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Tango

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It has been suggested that a new topic be started on this subject so let's take the opportunity and discuss the Base Of The Withers measuring rule before the June meeting.

Is this new way of measuring a good thing for AMHA and why?

Is this new way of measuring a bad thing for AMHA and why?

Please posters - let's keep this discussion civil and productive.

Nikki
 

R3

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I think it is a bad thing, for several reasons:

1. AMHA (and AMHR) already measure in an 'odd' place. The Last Hair Of The Mane (LHOTM) is totally out of synch with the rest of the equine world, so we are already looked at like we are nuts by the rest of the 'horse' world. The Base of the Withers (BOTW) will make us look even worse.

2. The 'standard' for measuring equines is the highest point of the withers, or the Top of the Withers (TOTW). It is where miniatures are already being measured Internationally. There is already a 'problem' with the International sale of our horses, as our AMHA horses would often not be registerable in the country to which they were exported, as they did not measure 34" or less at the TOTW. So, it creates an issue for overseas sales. Changing the measuring point to the BOTW makes the situation even worse, as there will be an even greater difference between the measurements taken at the BOTW and the TOTW, as opposed to the LHOTM and the TOTW.

3. The Base of the Withers as location to measure is truly ludicrous, in my opinion. Again, I feel this for many reasons.

... A. It is not a 'known' location within the horse world. I have been around the 'big' horse world for over 40 years, and I had never even heard of the term, at least as it might relate to a measurement point. (I knew about withers of course, just not a conformation spot referred to as the 'BOTW".)

...B. If I didn't (and still don't) know where the BOTW is supposed to be located for measurement purposes, how is the general membeship supposed to know where this point is located?

...C. After researching on the internet, I found the withers described in terms of which thorasic (spine) vertebrae made them up. There was no consensus of which bones made up the withers. It varied from 2nd to 8th, 5th to 9th, 2nd to 6th, and 3rd to 10th. So, just based on that, which 'bone' do we use to measure from, the 6th, 8th, 9th, or 10th?

...D. So, if we can even agree on which vertebrae it is, HOW do we find the right one? How do we 'count' vertebrae? I can feel the (barely, on some horses) the slight ridges between the vertebrae, but I don't know which 'number' vertebrae I am touching.

...E. It was said at the Annual Meeting that there is a 'notch', and how easy it was to find. I have not been able to find a 'notch', and even if I found a spot that I believe to be the right place, how do I verify it is the right vertebrea? (see my concern above).

...F. We would also need to know if we are supposed to be measuring on the 'top' of the vertebrae, or the 'bottom' of the vertebrae.

4. Unless there is a specific vertebrae listed, and a fool-proof way to determine when you have found the correct one, then we (AMHA) set ourselves up for protests and law-suits.

5. We might even have to have a medical device (x-ray or ultrasound?) available to verify that a horse is measured at the correct vertebrae if there is a protest.

I do not feel that this rule change should be implemented, due the risk of law-suits, until these items are defined:

...A. Which vertebrae we are using, and whether it is the top or the bottom of it.

...B. How we can 'prove' we have measured from the correct place if there is a protest.

Of course, I think the new measuring rule should never have been passed in the first place, for all the reasons I stated above, but from a 'legal' standpoint, many of my reasons would not be enough for the Board to stop the rule from taking effect in January. BUT, prior to the 2008 Annual Meeting, The Board chose to stop the implementation of a 'protest' rule that had been passed at the 2007 Meeting, as they said that it was subject to creating law-suits. The did not have the new rule printed in the 2008 rulebook that went into effect on 1 Jan 2008. The matter was brought up at the 2008 meeting, and after MUCH discussion, a reworded version of the rule was approved by the Membership. The Membership had the option of totally laying the new rule aside, and staying with the 'old' rule, or voting on a new version of the 'protest' rule that would be enforceable and unlikely to cause a law-suit. (Since the new rule expanded a member's right to protest a horse they thought had been measured incorrectly, they opted for the revised version, vs. going back to the status quo.)

I think the potential for law-suits is even more likely with this new measuring rule , so I think the precedent has already been set that would allow the Board to block implementation. This would allow the Membership to vote to go back to the 'old' way, which is the LHOTM. Even though I don't think the LHOTM is the 'best' place, going back to that would be better than changing to the BOTW.

Just as a footnote, I hope that some day we change to the TOTW, with a grand-father clause so it does not negatively impact currently registered horses, (and I have put those proposal in at the last Annual Meeting). But, right now, stopping the BOTW measurement is more important to me than a change to the TOTW.

(edited to correct typo on LHOTM)
 
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JMS Miniatures

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I do not like the measurment at the base of the withers. It is very hard to find that "magic spot" on the miniatures. It also changes the whole standard of perfection and it is letting taller horses in, so in my eyes they are not keeping it to the true 34" mini which I find AMHA so uniqe with, not anymore with this new measuring system. Also they did not ask the whole general members. This is a big change, they should let the members of AMHA vote on it, not just the few 100 that were able to show up and decide for ourselves. Also they say this eliminates cheating for shows, I honestly do not see how this will change. The rules they have now are good rules, they just need to follow the rules and get stewards that knows where the last hair of the mane is and not let the compeitior decide.
 

Jill

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If you like the look of horses who would measure taller than 34" if done the traditional way of measuring a minis, then it is a good thing for AMHA -- but a way that seems like a slick trick that no one's really silly enough to fall for. Still a taller horse.

Personally, I do like the look of B size minis. I only own one, a BTU son who is a show gelding, but I often like the look of taller minis. So do the people at AMHA who made and passed the rule. I've checked on my own horses, and they do measure taller at the last hair than at the base of the withers (duh...).

So, I do think the taller horses are a good them for AMHA, but I think the more honest and respectable thing to do would have been to just admit that now AMHA will accept horses up to 35" or 36" or ??".

I feel pretty much indifferent to be honest. If they keep the base of the withers thing, it lets in horses I think are worthy of having AMHA papers but it also makes them look even sillier than the last hair of the mane thing looked. So... I just don't honestly "care". It won't really change any of what I do at this time.
 

donnalee

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"At the base of the withers" seems a very ambiguous term. I think the association is going to have problems over this. Of course the "last hair" was a bit weird, too. I realize most folks wany their minis to measure as short as possible, but seems like highest point of the withers would be the easiest. On the other hand, changing it either way will be changing the height of horses already recorded.

Good luck everyone with this one
 

rabbitsfizz

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This rule is being implemented purely so that taller horses can slip in...no-one is fooled by it and the way of measuring makes Minis a laughing stock in the big horse world, where you have to appreciate they all look tiny anyway so they cannot work out what the fuss is about.

If the AMHA is going to profess to only have horses up to 34" then it should do just that, not keep making loopholes so the taller horses can get in...where next?? The knees- Hey, let's measure to the knee, that would work, wouldn't it??

I do agree that we need to pull together to stop this daft rule going through, though, getting sidetracked onto "It should the the TOTW (Which it obviously should be and I have no horses that would be affected as this is where I measure to anyway
)" as this will just complicate things at the moment.
 

Field-of-Dreams

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My 2c....


Good: Horses that might be over by a fraction have a better chance of staying "under".

My 34.5" AMHR gelding could be hardshipped in since her measures under at the BOTW.

Bad: This changes EVERYTHING the members of AMHA have worked for for over 30 years. SMALLEST horse.

The big horse world measures at the TOTW. WHY do we even want to think of measuring at the BOTW. They laugh at us now, this will really get them started.

No one can seem to agree WHERE the BOTW is! I sure can't find a notch on any of my guys.

All the "official" measurers will have to be retrained.

They haven't stated what will happen to horses who now measure in whose papars have been turned in.

Looks like a bad idea to me.

Lucy
 

bingo

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My biggest issue is not with the actual measuring of the horse or the spot nor the size of the horse it allows in.

It is the principal of spending years claiming to be the premier registry. The only registry with true Miniature horses and the lack of ethics in still claiming it is a 34 inch and under registry.

All that time and money in promoting the AMHA overseas which was done very well no disputing that. This new rule will now put us behind the eight ball overseas. It does however leave the door wide open for AMHR. Once they are taking oversize horses why only from one registry why not look at truly over 34 inch horses from both.

I currently have both AMHA and AMHR registered horses. So do have a vested interest in both registries doing well. I do think if nothing else this has allowed the passion for the AMHA to come full force and perhaps make some non active members really think twice about what they can do and how they can participate in their registry and that can only be a good thing!
 

Cathy_H

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The good thing - - AMHA is accomodating the few people that are pushing their own personal agenda's thus not losing all of their support base............. The bad thing - - AMHA is BREAKING the CONTRACT with current members & rewriting it WITHOUT ALL of the members input....
.......... In the real business world isn't this grounds for a lawsuit? ......... Also in the real world - if not done properly a business is doomed to failure & should ask the the exiting members why they are leaving instead of ignoring them.
It is past time to heed the signs of the times!
 

sdmini

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The concept behind the base of the withers is somewhat sound as bone can not be altered which should be the basis for a more accurate measurement. The problem being implanted hair (I heard superglue) is only one of the ways to cheat the stick. Horses are stood wide and camped out with their heads cranked as high as possible. Horses are taught to scrunch down when they feel the measuring stick hit their backs.

It gets said quite a bit on this forum but most chose to ignore the fact that other pony breeds that measure at the top of the withers have the same issues as we had the last mane hair and are going to have with the base of the withers. Any time you add egos and money together there will be those that cheat the system.

With that said if this was the only issue with the rule I would not care one way or another but I can not find the blooming spot and I am not alone. What started out as curiosity quickly turned to irritation as my fat gelding grew tired of standing still while I searched for the illusive base of the withers. I've talked to several people of various skill levels and the answer has always been the same, "Where is it at?"

I've read people defending the rule saying that it should only matter to those that show AMHA. I find this news great as anyone who does not show apparently can let their AMHA horses be as tall as they want because they will never need to have updated papers or when a perspective buyer ask how tall our response needs only to be, "I don't show".

There may have been some that wanted the rule because they could now slide some taller horses in but I think the majority wanted the rule as they were tired of their legit 31" horse having to compete against the 33" horse squeezed in the class. Only time will tell but I feel this new measuring leads to much confusion while not doing what it was hoped to do.
 

Marty

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I can not find the blooming spot and I am not alone. What started out as curiosity quickly turned to irritation as my fat gelding grew tired of standing still while I searched for the illusive base of the withers. I've talked to several people of various skill levels and the answer has always been the same, "Where is it at?"

Thank you Marlee!

Because of all this, I don't know how tall my horses are anymore and that is not a good thing. I'd like to see AMHA remain 34" and under and I would like someone to tell me where to measure already that will make sense!
 

Leeana

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Ive talked to a couple people, mosly amhr/aspc dbl reg breeders, and they said if this rule passes they should be able to / "plan to" hardship their shetlands into AMHA easily. Now, i find that VERY interesting for some reason
.

I think AMHA and AMHR need to come together and have a meeting and move it to the withers and BOTH REGISTERS MEASURE THE SAME, considering its the same breed. It is silly to have two reg. for one horse that measure different
 
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McBunz

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Lol If this passes the AMHA should open its books again so we don't have to hardship our over sized

horses.. Why not just make a b division and let them all into the AMHA... Right up to 40 inches at the top

of the withers.. where we will probably being measuring in the future anyhow...Maybe we can have some

AMHA saddle horses too..

No I don't think it is a good idea... Why? I have said my reasons over and over again.. in other posts.
 

horses mouth

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My .02...................

As I stated before, I feel the "measuring rule" was designed to be a compromise. It surely is subjective. Now the "new" rule is equally subjective.

So I ask you are we really looking at the big picture?

Is all of this really in the best interest of AMHA's purpose and it's members?

The basis for AMHA's existence is soundly stated in our rulebook as in Article IV (A):

Aid and encourage the breeding, exhibiting, use and perpetuation of mininature horses..........(I have left out the most interesting part of this bylaw to encourage you to read it). My feeling is that our time and resources could be better spent trying to do what this says. Rather than trying to appease a few, why don't we implement marketing plans, and classes that will bring much needed participation, sales, grwoth and the like to our industry.

This measuring rule as stated by other members of this forum affects many aspects of our rule book. It is also entrenched in a number of aspects of our registry. We must be careful that the foundation be solid before we change something as crucial as the existing rule. For instance how can our 5 year old papers say permanent if they can be taken away based on a new interpretation of this rule? I worked dilligently on this with Felix Covington during his brief tenure as our president and his "last words" to the association was a plea to address this based on an opinion from our attorney Frank Caine. Of course the following EC's have not even paid attention to that.

There are many things fueling the fire here and most all of them are personal agenda items. Integrity should be first and foremost.

At least, no matter what the wording or interprtation of the rule is, remember it applies equally to us all. That being said you get the same opportunities to fudge, cheat, bend or whatever you may as the next guy. Remember Nascar has 5000 rules to convice you that that race car is stock. And everyone can plainly see that it is NOT!

I just looked at a website where someone was advertising an AMHA and AMHR horse for sale that is by a mare they are advertising to be oversize and 36 inches tall. My interpretation of our rule book is that that foal should not have AMHA papers. I am not judging this person, AT ALL, but how can we complain as long as we all think that we can slide by?

If you have been involved very long in AMHA you have been somewhere where there is an oversize mare being bred, known someone who fudged on a birth date, or done one of a meriad of other things that is OK because everyone does it.

Maybe we should head Rodney's words, "why can't we all just get along". We ought to take a long hard look, a deep breath, and realize that there is no real perfect way to measure. That being said, why not a "margin of error" that way we eliminate the enticement to protest just to cause problems. I am not the originator of this idea. But as a trainer who measures "mature" driving horses almost every weekend at a show, I can tell you that I personally feel the ridiculousness of this creates far more dissention than AMHA can afford in these trying economic times.

Regards

Gary Barnes
 

horses mouth

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Ive talked to a couple people, mosly amhr/aspc dbl reg breeders, and they said if this rule passes they should be able to / "plan to" hardship their shetlands into AMHA easily. Now, i find that VERY interesting for some reason
.

I think AMHA and AMHR need to come together and have a meeting and move it to the withers and BOTH REGISTERS MEASURE THE SAME, considering its the same breed. It is silly to have two reg. for one horse that measure different
Leeana

You bring up an interesting point here. I feel that because of the popularity and focus on halter in AMHA for the past 30 or so years we have "bred out the movement" so to speak. It is a real shame that our "membership' has voted to close our registry now that Performance has taken the lead in entries in our association.

It seems that our members intrepret our rules based upon their interest. Like the "smallest horse should win" arguement. Doesn't apply well to performance, does it? Maybe I feel that way because I'm not small, lol!

I for one would love to see the Hardship rule stay in effect so that the many performance minded breeders could try to breed bigger, better moving horses. I am not doing this but would like to cross my retained Moon Man fillies back on small Hackneys and Shetlands. As an aside, I do have a client here in Tx that brought a number of horses bred this way that are papered AMHA and under 34" and we are really gaining some attention in the driving arena with the ones we are showing!

This is an ever changing "breed" of horses and our association is also evolving. We need to think about the past, present and future during every rule change. Then temper that with how to market in order to entice new members to play in this sport we love so much (remember showing creates value and stimulates sales).

Respectfully

Gary Barnes
 

McBunz

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As I see it.. if we allow horses up to 34.75 or taller just to compromise, the next person showing will

try to sneak one in just half an inch taller again.. and after this goes on for a few years where will be

asked to measure the horses then. This is a no win situation... The same people who thought we should

close the stud book because we have enough good horses in the AMHA already are some of the same

ones now trying to bring larger horses into the AMHA... when the rule book clearly states 34 inches at the

last hair of the mane or less. So if these bigger horses are going to be allowed are we going to open the stud

book again to fairly allow others to show their over sized horses as AMHA horses or does it only apply

to the one who were cheating in the first place...
 

disneyhorse

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I have a question...

Is the hardshipping really being closed in AMHA? If so, even though the height limit will allow taller horses, will hardshipping be open to that?

I was unclear on the hardshipping rule and close date.

Andrea
 

JMS Miniatures

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I have a question...

Is the hardshipping really being closed in AMHA? If so, even though the height limit will allow taller horses, will hardshipping be open to that?

I was unclear on the hardshipping rule and close date.

Andrea
I believe the close date is like 5 or 6 years from now.
 

disneyhorse

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Oh, thanks JMS Minis.

I can see where people are anxious to hurry up and hardship those horses, AMHA might make a bundle of $$$ in the "window" where that can happen.

I do hope ONE or BOTH of the registries will get with it and measure at the TOP of the withers, though.

Andrea
 

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