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Curious: what conformation flaws are deal breakers for you?

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    Curious: what conformation flaws are deal breakers for you?

    Just curious, but what conformation flaws are deal breakers for you when looking at horses? I realize this may be different depending upon the discipline, so maybe mention that, too.

    Over at the knee. Not that it is a no go for dressage horses necessarily, but it just looks so wrong I couldn't live with it every day.


      I dislike long backs and I won't touch long pasterns.
      Veni vidi vici. With a paint pony, nonetheless.


        Horses that twist the hind leg at the walk. You know you're just begging for hock problems.


          Long pasterns, long back, over at the knee, and roach back.


            Original Poster

            Answering my own question (ha!), but long backs are definitely my red-flag. I'm also pretty turned off by horses that are too upright in the shoulder or toe-in.


              Long pasterns or hyperextending fetlocks. I don't mind long backs!
              Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm:


                Back at the knee and upright pasterns
                "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


                  Original Poster

                  Originally posted by seabreeze View Post
                  Back at the knee and upright pasterns
                  Upright pasterns are an interesting one to me, as I'm on the fence about that flaw. Obviously really upright is a disaster waiting to happen, but the slightly upright's a maybe for me. Just curious, what discipline do you ride?


                    Back at the knee sickle hocks, long weak pasterns, and long weak backs.


                      long backs, weak loins (skinny waists), lowset necks, long pasterns, toeing in.


                        Ewe necks, roach backs, sway backs, post legged, knock kneed or cow hocked. Most everything else I'll take a chance on, depending on the job


                          Huh! I'm good with a longish sloping pastern. Not too long obviously or too sloping. Short, upright pasterns are more of a no-no for me.

                          I don't mind ever so slight toeing in but can't abide toeing out in the front. A little bit behind is a-ok in my books.

                          Ultimately I'm more interested in how the 'package' looks. I can live with a few individual flaws if overall the horse appears strong and functional. Must say that an excessively long back is an automatic no go.
                          One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                          William Shakespeare


                            I guess it's not a conformational flaw but small eyes get a pass from me. Do they still call them "pig eyes"? I never liked that term, but that is the kind of eye I am talking about.
                            Roach backs would also be a no.



                              Built downhill, along with some of the already mentioned.


                                I'm with ohmyheck.

                                It's too hard to make rules. Some of my best and most iron-clad/sound type horses have been, long-backed, twisted the hind legs on each step, paddlers, pigeon-toed, club-footed, long-pasterned, shitty-footed, roach-backed, and so on. And we're talking horses that have shown at the higher levels of the jumper world (1.40m+). It's all about how the rest of the body is put together around (or to compensate for) that flaw.

                                On a side note and to aregard's point - I've had several horses who twisted the hind legs with each step and none of them have wound up with hock problems (nor hind end problems in general) EXCEPT when a farrier has tried to "correct" the twisting. But beyond one foray in that (wrong) direction with my current top horse, that hasn't wound up being indicative of anything.
                                Flying F Sport Horses
                                Horses in the NW


                                  Yup. It all depends.


                                    Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post
                                    Yup. It all depends.
                                    This too. But an upright shoulder and/or upright pasterns get a pass from me. I don't like wasp-waistedness or ewe necks. Not a fan of Roman noses but if the rest of the package fits together well I can live with it, so long as the Roman nose isn't part of a big heavy head. I'll take slightly over at the knee but never back.


                                      Originally posted by Mara View Post

                                      This too. But an upright shoulder and or upright pasterns get a pass from me. I don't like wasp-waistedness or ewe necks. Not a fan of Roman noses but if the rest of the package fits together well I can live with it, so long as the Roman nose isn't part of a big heavy head. I'll take slightly over at the knee but never back.
                                      It depends. Are we talking a prospect or a horse successfully doing the job?


                                        Originally posted by Mara View Post

                                        This too. But an upright shoulder and/or upright pasterns get a pass from me. I don't like wasp-waistedness or ewe necks. Not a fan of Roman noses but if the rest of the package fits together well I can live with it, so long as the Roman nose isn't part of a big heavy head. I'll take slightly over at the knee but never back.
                                        Oh gosh I'm with you on a lot of this but I do feel weak-kneed around a Roman nose!! ~ (but not too Roman .. see I have a theme ) - And especially on a big heavy head lol .

                                        Funny how we're all wired differently
                                        One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                                        William Shakespeare