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Conformation on young horses

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  • Conformation on young horses

    I've read some threads about people buying and selling young stock and what they look for but my question is, how can you tell conformation-wise? I've never bought anything younger than 5 so they are pretty much won't change drastically. When buying a young horse how do you judge conformation? Won't they change a lot? Maybe this is a silly question but how in the world can you tell what a foal is going to turn out like?!!

  • #2
    Short answer.... you really can't. BUT, if you know the mare line and the sire line and know what they have produced in the past, your guessing game gets a little easier.
    Siegi Belz
    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


    • #3
      The rule of thumb is that they will look give you the best sense of what they're going to turn out like at 4 days, 4 months and 4 years.
      co-author of
      Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing's Greatest Rivalry


      • #4
        Close. Three days, three months and three years. Some people forego the three days part.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • #5
          I think there is a bit of a talent to picking out youngsters.... I don't think basic angles change a whole lot, but they can certainly hit some fugly a$$ stages where it makes you doubt your eye! lol!! In between 3 months and 3 years one mainly hides them
          Wonderful ponies for family or show!


          • #6
            you do your homework and then you sit tight and have faith


            • #7
              Joint angles don't really change but butts go up and down, necks go through short and stumpy phases, withers don't appear for a while. So....butt high might go away, a steep shoulder angle probably will not.
              Providence Farm


              • #8
                Originally posted by MuskokaLakesConnemaras View Post
                ... they can certainly hit some fugly a$$ stages where it makes you doubt your eye! lol!! In between 3 months and 3 years one mainly hides them
                yeesh, I've got a 3 yr old here who is worrying me, not seeing a swan appearing anytime soon, he's staying hidden a while, lol. Yet on the other hand I've a 2 yr filly I dont think has had an ugly day so far (dont *think* I've got my rosecoloured specs on but you all might think differently about her of course ).

                But yes, sitting here hoping they turn out well is about all I can do at this stage.


                • #9
                  Loopy - I have a two year old filly like that too Looked mature almost from day one and has yet to hit an awkward phase. Makes it nice for showing her on the line lol!!
                  Wonderful ponies for family or show!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                    Short answer.... you really can't. BUT, if you know the mare line and the sire line and know what they have produced in the past, your guessing game gets a little easier.
                    I agree it gets easier when you know the mare/sire line and what they have produced. My 2013 colt is our 5th from his mother (for me--he is technically number 8 for her). I have raised this ones sire from a weanling, as well as his full sibling and have two of his half siblings (all same mother-the older ones are 8 and 3) and for me its easy to look at the new guy and see how he alike and/or different from his sire/dam, his full and half siblings. No two are exactly alike--but share similarities as well as differences. In five years I will know more---Im am always learning something new with each one.
                    Redbud Ranch
                    Check us out on FB


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                      Close. Three days, three months and three years. Some people forego the three days part.
                      Actually, I've heard both.

                      The big problem is that as they get growthy, it's hard to see how things fit together. And sometimes, when they're very butt high, it can make shoulders look a little steeper and hind end angles a little off. I try not to come to any conclusions when they're butt high.
                      co-author of
                      Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing's Greatest Rivalry


                      • #12
                        Their joint angles absolutely can change. This is one huge area where thoroughly knowing the pedigree and having top proven producing mare lines gives you an edge. Excellent mares produce predictable quality offspring...it may not be perfect but the genetics are more through. If you are going from average or unknown mare lines you need to be someone who has seen a lot of foals of that breed grow up and you need pictures or to have seen the foals at the right times 2 months to 5 months can be good but there will be foals that grow ackwardly all the way and those I would just not select as young horses unless it is a giveaway price worth taking a risk on. Taking pictures and video of your babies is so important because it can be SOOOO long before they get their balance back. Not all young horses go through bad times but you have to be careful of young horses who look too good to. They should look their age, to look mature when young does not mean they will be a nice adult performance prospect. That doesn't mean there is nothing you can tell about them as sometimes their minds and ease of movement and athletic talent is there even if they look like a goat. Take someone with a good eye or buy from a breeder who knows their horses and is honest...you be honest with them(and yourself) And they likely can pick an appropriate horses from their breeding. PatO