Arizona Touch of Class Miniature Horse Show

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Sunday, March 22, 2015
The Miniature Horse Association of Arizona sponsors the Touch of Class Miniature Horse Show in the Equidome at Westworld in Scottsdale Arizona. Most remarkable event running the weekend and definitely worth the trip - they may be small but they are mighty!
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There are two registries in the United States for Miniature Horses, the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) and the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR). The AMHA was founded in 1978 and was dedicated to establishing the Miniature horse as a distinct breed of horse.[1][2] Many of the international organizations are associated with the AMHA, including clubs throughout Canada and in several European countries.[3] The AMHR is a division of the American Shetland pony Club and was established as a separate registry in 1972.[4] Worldwide, there are dozens of miniature horse registries. Some organizations emphasize breeding of miniatures with horse characteristics, others encourage minis to retain pony characteristics. Along with registries for miniature horses in general, there are also breed-specific registries, such as several for the Falabella horse.

In the AMHR, Miniatures cannot exceed 34 inches at the withers (which the AMHR defines as located at the last hair of the mane). There are two divisions in AMHR - the "A" division for horses 34 inches (86 cm) and under, and the "B" division for horses 34 to 38 inches (86 to 97 cm).[6] The AMHA requires that horses stand under 34 inches. Horses of any eye or coat color, and any form of white markings, are allowed to be registered. The AMHA standard suggests that if a person were to see a photograph of a miniature horse, without any size reference, it would be identical in characteristics, conformation, and proportion to a full-sized horse.[1] According to the AMHR, a "Miniature should be a small, sound, well-balanced horse and should give the impression of strength, agility and alertness. A Miniature should be eager and friendly but not skittish in disposition.

They are generally quite hardy, often living longer on average than some full-sized horse breeds; the average life span of miniature horses is from 25 to 35 years.[7] However, there are also some health issues that are more frequently found in miniature horses than their full-sized relatives. Overfeeding is a common problem in miniature horses, leading to obesity; this is especially true when owners are used to owning full-sized horses. Dental issues, including crowding, brachygnathism (overbites) and prognathism (underbites) are frequently seen, due to having the same number of teeth in a much smaller mouth. They can also experience retention of deciduous teeth (baby teeth) and sinus problems from overcrowding. The combination of a propensity for overeating and dental problems can lead to an increased occurrence of colic. A major metabolic problem seen more frequently in miniature horses is hyperlipemia, where an appetite-reducing stressor can cause the body to break down significant amounts of fat, overwhelming the liver and potentially leading to liver failure. Reproduction is also more difficult in miniature horses, with a higher incidence of difficult births and a greater potential for eclampsia. The majority of the health problems seen more frequently in miniature horses are easily rectified with proper feeding and maintenance.

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