Just wondering, what might a "5" look like when speaking about conformation (shoulder, neck, topline, etc)? I have seen a lot of 6/7/8's and am fairly good at separating those out, but what really distinguishes between a 5 vs 6 or even a 4 vs 5?
I've not seen many 4s given at an inspection but I've seen plenty of 5s. Recently the Warmblood Studbook and Hanoverian Studbook people from Germany were here doing the classification rounds. One stallion of note was given a 5 for the free trot. The trot was very expressive and big but he kept losing rhythm. I think everyone was a bit stunned, a 5 is instant fail.
Several TB mares were also failed for the Hanoverian Studbook for not having big enough trots. They have to score a 7 or better. One also got a 5 for her head. She was a big TB mare with plenty of bone. In fact she looked like a warmblood - that was the problem. Classifier said she did not represent the TB breed well. Her head was large and a bit coarse with loppy ears and a smallish eye. Nothing out of the ordinary for a warmblood but not acceptable in a TB.
I have seen 4s and 5s given for the shoulder being way too upright. This is an easy fail as shoulder angles are clear to see and not subjective. I've seen a 5 given for front limbs that were tied in below the knee but otherwise ok.