American Shetland Pony Club (ASPC)
The ASPC is the registry that started the American Shetland Pony Club, Inc. and is the main breed registry of the organization - the American Shetland Pony. Through the generations, there was a need for classifications within that breed registry to foster greater participation in the show ring and develop the best equine within this diverse breed. These four types are used to determine classes in which a particular American Shetland Pony will compete and each offers a variation in body type while keeping true to the American Shetland breed and conformation.
Registry that make up the ASPC:
Heritage, Heart, Gentle, Smart, Hardy, Inquisitive and Kind
The Foundation division of Shetland ponies was founded by members in the late 1990's. The purpose was to preserve the type of pony that most clearly resembled the breed that the American Shetland Pony Club (ASPC) was formed to represent.
The Foundation Shetland pony was not the same pony that stepped off the boats from the Shetland I...
The Classic American Shetland embodies all of these qualities
Classics (as Classic American Shetlands are often called) carry the ageless beauty and grace of a time-honored and well-crafted breed. Their heritage spans three centuries while their future is unlimited. The vaunted history of ASPC and its ponies date back to the 1800s when Shetlands were first imported into the United States from the Shetland Isles.
From the very beginning, those Shetlands were selectively bred to improve the pony and create a truly American breed. Today's Classic American Shetland is a testament to the look, conformation and style honed in the American Shetland since those first days.
In general, Classic American Shetland Ponies are a refined version of both the British Shetland and their early American ancestors. With well-planned, selective breeding and cultivation for more than 120 years, the result is an appealing pony that continues to grow in popularity. This breed is often regarded for their outstanding toplines, well-made bodies and refinement about the ears, head and throatlatch.
Classics will generally have more substance than the ultra-refined Modern and less animation. Still, Classics are never coarse, are usually exceptionally conformed and should move with beauty and style. Short, sharp erect ears, prominent eyes and a refined jaw all contribute to the Classic Shetland's allure. Today, both stately, solid-colored Shetlands and fancy, spotted animals are both popular. Shetlands can be any color except appaloosa.
Athletic, Graceful, Animated, Spirited, Thrilling, and Sophisticated are descriptive of the Modern American Shetland Pony.
Modern American Shetlands are not your grandparent's Shetlands. Today's Modern American Shetland ponies combine the beauty and hardiness of the Classic American Shetland, with the excitement and animation of a Hackney pony. The result is simply elegance in motion.
This sophisticated pony with its extreme action and spirited personality is truly at home in the show ring. Modern Shetland ponies are shown in two height categories: under 43" at the wither and 43" -46" at the wither. They excel in performance classes including roadster, fine harness and pleasure driving.
Their abilities don't stop there, however. As a general rule, although extremely spirited, most Moderns are also willing and extremely trainable. A well-trained Modern Shetland can not only excel in the exciting performance divisions noted above, but can make a superb and people-pleasing, all-around athlete. Today, beyond harness and roadster, you can find Moderns as an athletic responsive mount for a child, excelling in Liberty, costume, in hand obstacle, or going over fences in the popular pony jumper division.
A good headset, superb carriage and high action most often define a great Modern American Shetland performance or halter pony. Modern Shetlands are a thrill to watch and even more exciting to own and show. They are often a favorite of converts with owners from the Saddlebred, Arabian, Morgan and Hackney breeds.
A Modern Shetland - But Not Quite As Extreme
For those newer to ponies or who enjoy a refined, nicely moving pony without the more extensive work required of a Modern harness or roadster pony, the Modern Pleasure Shetland is a wonderful alternative.
Ponies in the Modern Pleasure division are animated but not as extreme in their movement as Modern American Shetland. Modern Pleasure ponies are shown with the tail in a natural position. They follow the same conformation guidelines and height classes as the Modern Shetlands. Their gaits are generally collected and balanced but display less extreme action than the Modern Roadster or Modern Harness pony, making them very popular in the amateur classes.
Elegant and graceful Modern Pleasure ponies offer something for anyone moved by society ponies.