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Conformation critique pls

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  • Conformation critique pls

    Hello,

    I have a question up about this mare in the breeding forum (trying to match her to a stallion) but I would like a critique from the dressage folks here about her conformation for dressage so I have a better idea of what flaws I'm working with and trying to improve on should I decide to breed her (for myself, possible amateur dressage prospect).

    She moves well, straight and forward and with a nice lightness. Unfortunately I only have stills to judge from but I'd appreciate any input you can give.

    Thanks very much

    http://www.ensiodesign.com/horses/IMG_1970.jpg

    http://www.ensiodesign.com/horses/IMG_1981.jpg

  • #2
    A heavy bodied, low set mare with short legs and a long back. A heavy shoulder, a lot of mass low down in the front of the neck where it ties in low with the shoulder, a long back and a rather long coupling, and rather straight through the hocks. A steeply sloping, narrow croup. I don't see her as producing horses capable of collection, but might produce some nice amateur lower level horses. I would not try to correct her offspring's conformation by going for an extremely leggy, square, light stallion.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am in agreement with slc2 on the heaviness of her neck, length of back, straight hocks...and I'll add something else....she does not look feminine to me. A mare for breeding should definitely look feminine, with a more tapered muzzle, and a slimmer throatlatch, and an almost triangular head. Is she quite young? I think I'm seeing 3 and 4 year old tooth bumps on her jawline, but I could be mistaken.
      She is in good flesh, and has a great coat, wonderful dappling...looked at your other post, and see that she is a Morgan, and you are hoping to breed to an Arab. Some of the folks who are current on Arabs who do well in dressage have given some good advice, make sure the stallion you select has a very high set neck, and a powerful loin...if the stallion consistiently produces shorter backs, and higher set, more slender necks from long backed, heavy necked mares, that would be a plus.
      What would you try if you knew you would not fail?

      Comment


      • #4
        Geesh... She is a Morgan, she looks like one.

        Very nice mare Kaarina! She has a lot of very nice attributes. I think an Arab would be a great cross with her and she a great cross for an Arab!

        Comment


        • #5
          If 'feminine' means with dainty little feet, light bone and a little teacup face, no, she is not feminine in that way. But she is very feminine in expression. A great many folks don't care if a mare 'looks feminine' at all, in any way, as long as she is a good mother and has good conformation for having foals.

          She has a beautiful face and a lovely eye, and a very elegant bearing, but I would be cautious in selecting a stallion to produce a nice quality dressage horse, I think it would be difficult. Personally? Bred to a Morgan stallion, the results are more predictable and it is less of a two-very-different-animals-making-an-inharmonious-mixture-of-traits offspring. Others may feel differently, but I think it's difficult to take two extremely different animals of a very different breeding, and be able to predict the results.

          If she were mine and I was intent on breeding her, I'd select a Morgan that was slightly, leggier, slightly shorter in the back, and with more layback of the shoulder (not extreme, that has its own problems), and angle of hock, with a flatter, longer croup, and a lighter front end through the neck and shoulder, ie, a little bit more of a sport type, but I would not pick an extremely different stallion to breed her to.

          A purebred Morgan foal has some advantages for the all breed award program as well.

          This morgan won the 'world' championship Morgan dressage at 2nd level in his first show season:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr7XZJw8XLM
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X3mk...eature=related


          Look at the absolutely stunning results with this stallion who has competed so successfully in dressage:

          http://www.aboutsigi.com/offspring1.html

          a sport breeder: suzannebullard@yahoo.com.
          another: Email hpflspence@aol.com.

          check out their iron forge starman, show up thru all the levels: http://www.emrmorgans.com/stallions.html

          Don Diego: http://www.woodlandstallion.com/stallion.htm

          I'm sure there are many other sport type Morgan stallions and probably quite a few breeders don't have web sites that are as quick to find. I just did one search and found the above stallions, just to get an idea of what is out there. I found quite a few are claiming they have a 'sport type stallion', but not so many really do...and some breeders have just stunning results.

          For a sport type Morgan, I look for a slightly shorter, more level back with absolutely no dip or hollowness to the back, slightly more level croup (vs extremely sloping, I mean; I don't care for a really flat, level croup either), a balance between bone(leg) and foot size and body mass, and a less massive, round, cobby body type with a less thick, heavy low set neck, so the horse can become round or later collect by lifting his back. But I still love to see the Morgan type, character, strength and balance. The Morgan is 'the best little horse that America made', and within type, are some that are more sport types. If the stallion is wisely chosen the offspring might be a nice amateur dressage type.
          Last edited by slc2; Jun. 28, 2009, 09:07 AM.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks for the honest input!

            She is indeed a morgan thru and thru (UVM Promise / Waseeka's Nocturne for anyone with morgan knowledge) and I don't want to try and fight the type, just lighten it up and refine it (shorter back and longer legs were my initial basic hopes). Should have mentioned that I'm not expecting to create a Grand Prix horse, more of a mid level horse for regional competition tops with maybe some surprise potential if I got really lucky. She is EXTREMELY trainable which she seems to pass on.

            The comment on finding a sport morgan is a good one, I was just taking a look at a 2 year old she produced (this mare is 6) with a lighter stallion who seems to be coming well and definitely shows improvement in leg and back length. My temptation with the arabs is that I've met a few morabs that I loved, one in particular who did PSG beautifully, and all with the arab personality I love in a strong and versatile little package. Each cross is different though I suppose. I was looking to x her with a less exotic, more performance-oriented arab who wouldn't fight her but improve. Don't want to end up with a half and half horse tho.

            Thanks again!!

            ps just caught the "dainty feet" part and had a laugh, no this mare does NOT have dainty feet (nothing really dainty about her, though her face from the front is very very sweet). she has her daddy's feet which are like dinner plates but on the upside completely indestructible :-) her farrier loves them.
            Last edited by kaarina; Jun. 28, 2009, 10:04 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Find her a daddy with a better booty and back legs, and a leggier appearance and i think you'll be well on your way to a lovely baby.
              Call me crazy but i'd find her a TB daddy

              honestly i'm shocked at how harsh she's been critiqued. The "canter cuties" i see come thru here that are ooh'd and aah'd are by far a worse pile of left over leggo pieces than her.
              I think she looks like a highly functional mare. Is she going to win the olympics, no, but i for one would grin from ear to ear if she showed up on my doorstep.
              www.destinationconsensusequus.com
              chaque pas est fait ensemble

              Comment


              • #8
                You bet her farrier loves those feet.

                I was hoping the owner would despair and send her to me. But she's so damned in love with the mare, it didn't work.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think she's a lovely mare! If you are breeding for DRESSAGE, I wouldn't bred to an Arab though... I'd stick with nice dressage bred Morgan (with lots of Upwey Ben Don or other good sport horse lines).

                  Besides the ones already mentioned, check out Dragonfire Morgans and look up Zimbabwe. Check out Taproot too. You might also get onto the Morgan Dressage Association's website and see what stallions are doing well there.

                  With a purebred, you have a better market if you ever do have to re-sell her. I've seen several cross breeding experiments, and surprisingly, none of the WB crosses have been nice Not sure why, it actually seemed like something that might work. Some of the Tbred and Friesian crosses have been much nicer for dressage, and some of the Tbred crosses are awesome eventers.

                  A Morab is a lovely horse, but all the ones I've seen have been really more of an endurance horse (they could go and go and go, but no canter, and not dressage gaits, but they were sound forever and ever).
                  www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                  Director, WTF Registry

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                    If 'feminine' means with dainty little feet, light bone and a little teacup face, no, she is not feminine in that way. But she is very feminine in expression. A great many folks don't care if a mare 'looks feminine' at all, in any way, as long as she is a good mother and has good conformation for having foals


                    .
                    OK....here you go being a beeatch again, and I would like to know where in my post I described feminine as dainty little feet, light bone, and a little teacup face.
                    First you slam the OP's horse, and now, you are saying how wonderful she is.

                    Good conformation for having foals means GOOD CONFORMATION, and just as humans who are not attractive and who do not dance well are not going to produce children who are attractive and good dancers, the business of breeding horses is the same. I know plenty of downright homely, plodding humans who can give birth easily and are good mothers. Are they producing athletes and dancers? No. I am not saying that the OP's horse is homely and plodding...I simply said she does not look feminine to me....but then again, I am accustomed to looking at TBs, Arabs, and other breeds that show a great deal of refinement.

                    Funny how when I agreed with your post about the mare's traits (obviously done by one of the other personalities) the next one came along spewing venom. I feel sorry for you that you are so unhappy, but I am sure it was not me who caused it.
                    What would you try if you knew you would not fail?

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks again all, I will definitely look at those morgans as well. Her breeder would be a lot happier with me (morgans morgans morgans from that corner). We will see if the siren call of the arabs overrule

                      A friend of mine owns a half sister to this mare and is dying to breed to a warmblood (the sister is much taller and leggier but still morgan rectangular), I will have to share that info on that particular cross...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OK....here you go being a beeatch again, and I would like to know where in my post I described feminine as dainty little feet, light bone, and a little teacup face.
                        First you slam the OP's horse, and now, you are saying how wonderful she is.

                        Good conformation for having foals means GOOD CONFORMATION, and just as humans who are not attractive and who do not dance well are not going to produce children who are attractive and good dancers, the business of breeding horses is the same. I know plenty of downright homely, plodding humans who can give birth easily and are good mothers. Are they producing athletes and dancers? No. I am not saying that the OP's horse is homely and plodding...I simply said she does not look feminine to me....but then again, I am accustomed to looking at TBs, Arabs, and other breeds that show a great deal of refinement.

                        Funny how when I agreed with your post about the mare's traits (obviously done by one of the other personalities) the next one came along spewing venom. I feel sorry for you that you are so unhappy, but I am sure it was not me who caused it.
                        Huh?
                        Liz
                        Ainninn House Stud
                        Irish Draughts and Connemaras
                        Co. Westmeath, Ireland

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          I should probably move this back over to the breeding forum since we're drifting towards potential crosses! I'll just say that this is the morab that inspired me when I thought to breed my morgan to an arab. He was a wonderful, wonderful horse. Pretty and extremely athletic. Did very well in dressage. No idea what his breeding was though other than 1/2 arab and 1/2 morgan. You can see why I was hooked. I think my mare is likely too stocky to create anything quite this lovely but maybe I would win the lottery :-)


                          http://www.ensiodesign.com/horses/SHADDAI.jpg

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "I feel sorry for you that you are so unhappy, but I am sure it was not me who caused it."

                            "Huh?"

                            Only one problem with your statement. I'm not unhappy. There in lies the rub. I just didn't agree with you, or at least, you thought I did not agree with you....accusing someone of being 'so unhappy' because they say something different than what you do, is a common tactic on the internet world, but a very hollow one.

                            You are going off the deep end because I said, 'if feminine is....".

                            I never said you said that, I don't even care if you say that(in the sense that I don't have any interest in having a Peaches Mowing Incident Moment with you if you did say it), in fact, I didn't even notice if you said that, I hope you say whatever you like, so that me and the other people here get different points of view, which is I believe why people come here in the first place.

                            I made a general comment, as people often say to me a mare is feminine because she has little feet, light bone and a tiny little teacup face.

                            Other people tell me a mare is 'feminine' if she has a big pelvis and looks like she'll foal easily.

                            Others say a mare is feminine for other reasons.

                            I am saying what feminine in a mare means to me. To me, a mare can have great bone, big healthy feet and a big old brick house booty and still be very, very feminine.

                            "Good conformation is just good conformation"

                            Well, sort of. The conformation of a mare for breeding has to be much better. We often breed a beloved mare because we have her, and we want to have another horse. With all the unwanted horses in the USA, we have to be very, very cold hearted when we decide to breed our favorite mare. Her conformation and type should be superior in all ways, so the foal is highly marketable and desirable. Raising a foal out of one's own mare, discouragingly enough, isn't always a way to save money. It can be much more expensive for an individual to do this, unless they have a breeding farm and a number of mares, and ideally, a number of foals to choose from that match their needs, and a number of others that can be sold to support the one they keep. And we can often buy a youngster cheaper from a breeder than it would cost us to board the mare and foal.

                            You need not agree. You need not be convinced. You need not change your mind. If you do not agree, feel free to state why and in what way. Some will agree with you, some will not. Big deal. We aren't exactly talking about invading Canada.

                            If someone asks for a conformation evaluation, I try my darndest to give them a conformation evaluation, and I try to include everything and be as thorough as possible. That means work. General impressions, overall balance, suitability, as well as details. I worked on that thing. I do that for my own horses too. I think it's very, very important to understand conformation when doing training, and to be very aware of the conformation of a mare when choosing a stallion for her.

                            Note that some people even noted the same conformation points as I did. Maybe they are unhappy too....
                            Last edited by slc2; Jun. 28, 2009, 07:13 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kaarina View Post
                              I should probably move this back over to the breeding forum since we're drifting towards potential crosses! I'll just say that this is the morab that inspired me when I thought to breed my morgan to an arab. He was a wonderful, wonderful horse. Pretty and extremely athletic. Did very well in dressage. No idea what his breeding was though other than 1/2 arab and 1/2 morgan. You can see why I was hooked. I think my mare is likely too stocky to create anything quite this lovely but maybe I would win the lottery :-)


                              http://www.ensiodesign.com/horses/SHADDAI.jpg
                              Could this be the black half Arab gelding named SHADDAI GAMBLE - HAHR*3A273225? Foaled 1988.

                              If that's him, his sire is MHR Cutlass who is 1/2 Polish, CMK (Crabbet/Davenport) and old Egyptian (Babson) breeding. The dam listed is TARIB ATRAB but there is no info on her which is often the case if she wasn't registered with the AHR.

                              BTW, MRH Cutlass had one registered foal in 2008. Perhaps he's still available although he's quite old (foaled 1981).

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                oh that's brilliant, I am sure that must be him. the dates are right.

                                he passed from founder after the san diego fires a few years ago.

                                thank you very much for finding that!!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Well if there is one thing i've learned, it is that movement/temperament is a large part of the equation for dressage. I've seen horses stood up to get an "8" or more in dressage conformation and then get a disappointing "6.5" in movement...and vice-versa. If you are breeding for dressage, carefully consider her movement in all 3 gaits and how she uses her body as well as her temperament....and then match her to a stallion with who can highlight her stregths and add to her weaknesses in the movement, temperament, and conformation departments. I'm sure you are considering ALL of this but I thought I'd throw it out there. There is only so much you can tell about a dressage prospect from a stood-up horse. Good luck!!!
                                  Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with SLC- stick with the Morgans, you have a much better predictibility of the cross. Look for one with more leg, lighter shoulder.

                                    Comment

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