Halter Typing

AIMHCNZ Inc events and shows may incorporate the following sections:-

  • Foundation
  • Classic
  • Modern

Halter typing is a cornerstone of AIMHCNZ Inc.  It has been implemented to ensure
that a level playing field is created in the show ring to encourage people with older or unfashionable types of miniature horse to return to the show ring. 

Other types may be introduced if a type of horse is introduced into the miniature horse show ring that doesn’t reasonably fit into any existing category. Horses will be assessed in accordance with the The Horsing Typing Assessment Policy


  1. Foundation horses tend to be strong, slightly stocky, compact horses with well-proportioned curves similar to a Stock horse, Quarter horse or Welsh cob.
  2. They have sturdy bone, particularly noticeable in the hocks, cannon bones and knees.
  3. The body and legs should form a square profile; some exhibits may be slightly more rectangular in appearance. The forearm is often short and length of leg to girth ratio similar or less.
  4. Tail set tends to be medium to low.
  5. The neck is often stout, straight and short forming a triangle shape from the poll to wither, down to the chest and back to the poll. Often the neck is lower set on the chest, with the head and neck being held on slightly higher than the rest of the body. there is not always a lot of flexion at the poll, but usually a noticeable throat latch and jowl profile. Any crest is in proportion to the rest of the body, but overall the animal is not unusually or abnormally proportioned.
  6. The head may have a coarser or heavier appearance with a squarer set jaw, straight to slightly dished profile and a thicker muzzle.
  7. The ears tend to be small and triangular.
  8. Generally, a large eye is common, well set between a wide forehead.
  9. These horses usually have a thick, flowing mane and tail, a slightly denser, longer winter coat and more feather around the fetlocks.
  10. A foundation horse’s hooves tend to be well rounded and slightly heavy in appearance with a shallow hoof capsule.
  11. This horse will move with strength and boldness, with an even, medium to short length stride, without excessive expression.
  12. A foundation horse will normally express a quiet, amenable and placid nature.


  1. Classic horses are finer or more petite than their foundation cousins, with well-muscled, gentle curves similar to that of an Anglo, Arab or English Riding Pony.
  2. They are finer boned, particularly noticeable in the cannon bone and hock areas.
  3. The body and legs should form a square profile; some exhibits may be slightly more rectangular in appearance. The length of leg to girth ratio is similar or longer, with a forearm typically longer than the foundation horse.
  4. A tail set coming off a nicely rounded croup, neither too high, nor too low.
  5. This horse should have a longer, thinner, more shapely neck, with a more defined throat latch and more flexion at the poll than the foundation horse. the necks should come out of a nicely sloping shoulder, set higher up out of the chest, giving a straight to slightly gentle arch to the head and neck set. The crest should be minimal and in proportion to the rest of the body.
  6. The head is smaller and more refined than the foundation horse, with a slightly straight or more dished profile, a shapely jaw line and a smaller muzzle.
  7. The ears tend to be nicely placed, expressive and average to small in size; some may be gently curved inwards and sometimes ‘tippy’.
  8. Classic horses usually have a large to medium sized eye, well placed in a nicely proportioned forehead.
  9. The coat should be fine without a coarse, heavy coat and feathering in the winter, manes and tails are rarely extremely full.
  10. Classic horses have hooves that are well shaped and refined, tapering nicely from the end of the leg.
  11. These horses tend to move with light, even paces, some may show some extension and expression, while not being exaggerated or extravagant.
  12. The classic horse should show a gentle, compliant, manner, while being attentive to its surroundings. The stallion may often show more energy and presence than the mare or gelding.


(For horses with modern characteristics – will include most American Shetlands (AS) and Derivatives)

The aim of the Modern ring is to preserve the Classic horse ring for miniature horses as we knew them in 2010 prior to the influence of the American Shetland Pony. Horses bred in later years with this modern breeding including, but not limited to, mini x AS and AS derivatives will most likely* fall into this category.

  1. Modern horses are refined with a trim, tight barrel and elegant, refined curves with the overall appearance of a small horse, similar in type to an American Shetland Pony, Hackney or refined English Show Pony.
  2. Much finer boned than their classic cousins, especially as young stock; some senior stock can show a definite thickening in the leg bone.
  3. These horses typically fit nicely into a square profile and are rarely long in the back. Length of leg to girth ratio is typically longer, particularly as young stock.
  4. Tail set is generally medium to high, coming off a flat top line and croup.
  5. These horses show a very refined, often shorter head, with a straight to mildly dished profile; smooth, tapered jawline down towards the refined small muzzle, often with flared nostrils. The head should be carried high on a well arched neck.
  6. The modern horse will have a longer, thinner, often well arched neck, coming high set out of a nicely sloping shoulder, but often tied well back at the wither giving the appearance of a very upright, high-headed horse.
  7. The throatlatch should be refined, but not overly well defined, blending smoothly out of the neck and into the jawline; many exhibits often having a ‘swan’ like appearance to head/throatlatch/upper neck area. Thickening of the throatlatch and neck in mature stock is not uncommon.
  8. The ears should be well placed, short and pert.
  9. A medium sized eye, nicely placed in a refined forehead.
  10. Modern horses tend to have much finer, shorter, less full manes and tails, with finer, shorter winter coats.
  11. The modern horses’ hooves are generally well shaped, tapering nicely from the end of the leg, with a slightly deeper hoof capsule.
  12. Movement is free with animation, energy and expression; showing good flexibility at the knees and hocks.
  13. Typically, these horses will show energy and excitement in their manner.
  14. *NOTE: While most horses with modern breeding will fit into this category, we recognise that occasionally, a horse may display more classic or even foundation characteristics. Some horses will be borderline. If you have a horse with modern breeding that you think should show in the classic ring, please have your horse assessed by AIMHCNZ Inc Affiliated Club Assessors to determine where it should show.
  15. Where a minimum of 3 experienced AIM Typing Assessors are not able to classify a borderline horse – the horse shall be shown in the type which typically depicts a ‘finer’ type of horse, of the types being considered for the horse. for example: Foundation/Classic to be shown in Classic; Classic/Modern to be shown in Modern