I just acquired the cutest little gelding for my daughter. He was advertised as a "large mini at 39 inches tall." He is quite stout and we wonder if he might actually be a shetland or shetland cross of some sort? I'd love to hear opinions on him!
I'm sure the pics aren't great for this purpose but I can try to get some better ones.
I've seen miniatures that are as tall as 40". It doesnt make them not miniatures, it just makes them unregisterable. Much better suited to riding though, if that's what you're wanting him for.
He does have more of a shetland build though, if you ask me. Atleast with ours, the shetlands tend to have more 'stout' builds and larger heads because they're ponies, not horses. And your boy has quite the head! It will be easier to tell once he sheds out though. He sure is a cutie!
For reference: the paint in front is 100% Shetland, and the black in the back is a 1/2 Shetland 1/2 miniature horse.
LOL, were joking last night about his big head because the fancy 'large mini' size halter I bought for him doesn't come close to fitting. Hopefully that big ole noggin is holding lots of brains. He's a good boy so far, very patient and a good babysitter.
We love him either way, I was just curious if someone with more experienced eyes would see shetland in him like we thought we did.
Not all minis and not all horses for that matter fit the breed standard.
I owned one who was 37''. That being said, yours could be a mini but he could also possibly a shetland cross as you've suggested. Hard to say
Well he's definitely no refined mini, if he really is purebred! XD no worries though, he's adorable. I'd post another picture of him later this spring and try to get a few pound off of him. It should be easier to distinguish his breed then. Everyone is just a big puffball right now!
Remember, The Mini Horse is a height breed and not a breed as most would know it. So if your boy is 39", he is not a Mini or even classed as a large Mini.
The AMHR (American Miniature Horse Registry) is a subsidiary of the American Shetland Pony Club. The AMHR registers miniature horses in two divisions. The "A" division recognizes horses that mature at 34 inches or less. The "B" division recognizes horses over 34 inches to 38 inches. Horses in this registry are given temporary registrations when they are juveniles. They receive permanent registration at three years of age after being measured for height to determine what division they will be placed in. It is a closed registry meaning that both of the parents need to be registered in order for a foal to be registered. The AMHR will, however, accept foals for registry if their parents are AMHA registered.
The AMHA (American Miniature Horse Association) is a stand-alone association. It recognizes only horses that measure 34 inches or less. Juveniles are issued temporary registrations in this registry also. Unlike the AMHR, however, permanent certification is not made until 5 years of age to assure that horses are fully grown prior to receiving their permanent registration. This is a closed registry and will only accept foals that have both parents with AMHA registrations. There is a hardship registration at 5 years for horses that do make the height requirements although the registration fees are quite expensive.
Checking pedigrees, one will find the majority of Mini Horses today, have Shetland, somewhere in their background.
Opinions differ one whether a unregistered pony/horse meeting the height requirements for a mini is really considered a mini. A mini must be 38" or under no matter what, otherwise it is unregisterable. That does not mean it is not a mini though. If I have a mini and it exceeds 38" in height, they pull my registration papers on this horse, but it does not mean it still is not a miniature horse.
Now looking at that boy, I would say he looks more like a sheltand than a mini, IMO. Pretty boy and as long as he does what you want then who cares what breed he technically is!