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Conformation Critique Help

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  • Conformation Critique Help

    I am looking at at TB as an H/J prospect. He is six years old and his last race was in December, so a month ago. My main concern is his back. It seems much "dippier" than I am used to in my other OTTBs. Maybe he just has high withers. I am posting a pic, but I don't want to show all his identifiers out of respect for the sellers. I can say that his feet land pretty level to the bottom of the photo. I know it is not ideal, especially with the road and the fence. But would anything be a huge concern here? Thanks.

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  • #2
    We need to see the feet to see how his stance might affect his overall posture. Right now he looks bum.high and downhill.
    ​​​​

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    • #3
      He actually doesn’t look bum high and downhill; he’s straight and just sway backed a bit. It can be challenging to fit a saddle sometimes but I’ve not experienced a whole lot of problems with them soundness wise. His back is shortish, which I like for a little swaybacked horse.

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      • #4
        See if you can sit to the trot. If it is like a jackhammer and rattles your teeth I would pass. Trot is the training pace after all.
        It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

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        • #5
          If you look at the angle of the topline over the loin you can see that what he actually has is a somewhat roached back. We had a filly once with a roachy back and it didn't effect her soundness or rideability in any way. There is a current second crop TB stallion with a pronounced roach who produces that topline in many of his offspring.
          www.laurienberenson.com

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          • #6
            Bareback rides would be comfy (i remark jealously)

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            • #7
              We need to see him stood up square.

              What is the line between stifle and elbow? How high are his hocks compared to his knees? Right now he is effectively leaning forward so that throws it all off.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks, all. I will post a bit more. Again, I don't want to post his whole "self" yet. His feet need some attention, which doesn't bother me. If I do get him, I will likely turn him out for a while. He is by Bernardini. And to clarify, I'm not looking for a super high-level horse, but a competant lower-level hunter or jumper. Thanks, again.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post
                  Thanks, all. I will post a bit more. Again, I don't want to post his whole "self" yet. His feet need some attention, which doesn't bother me. If I do get him, I will likely turn him out for a while. He is by Bernardini. And to clarify, I'm not looking for a super high-level horse, but a competant lower-level hunter or jumper. Thanks, again.
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                  Bernardini gets a lot of "dippy" toplines, as did his sire A.P. Indy, as did his sire Seattle Slew. That whole sire line is known for it. So that horse comes by his conformation honestly.

                  It doesn't stop them from being great racehorses so I wouldn't imagine it would matter in another discipline--unless you can't stand looking at it, which is something only you can decide.
                  www.laurienberenson.com

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                  • #10
                    Here's a picture of Bernardini himself: https://www.bloodhorse.com/stallion-...728/bernardini

                    another pic: https://www.darleyamerica.com/news/c...ea-stakes-romp
                    www.laurienberenson.com

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks, LaurieB! No, I actually like him. He is pretty cute. If I end up getting him, I will post a better picture.

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                      • #12
                        Both AP Indy and Danzig stick out as stallions to me, that tend to pass that kind of back conformation on.

                        It's not a glaring red flag to me as long as they are moving soundly. The other thing to keep in mind, is that sometimes the way they are holding themselves, is more a product of their current environment (and trim) than their conformation. I've had a lot of TBs over the years that came off the track with what my old trainer used to call a "pinched up back" - a few months of letdown & good trimming and their topline relaxes.

                        I own a horse with this kind of conformation. It doesn't cause any issues except he was a real PITA to fit saddle-wise.

                        Bernardini is a great sire for sport horse pursuits. I really tend to like the types he has. If I had more money and a bigger barn, I'd have several.. Bernardini is a stallion that a lot of race-track flippers look out for because his offspring are consistent type-wise - typey, excellent canters, fantastic jumpers -- but I also really like his mares... he is a stallion that I think down the line, will be prominent in sport-bred TB lines.

                        P.S his feet look awful. No jab on the seller, I'm sure that's something he came from the track with.. but I'm sure it isn't helping the tightness of his back in that photo.
                        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          beowulf, thank you! Your comments are insightful and helpful. Yes, I agree about his feet. His last race was a month ago, so I'm going to place most of the blame there.

                          I'm excited to see the boy on Saturday.

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                          • #14
                            I love short backed horses- they are referred to as "punched up" in my breed.

                            Back in the day, I had a TB jumper who was built just like this guy. He ended up being the first GP jumper for a professional who is still showing today. He was nothing but guts, and a good bit of talent. I was in tears when I watched him do the GP at the Devon Horse Show.

                            You can fix the feet. I think he is beautiful- great angles and an incredible shoulder.
                            When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
                            www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
                            http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks, ASB Stars. I hope I love him in person. Fingers crossed.

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                              • #16
                                I had an OTTB with the same type of back.
                                While he was a bit of a nightmare for saddle fitting.... ended up going with a semi-custom saddle & a custom fit girth.
                                He was super sound & a fantastic mover with nice form over fences.

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Thanks, mommy peanut.

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                                  • #18
                                    Love Bernardini. Would forgive the dippy back because it probably comes with the typical package of great brain, good mover and jumper. Kind, honest, thoughtful horses. As Laurie said, the lowered back is common (though not always) with the sireline.
                                    A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
                                    ? Albert Einstein

                                    ~AJ~

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Thanks, EventerAJ. I am in the car heading to see him now. Four-hour drive, so not terrible. Wish me luck!!

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post
                                        Thanks, EventerAJ. I am in the car heading to see him now. Four-hour drive, so not terrible. Wish me luck!!
                                        Please let us know how things turn out!
                                        www.laurienberenson.com

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