Practical Horseman - - Conformation Clinic -

This geld­ing’s pretty pro­file earns him sec­ond place, although he has a few ma­jor faults that con­cern me.

With his beau­ti­ful head and neck, he is def­i­nitely the type we look for in the hunter ring with an over­all smooth topline and un­der­stated el­e­gance. How­ever, his shoul­der is a bit straighter than ideal for op­ti­mal stride length. More an­gle or slope al­lows the horse to lift and reach with his forelegs to gal­lop and jump.

He also stands back at the knee, which is a worse fault than be­ing over at the knee, as this causes un­due stress on ten­dons and lig­a­ments. Of­ten this pre­dis­poses a horse to

chips in the knee. The long, up­right pasterns and small feet do not ap­pear sub­stan­tial enough to sup­port his body mass.

His mid­sec­tion is ad­e­quate but his hindquar­ter slopes, called gooserumped. Com­bined with the sick­le­hocked an­gles of the hind legs, this slung-un­der con­for­ma­tion lim­its his range of motion be­hind and puts stress on hock joints. This of­ten causes curbs, a strain or tear of the plan­tar lig­a­ment below the hock.

This geld­ing has qual­i­ties that make for a very pleas­ing pic­ture, but his shoul­der and leg con­struc­tion mark him down.

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