Con­for­ma­tion Clinic

Aged Paint geld­ings.

Horse & Rider - - Contents -

WHEN AD­DRESS­ING a horse’s form to func­tion, bal­ance is the most im­por­tant cri­te­ria. He should di­vide into even thirds from shoul­der to hip and be level from with­ers to the point of his croup. Depth of heart­girth com­pared to length of front leg is also a very im­por­tant com­po­nent; it should be ap­prox­i­mately the same dis­tance from his with­ers to the bot­tom of his heart­girth as from the bot­tom of his heart­girth to the ground for good heartlung ca­pac­ity.

I’m look­ing for all horses to make good rid­ing horses, and con­for­ma­tion is al­ways part of that, but there are al­ways ex­cep­tions. I’ve seen some horses with what are con­sid­ered con­for­ma­tion flaws per­form well as ath­letes.

When judg­ing a live class, it helps to see the horses move and to walk all the way around them. Here I’ll base my de­ci­sions on the one an­gle I can see.

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