Aged AQHA mares.
I EVALUATE conformation by balance, structure, breed and sex characteristics, and muscling. Age and gender affect some of these qualities, and mares should be feminine through the head and neck, with the head reflecting the breed. A horse should display balance and structural correctness to do a job and stay sound. Muscling needs to be adequate for what the horse will be used for.
When I first look at a class, overall attractiveness stands out. The horses that qualify as attractive at first glance are usually those that are a good combination of the four categories. A poorly balanced or structurally incorrect horse, even if attractive through the head and neck, usually isn’t as attractive as a well-rounded, positive combination of the four qualities. I start my assessment at the shoulder, as it has tremendous bearing on function, balance, and structure, and influences how the horse’s head and neck look as the neck attaches to the body. I then move my eyes from head to tail, top to bottom, and work down front and hind limbs. Though I can’t walk around the horses here, I judge them the best I can from one side.
A B C