Con­for­ma­tion Clinic

Eval­u­ate and place these aged AQHA mares. Then see how your choices com­pare to our ex­pert judge’s.

Horse & Rider - - Contents -

Aged Quar­ter Horse mares.

HERE WE have a class of mares, and as such, their fem­i­nin­ity or lack thereof will have a bear­ing on plac­ing. I’m judg­ing them based on the rule book’s cri­te­ria of bal­ance, struc­tural cor­rect­ness, breed and sex char­ac­ter­is­tics, and muscling, and look­ing for the most pos­i­tive com­bi­na­tion of those com­po­nents. Bal­ance is con­sid­ered the most im­por­tant of those, but I want a horse that best com­bines the most pos­i­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics from all categories.

I try not to get car­ried away with the pieces, but to look at the big pic­ture. I’m look­ing for the horse that gives me the best first im­pres­sion. When I’m walk­ing around the horses in a class, I make men­tal pos­i­tive checks or neg­a­tive checks in dif­fer­ent categories. If my first sense is that a horse has a pos­i­tive pro­file, then I ask my­self why. That horse of­ten has pos­i­tive checks in most of the categories I’m look­ing for. If the next horse strikes me as hav­ing a neg­a­tive pro­file, I ask my­self why, and an­a­lyze the com­po­nents. The rea­sons are in those com­po­nents.




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