Modern Shetland Minis

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Yaddax3

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I have no problem with the Shetland influence. We have several AMHR-ASPC double-registered minis/ponies. I do have a concern with the influx of Modern Shetlands in the mini world. There were several Moderns at AMHR Nationals this year.

I don't object to them competing in AMHR events but I do believe that, like at ASPC shows and Shetland Congress, they should have their own division. There's a reason there is a division of Classics and Moderns in the Shetland world.

No traditional mini or Classic Shetland/Foundation Shetland can compete with the Modern's high stepping ability and, if they continue to be allowed to compete in the same classes as those minis/Classics/Foundations, that great Pleasure Driving mini you have today will become obsolete or fail to place. Our AMHR leadership should look into adding driving classes for these mini-sized Moderns.
 

alongman

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I do agree with you from one standpoint. The "modern" minis, as you refer to them, are very animated on a natural basis and do look quite flashy in harness . That alone sets them apart in a driving division and would quite possibly be better placed in a division of their own. My problem with this is, from a judging and exhibiting standpoint, that adds more classes to already lengthy shows AND is only creating classes so that EVERYONE can win a ribbon. When I first started showing horses in 4-H, I was able to enter in one class. If I didn't place well, I didn't place well. Over the past few years, in the miniature horses, we have seen the addition of classes to accomodate horses who weren't placing in a division. The solution - create another one for them to place.

Don't get me wrong, I do agree that there should be some specifications and class regulations so that horses are appropriately placed in classes, but where do we draw the line? If some people had it their way, we would have the 33 1/4", 3 y/o, red/white pinto mare in heat driving class. I'm being silly, but you see my point.
 

maranatha minis

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What do we do with the "minis of the past" i have just started producing animals that could compete with the ever changing "idea" of what they should look like. Now they are no longer the "type". how do we keep up with the trends? if you are not a trainer of a big farm we little guys don't stand a chance at the big shows. shouldn't it all be judged like dog shows? the best of the particular "type" should win? not the type it's self. if u have a perfectly porportioned heavy built horse should it not place over a "typey" horse that might not be as close to breed standards? think about it, maybe we need some dog show judges to help us out.
 

txminipinto

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Our industry is CONSTANTLY evolving. Horses that won 3 years ago probably wouldn't win today. The only way to stay competitive is to study what is going on around you. Pay attention to who has what, buying what, and selling what. Always look for something that others don't have. You don't have to be a "big guy" to stay current, you just have to be paying attention.
 

JMS Miniatures

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You almost need a foundation division for the minis in AMHR. We all know the AMHR/ASPC horses are winning, thats the trend now, but I am not going to go off and buy them. But I do say we almost need a foundation division for our minis, sure these miniature horse do come from shetlands, but perhaps we can have it like the regular foundation shetlands do, 4 generations back must be miniature horses only, no ASPC.
 
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StarRidgeAcres

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I have such mixed feelings about this. I can really appreciate the changes that have taken place as the "miniature breed" has evolved. There are some beautiful animals out there and a lot of the bad things, such as toed out, straight shouldered horses are fewer and farther between. That's the good news. But it saddens me to see well conformed, proportionate, and downright beautiful miniatures overlooked because of their height. The last time I checked, the rule books (of both AMHA and AMHR) say preference is given to the tinier of the two equal horses. There are very few judges that do that. There are SOME that do and oddly enough they happen to be people who participate regularly on this forum. Hmmmm. Wonder if that means anything or is just coincidence.

Regardless, I will still show and produce what I like. That generally means I don't win until my horses are in the senior classes. But my gut tells me that the tide will eventually come full circle, as with hair-styles and bell-bottomed jeans.
 

EAD Minis

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Our industry is CONSTANTLY evolving. Horses that won 3 years ago probably wouldn't win today. The only way to stay competitive is to study what is going on around you. Pay attention to who has what, buying what, and selling what. Always look for something that others don't have. You don't have to be a "big guy" to stay current, you just have to be paying attention.


Yes I agree completly!! I am by no means a "big guy" but I have gone through 5 horses in the last 3 years trying to stay competetive because I only have room for up to 3 horses and most of the time I only have 1
because of this reason. Its hard especially if you grow fond of one of them but its what has to be done if your going to keep being a competitor and wanting to win.

Edited to say: If i was a breeder I would more then likley not sell as often because I would be breeding to what I think is a nice miniature horse but I am currently only showing and wish to make a good name for myself for when I do start to breed.
 
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Leeana

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I had to smile at seeing moderns at nationals..my ideal horse is a 34'ish inch modern, i think that would be to much fun.

Maybe for the driving classes putting them in a separate driving class...but i dont know if there are enough of them to really put in their own division. In the halter classes i did not see any of the moderns at nationals breaking level, so i dont know if i could see adding a division just for them...i seen some modern pleasure movers but nothing breaking level as they are handled differently then they are in the shetland ring.

Also...i didnt see to many of the moderns at nationals placing to highly...they placed,yes, but not to high in the halter classes..

I was talking to a friend at nationals and i told her it takes allot more then just having a shetland to win now....
 
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uwharrie

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Since I am new to minis here is my "limited" perspective. I have been breeding and showing ( many top ranked) dogs for almost 25yrs

At this time there is not really a "written standard" for the breed. With a written standard anyone with good anatomy/ structure/ movement understanding should be able to read it and "pick" the best horse.( dog ect)

But with the minis watching the Nationals I noticed certain "types" ( or styles) winning more than others. I also noticed what was winning today was not the style of horse I see in the magazine from 5 yrs ago.

Now in the dog world we have types and trends as well, but it does not seem to swing as wildly as with the minis.

If minis are to be nothing but a height breed then I think ANY type of mini should be acceptable as long as it looks like a miniature horse, be it draft, arab, QH or TB ( or other breed) Right now what wins seems to be the flavor of the month be it type or color.

the problem with that is you never genetically fix type.

I think the associations need to decide at some point to be a true breed and set a standard.

OK now a question... this may just be my perception but do AMHA top winning horses tend to look more Arab than what wins in AMHR?
 

muffntuf

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Bob,

Isn't there a Park Harness class. Isn't that supposed to be where the higher stepping miniatures can compete? And yes I am stating that the higher stepping AMHR/ASPC should be showing in.

I disagree with txminipinto on this. Smaller farms cannot always have the means to re-do their breeding programs every year because a few judges decide that a higher stepping, finer boned, flashy miniature is what is winning today.

I went away from the miniatures because it changed too quickly. As a small breeder I can't invest every year in that year's model because it won in the arena. I can't dispose of horses that quickly either, if it didn't win, who would want it if they are competitve in the miniature horse world.

I chose to go with Shetlands, its bad enough they change fairly quickly. I just got my MP program up and running and am hoping to stay competitive for a couple years before I have to invest again, or maybe I can influence it with my breeding program? I don't know, but if I am in the top 5 in the Nation at Nationals, then I think I just might have a shot.

The underlying question - what happens to the thousands of minature horses, that used to compete and win, now?

Does this mean the registry should introduce a foundation certification? I know my two mares would qualify - they will never win in the halter division again, senior or otherwise. They can only, hopefully place in the performance classes. The injustice, I like to show halter.
 

bingo

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I think we have effectively allowed for the rebirth of the ASPC market which is wonderful. We have even given them a place to show and win. Those that are not as competitive to be able to show and win at Congress seem to be coming to Nationals and able to win.

While they have every right under our current rules to show at Nationals why not help out the numbers at the Congress which had around 440 horses this year *a normal amount for them* compared to the 1700+ horses at Nationals. Or what many now refer to as the *Mini Congress*

All of that is wondeful for the ASPC breeders however it does leave one wondering what about the AMHR breeders the actual meat and potatoes of the registry when it comes to bringing in the dollars.

The long term effect will be interesting to see play out. I do think it will come full circle as in a way it already has. The minis were intended to remarket the slumping ASPC years ago and yet here they are back again doing the same exact thing.

Again I am not against it I just wish there was some forethought into what it will take to allow a rebirth for the market of AMHR. For those who do not wish to own those more modern type minis.

One thing many breeders are forgetting is that a very small percentage of our mini owners actually show and even less show at the National level. We are forgetting about helping the market for the average mini owner who now is hearing if it is not ASPC/AMHR it is worth nothing.

We fought so hard and so long to dispell that myth with the horses registered AMHR only were of much less value and worth then AMHA/AMHR horses and then once that was proven to be untrue we turned right around and did it to ourselves in our own registry.


To be honest that is something I truly can not understand and yet I see wonderful horses AMHR only not even selling for 1500 dollars simply due to being single registered. I have seen unbalanced, incorrect ASPC/AMHR horses selling for big bucks simply due to being double registered. I do not know about anyone else but I have been down that road and fought that battle before I never expected to fight it amongst my own registry members.

Why do we have to devalue one to increase value in the other? I do not believe we do . I can not tell you how many times I have seen one time mini owners who now own ponies come on this forum and constantly degrade minis and talk about how much better ponies are. The infighting will be a huge downfall in this registry if it is not stopped and it works both ways. Mini against Pony and Pony against Mini.

I like them all and with feed going up I can and will only answer to myself with my herd and what I choose to add to it and why- in the meantime I am planning on sitting back and seeing if at some point we do something to market the minis or if the registry is going to allow it to become all about ASPC and if those wanting the ASPC/AMHR only minis can back it up with the funding the registry needs to get by.
 
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JMS Miniatures

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You are right there is no standard, so honestly anything thats registered under 38" should beable to show. I still think we should have some foundation classification for our miniatures and have available classes for them. I list several classess that I could think of on the top of my head, and I don't think it should be too much trouble too have them.

AMHR FOUNDATION HALTER STALLIONS, 34" & UNDER

AMHR FOUNDATION HALTER STALLIONS, 34-38"

AMHR FOUNDATION HALTER MARES, 34" & UNDER

AMHR FOUNDATION HALTER MARES, 34-38"

AMHR FOUNDATION HALTER GELDINGS, 34" & UNDER

AMHR FOUNDATION HALTER GELDING, 34-38"

AMHR FOUNDATION COUNTRY PLEASURE DRIVING, 34" & UNDER

AMHR FOUNDATION COUNTRY PLEASURE DRIVING, 34-38"

AMHR FOUNDATION PLEASURE DRIVING, 34" & UNDER

AMHR FOUNDATION PLEASURE DRIVING, 34-38"

AMHR FOUNDATION PARK HARNESS, 34" & UNDER

AMHR FOUNDATION PARK HARNESS, 34-38"

AMHR FOUNDATION WESTERN COUNTRY PLEASURE DRIVING, 34" & UNDER

AMHR FOUNDATION WESTERN COUNTRY PLEASURE DRIVING, 34-38"

AMHR FOUNDATION LIBERTY, 34" & UNDER

AMHR FOUNDATION LIBERTY, 34-38"
 

Yaddax3

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My fear is that within five years the Moderns -- not the Classics, not the Foundations -- will be dominant at AMHR Nationals and you will be seeing the number of entries shrink to 500 or so horses. It will be turned into another Congress -- that's my concern.

Many parents, including me, won't let their younger children drive a Modern. If Moderns become predominant in AMHR -- and I'm convinced that's the direction it's headed -- we could say good-bye to 7-and-Under driving classes and the 8-to-12 driving classes will shrink considerably.

That is why I will encourage AMHR-ASPC leadership to look into separate driving classes for Moderns at AMHR shows. If there's a need to distinguish between Classics and Moderns at Shetland shows, there certainly is a need to distinguish Moderns from the more traditional mini.
 

Coventry Lane Farm

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We have AMHR only, ASPC only, AMHR/ASPC and AMHR/AMHA horses at our farm and travels on our showstring.

We try to have a little of everything for people to purchase and for us to show each year. We do attend the AMHR Nationals and the Shetland Congress as well and this year there was more than ever more ASPC/AMHR registered horses attend Congress and placed as well against the straight ASPC Shetlands.

And yes, there will be more Shetlands hardshipped into the AMHR registry that are Classics and Moderns staying under the height requirement. I know of at least one modern shetland that will stay under 34" that will be hardshipped into the AMHR at their age.

We have a few Classic shetlands that will be hardshipped into AMHR in the next year or two, but they are not moderns either.

So who know's what will happen to the old style miniature horses, I have some of those as well and will still have them even though that the breeding programs have changed in the last year or so and the opinon's of the judges are changing as well for the more refined, long hooky necked, tight close hooky ears, ect. instead of the blocky and heavy boned typed miniatures of not so long ago that placed at Nationals.

There has even been some inquires from some AMHA people that are getting into the small sized under 34" shetland bred miniatures now as well that we know too, so it is venturing into that registry as well.
 

txminipinto

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I only saw a couple MODERN shetlands competing at Nationals this year. The vast majority of the ASPC/AMHR horses are Classics (with or without a foundation seal). And I'm not saying that anyone has to go out and totally redo their herds, BUT adding one of these horses to your program and breeding your AMHR only horses to it will help you stay competitive. And just to clarify my intent on this topic, I do not own nor do I purposely breed my ASPC ponies to meet AMHR height requirements. My preference is for the 42" and over divison.


Regardless, we all have tons of money invested in our programs and while many may dislike the ASPC/AMHR horses, they are here to stay. My own ASPC program has only 3 foal crops on the ground and I am already looking for new mares to add to my very young herd so that I can stay competitive 1-3 years from now. Staying competitive in this industry be it as a breeder, trainer, or exhibitor, you must be watching what others are doing and what is working for them. Sometimes a very subtle change can make all the difference in the world. Always be looking for something different! Those who stop researching their programs and comparing them to others will get left behind and it doesn't matter if you're AMHA, AMHR, ASPC, AQHA, PtHA, APHA, etc.
 

bingo

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There are many AMHR horses that were winning 2-3 years ago that are not short legged, blocky,coarse, short necked, heavy boned horses. Of course the market has changed for those type of horses my point was more about those that are saying and telling people a AMHR only horse is not worth anything and the only way to go is a horse with ASPC papers when that is simply not the truth. That type of thinking and those comments are short lived and will only hurt the registry as a whole.

I see Carin posted above the key is to add as ASPC/R horse to your herd to improve it. However that is not the case plain and simple. Not all ASPC/AMHR horses are created equal. In fact there is just as many poorly breed ASPC/R horses as AMHR only. Statements like that are exactly what I am talking about. Some minis have done well and placed in top honors at Nationals this year. You can not always tell by looking at the horse if it has ASPC papers it is a type not the papers. Comments like you must add this to be competitive simply prove my prevoius point about having to fight the battle within your own registry that a AMHR only registered horse can be equally as successful in the show ring and they are simply not wortheless in today's market.

I keep hearing there was more then ever ASPC/AMHR horses at Congress but the fact is the numbers did not increase significantly then it has been in past years?
 
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Lisa Strass

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I think this is a very good topic, and for what it is worth, here are some of my thoughts. To better understand where I'm coming from here is a little background: Currently, my husband and I focus on our Classic Shetlands, especially those that are under 38" and can be shown AMHR. We show at both Congress and Nationals - mainly in halter, but also a bit in driving. I grew up showing AMHA minis in everything, but at that time my focus was on driving and 1 horse/1 person high point titles.

In this discussion, let's not confuse the use of the word Modern. Modern to me means the Hackney background, not just a Shetland influence.

We already had 350 classes at Nationals this year.
That is a lot! With all of the classes we have at this time, I really can't see adding another division. However, I can see the why others want to. My biggest question that I've been trying to think about is, "How do you define the Foundation Mini?" I know most of you say those that don't have Shetland background, but how far back do you go? Also, what do we do with all the Buckeroo and Rowdy decendents!?

Another opinion I have is not every horse is made to win every class. A quarter horse that wins in halter isn't going to win a barrel race. That's OK! There are different types of horses for different types of classes. A wonderful all-around youth performance horse may not be able to win in halter. Likewise, some of those halter and open driving horses may be a little too hot to settle down for obstacle and showmanship classes. Again that is OK. Now when those true all around horses do come around, those are definitely true gems.


I see a lot of people saying if it's good enough for the Shetlands to split halter/driving classes by type, it's good enough for the minis. Shetland Congress (with all of its divisions) only had 334 classes. So if we want to add type divisions for the minis, I think that means we're going to have to cut something out.

I understand people worrying about the Moderns coming down into the Mini ranks. They aren't really my cup of tea either, but until a breed standard is defined, it is going to be up to the judges as to what is in style. I didn't see any Modern type minis winning in halter this year at Nationals, and as long as we don't let them work the rail and wear shoes, I'm pretty sure the other types of minis will win the beauty contests most of the time. In fact, I saw many AMHR ONLY horses winning halter classes at this year's Nationals!

For driving, I think it is great to see some Moderns in the Park Harness class. And they definitely don't belong in the Western Country Pleasure Drving Class! Likewise, the foundation type mini is perfect for Western Country Pleasure and not well suited for Park Harness.

I guess my overall view is that there are plenty of classes available right now for horses to excel in. What is becoming more difficult is for one horse to excel in many different classes. Additionally, halter horses are going to continue to have "fads" until a breed standard is defined.
 

JMS Miniatures

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What do I see as a foundation miniature? Why can't we do like what people do with the foundation shetlands? 4 generations back of no ASPC horses can go into foundation. I have given a list above of what I felt to be foundation classes, that would be in the halter and in the driving, I even put in liberty but I know how long those liberty classes are. Everyone can still go into the jumping and obstacle classes just like the same. Yeah it might be more classes but this is Mini Nationals after all, lets make it gear more towards the minis. What I didn't understand was this year why did they add the roadster in-hand class, that class is geared towards the shetlands?

I don't know something to think about. Not saying the AMHR/ASPC is bad for the breed, but when it comes too showing I still like my miniatures. I guess I will just stay away from halter and soon driving
 

muffntuf

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Huh thought the roadster classes were popular in AMHR. Roadster in Hand is just a halter class in silks, lots of fun!
 

sdmini

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I must say many of the ASPC horses that placed at Nationals I loved to look at and many that did not I wouldn't have taken money to take them. There is no doubt that the ASPC horses that are winning at Nationals are more refined, upheaded with a lot of leg underneath of them. There is also no doubt that there isn't just as much below avearge ASPC/AMHR horses as there are below avearge AMHR horses.

Personally they are not my taste as although I find them beautiful my ranching background can't help but seep in and go "I can't imagine riding those all day." Not the best logic but I can't change who I am to the core.


That said I'm actively looking for a couple shetland mares to try on a certain stud I have. If I find a mini mare that has the atributes I'm looking for I'm not so into the fad of ASPC I'm going to overlook them. The problem is I can not find what I'm looking for. With the sudden rise in the AMHR/ASPC horses popularity IN THE SHOW RING, the good ones are out of reach for my little pocket book.

The part that concerns me about ASPC horses is the part that I've bolded. Minis, not shetlands, have enjoyed a huge fan base because of their size and personality. Shetlands are wired different than minis and are hotter. Please don't make this into a spitting match about dispositions, Arabians are different than Quarter Horses, Morgans are different that Appalossas, Not better just different and there are always exceptions. Just about every breed out there at one time or another has went a total different direction IN THE SHOW RING than the vast majority of the associations members wanted. Take the QH for example, 10% or less show at halter because they do not like the huge, hulking mass that is the QH halter horse. This is a non issue because there are so many other avenues that a QH member/breeder can go. They can stay "in house" and do the WP and the other performance events or they can go into NRHA (reining), NCHA (cutting), NBHA (barrels), roping (sorry forget the abbriviations), eventing, racing and dozens of other outlets. What else do mini exhibitors/breeders have? I'm afraid we are going to be alienating our core, the members who have made AMHR the "Golden Goose" that it is.

The next problem is what to do to fix it. As long as we allow any horse that meets the height requirments I believe that the ASPC/AMHR have just as much right to be there. So then what add more classes, foundation & Modern and create a THREE week show? What would classify as foundation 1/4" or less documented ASPC horses? Would it be a look that would determine it? Then what happens to horses like the 2008 Supreme Futurity Horse that also won her Open class and is a miniature does she get tossed in with the ASPC/AMHR horses? I dare you to tell her breeder that she needs to get into ASPC "to improve her herd".


There is another draw back to the ASPC horses is that although height will never breed true, I believe you increase your odds by sticking with generation after generation of honest 38" and under.

I can roll with what ever fad comes down the pipe (Yes fad, everthing in halter comes in fads. I doubt the breeders of small ever thought there would come a day that that was not prefered.) I love my boy and he brought home two top tens in halter. He's square, balenced, correct and yep get me one in a bigger size and I'lll strap a saddle to him.


 

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