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Conformation ? Uphill/Downhill...

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  • Conformation ? Uphill/Downhill...

    Popping in to put a question to rest between two friends. Can someone please post some examples of very uphill vs. very downhill conformation and perhaps explanations of both?

    My friend and I are discussing this issue and I am not finding any books or websites that explains this clearly.

    Thanks!
    "Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong."

    -Archbishop Fulton Sheen

  • #2
    uphill - visualize a giraffe's back and the way it goes up. Not to that extreme of course, but you get the idea. Uphill horses are built just that way, and they use their legs more underneath to push off and lift their front end.

    downhill - A quarter-horse in hand on the line is a perfect example. You'll see no sign of giraffe back there... and they scoot along heavy on their forehand.

    Comment


    • #3
      Downhill horses are built so that their stifles are higher than their elbows..ie the front legs are essentially shorter than the hinds. Usually this is in combination with a croup that is higher than the withers and a neck that comes out low. These horses are even more on their forehands than the average horse, making collection (transfer of more weight to the hind end) even more difficult.
      Here is a good example of downhill:
      http://www.clarkrassi.com/PhotoAlbum...irwithluv2.jpg

      Uphill is the opposite. Warmblood breeders breed for this, though I don't think there are many that are truly uphill but they are certainly at least level from stifle to elbow ect. The neck usually comes out quite high as well. Here is an example of uphill:
      http://www.yancey-farms.com/riccione.html
      www.svhanoverians.com

      "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

      Comment


      • #4
        And not to be confused with a young horse's growth stage where they are "butt high" but never truly downhill.
        Laurie

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Donella for the correct explanation. Looking only at the topline is only for railbirds who don't know any better although that's what you hear talked about all the time.

          I remember an article in Practical Horseman a number of years ago about a young trainer who was working a young horse that he liked because of his "nice uphill build". Yes the horse's topline went up from the rear to the withers but it was because of a small pelvis and a short femur. I didn't think that the horse would work out quite like the young trainer thought.

          The term "uphill build" is better forgotten by most that use it. Sort of like "shoulder angle" where most of the time people are only talking about layback and don't bother to look at the humerus.
          www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tom King View Post
            Thanks Donella for the correct explanation. Looking only at the topline is only for railbirds who don't know any better although that's what you hear talked about all the time.
            My quick explanation was so that these young girls could SEE it in their minds without adding all the "proper, correct" terms to confuse them. Something easy to understand and quick to visualize in answering a simple question was my goal, and that kind of response (explanation) often helps people (without any knowledge) to easily understand terms. I'm about the farthest thing from a "railbird".....thank you very much!!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Do you consider this TB to have uphill conformation? I know he has a long back.
              http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3271/...a6662c8a_o.jpg

              In some horses it seems obvious, IE the warmblood stallion posted, in others it seems they are even. Perhaps topline is uphill but stifle is still slightly high. Just trying to develop an "eye" for this...
              Last edited by txladybug; Jul. 29, 2008, 05:07 PM. Reason: typo
              "Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong."

              -Archbishop Fulton Sheen

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                bump for opinions on the tb's conformation. Thanks!
                "Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong."

                -Archbishop Fulton Sheen

                Comment


                • #9
                  His elbows are below his stifles, so no, he's not built uphill.
                  =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
                  ~Jilltx~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jilltx View Post
                    His elbows are below his stifles, so no, he's not built uphill.
                    Well, hesh my mouth! I just learned something new! <Well, KT, that's not very unusual or remarkable!>

                    But sorry, jilltx. Where exactly are his elbows? Ok, just found it online ... http://horses.about.com/library/part...blhorsemap.htm You can click on it to see. Isn't that funny, I always thought that uphill was judged from the butt/whithers relationship.

                    Thanks, Jill!!
                    "For God hates utterly
                    The bray of bragging tongues."
                    Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      So uphill conformation is judged FIRST on relationship of higher elbows than stifles and secondary by uphill topline? Is that correct? So a horse might have uphill topline (like this TB) but downhill stifle to elbow so they are considered "downhill?"
                      "Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong."

                      -Archbishop Fulton Sheen

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm not so sure I would say this TB has an uphill top line. He has a large, pronounced wither, but not a upward topline.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hessy35 View Post
                          I'm not so sure I would say this TB has an uphill top line. He has a large, pronounced wither, but not a upward topline.
                          AH, another difference.

                          Hessy, can you put some examples together to make this a little more understandable? I'm not trying to be difficult, but all this time I thought what you are describing would be considered uphill—and now I'm discovering it's not! Thanks you!!!! It's just to become better edumacated, not to be a PITA!!!

                          BTW, thanks txladybug for starting this thread!!! You learn something new everyday!
                          "For God hates utterly
                          The bray of bragging tongues."
                          Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Oldenburg Mom View Post
                            AH, another difference.

                            Hessy, can you put some examples together to make this a little more understandable? I'm not trying to be difficult, but all this time I thought what you are describing would be considered uphill—and now I'm discovering it's not! Thanks you!!!! It's just to become better edumacated, not to be a PITA!!!
                            A large pronounced wither higher than the butt with a flat or sloping back is not (what I consider) uphill. I agree about the elbow and stifle position because that shows the uphill confirmation set which produces the uphill topline when seen in motion. The “giraffe” back comment I used to help the girls visualize the upward angle of the topline in a well built horse. A perfect example of what I mean is here:
                            http://www.oldenburghorse.com/Oldbrg-ClinicsEvents.htm

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I find this thread to be very interesting. I have always wondered about the true definition of "uphill". I owned a QH stallion that was hip high even as a mature adult but he always exhibited nice, uphill movement. The proof is in the picture:

                              http://share.shutterfly.com/action/s...=1217446637570

                              When I get home I'll have to look at some of his confo photos to see where his stifle is in relation to his elbow!
                              We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                AH yes, I see what you mean. There is also that "lift" in the front, as if he is "going uphill" (duuuuuuuhhh.) BUT, does that mean that pronounced whithers do not/can not indicate an uphill horse?
                                "For God hates utterly
                                The bray of bragging tongues."
                                Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Oldenburg Mom View Post
                                  AH yes, I see what you mean. There is also that "lift" in the front, as if he is "going uphill" (duuuuuuuhhh.) BUT, does that mean that pronounced whithers do not/can not indicate an uphill horse?
                                  Not at all. I think there are plenty of uphill built horses that have large withers, but pronounced withers is not a direct indication of uphill confirmation. It's an overall build to the horse...

                                  Here's a another great example (I love this guy too): http://www.hasslerdressage.com/stallions/rousseau1.html
                                  Last edited by hessy35; Jul. 30, 2008, 04:01 PM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by TaliaCristianna View Post
                                    I find this thread to be very interesting. I have always wondered about the true definition of "uphill". I owned a QH stallion that was hip high even as a mature adult but he always exhibited nice, uphill movement. The proof is in the picture:

                                    http://share.shutterfly.com/action/s...=1217446637570

                                    When I get home I'll have to look at some of his confo photos to see where his stifle is in relation to his elbow!
                                    Can't open your pic. Was the uphill movement under tack or in hand? A lot of horses can be lifted up in tack.. even if they are built downhill.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by hessy35 View Post
                                      Can't open your pic. Was the uphill movement under tack or in hand? A lot of horses can be lifted up in tack.. even if they are built downhill.
                                      It's an at-liberty photo. Perhaps this link will work:

                                      http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...8AcNnDdu5cOGFX

                                      Or this one:

                                      http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com...o-g152113.html
                                      We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by TaliaCristianna View Post
                                        He's a cutie... but get a confirmation shot of him.

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