I am a Lifetime member of AMHA; don't currently belong to AMHR because I no longer care to breed or to breed show in either.I have private opinions about both registries which I won't air here; my point in posting is to comment on a couple of the points brought up.
On linebreeding: I agree that it can and has worked well on many occasions; however, the KEY is the KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE of the breeder(s) involved, I believe. IMO, there is and will likely always be a high percentage of folks who consider themselves breeders that lack the depth and 'sense' of both to reliably practice it. And, it should always be remembered, it is STILL always something of a 'crap shoot' when you breed animals, as to the quality of the resulting offspring. Ergo...a wider genetic pool is a better idea.
It must be remembered that ANYTIME something is 'hardshipped',ALL of the standards(especially HEIGHT, IMO!) MUST be strictly adhered to, to uphold the rules and ethical reputation of the registry from whom acceptance is being solicited.
I believe it to be almost certain that there are dwarf carriers in both the AMHA and AMHR registered population...but as others have noted, to totally 'shut off' the possibility of future inclusion of tested NON-carriers from AMHR in the AMHA gene pool seems kind of short-sighted. Why not wait until a reliable test is developed and able to be put to use?
All this said...I would support a properly-constructed move to allow AMHR-onlys to hardship into AMHA.Years back, I went ahead and hardshipped all the minis I then owned, except for one elderly mare, who was here to stay for the rest of her life, into AMHR. All were honestly AMHA-only in height; I felt it would only improve their chances of saleability should I decide to sell, as all were/are either well-trained in performance and/or of halter/breeding quality.
I do have a question...if there is no evidence of ANY dwarfism in the ASPC gene pool, yet it is now pretty widely acknowledged that miniatures are directly descended from Shetlands, where would those of you in the know say that the dwarfism 'came from'? A one-time mutation? Multiple mutations? And if so,any thoughts/theories on when and where?
And, though I agree that the AMHA(AND the AMHR, for that matter!)SHOULD BE 'us', the membership, the reality of it is that the AMHA, at least(I am not UTD on AMHR's rules/practices), the voting is,as has ever been so, being done by an increasingly TINY percentage of the membership...only those who can afford to personally attend the National meetings.I would personally LOVE to see someone (No, it won't be me...been there, done that...and am not getting any younger!)updated serious work on workable ways to accomplish access to voting by ALL eligible, bonafide members!
Just some personal observations/opinions.
Margo in NM