Show Horse Today Cover: A Little Horsing Around With Shetland Ponies & Miniature Horses
Originally published in the November/December issue of Show Horse Today
Here at Show Horse Today, we know that show horses come in all shapes, sizes, colors and breeds! This issue, we have decided to introduce our readers to a few other show breeds, ones that prove good things come in small packages. Shetland Ponies and Miniature Horses are able to perform in many more disciplines than meets the eye: driving, halter, under saddle, Liberty, costume, in hand, roadsters, and sport. They also make pretty swell companion and therapy animals.
You never know where your next great show horse can come from!
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a horse, the American Shetland Pony or Miniature Horse may be just what you need. Most people are surprised how many ways there are to enjoy these magnificent small equines and just how much fun they can be.
Shetlands were first imported to the United States in the 1800’s. The American Shetland Pony Club was established in 1888 to govern the growing interest in these hardy little ponies. Today, ASPC is one of the oldest equine registries around. Since its early days, the ASPC has registered more than 170,000 American Shetlands. Today’s American Shetland business is going strong and the offerings have expanded. Shetland enthusiasts in this country can now participate in one of four beautiful-to-behold Shetland Divisions: Foundation, Class, Pleasure and Modern. Ponies can measure up to 46” at the wither.
Foundation Shetlands may be somewhat more refined than their imported ancestors, still, they are more conservative in type than other American Shetlands. They should have more bone and substance than today’s Classic American Shetland. A Foundation Shetland should have a well-balanced, strong, sturdy body in a compact package with an excellent topline, high tail-set and well-sprung ribs.
Classic American Shetland Ponies are a refined version of both the British Shetland and their early American ancestors. They have been carefully planned, bred and improved for more than a century now. This breed is often regarded for their outstanding top-lines, well-made bodies and refinement about the ears, head and throatlatch.
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