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darlin

Topaz



Topaz was an accidental purchase at an auction.
In reading the auction catalog, the seller had purchased several horses about a month before at another auction, and the info on this mare was duplicated from the info before, giving her the wrong sire and size. She was older and taller than she was listed (38" rather than 35"), and we hadn't seen her up close  in the pen where she had been held beforehand. DH was willing to put in a bid at the starting price, and didn't want to go beyond that. However, a bidder behind him raised his hand at the same time, and the auctioneer took that bid and then David's, bumping our bid by $50. had a very unhappy spousal unit when we realized what had happened, but paid and took her home. It was easy to see that she was an experienced broodmare, and hadn't been handled all that much. As we got to groom and handle her, we began to find the scars. She appeared to be the survivor of a dog or other predator attack. Under her jaw, she had more scar tissue than muscle. Her hindquarters had been shredded, with scars along her hip, and up between her legs. She was very sensitive about her back legs. In retrospect, she may have had enough tendon damage to back it difficult to stand while holding up one hind leg. She still accepted that she had to cooperate with whatever handling was needed. 
One thing that was accurate was that she had indeed been bred by a small pinto stallion, and about 9 months after we bought her, she delivered a flashy pinto filly, Amber.


We began to seek the right home for her, having some difficulty because of her size. When we brought Smoke & Mirrors back, we wound up putting them together to keep him controlled, and finally sold her about a year ago, along with Smoke & Mirrors. this turned out to be an interim home, before she went to another new mini owner. During the course of that summer, even tho she had been vaccinated for several years, she contracted West Nile Virus, but was cared for and able to recover and foal a lovely filly in the fall. We hope that she has now found the home she needed when she went through the first auction up north in the fall of 2003.

Comments

Heh, I love horse people. "I accidentally came home with a horse!"

Is 38" above some cut-off for miniatures?
yeah, the only thing worse than that "accidental" purchase is the multiple purchases of the same horse. I've got a couple who have kept coming back.

In miniatures, cause we have way too many dog breeders in setting up the standards, there are height qualifications for keeping their paperwork.
Measuring from the location of the last hair of the mane, with an approved rigid stick, an AMHA miniature cannot exceed 34". An AMHR miniature may be an "A" division horse up to the 34" mark, and a "B" division horse if they exceed 34" but go to 38".
There are several factors related to these rigid, arbitrary and surprisingly elastic standards.
1. pit ponies used in Wales & Appalachia had to negotiate tunnels generally about a yard or so in height.
2. breeders seeking a new market as the Shetland pony market crashed recognized that those little ponies under "yeah high" were marketable, especially the more refined, prettier ones being bred by some early breeders.
3. the way minis were shown became influenced not only by horse people, but also by those showing and breeding dogs, resulting in a weird conflation of shwoing traditions.
4. any horse, on a given day, will stand taller, or more bunched up, body condition and hoof trimming will affect a horse where a half inch of height will affect which class he's shown in. in larger shows, classes are dividied in two inch increments of height.
before I got into minis, I found a horse book discussing the different horse classifications, and they used the following guidlines:
anything under a meter in height at the withers is a miniature
from a meter in height to 14 hands 2 inches is a pony
over 14.2 is a horse.
I generally prefer to use this as a breeding standard. some of my best horses have been large Bs, and we bred them to small (30") stallions for a nice, balanced horse. Some of my favorites have been between 33-35".
Ahh, very interesting, thanks. I'm familiar with the hunter pony divisions (and the way people will turn themselves inside out trying to get ponies [or honies] to measure), so I figured there might be something similar in the miniatures. Just wasn't sure of the details. Now I have learned my new thing for the day!