The American Miniature Horse is a beautiful, small, well balanced horse, that if all reference to size were eliminated, would have the smae conformational proportions of other full sized light breeds. THe mares demonstrate refinement and feminine qualities. THe mature stallions show boldness and masculinity. The general impression is to be a balanced individual regardless of size, with symmetry strength, agility and alertness. Movement is strong, natural, and athletic. In motion the horse will exude athleticism as demonstrated by suppleness of the shoulders and engaged hocks. In judging when characteristics are almost equal, preference MUST be given to the smaller horse.
Temperament is reflected in its personality. THe American Miniature HOrse is intelligent, curious, gentle, sensible, willing to co operate and easily trained
Measuring at the base of the last hair on the mane (art.X1, sec.4) the mature animal must not exceed 34 inches. Horses 2 yearsold and younger conform to height for age requirements as stated in the Show RUles (GR 020-height verification) and (CL - 005)
The head is beautiful, triangular in shape and comparitively small in proportion to the length of neck and body. The forehead is broad with large, prominent eyes. The eyes are set well apart and placed approximately 1/3 of the distance from poll to muzzle. the distance between eyes and muzzle is comparatively short. A profile might be straight or slighty dished below the eyes, blending into the nostrils on a small, refined muzzle.
When viewed from the side, the meeting point of the center incisor teeth should be equal and even. A slight deviation no more than half the width of the tooths' surface is permissable, without fault. The accuracy of the bite may vary according to age. As the premolars and molars move into location, the alignment of the jaw may vary during this process.
The neck is set on top of a well angulated shoulder, separating well above the point of the shoulder and blending into the withers, giving the impression of the neck sitting on top of the withers rather than in front of them. The slender neck is slightly arched forming a gentle curve from the poll to the back. It's length is in proportion to the body with the topline being considerably longer than the bottom line. The throatlatch is clean and well defined, allowing flexion at the poll and normal respiration.
THe shoulders are muscular, long, sloping and well angulated (45 - 50 degrees), allowing for a free swinging stride and an alert head and neck carraige.
The body is compact with a short back, short couplings, broad loins,deep flank and well sprung ribs. The back has a long, level, well muscled croupl and smoothly rounding at the hips. THe tail is well set and the underline of the body should be long but NOT tucked up at the flank. At maturity, the top of the hip must not be higher than the withers. The chest is medium width with defined muscular development.
The legs appear longer than the body is deep. They possess flat bone and an appearance of overall substance with refinement. The stifle is placed well forward and low in the flank area with thighs and gaskins well muscled. Legs are structurally straight and parellel when viewed from the front and back with hooves pointing directly ahead. The pasterns have sufficient length and angulations to provide a light springy step. The front legs possess a well muscled forearm relatively long in proportions to a short cannon. Front pasterns slope 45 to 48 degrees and blend smoothly with no change of angle from the hooves to the ground. The rear leg structure must demonstrate good angulations and proper flexion of the hocks for athletic movement. The gaskin is relatively long in relation to the cannon. The rear cannons are perpendicular to the ground when the points of the hocks and buttocks are in the same vertical lines. BAck pasterns slope 40 to 50 degrees abd blend smoothy with no change of angle from the hooves to the ground. The hooves are trimmed to a practical length and have sufficient toe length and angle with spread of the heels for the size and proportions of the animal.
The walk is a natural free flowing, four beat gait with length of stride proportional to the hight and length of the leg. The trot us a natural forward, two beat diagonal gait where the knee and hock are synchronized in their elevated, flexed and extension movement. When viewed at t walk and trot from the front, the horse will replicate the structural correctness of its stance. The American Miniature Horses' conformation allows them to trot willingly and freely at liberty or pulling a pleasure cart.