Shetland Influence

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Robin

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Kim- your post is very accurate and if only the forefathers of the minis thought like you. 60 years of breeding is extremely young- my thoughts exactly - that is why I feel the gene pool should be widened not closed. The minis are far from a breed. John and I both tried to get the AMHA to understand the definition of breed verses height registry one year at the National meeting. A "breed registry" like dogs and many other animals, do not discard animals born from 2 registered animals to then have no value or no need within the gene pool. That is why we felt if it was a true height registry then they shouldn't close the books. If it is a breed registry then fine- but all foals produced should keep their papers regardless of height- they are a product of the breed.

Anyway- back to the topic- DNA and true honest in breeding horses is the only way to know really what you are crossing and what the possible outcomes could/may be. It keeps a breed honest- however- as you said the minis are not a breed or breed registry. Unfortunately the miniature horse assoc and registries didn't start out with the facts straight. Anything could be registered as unknown x unknown as long as it was under 34". And although we have DNA now- we still have mares and stallions breeding with unknown parents- so genetically we can only go forward from this point on. Also- like you said- by the association not recognizing the sires and dams on hardshipped horses - as in your example of "Thoro" next to the name- the educated breeder down the road is still guessing.

Just my input- Robin
 

LaVern

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I know this is a little off topic, but Robin has got me thinking again. I seem to contradict my self so much, and it is because of people like John and Robin that make me think.

I have been a strong believer of closing things up and keeping papers no matter what the outcome. But I don't know, now. I think that I just saw it as lending more credibility to our AMHR horses.

Now I see AMHA becoming kind of stuck with nowhere to go, if it closes.

I already know of top breeders that are using B's size Shetland Stallions on their taller AMHA mares. All they are going to have is AMHR horses when they get done. They don't care. They want that top B show horse.

I have been using old Express on my AMHA mares and I don't give a hoot about the double papers. All I want is that top B show horse.

And then you take old Express. In AMHA's eyes he still belongs to his breeder Stacy Score,of Mountain Meadow Miniatures For 25 bucks he could come back in.

Stacy has sent me the hair from Cleo and Debonaire and Express is already DNA'd so Express will be Parent Qualified, with Kentucky.

Now, I would never think that the old boy's offspring could influence AMHA horses like Buckeroo, or Rowdy have, but there are areas where he could a little bit. . And what a shame for AMHA to have lost that.

People email me all the time wanting to know if I have any of Express's babies that are going to stay under, so they can hardship them back in. It is crazy, I think. It hurts my head.

I am editing to say- that I don't think it is crazy to hardship them in, Just that it seems crazy to take them in as unknown(which is a lie) but not with the DNA'd correct parents and their correct size on the papers if it is proven.
 
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MindyLee

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Now that I finally made it through 9 pages of reading.

My fear is with these beautiful shelands starting to become bigger... I just got into miniatures in 2005, and strive to learn about them and breed them as well. Im just afraid that now that I just got my herd built, no one will be interested in what I produce since they are minis and not mini/shelands and that Im behind times and not goin with the flow. It sucks for me as a "newbie" as I just foaled out my first foal that I feel is competitive for the showring and because its not whats in style its just going to be put on the back burner. Im not going to stop but it makes me think that it might be a waste of time also as her style is now drifting away to a mini/shetland instead of refined small minis that I thought/researched minis are suppossed to be. I guess in my "new" eyes is that its not bettering the breed but changing it. I thought it was to breed for smaller and bettering that than the past shetlands and to better the smallest eqine to be miniature, not to breedback to large and still call it miniature if its going to be sheland size again even though its confirmation is way better. But dont it defite the purposs of breeding down to smaller quality horses to just make them big again?
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Im starting to get confussed! #1 quality of course... but is it big or small?

I hope you guys get what I am trying to say?
 

Boinky

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Im not going to stop but it makes me think that it might be a waste of time also as her style is now drifting away to a mini/shetland instead of refined small minis that I thought/researched minis are suppossed to be. I guess in my "new" eyes is that its not bettering the breed but changing it. I thought it was to breed for smaller and bettering that than the past shetlands and to better the smallest equine to be miniature, not to breed back to large and still call it miniature if its going to be shetland size again even though its confirmation is way better. But dont it defite the purposs of breeding down to smaller quality horses to just make them big again? wacko.gif Im starting to get confused! #1 quality of course... but is it big or small?
first off i'd like to say i do NOT think AMHR horses are out the door because of ASPC/AMHR horses. I think it's probably very much a fad and the end results will eventually be many AMHR only NICE horses that were produced by crossing mares or stallions of R on ASPC/AMHR horses. The market just sucks right now which is part of the selling problem which people seem to be blaming primarily on AMHR/ASPC horses..which i don'++t believe is truthfully accutrate.

Ok touching on the rest.... this is purely MY OPINION... but it's not about making mini's BIG... anything under 38" is a mini... it may be as 'big' mini but it's still a mini. I do not agree with the crappy measuring they do in the political aspects of the show world and letting horses over 38" show but that's neither here nor there for this topic. The "larger" B division still gives many people many options to what they want as far as size, type, and what they use their mini for (ie. often times, not always, a larger "B" size mini is more suitable for pulling especially heavier people). The reason we are breeding them "bigger" is to try to get the movement and build that the larger mini's tend to be able to have as well as keep our gene pool large and fresh and not allow it to be come stagnant and full of diseases that will plague our "breed" in the present or future. it's not nessarily because we think every mini should be larger. the larger mini's and ponies right now are our foundation for breeding down these charachteristics that were "forgotten" over the last 40 years in the quest to breed for teeny tiny horses and darn the consequences of losing conformation, movement, and health.

as for "bettering from past shetlands" in my opinion that was not the reason for mini's... mini's were a exotic thing they were trying to capitolize on and boost their sales by making them a valuable comodity (yep smart "ole geezers). Even 40 years ago looking at photo's of past nice shetlands they were quite refined, beautiful and quite horse like. People can say what they want but our current ASPC shetlands look NOTHING like the island shetlands and do indeed look very much like little horses. it's all semantics in peoples perspectives.. we call shetlands ponies..so people now assume we are trying to make our mini's look like "ponies"..... well in truth i guess we are but we also breed our shetlands to look like little horses..so if the shetlands look like little horses..and the mini's look like little shetlands.... HUMMMM?? Not everyone will like that 'type' and i would say it will be a trendy fad which will pass at some point but hopefully will have helped improve certain (hopefully many) aspects of what the current "mini" is lacking.

If people do not like or do not agree with the current 'fad' then they need to stick to their guns and breed what they want. who knows..in a few years what you have will be what everyone wants. that unfortunately is the name of the game when doing business or trying to be competitive. you have to have a valuable commodity and keep ahead of the current marketing trends and have what people want. may not be cheap or easy but unfortuntly that is life!
 
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racingfan72104

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Ok so here's one for all of you. I bought a Mini/Shetland cross. She is very nice and correct. Her sire is a 34' mini (Never brought permanant) dam is a 39" shetland (too tall to bring in AMHR) No hardshipping in so I am Basically sitting on a filly not worth anything. Or I can take her into the National Show Pony Registry. But no Shows around or in my area. Since the shet;and started the minis why close out the studbooks and not allow hardshipping in.
 

iowa

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Take a look at an AMHA registration certificate and at the Miniature Horse printed on there. If it is the "standard" for a miniature then the horses winning today in both AMHA and AMHR are way off the mark. Just an observation I thought was amusing.
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crponies

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as for "bettering from past shetlands" in my opinion that was not the reason for mini's... mini's were a exotic thing they were trying to capitolize on and boost their sales by making them a valuable comodity (yep smart "ole geezers). Even 40 years ago looking at photo's of past nice shetlands they were quite refined, beautiful and quite horse like. People can say what they want but our current ASPC shetlands look NOTHING like the island shetlands and do indeed look very much like little horses. it's all semantics in peoples perspectives.. we call shetlands ponies..so people now assume we are trying to make our mini's look like "ponies"..... well in truth i guess we are but we also breed our shetlands to look like little horses..so if the shetlands look like little horses..and the mini's look like little shetlands.... HUMMMM?? Not everyone will like that 'type' and i would say it will be a trendy fad which will pass at some point but hopefully will have helped improve certain (hopefully many) aspects of what the current "mini" is lacking.
Actually, I saw a picture once (I think posted by Lewella) that was of one of the shetlands imported from the UK. It looked almost exactly like today's shetlands. The poster said that the refined type of shetland was not popular over there so many of them were exported to the USA. I thought that was very interesting.
 

iowa

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Just another thought about a "breed". As Robin and others have said, the Miniature horse is in its early stages of establishing a breed. In dogs and cats, a new line or breed is not really considered a breed until it can breed true to an established standard. The AKC won't even recognize it as a breed until it can reproduce true. In establishing the breed, many animals are discarded that don't fit the standard. They are not allowed to breed as you would only get more that don't fit the standard. Once a standard has been established, miniature horse breeders (and I myself am one) should be much more selective about what they breed or you are going to get many animals that don't fit the standard. So the key is establishing a standard and sticking to it whether on the farm or in the show ring.
 

Karen S

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Hi Racinfan,

Yes your filly CAN be registered in the NSPR, but she will have to be DNA'd. That division IS NOT for breeding purposes but for performance only animals. The original intent was for those Shetlands that WERE crossed with a larger pony up to 14.2 that would allow a child to grow from a smaller Shetland into a larger pony before they moved on up to a full size horse.

Go to the rulebook on line and the forms to get all of the documents that you will need for registering her.

Karen
 

Karen S

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Here is my post from July 9, 2008 about the NSPR:

The NSPR (National Show Pony Registry) is a new division of the ASPC/AMHR/ASPR. It was created three years ago for those folks who were breeding their Shetlands to larger ponies to create a pony that a child could step up to before they moved onto a "big" horse.

When the BOD decided that there was a need then they set the parameters for this program....You can have one parent registered AMHR, ASPC, or ASPR. The other parent could be one of the following:

AMHR x ASPC, AMHR x ASPR, ASPC x ASPR, AMHR x ?, ASPC x ?, ASPR x ?. The question could be a registered horse, POA, Welsh, Hackney, etc. I was working with a registered Paint mare who was 14.2 and was breeding her to my Shetland stallion. The requirement of this program was that no NSPR could go over 14.2 in height. This IS NOT a breeding registry but a registry for performance only ponies.

Since some folks were breeding AMHR to Shetlands this gave them an avenue to put those off type (papered ponies) in a sister registry and not loose their idenity. It never was intended for the smaller horses but will have some anyway. If my registered Paint had her foal my foals registration would show her sire registration and her dam's registration. If only one parent registered and the other a grade pony, then you would have seen one side registered other listed as grade.

The ASPC Congress is where these ponies are to be shown, and any club that wanted to put NSPR classes into their show premiums they can. Most of these classes are Pony Hunter Hack, Pony Western Pleasure and Pony Pleasure Driving.

Hope this helps.

Karen
 

Boinky

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Actually, I saw a picture once (I think posted by Lewella) that was of one of the shetlands imported from the UK. It looked almost exactly like today's shetlands. The poster said that the refined type of shetland was not popular over there so many of them were exported to the USA. I thought that was very interesting.
i agree.. not sure i made that clear.. even the older island shetlands brought over were quite nice..but i meant they look nothing like the fat short stout ones that many people seem to think is the trademark of a shetland. When i meant "island" shetland i meant the type that the isle's liked.

Racinfan,

Unfortunately it sounds like your cross was done with little to no planning/forethought by the breeder. First off if the stallion was never brought permanent even if both parents were correctly registered foal wouldn't be eligible. Secondly someone bred this foal with two unsuitable registry matches. this really has nothing to do with one parent being shetland other than that one parent is shetland with no mini papers and the other has messed up papers. There are MANY shetlands out there that are infact registered as both and therefore the offspring are registerable. this is not the fault of the breed itself but of the BREEDER who would carelessly breed two animals with out the same paperwork making this offspring ineligible (can happen with ANY breed or animal..happens all the time even between AMHA and AMHR only registered animals. See people asking on here all the time why they can't be registered).
 

JMS Miniatures

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Just another thought about a "breed". As Robin and others have said, the Miniature horse is in its early stages of establishing a breed. In dogs and cats, a new line or breed is not really considered a breed until it can breed true to an established standard. The AKC won't even recognize it as a breed until it can reproduce true. In establishing the breed, many animals are discarded that don't fit the standard. They are not allowed to breed as you would only get more that don't fit the standard. Once a standard has been established, miniature horse breeders (and I myself am one) should be much more selective about what they breed or you are going to get many animals that don't fit the standard. So the key is establishing a standard and sticking to it whether on the farm or in the show ring.
Thats why if we keep going the way we are doing the miniature horses will never become a breed. We need to set a type, what to breed for, etc... Thats why any 38" and under horse can go into AMHR as long as it has AMHA, ASPC and Fabella papers. AMHA as long as its 34" and under it can be hardshipped in. So we are just a height registry nothing more, just like a color registry alto color registeries do have standards
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I think what Robin said eariler about height vs. breed registeries is right on.

Also breed what you want, if you want to follow a "trend" go for it, if thats what you like, just don't go after what everyone else thinks they like. Cause I guarantee you the miniature shetlands isn't selling any faster then your miniature horses.
 

JWC sr.

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Well while I was gone to the Congress show I did not get time to look at this thread. I find it really interesting all of the comments that were made. The different points of view were I am sure heart felt by everyone. I came back and looked at it again. I also got the chance to discuss the thread and the issues at hand with Robin and John Eberth at the show.
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The things I gleaned personally from reading all of it and from the discussions were:

1. I hope AMHA reconsiders the closing of the registry in order to allow new blood into it, so as not to have a gene pool that has a lot of genetic problems such as dwarfism.
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2. I wish AMHA would allow for any horse that is hardshiped in to it, to do DNA testing and then put the lineage on the resulting papers.
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3. I think the miniature/Shetland is here to stay and AMHR/AMHA will be better because of it.
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4. I think there will always be enthusiast of both the Shetland and the miniature types as we know them today.
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5. Marketing is the key to successfully sell your horses no matter what they are. Every herd and/or foal has strong and weak points.
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6. The betterment of the miniature industry should be included in our personal goals. A well thought out and visually represented breed standard and adherence to it would go a long way in trying to move in that direction.
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7. Trying to think outside the current box we are all a part of, is something that is paramount to trying to attract and retain new people in this industry. Just because something has always been done a certain way does not make it the best way to do whatever it is. :arg!

8. I wish we could have a "not for breeding" box on our papers in order for breeders to selectively use. So that horses that may have minor defects could retain their papers and be used to do jobs they are capable of doing. an example of this would be a horse with a slightly defective off bite that will never make it in the halter ring, may be great for jumping etc.
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9. We as a miniature industry need to capitalize on the positives of our miniatures as they are a commodity that is a pretty awesome package no matter how tall they are.

10. I wish the powers that be would figure out a way to allow any horse produced from two registered parents to keep their papers. Maybe a breeding only set of papers. But allow them to keep the papers and register the offspring form them. As versus stripping them of the papers and thereby diminishing the ability of that horse to find a job from a loving owner.
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Now with all of that and 1.00 you can get a cup of coffee. LOL I really want to thank everyone for taking the time to voice their opinions a it has given me a lot to think about. I also appreciate John & Robin E. for taking the time to talk at length to me about these issues,. it was educational and fun to hear their points of view.
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Arion Mgmt

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Well, Well

John Cherry told me about my name getting thrown around in this thread, not in a bad way, but I thought I would peruse the thread because of the interesting topic.

First let me say I am not going to write a book, and I usually dont. Unfortunately I am usually asked loaded questions that have numerous details and explanations needed - (especially by my mother and sister.)

It is interesting to read all of the opinions on our breed history and where we came from.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shetland_pony --- believe it or not the website is usually pretty accurate.

It gives a good general info history of the originating Shetland pony from Europe and how it got to the US. Notice the Originating Shetlands in Europe DID NOT have Appaloosa or Champagne BUT it already had pinto, overo etc.. Also the POA was started by an accidental crossing of a Shetland Pony stud to an Arabian/App mare. Resulting colt named Black Hand founded the POA breed. Now the colt obviously needed to be bred to other horses to make the POA breed, which were Shetland mares of no App color and other big horse App mares.

So Why did I write all of that. Apply that to our breed. We have EVERY color under the rainbow and then some. So how did it get in there? THe Miniatures did NOT have separate mutations for the colors we see that have just appeared in the last sixty yrs. That is such a minute possibility it would be almost impossible to calculate (google to 1!!! and yes google is a number, the largest). Therefore the colors have come in from outcrosses to other (LARGER) horse/pony breeds.

LAVern --- Badlands and a Miniature horse skeleton?? You do know that the ancestors of our large horses of today started as small 4 and 3 toed equids dont you? And that they were the size of dogs and smaller than our Minis now.

Quote below--

"Horses and other equids are odd-toed ungulates of the order Perissodactyla, a relatively ancient group of browsing and grazing animals that first arose less than 10 million years after the dinosaurs became extinct. In the past, this order contained twelve families, but only three families— Equidae (the horse and related species), the tapir and the rhinoceros—have survived to the present day. The earliest equids known as Hyracotherium developed approximately 54 million years ago, during the Eocene period. One of the first true horse species, it had 4 toes on each front foot, and 3 toes on each back foot. the extra toe on the front feet soon disappeared, and by the Pleistocene era, as the horse adapted to a drier, prairie environment, the 2nd and 4th toes disappeared on all feet, and horses became bigger. These side toes first shrunk in size until they have vanished in modern horses." Source:en.wikipedia.org

As for the minis not needing the ponies (or any other breed) or that we have enough good genetics to make a true breed, well no we dont, period. We have bred out most of true horse form to function conformation and ability to perform as a horse. We have basically made mini horse statues, they look good but most (not all) cant do anything expected of a horse very well.

Midget ponies back in the day were NOT the dwarfs that we have as a genetic problem, they were called dwarfs or midgets because they were just little, some had a problem I am sure, whether they carried a mutated gene or not. We will never know, soo many pedigrees were faked and "lost" that we could be still breeding brother to sister and not know it (because we still put unknown on pedigrees that are hardshipped).

I will stop there.

John
 

miniwhinny

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Thanks John,

I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Thanks for the little evolution snippit.
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Just to add - any outside influence is small...the odd breeding because it doesn't change the genetics enough. I have Dr. Gus Cothrans dendorgam of horse breeds and their genetic relationship to each other right here in front of me.

The miniature clusters genetically right next to and in the same bracket as the Shetland pony. So close that they are virtually one and the same. Interestingly enough breeds coming in close genetically are the Icelandic then Hackney pony, Norwegian Fjord and then Welsh pony. These all genetically cluster within the same bracket. With the Miniature Horse and Shetland pony being in the same group.
 

Arion Mgmt

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miniwhinny,

yes Dr. Cothrans info is quite useful to know how close these pony breeds are related (ie minis and shetlands). If you read about the Shetland background they come from those pony breeds you listed. That is why we ARE just SMALL PONIES, oh no I said it!!! I just cant see how people cant put 2 and 2 together. We just need to bring back more correct conformation and ability to perform.

As for a single cross not having much influence in a breed well I think the POA and Morgan are prime examples of how a single horse CAN change, make or influence a breed, and how it changes or makes its standard. That shows the power of genetics.

Even if it is just color, the color would come from the original genetic outcross, and if it was popular it would infiltrate tremendously. That is not to say the other characteristics would, it would depend on what is desired, as when a cross is chosen for movement or type.

I am working with Cornell right now on the height genetics in horses because I have the sampling size needed for Miniatures. (believe it or not it might just be one gene with different polymorphisms for the different height breeds like in dogs.) This will be similar to the diagram Gus has only it will just be about height polymorphisms with all breeds.
 

JWC sr.

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John,

it is interesting that you mention the Cornell study. When I got home from Congress, I had a package of kits from them to supply hair samples and measurements for the study. It will be interesting to see the results of the study.
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I appreciate the time you took the other night to explain the anomalies of the dwarfism testing. I have a much better understanding of the subject directly as a result of our conversation.
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kaykay

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That is why we ARE just SMALL PONIES, oh no I said it!!! I just cant see how people cant put 2 and 2 together.
Many many of us have said this on here for years but it always falls on deaf ears. I have to say our mini forefathers did a heck of a marketing job getting people to think they truly were "miniature horses" not "miniature ponies"

Dont know why pony seems to be such an offensive word to so many. Im dang proud of my whole herd of ponies from 30" to 46"

Just one more thing. It drives me nuts when people say the ASPC/AMHR horses are a fad. Well if its a fad it sure is a long one since some farms have been breeding them long before a lot of us even came a long. I just dont think a lot noticed them until the last 3 years when actually they have been around a very long time
 

LaVern

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That was my whole point John.   

      You must have missed my post, picturing Lucky Harts Lil Eohippus. I was just trying to make a joke by saying that little horses were around a long time before any breed or club or association. 

       Because of their height, they were the original miniature horses.  Well, actually they were the original horse.   So, all horses have descended from the miniature horse including the Shetland Pony, not the other way around.  
 

miniwhinny

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That is why we ARE just SMALL PONIES, oh no I said it!!! I just cant see how people cant put 2 and 2 together.
John, I HONESTLY can't imagine there being one single person out there who seriously thinks otherwise. Granted marketing them as "miniature horses" is a lot "cooler" than calling them "rather small ponies" to those interested in making money hahahahah but I truely can't believe anyone knowing anything about what makes a horse vs. a pony fooling themselves into thinking these are horses. Everything about them from their ear shape to their winter woolies screams PONIES ponies ponies ponies...very small ponies hehehehehhehe
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