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MiLo Minis

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I am seeing the beginning of what to me is an alarming trend. At several shows I have attended this year I have seen what are essentially Hackney Ponies being exhibited and winning as Miniature Horses. What I find alarming about this is that we all know what wins in the show ring is what becomes the goal to breed for. I started out breeding Miniature Horses because of my love for what they were - wonderful, sweet natured, family friendly small horses. I did not choose to breed Hackney Ponies because I don't find them to be what the Miniature Horse is. That is not to say that no one else can love them but if they do, and they choose to own and breed them, there are already venues out there for them to show their ponies. I realize that the Miniature Horse registries are height registries alone but we do have a breed standard of perfection in our rule book and it does not to me describe a Hackney or Modern Shetland type. Perhaps it is time that we have a more distinct, less open to interpretation, standard of perfection written for our breed?
 

Leeana

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I have not seen any miniature horses showing that even imo come close to resembling a hackney or modern.

Of course we all should breed what we like, but if we want our horses to be able to compete at the highest levels ..then in my opinion your going to have to take into account what type/traits are winning and why they are winning. If you really do not like the look, then of course you do not have to sway your program towards that.

....i WISH there was a 34" modern or hackney pony ..i would snatch up one of those in no time
.
 

disneyhorse

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Sorry Leeana... I have seen some Modern Pleasure type ponies that are mini size in person... and know of a few Roadster and Fine Harness Moderns that ARE mini size
These ponies are going to be beee-a-utiful in the driving ring.

I personally don't mind the "tiny Shetland" look. I think with most breeds, the high-bred horses you see in the show ring aren't always the only ones out there. Lots of backyard breeders breed off-type horses of ALL breeds.

Take, for instance, the draft horses. The "hitchy" show-type horses are leggy and upright and kind of hot. However, the average Amish farmer or Joe-shmoe who rides their draft on the trail have less hitchy show types. This is pretty normal for breeds.

I just see people clinging to the "old type" and denouncing the "new type" because they are resistant to change. But, the show ring does change as exhibitors and breeders strive to improve the breed.

Yes, "improvement" can be subjective, but obviously a LOT of judges, breeders, and exhibitors must like the Shetland type because that is what's winning. If the majority felt the other way, it probably wouldn't progress like that.

Juuuust my opinion! I have seen a few National Grand Champion ASPC/AMHR horses in person and they are TO DIE FOR and YES my "standard of perfection" for sure!

Andrea
 

MiLo Minis

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If that is your standard of perfection then by all means go out and get yourselves a Hackney or Modern Shetland PONY and breed them down to whatever size you want but if you want a Miniature HORSE don't bring that into the Miniature Horse breed. Our original goal was to breed a HORSE in miniature and I am not any too sure that this is an IMPROVEMENT to our breed.
 
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bingo

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It is a rare horse that is Hackney in type but mini in size. Yes there is plenty of double even triple registered horses however I have not seen a 36 in mini that could truly compete in the modern division at Congress.

I think that many people view movement differently and some see anything that has a bit of oomph to it as hackney like others see anything with any admitted shetland blood in them as Hackney type.

Many seem to think the only horses winning are the double registered ones and they are the wave of the future. IMO they are simply admitting and being proud of the past. I do not believe you have to have a double registered horse to win.

That said I think at some point they will have to stop picking judges that seem to be more into the pony world then the minis be it thru breeding, training whatever to judge Nationals. Of course that does dictate what wins. I doubt they would have judges known for mini breeding and training judge Congress.

I do think the pendulum will swing back the other way as many will feel like the OP if they want a pony they will go and show ASPC there does need to be a distinction between the 2. I do not think it will swing all the way back but do think it will balance out.

Already long gone are the days that anything ASPC/AMHR registered will bring in big bucks simply due to the papers. You can already see the decline in quality in alot of double registered papers as many tried to bank on the fad and bred whatever they could to whatever they could to get those papers.
 

strass

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I've seen a few Hackneyish minis. Under certain judges, they win. There was a Hackney judge doing the money classes at Congress a few years back…man was that a long day. It was obvious where he was from. I’ve seen a couple do quite well at Nationals in the last couple of years as well. It wasn’t disguised at all...the trainer that brought the last one in the ring was a well known modern shetland and hackney trainer.

Personally, I love the classic shetland look. It was the baseline for the original miniature horses and most of the most popular bloodlines are derived from it. I’m not a modern shetland or hackney fan. I have nothing against them. (No modern shetland or hackney pony has ever done anything wrong to me.) I just can’t get past those heads. I also find their movement (that some people describe as graceful and beautiful) to be (in my opinion only) fake and unnatural.

Now, before we go and start getting all fired-up on some kind of anti-hackney crusade: Just remember that there’s a HUGE probability that there’s some shetland in your mini and there is also a small chance that the shetland in your mini might have been crossed to a hackney at some point in it’s ancestry.

I reckon that’s why they say that Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There’s a horse out there for everyone.

Bingo made a very good point in that it’s not the papers that make a horse great. However, on the part about mini people judging ponies: Lee Crutchfield is judging Congress this year. He’s pretty much a mini-guy.
 
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ontherisefarm

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I agree with Lori. I want to breed miniature horses not hackney ponies. I am not saying I dont appreciate some of refinedment in the newer minis but I think we need to think about conformation in the aspect of form to function. Just like in AQHA where thier Halter horses are powerhouses on too little legs I would be afraid that we are gonna breed frailty in our minis and also lose some of thier sweet dispositions breeding for hotter horses. Alot of people get into minis because for some reason they cant do biggies anymore but if thier disposition is hot it would still put some of those people off. Just a thought...
 
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disneyhorse

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If that is your standard of perfection then by all means go out and get yourselves a Hackney or Modern Shetland PONY and breed them down to whatever size you want but if you want a Miniature HORSE don't bring that into the Miniature Horse breed. Our original goal was to breed a HORSE in miniature and I am not any too sure that this is an IMPROVEMENT to our breed.
Wow, well remember "type" IS subjective. I don't like Quarter Horses at all (don't tell my Quarter Pony that!) so would I tell people who breed for QH type minis to just stick to QHs??? Or people who have miniature POA types (spotted and pretty little heads and some substance to them) to go away and just stick to their POAs and don't bring any of that POA stuff to the mini breed???

The breed is moving towards improvement, and I think the National Grand Champion of the past couple of years HAS been improved upon compared to the National Grand Champion of twenty or even ten years ago.

I just don't believe in sour grapes, that's all.

I agree with Lori. I want to breed miniature horses not hackney ponies. I am not saying I dont appreciate some of refinedment in the newer minis but I think we need to think about conformation in the aspect of form to function. Just like in AQHA where thier Halter horses are powerhouses on too little legs I would be afraid that we are gonna breed frailty in our minis and also lose some of thier sweet dispositions breeding for hotter horses. Alot of people get into minis because for some reason they cant do biggies anymore but if thier disposition is hot it would still put some of those people off. Just a thought...
The Hackney was specifically bred form to function... they are performers. They were not bred to "look good" persay, as they are quite noted for having an "unattractive head" among other things. Refinement does not instantly make a horse useless. Consider the dainty Arabian. Arabian horses are bred to be indestructible and endure, and they sure have endured! They can do a LOT with those spindly little legs and pencil necks that a thick horse can not. Heavy horses often have less stamina than a lighter bred horse.

Some people get into minis because they can't do "biggies" anymore... but that doesn't mean they don't come from a hotter horse background. Plenty of people into "biggies" like a hotter horse like the Thoroughbred, Arab, Saddlebred, etc. I think the most fight you will get for a more mellow mini will be because of the number of amateur-horsemen and children that are interested in the breed.

Minis are great because there ARE a lot of types... the Park type driving horses will attract those interested in a hot horse with lots of motion, and there are draft classes for the heavy draft type mini without a lot of action but more mellow. SEE? To each his own with the mini. I have always thought that was what is so special about minis. There IS no "one type." And the Shetland is another special small breed of equine. They have Foundation (mini "type" you could say) all the way up to the fancy hot Moderns.

I hate it's a "mini" versus "pony" that just steams me, because I LOVE them BOTH. BOTH breeds are wonderful, and YES there are equines who are BOTH.

Andrea
 
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MiLo Minis

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Now, before we go and start getting all fired-up on some kind of anti-hackney crusade: Just remember that there’s a HUGE probability that there’s some shetland in your mini and there is also a small chance that the shetland in your mini might have been crossed to a hackney at some point in it’s ancestry.
I am not on an anti Hackney crusade and I did try to make that clear in my thread
I AM on a PRO MINI crusade!
I am quite certain there is a ton of Shetland in most Miniatures and I am okay with that and if there is any Hackney blood in my Minis I can happily say that the evidence of it has been well bred out of them!
 

MiLo Minis

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Wow, well remember "type" IS subjective. I don't like Quarter Horses at all (don't tell my Quarter Pony that!) so would I tell people who breed for QH type minis to just stick to QHs??? Or people who have miniature POA types (spotted and pretty little heads and some substance to them) to go away and just stick to their POAs and don't bring any of that POA stuff to the mini breed???
The breed is moving towards improvement, and I think the National Grand Champion of the past couple of years HAS been improved upon compared to the National Grand Champion of twenty or even ten years ago.

I just don't believe in sour grapes, that's all.

Andrea
There are no sour grapes here Andrea, they don't make for good whine
People that are breeding for QuarterHORSE types are still breeding Miniature HORSES. They are becoming few and far between as that is not what is winning in the show ring which is my point exactly. They don't have the short back and tiny jowl of a pony and would fit into a breed standard of perfection describing a horse.
 

Minimor

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You know, I really think that the biggest problem still comes down to measuring. My biggest objection is to having ponies that are 42"...not 42" when measured as a pony but 42" when measured as a Mini, at the last mane hair....get measured in as 38" and are given their Mini papers. Then they go to shows and get measured in again so that they are allowed to show. That is what I really object to!

And yes, before anyone comes on and denies that this happens, IT DOES! I believe that once in awhile there's even one taller than 42" that gets measured in as being 38" or under and it's a farce. Once in awhile those ponies get protested and actually lose their papers, but it doesn't happen often enough. And there isn't enough penalty. When a pony gets measured in and gets it's AMHR papers, and then later gets protested and measures out...not by a half inch or even an inch but by several inches....it is my opinion that the steward that measured that pony in and the judge that witnessed it should both be fined and/or lose their cards.

If you can find a Modern Shetland that HONESTLY measures in as 38" or under then it is your right to have that as a Mini. That is, after all, within the rules of AMHR. That isn't the look that I personally want in a Mini, but I can't complain if others have that look. And I won't complain as long as that horse doesn't look like it's 43" at the last mane hair! I do hope, however, that there will still be a lot of judges that will prefer something different than that when they are out there in center ring!

My standard of perfection? long legs, short back, long hip, long neck that is set on high, long laid back shoulder, pretty head with big eyes, fine muzzle with thin walled nostrils and small teeth, no bulge to the forehead, dished face not necessary as long as the face is not convex--wider between the eyes than between the nostrils...tippy ears--they can be more like horse ears, as in a bit longer than the little short tippy pony ears we see on Minis (and I do love those short little pony ears too!) as long as they aren't too long and are well set on...3 good gaits with good extension. My ideal Mini would actually look a lot like my ideal Morgan!
 

Birchcrestminis

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I think the question was what is YOUR standard of perfection.

Just asking people what their vision of the perfect miniature

horse is. This is mine...

Araby type head with big eyes and little in tipping ears

moderate length of neck with a nice arch in it

short strong back

level croup with high set tail, carried in a pretty flagging

arch when animated

smooth body with some substance

straight legs with good bone and well shaped hooves

Thats what the mini of my dreams looks like!


 
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Leeana

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Sorry Leeana... I have seen some Modern Pleasure type ponies that are mini size in person... and know of a few Roadster and Fine Harness Moderns that ARE mini size
These ponies are going to be beee-a-utiful in the driving ring.

Andrea
Andrea, I did not say there were not ANY modern pleasure / moderns that are of mini size ...i can think of several off the top of my head but i do not think there are that many at the moment. I have not seen that many out YET ....but i do think they will be great influenced in the breed in the future. I am very excited about this personally
.

Have you seen the conformation these hackeys and moderns have?
. I am highly impressed with the consistant quality in the shetlands ....but i have recently for fun been checking out some hackney breeders and the conformation and consistant quality is just amazing.
 
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bingo

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. I am highly impressed with the consistant quality in the shetlands ....but i have recently for fun been checking out some hackney breeders and the conformation and consistant quality is just amazing.
Not to argue but I hear this from a couple people and honestly I think the Shetlands are not immune to poor breeding choices and poor quality as is minis and any other breed. Sadly i have seen more then a few :-(
 

disneyhorse

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No, Bingo... the Shetland isn't "immune" to poor breeding or conformation but the VAST majority is better quality compared to the VAST majority of miniatures!

I cruise the horsestudbook.com website daily and see what is being registered... the majority of the Shetlands are decent quality, free from huge glaring conformational issues.... while the majority of the Minis are dwarfy weird fuzzy things...

Andrea
 

Leeana

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No, Bingo... the Shetland isn't "immune" to poor breeding or conformation but the VAST majority is better quality compared to the VAST majority of miniatures!

I cruise the horsestudbook.com website daily and see what is being registered... the majority of the Shetlands are decent quality, free from huge glaring conformational issues.... while the majority of the Minis are dwarfy weird fuzzy things...

Andrea
Going off those horsestudbook.com photos ...i know personally when i go out to take registration photos, i more just try to make the pics "useable" and meet the amhr/aspc requirements...it takes me forever to get a photo that meets the requirements. None of my horses look like show horses in those pics, sorry
. My Congress Reserve Grand Champion and 4x congress champion on his registration papers do not do him justice but shows him how amhr/aspc requires for the pics. None of my reg photos do them justice, so i just do not find that an accurate way to define quality. Im sure others, like i, are just trying to get the photos to meet the requirements.
 
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MiLo Minis

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This is illustrating my point perfectly. We have had 2 people reply that they love Hackneys and 2 people reply with their standard of perfection which describes a horse type. For those that love Hackney Ponies they already exist and there are venues for showing them. IF they happen to be truly under 38" we have no choice but to accept them in the Miniature Horse registry, as Minimor states, as it is a height breed and our standard of perfection is so loosely worded any equine can fit the description. IF it was reworded to describe the standard of perfection of a HORSE than it would be more correct and it would eliminate the ponies from our breed as the judges would have reason to place them appropriately at the bottom of the class for having less than perfect HORSE conformation.

I do love a more hot blooded horse, always have and always will, but I expect them to be well mannered and easily handled with good temperaments and good conformation.

I have seen the nice conformation that many Shetlands and Hackneys have - VERY nice PONY conformation but as Bingo says there are also quite a few with not so nice conformation. I find quite often the Hackney types have a Roman profile which is not even acceptable in the Modern Shetlands which have quite a lot of Hackney blood in them and yet they quite often place in those classes too which if I were a Shetland person competing against them I would find upsetting as well as they are then changing the standard of perfection for that breed.

I also agree with Minimor that any steward measuring in any type of horse that is blatantly OVER the height limit for our breed should be censured severely. After all being a height registry that is THE most important consideration when accepting a hardship and if we can't depend on our licensed stewards to uphold our rules how can we expect any of the members to?
 

ontherisefarm

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I think the question was what is YOUR standard of perfection.

Just asking people what their vision of the perfect miniature

horse is. This is mine...

Araby type head with big eyes and little in tipping ears

moderate length of neck with a nice arch in it

short strong back

level croup with high set tail, carried in a pretty flagging

arch when animated

smooth body with some substance

straight legs with good bone and well shaped hooves

Thats what the mini of my dreams looks like!


I do believe you and I have the same dream......
 

crponies

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If you are going to further define the breed standard as horse instead of pony, which type of horse? There is so much variation out there in horses too. Also, Hackneys are more than ponies. There are also Hackney horses. I really don't think you could narrow down the breed standard much more without picking a specific type of horse and that would upset a lot of people. Also, there are always going to be people who do not like the look that is popular in the show ring. As others have said this is something that takes place in other breeds as well such as Quarter horses, Arabians, and Shetlands. If I ever get into breeding again it will probably be with more the classic Shetland type whether they be registered as miniatures and/or ponies.
 

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