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want to learn...Conformation analysis

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  • want to learn...Conformation analysis

    Hey Everyone-

    Bored... and I realize that I need to learn a LOT more about conformation.. I was wondering if the guru's would spend some time analyzing this TB's conformation.

    He is my guy..not going anywhere, but I thought it woudl be interesting, allow me to learn something anyway!

    Please be specific (if you say "good loin" tell me why.. if you say "strong gaskin" what gives that away?)

    http://www.tangerinesporthorses.com/dexterconfo.jpg


    Also, this picture is of a 5 year old TB gelding, 16.3
    THANKS!
    Last edited by TSHEventing; Mar. 4, 2009, 11:08 AM. Reason: add details

  • #2
    My favorite resource for sport horse conformation is inspections - obviously this is the wrong time of year for that. Many of the WB registries have pretty good info - I"m not pushing any particular registry, but have always found this website to be useful - lots of diagrams and info:

    http://www.americantrakehner.com/spo...n/SHCpart2.htm
    www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
    Director, WTF Registry

    Comment


    • #3
      Actually I'm bored and willing to take first stab at it, but I am NOT an expert. So people, feel free to correct me!

      Overall the balance between the front end of the horse and the back end of the horse isn't entirely there to my eye, but he's not really bad. What I mean is his "engine" looks a bit small (sloping croup, etc.). He ties in a bit behind the knees. His pasterns are long and upright and his feet look small (but sand hides them). That's the biggest thing I see (pasterns). He's fine boned. I can't decide on his neck and throat latch because of the way he's holding his head.

      He's in good body condition and is a fine looking horse. He's not downhill like many TB I've seen.

      What do you do with him?
      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Purchase the Dr. Deb Bennett books. Amazing resource. You'll never look at a horse the same way again. The books give a thorough look at the horse's body, piece by piece (even pieces you never thought about before). The learning in each section is then reinforced with pictures of horses and an analysis of each. I'd highly recommend them. They sit on my desk and are continually referenced.
        www.avenir-farm.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Harmonious, large-framed horse in good rectangular riding horse format. Shoulder could have a little bit more angulation and croup is a little short and steep, but other than that a horse with good proportions and proper bone susbstance for a Thoroughbred. Wither reaches well into the back, head is pleasant, and neck comes out of the shoulders in good position and length.

          I like him!

          P.S.: Could have more muscling in the gaskets.
          Siegi Belz
          www.stalleuropa.com
          2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
          Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            He is an OTTB turned eventer.. currently at training level... but (mommy brag) recently a BNT said this horse has **** potential (can Jump the MOON...and often tries http://www.tangerinesporthorses.com/sj6.JPG)

            but... I still like to learn about these things. I purchased him because I loved his overall balance, every horse is going to have it's flaws, but it is nice to see other opinions of things I might have missed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Seriously Cool! I bet you were excited! I re-read my post and I hope I wasn't too negative (I do like him).

              I love OTTB's. Can't wait to get out of here so I can go ride mine! ;-)
              DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                No! Not negative at all! It is easier to post in the "what is wrong" than the "what is right" and I assume whatever isn't wrong is right!

                Comment


                • #9
                  5 year old OTTB brings up a red flag for me, he is NOT done growing. My TB gained a half inch from 5-7 years old and matured physically quite a bit more. Given the height of Dexter and his age, I would not hesitate to think he may yet grow and change a bit.

                  Nose to tail:
                  • Small catty ear, and refined muzzle = nice head, even though the facial markings make him look slightly roman nosed.
                  • Eye is soft, chin looks lovely and squishable.
                  • Throat latch not terribly defined, but I feel this is due to lackof muscling in the crest of the neck and topline.
                  • Somewhat low set neck. See the big prominent withers and the point of connection between the neck and chest? Imagine moving that up an inch or two. That would be more ideal.
                  • Shoulder angle matches pastern angle- rather upright (closer to 90 degrees then 45). IS he back at the knee or are his front feet poorly done? I can't tell, but they don't seem to match the hind feet. A common OTTB issue, rundown heels. I'd like to see him with more heel in front and then look at the structure of the front legs.
                  • Small feet in front.
                  • Withers: ouch. Not sharky but inclined to be big. That in addition to the lack of neck topline is visible in the "dip" in front of the withers. Proper balanced work will correct this to some extent, but with such big withers he may never look quite as well conditioned as you would like.
                  • Loin/back is long. The length from the lowest point of his back to the highest point of his hind quarters is longer then the length from the highest point of his hind quarters to the point of his buttock. Loin does not look weak though, and again, could change as he matures a bit more. This may offset any choppiness of gait from his upright shoulder.
                  • Tail set is ideal and I really like the structure of his hind legs.
                  • Horse is in good weight, lacks muscle over all, but especially in the topline.
                  From what I see, I do not think this horse is a candidate for high level dressage moves, as his hind end is not substantial nor will it be easy to tuck it under with his long back. From his jumping picture I can see he does produce a nice bascule, so I would work on the flat to build up some more substance, lots of pushing from the hind end, and lateral work.

                  He doesn't want to jump flat/shallow but his conformation predisposes him to do so. I say this because in the over fences pic you can cut a line between the front end (looks like he got up close and took a great jump over a challangeing fence with keen interest!) and the hind end (looks like he left a bit long and might not snap his hind end up fast enough, splinter belly).

                  I like this horse and in 6-12 months I think he'll be a super star!
                  Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Penthilisea View Post
                    5 year old OTTB brings up a red flag for me, he is NOT done growing. My TB gained a half inch from 5-7 years old and matured physically quite a bit more. Given the height of Dexter and his age, I would not hesitate to think he may yet grow and change a bit.

                    Nose to tail:
                    • Small catty ear, and refined muzzle = nice head, even though the facial markings make him look slightly roman nosed.
                    • Eye is soft, chin looks lovely and squishable.
                    • Throat latch not terribly defined, but I feel this is due to lackof muscling in the crest of the neck and topline.
                    • Somewhat low set neck. See the big prominent withers and the point of connection between the neck and chest? Imagine moving that up an inch or two. That would be more ideal.
                    • Shoulder angle matches pastern angle- rather upright (closer to 90 degrees then 45). IS he back at the knee or are his front feet poorly done? I can't tell, but they don't seem to match the hind feet. A common OTTB issue, rundown heels. I'd like to see him with more heel in front and then look at the structure of the front legs.
                    • Small feet in front.
                    • Withers: ouch. Not sharky but inclined to be big. That in addition to the lack of neck topline is visible in the "dip" in front of the withers. Proper balanced work will correct this to some extent, but with such big withers he may never look quite as well conditioned as you would like.
                    • Loin/back is long. The length from the lowest point of his back to the highest point of his hind quarters is longer then the length from the highest point of his hind quarters to the point of his buttock. Loin does not look weak though, and again, could change as he matures a bit more. This may offset any choppiness of gait from his upright shoulder.
                    • Tail set is ideal and I really like the structure of his hind legs.
                    • Horse is in good weight, lacks muscle over all, but especially in the topline.
                    From what I see, I do not think this horse is a candidate for high level dressage moves, as his hind end is not substantial nor will it be easy to tuck it under with his long back. From his jumping picture I can see he does produce a nice bascule, so I would work on the flat to build up some more substance, lots of pushing from the hind end, and lateral work.

                    He doesn't want to jump flat/shallow but his conformation predisposes him to do so. I say this because in the over fences pic you can cut a line between the front end (looks like he got up close and took a great jump over a challangeing fence with keen interest!) and the hind end (looks like he left a bit long and might not snap his hind end up fast enough, splinter belly).

                    I like this horse and in 6-12 months I think he'll be a super star!
                    This photo was taken last January...

                    Trust me, he did grow an inch!! (the jumping photo was taken this February as a 6 year old)

                    Front feet = VERY poorly done (this was around when I got him. They have since upped his shoe size TWO sizes (from a OO to a 1)

                    And, you got it!! most of what you said is true (including the long back/dressage stuff). His holes in the dressage right now come from the difficulty of truely getting him through though he is very athletic and keen, and yes.. that photo we did get close and challenged him. I can't say as a whole he jumps flat though, if I ride the dressage we get a good, round jump. He is silly scopey though.

                    Here is a more recent pic http://www.tangerinesporthorses.com/RH3dress2.JPG

                    and

                    http://www.freewebs.com/teamtangerine/dexflatwork.jpg



                    oh, definately NOT roman nosed

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Penthilisea, thank you for the fabulous post! I always read these conformation critique threads to try and develop my eye, and your detailed analysis was really easy to follow and understand.

                      OP, beautiful boy!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Go check out the thread on the Eventing site
                        Denny...the skinny on those old horses of yours...amazing dialogue @ conformation 9 pages no cat fights n going strong

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hehehe I am unemployed right now and have too much free time, I am glad to help! I actually "judged" an in hand conformation class for a friend in December, judging the horses on their suitability to the discipline the owner chose. I believe the winner was the OTTB for low level dressage, with second going to the shetland pony for riding/driving. The warmblood Santa Cruz filly did well, but as a lonbg yearling looked all kinds of odd that day.
                          Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'd like to see his LS more over the point of his hip. It would improve his engine. And his croup is steep which will hinder him getting his hind end engaged under him.

                            Fine boned especially in the leg. I'd like to see stronger ligament attachments in his hind legs as well.

                            Would like to see a bit longer humerus because it would allow him to rock his shoulder apparatus back more and give more tightness to his jumping style. (Look at his knees when he jumps - not awful but they're not pointed up - demonstrating some restriction/ lack of flexibility).

                            Looks like his throat latch is a bit thick and if it were cleaner it would allow him more flexibility in lateral work.

                            He's a little behind the knee and has long pasterns.

                            If he were a breeding animal those are the points I would list and want to improve. But he is a gelding sporthorse and he's nice.

                            What I do like is his overall balance and proportions. I like his fluid top line and also like where his front end is set well in front of his withers. Also looks like he has a free elbow and should not interfere with his movement and swing of gait.

                            Looks like a nice boy and over time his topline will develop well.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm surprised that anybody would say this horse has a long back..... It's anything but... as far as I'm concerned.

                              I guess we're judging for hunter conformation?
                              Last edited by siegi b.; Mar. 5, 2009, 03:37 PM.
                              Siegi Belz
                              www.stalleuropa.com
                              2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                              Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                                I'm surprised that anybody would say this horse has a long back..... It's anything but... as far as I'm concerned.
                                true...his loin and back taken seperately are very compact


                                best
                                Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                                I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm surprised that anybody would say this horse has a long back..... It's anything but... as far as I'm concerned.

                                  I agree! There is nothing long backed about him whatsoever..he is actually on the short side.

                                  I think overall he is quite nice. Things that could be better are same as previously mentioned:
                                  Short, steep croup..makes "stepping under" harder.
                                  Straightish shoulder.
                                  Long, fine pasterns.

                                  On the other hand, it really is about the synergy of the horse's total conformation, how it all works together that dictates what the horse becomes. He appears to be doing very well despite the above, none of which are serious faults.

                                  www.svhanoverians.com

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

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    This is great, because I can see what everyone has pointed out, though there are a few differing comments, mostly the comments in regards to how it affects his movement and what is difficult for him BECAUSE of the conformation, everything is spot on (he is willing but yes, slightly more difficult to truely engage, yes, you can see how he could get his forearms and knees up higher) and I can see where that is coming from..

                                    This is great!

                                    oh, one minor comment.. I believe the "back at the knee" was caused by my photo shopping out some background garbage out of that picture (buckets in the sand, the fenceling, etc.) so I think I chopped some of his leg off... that is one fault I can recognize and I have never noticed it before on him.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm a fan of Judy Wardrope's work www.jwequine.com it makes the most sense to me.

                                      Comment

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