it for yourself.

    Heres an example this is patches my modern pleasure shetland mare. I think youll agree she looks nothing like a miniature horse. She was my sons first riding horse and my neighbor had ridden her. Patches is 46" She is also trained to drive

    [​IMG]

    Here is another Shetland of mine. She is a classic pony but also will be registered miniature horse. IMO she looks more like a miniature horse. She is from the winks line of ponies which have always bred very small shetlands. She is 36"

    HP Jerichos Peaceable Star

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  15. Dec 5, 2007 #15

    Leeana

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    They ARE ponies [​IMG]

    A pony is anything under 14.2 (or is that .3?) hands tall. A 38'' horse is obviously in that under 14.2 (.3) hand tall catigory therefore they are a pony [​IMG].

    And i bet today allot of those breeders are kicking themselves in the butt for doing so [​IMG]
     
  16. Dec 5, 2007 #16

    LaVern

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    To me, it is a miniature horse if both of its parents are registered AMHA or AMHR miniature horses, and if all grandparents are registered AMHA or AMHR miniature horses and if all of its great grandparents are AMHR or AMHA registered miniature horses-at least. I call those horses full blooded miniature horses. Renee, Lucky Hart Ranch
     
  17. Dec 5, 2007 #17

    miniwhinny

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    They are ponies. Period. Anything else said about them is for marketing and money. They have pony conformation.

    Technically there is more to making a pony than the 14.2 height. Ponies have different conformation, genetics and digestive systems than horses. There ARE horse breeds under 14.2 hands ( I had a half Sorraia and most "true" Spanish Mustangs, Abaco, Sulphur)they are under 14.2 but have horse conformation.

    There again, to complicate matters for zoologists, a horse is a horse is a horse no matter what size. The cut off at 14.2 hands doesn't exist.
     
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  18. Dec 5, 2007 #18

    Katiean

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    IMO if you take a picture of your miniature horse with nothing around to show it is small and it looks like a "BIG HORSE" then you have a miniature horse. So many have short legs, long backs, or are just out of proportion. Those to me are more pony like. Remember, I am not an expert. This (big horse look) is what I would breed for if I were breeding my girls.
     
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  19. Dec 5, 2007 #19

    Chilli's Mum

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    This thread is very interesting for me. My mini is in the part of the studbook called "small horse" because of her height (37.5") but when the lady from the Society came to measure her she said, "Oh, she's pony type" because she is not refined like some of the halter class horses. Not that I care less as I bought her because I liked that she was more solid - I have owned and bred warmbloods for years so a more solid type was to my liking.

    I was then advised not to bother showing her as although she is very pretty she doesn't have the "arabian" look that the lady said the judges like. Once again, I don't care as I don't want to show, I want to just drive for pleasure. It is interesting though how the breed started with a real pony type (Shetland) and now the halter horses are more and more refined. I still think there must be a place for the more solid ponies.
     
  20. Dec 5, 2007 #20

    Warpony

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    I'm with you on that, but I think we are in the minority. I love the really sturdy ones. My mare is far from perfect but I snatched her up because she was the sturdiest stockiest little horse I found and that is what I wanted for driving around here. My gelding is much more refined, but is still young. I'm hoping he fills out some and looks more stocky like his mother and less like his more refined father.
     

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