Con­for­ma­tion Clinic

Horse & Rider - - Contents -

Aged AQHA geld­ings.

Eval­u­ate and place these aged Quar­ter Horse geld­ings. Then see how your choices com­pare to our ex­pert judge’s.

UN­DER­STAND­ING a horse’s bal­ance and struc­ture—and how they re­late to the horse’s per­for­mance—is crit­i­cal. To­day, we have horses that spe­cial­ize in hal­ter classes, but the con­for­ma­tion ideal is sup­posed to main­tain the breed stan­dards, and that al­ways goes back to bal­ance and struc­ture and how those fac­tors af­fect sound­ness, longevity, and per­for­mance. As I as­sess a class, I look for horses that’ll be use­ful and stay sound be­yond a hal­ter ca­reer.

The pur­pose of hal­ter is to main­tain the breed stan­dard. If we’re truly in­ter­ested in main­tain­ing the breed stan­dard, we have to be con­cerned about the longevity of these horses. If I’m look­ing at mares or stal­lions, I ask my­self “Would I breed to this horse?” With geld­ings, I ask my­self, “Could this horse go on to be­come a rid­ing horse?” Af­ter a hal­ter ca­reer, there needs to be a place for these horses.

With this class of geld­ings, as the rule­book stip­u­lates, I look first for over­all bal­ance, then struc­tural cor­rect­ness, breed and sex char­ac­ter­is­tics, and muscling.

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