Conformation Clinic: Aged Paint/Pinto mares.
When judging conformation, I look for the perfect horse for that breed type, so I need to know what’s expected for that breed in terms of balance and structural correctness. Official breed rulebooks lay out those expectations.
Balance is the most important thing, no matter the breed I judge. I’ll walk down a line of entrants and profi le them fi rst for balance, looking for skeletal proportions. Second, I look for structural correctness, making sure their legs are straight or properly angled where needed. Then I look at muscling for tone and even distribution throughout the body. Muscling doesn’t need to be huge, but adequate for the breed and the horse’s use. Finally, I look for breed and sex characteristics, wanting mares to look feminine, stallions to look masculine, and any representative of a breed to look like that breed.
With a live class, I’d walk around the horses to evaluate them from all angles and see them move. Here, I must judge based on only one angle, and no movement. I still look for overall balance first, though, followed by structural correctness as best I can see it, muscling, and breed and sex characteristics. →