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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    318

    Default Conformation does NOT a JUMPER make, n'est pas???

    So, I was chatting with an individual recently, who mentioned the concept of a specific "jumper conformation"... And, if I understood this person correctly, they were suggesting that ANY horse, demonstrating that particular "jumper" conformation, would be able to perform efficiently and excellently in the discipline of jumping, irrespective of their breed, pedigree, etc...

    So, I thought it would be helpful for the members of this forum to comment on this issue... And, trully, I am asking this question from the point of view of merely wanting to hear about the "science" of what makes a great jumper, etc...

    Is there a specific conformation that ALWAYS makes an excellent, efficient jumper???

    What is it??? Examples???

    Thanks!
    Gleann Oighrig LLC
    Showing, Sales, Breeding, and Boarding
    Manakin-Sabot, Virginia



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2004
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    4,086

    Default

    Not if they don't want to jump.

    Any horse CAN jump but wanting is a whole nutter thang
    *^*^*^
    Himmlische Traumpferde
    "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2013
    Posts
    125

    Default

    I'm no conformation guru by any means, but I'll chip in my two cents. I imagine there's a certain type, or a couple types, who're built to perform better when it comes to a particular discipline. However, there're so many other factors that add up to either work for or against that horse becoming, say, a Grand Prix jumper, or being a horse who's only competitive up to 1.10m... If that. The horse needs the personality and the brains to want to perform at that level, to be brave enough to encounter those obstacles that are tall, wide, made to look daunting and jump over a succession of them. Training, management, and welfare aren't to do with conformation necessarily, but will also make or break a lot of possibilities. Scare a horse badly enough, it may never jump again, or may only jump with a seasoned veteran aboard.

    On a related side note, I'd say you always have to keep in mind the horse and rider and whether they have the makings to be a successful combination. For example, I've heard Hickstead was passed over by other extremely talented riders before Eric became his rider because he was too difficult and some people doubted he would ever become the horse he did. A horse can have boundless talent, but if they're not paired with the rider who can give them the ride they need to be successful, no one would ever know it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
    Location
    Mirabel, QC
    Posts
    2,656


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2012
    Location
    california
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Here is some of the opinions that I've seen:

    -it's been established that jumping ability is hereditary. Whether it's desire, conformation, brains, depth perception or a combination thereof hasn't been established. It can be destroyed.

    -There are breeds that may like to jump (fresians, percherons) that maybe shouldn't be campaigned because it will hurt them because of general conformation.

    -there are breeds that have the athletic genetics (TBs) that maybe shouldn't be campaigned because of individual conformation (long lumbar gap, club feet).

    -there are warmblood verbands that look at specific horses and cast them as types according to conformation + pedigree. (shoulder slope, head set, length of back to leg ratio, etc.)

    Now what I've experienced hasn't necessarily followed what the opinions that I've seen, thank goodness.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2012
    Location
    california
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Here is some of the opinions that I've seen:

    -it's been established that jumping ability is hereditary. Whether it's desire, conformation, brains, depth perception or a combination thereof hasn't been established. It can be destroyed.

    -There are breeds that may like to jump (fresians, percherons) that maybe shouldn't be campaigned because it will hurt them because of general conformation.

    -there are breeds that have the athletic genetics (TBs) that maybe shouldn't be campaigned because of individual conformation (long lumbar gap, club feet).

    -there are warmblood verbands that look at specific horses and cast them as types according to conformation + pedigree. (shoulder slope, head set, length of back to leg ratio, etc.)

    Now what I've experienced hasn't necessarily followed what the opinions that I've seen, thank goodness.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2008
    Location
    Maryland USA
    Posts
    1,194

    Default

    There is a sport horse type that is ideal for jumping. That is why Holstein has cultivated it for 70 years. Some studbooks only cultivate horses that jump well, but in Holstein they must stand in a particular type if they are to be used for breeding. This has made them the best jumper studbook in the world. However, conformation is only one aspect of what makes a good jumper. Ride-ability, train-ability, quickness, sturdyness(sp?) are also important. I will say, and this is very important, conformation can be selected so that it improves those other aspects. This is why "Type" matters, because what is easy for a horse to do, it will do easily. So although there are numerous exceptions to the rule, it is the pursute of this "Sport Horse Type" that has made them successful. The paper studbooks don't understand this and have to breed many mores horses to achieve a lesser degree of accomplishment.

    When selecting a riding horse, you pick the horse that has the most ability regardless of type, but when choosing a breeding horse, type is paramount.

    Tim
    Sparling Rock Holsteiners
    www.sparlingrock.com


    3 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    318

    Default

    Thanks so much to all who have commented thus far... And, I am so enjoying reading the references on the www.JWEquine.com site! On a quick break at work, so have to run now, but please keep the comments coming! Thanks again!
    Gleann Oighrig LLC
    Showing, Sales, Breeding, and Boarding
    Manakin-Sabot, Virginia



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2011
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    Posts
    2,337

    Default

    I ride jumpers, but lurk on the SHB forum, but I figured I'd toss in my two cents.

    Having a jumper with good conformation is wonderful, if their brain matches. The most perfectly built jumper in the world will never succeed if they don't WANT to jump. However, the biggest heart in the world with horrible conformation might not succeed, either... conformational flaws might lead to soundness issues, etc.,

    So no, good conformation doesn't set you up 100% for a successful jumper. But it DOES help, especially if the "will" and heart to jump are there.
    I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.



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