Spotting conformation faults?
I found a few pics with conformation faults. Each has one predominant fault, but there may be others worth discussing, as we all know that faults rarely only affect one part of the horse.
Can you guess them? What are your thoughts? How do they affect performance?
- DaltonLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
Horse 1 has a very straight shoulder, it's withers are higher than it's croup, and it's back hocks are turned under it. It's not going to be super athletic and it's gaits will be short and choppy. It'll be a rough ride.
Horse 2 really looks like it could be built more like a tennessee walker. It doesn't scream walker at me when I look at it, but it has a big head, it's hocks are set further out behind it and it isn't as well muscled as you'd want a quarter horse. Regardless of that, it's back is long and it's croup is higher than it's withers. It will make it hard for the horse to shift it's weight off it's front end and become collected. You'll be pushed forward in the saddle as well.
Horse 3 is at a bad angle. There is nothing obviously wrong with it, but it appears to be a young horse, maybe 2-3 years old.
Horse 4 also doesn't have what I'd call an obvious flaw, though if it's throat latch was cleaner, it could more comfortable breath when you are working it collected.
Well, I hope I got close. What do you think.
- RocconisseLv 51 decade ago
What a fantastic question!! I love to practice conformation judging and really want to get better, so this is great! I really hope more people answer so I can learn :)
#1 Short croup (croup = from the point of the hip to the butt). A short croup decreases a horse's ability to move with speed or power, since there's not as much muscle power back there to move them forward. The croup should makeup about 25-30% of the horse's overall length.
#2 The horse is standing weirdly, but I believe he's sickle-hocked (hock = joint at the level of the knee but in the rear). This means that no matter what his stance, the way his cannon bones (long, lower leg bones) attach to his upper leg is more hook-shaped than normal. This will decrease his power and ability to collect and takeoff well. It will also mean he's predisposed to leg injuries and unsoundness.
#3 Definitely cow-hocked-- this means the horse's rear legs point outwards. In this case, however, it looks like the horse's whole leg is rotating outwards, which is better than if just his cannon bones and below were rotated; there's no stress on the joints this way. This conformation might effect speed or trotting ability, but is more of a cosmetic flaw.
#4 Pig-eye! This is the same image as on the wikipedia equine conformation article :) He looks sqquuuiiiinty lol. He might have less of a visual field than a horse with big eyes, and there's the old story that a horse with larger eyes is more intelligent, but really it's a cosmetic thing.
- MarianneLv 61 decade ago
1. Well.....His croup is a little itsy-bit steeper than I'd like, and he might be sickle hocked behind. But he also might toe out a bit behind- It's hard to tell if it's just the way he's standing or not. He has a pretty prominent withers which makes sense as he has a decently sloping shoulder angle. His pasterns are not overly sloping or upright. Overall he seems decent, although if there truly is something funky with the hind end it could effect his soundness for strenuous sports, especially those that work off of the hind end.
2. He has a nasty upsidedown neck, but I think it's due to incorrect riding more than anything. He might be a little sickle hocked or that could be how he's standing- He could also be camped out behind or that could be the way he's standing, and his head is pretty coarse. His left hind pastern looks a little upright, but that leg is stretched out so that could be false. He might toe out a bit all around- His shoulder angle is decent, although his hind end could use some muscular development. I think he could benefit from some work with someone well-versed in Classical Dressage, rather than someone well-versed in Pull-them-into-a-headset-ism - I really think it's due to training, not so much to a basic ewe neck.
3. Maybe a little knock kneed, or perhaps it's just some odd twisting in that left front. He might be a little cow hocked, but the angle is terrible and he's resting the one hind, so it could be an optical illusion.
4. Poor little pig eyed horse. No one loves him. Luckily pig-eyes and coarse heads only really hurt them in the looks department, not so much soundness and performance.
- ms mannersLv 71 decade ago
Actually, I kind of like #1....he is a little straight shouldered, which shortens gait, (but that might be partly the way he is standing), a little short in the croup, and his neck is not the best, but you can fix a weak neck by putting the horse on the bit. I could see him as a cow horse...he stands under, which is often good for a reining or cutting horse, is nicely muscled, and has nice pasterns...a nice, sturdy little horse.
#2 - ewe necked, straight shouldered, not enough hindquarters, big ugly head....definitely not my type.
#3 waaaayyy too narrow, and cow hocked.
#4 there must have been a sale on ewe necked horses. :o) Not a pretty head, but pretty typical for a grade horse, and nothing that would hurt performance...just not attractive.
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- 4 years ago
some small issues my Ag instructor instructed me to pay interest on whilst i became into on the equine assessment team have been: -The withers, you want a horse with sharp withers, because it keeps the saddle from sliding up the neck. incredibly ordinary to locate, yet nevertheless a element human beings seem to forget. -the place the neck ties in on the chest, you do no longer want it to tie in to low, or the horse would be thick necked and seem atypical and unattractive and would have matters grazing. -The throat latch, that's often a 'what seems ultimate' form of ingredient. you want the horse's throat latch to be tight and clean. -The croup, you want a mushy, sloping croup, to no longer steep nor to flat. -the middle girth, you want the horse to be deep with regard to the middle girth; greater area for a huge, sturdy coronary heart and lungs. -The shoulder, you want a shoulder sloping at 40 5 levels to permit the utmost selection of action. -The hip, you want the horse to have a huge hip and a quick loin to have the main sturdy lower back and rear section. those are all form of consumer-friendly, common issues, yet i'm undecided how plenty you already comprehend. i'm hoping some nevertheless helped.