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Old 07-10-2012, 08:58 PM
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Default anyone competent at judging horse conformation?

Some of you probably know that I am interning this summer. I am supposed to be doing an analysis of some broodmares throughout my internship in which I analyze their conformation and then use that to respond to various hypothetical scenarios provided to me. Unfortunately, although I am a horse person, I have little to no experience with judging horse conformation and very little assistance is being provided to us regarding this most basic portion of the project. Without it, it's hard to complete the rest of anything. I took a few random shots of some of "my" mares and if anyone has any experience and could help me out that would be amazing! Pardon that these girls are seriously fat and very much not posed for the photos. The "buzz cuts" that you see on some of them are from an ongoing research project. I did try to get some straight on side shots though.

Even if someone could help me out with a few so that I start to get the idea of what to look for, that would be wonderful! Ideally, I need to be able to pick out good and bad points from a structural standpoint for each mare.

Horse A


Horse B


Horse C


Horse D


Horse E


Horse F


face shot


Thank you in advance!!
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:44 PM
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Don't have a lot of time to go through them all but I will say that D is my favorite! She has a ton of bone, which I love (just look at the bone on her compared to C!). Nice short cannons, pasterns may be a touch short but not too upright. She has a beautiful, feminine head. Her neck appears a touch short but I think it's just because she's cresty and overweight - it would look much longer if she was slimmed down. It ties in to her shoulder nicely, in my opinion. Her throatlatch isn't the cleanest but not bad, it too would probably appear better without the extra weight. I prefer her neck to both mare B and E. Nice short back. Something funny is going on with her loin - not sure if it's just the photo or if she has a bit of a hunter's bump? It wouldn't concern me if she's otherwise sound and has worked hard or had a show career. I like her hip.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:13 PM
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I like D too But like E best. BUT I don't really 'like' any of them. What breed are they and what are they bred for?

I find they all have short forearms and long cannons. Which I don't like. I also think they need more bum

E could have more neck. From a dressage perspective (which is my main focus) neck length isn't significant when it comes to performance as long as its not too long. But people find long necks pretty.

English vs western conformation is quite different when it comes to what is desirable so it would help to know what sort of horses these are.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:31 PM
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This used to be my favorite thing when I had horses and was on forums.

A-This angle is really hard to judge. She has a very flat croup, but seems to be pretty level and has nice pasterns.

Horse B and D are the same, no? This mare is pretty obese. Her neck ties in a little too low, throat latch is a bit thick. If she lost weight and was in better shape, I bet she would be very nice looking.

C- Weak stifle, pasterns are a tad long, built a little uphill, shoulder is a bit too steep, weak hip. Nothing on this mare is horribly off, but some little things.

E- Her front legs are really underneath her. Possibly cow hocked, can't really see. Seems a little uphill, though could be how she is standing. Tiny cannons. I like how her neck ties in, although it is a little short.

F-I like her shoulder, her hind end is a little weak. Her neck looks funny to me but I can't really pinpoint what I don't like..it just looks kind of unbalanced. Again if she was in shape and not preggo, I think she would look very nice and more balanced.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:46 PM
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Haha it does look like they are the same! I was thinking that they looked so similar!
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sit Stay View Post
Haha it does look like they are the same! I was thinking that they looked so similar!
They both have a '190' on their collars....
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:26 AM
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I love these threads but I am not a horse person and have a hard time decoding what you guys are talking about lol. What are cannon and pasterns?Is the throatlatch where the head and throat meet?
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:33 AM
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I agree with the possibly cow hocked.. BUT I dont' like a horse who's back legs are exactly straight when relaxed from behind particularly when carrying so much weight. Its a biomechanic thing. That said the WHOLE leg has to be slightly rotated ie stifles and toes slightly out and hocks slightly in. IME I have seen more string halt in horses with straight hind ends (from the rear)...

Cannon's are the parts below the knee and hock and above the fetlocks. Pasterns are the part below the fetlock and above the hoof.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:56 AM
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OK going through the rest of the group quickly!

A - I see a high tailset and a short croup. I think it's just her posture that's making her look like she's back at the knee. Is it just me or does she look like her hocks are a tad high?

C - Light on bone and tied in at the knee. She looks like she also may be sickled hocked/camped out behind. Very little forearm and gaskin, even for an unfit (TB?) broodmare. I think she has a lovely head and neck and would look a lot better if she was more fit - I can imagine that would greatly improve her hind end and topline, which looks a little weak currently.

Mare E is kind of coarse and not very feminine - of course things like that don't impede function but they do matter to some people. Short, thick neck and throatlatch. Her neck ties in well to her shoulder though. Possibly back at the knee and I would like a little more length to her pasterns. She has a nice short back and I like her hind end although she's another one that looks a little sickle hocked/camped out.

I like mare F second best, she is so darn cute LOL. She has a pretty, expressive face and a nice neck. I like her shoulder. I like her legs generally but she is tied in at the knee and I suspect her pasterns may be long and have quite a bit of an angle to them. She is a little longer backed than say E but I wouldn't hold that against her - longer backs tend to be more acceptable in the English ring vs. say a reiner and I think the belly is making it look even longer. I wonder if it's just the picture/stance or if she's a little roachy over her loin. Something is a little off with her hind end and I'm not sure what it is. I want to say her croup is flat (though better than As) and I think it's that she has very little carry down compared to some of the other mares.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:12 PM
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Thank you all so so much for the responses so far. Yes, I was being a bit of an idiot last night after my 14 hour day and seemingly pulled up two different photos of the same mare!

The mares here at the farm are varying sport horses, *mostly* dressage backgrounds. Some are of jumping or eventing lines and we have a handful of mares from straight racing lines (including the black TB mare pictured above, "horse C"). All of the rest of the horses pictured above are Hanoverians. The mare pictured twice (B & D) is by Anhaltiner and horse E is by Contucci. The grey mare is by Nebelhorn and the last mare, 'F' is by Domingo.

The program is run through a university, so the mares here are primarily donated or bred on site, but they do try to have nicer stock than you might find in a typical university research program.
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