Sunday, February 1, 2015

Conformation Is The Bee's Knees

So, I am following Carly and Terise's original post on examining conformation. Conformation is awesome. And plays a pretty important role in what you horse is capable of doing, their longevity in whatever they are performing in, perhaps how comfortable they are, their way of going, etc. It is important, and it is good to look at your "Precious" in this light, just to have a basic idea.

Now I am in no form all that knowledgeable about conformation. I try to learn and pick up things all of the time. That is why I was really excited when Terise posted her fun way of observing your horse's confo. So, I decided to do the same and evaluate my Precious. Bacon!
Say hello to my bay giraffe.
Alert: I apologize for the cutting off of my horse's feet. This picture is from a year or two ago, as she is currently only halfway shaved and I didn't want to embarass her anymore than she already is. Her mom got a fierce cold and the shaving will commence as soon as she feels better :)

1. Length vs Height.

Ideal: The length of the horse from the point of the shoulder to the buttock should be equal to the height of the horse from from the top of the withers to the ground. This should create an box around the horse (minus the head and neck) that is a square with equal sides.

Actual: Um, I am going to have to say that I already knew that my horse was probably taller than she was long. This can kind of be a bad thing, as a longer back would make her more symmetrical and help her with jumps. She has the shortest back of all of my mares and at almost 17hh, she only wears a 75" blanket. Note to self: for next confo photo, make mane neat and include feet!

2. Heartgirth vs Legs

Ideal: The depth of the heartgirth from the top of the withers to the elbow should be equal to the length of the leg from the elbow to the fetlock.

Actual: Again, legs for days. They are certainly longer than her heartgirth. This may inhibit her athletic ability in relation to housing her organs, as horses are wanted to have deep heartgirths. Long legs are good for covering ground and all the things too, so there.

3. Topline vs Underline

Ideal: The topline should be level so the point of the croup is at the same height or slightly lower than the top of the withers. The topline from the top of the withers to the point of the hip should be shorter that the underline from the point of the elbow to the stifle.

Actual: Well, she scores slightly better here. Obviously her croup is lower than her withers. What is considered slightly lower? That might be significantly lower. And her topline is ever so slightly shorter than her underline. She is not downhill, that is for sure, and she isn't some weird horse with a shorter underline. Almost, but not quite.

4. Forequarter vs Hindquarter

Ideal: The forequarter of the horse (minus the head and neck) should be equal to the hindquarter of the horse when a line is drawn through the center (near the last rib) of the horse in the box from before.

Actual: Not sure is I did this correctly, because it doesn't look like I got the line right through the middle. But then it wouldn't really be by her last rib. So, I don't know. I think she looks fairly equal here, as she doesn't have the most fantastic shoulder OR hind end there ever was. So they compliment each other.

5. Shoulder vs Back vs Buttock

Ideal: The shoulder, back, and buttock should all be equal in length when lines are drawn from the top of the wither to the ground and the point of the hip to the ground in the box from before.

Actual: Again, a little not so. Poor Bac' isn't scoring the greatest in her confo eval, but that is ok. I still love her to pieces. Her shoulder is certainly lacking here, but is fairly close to the length of her booty.

6. Head vs Body

Ideal: The length of the head should be similar to the lengths from the point of the hock to the ground, the chestnut on a forelimb to the ground, length of heartgirth, and from the stifle to the croup.

Actual: Had to improvise here, since her head is slightly turned in. If her head was as long as her heartgirth, I might be a little disturbed. I like her head the way it is. Apparently it is just a bit small all the way around. We'll just look past this one....

7. Buttock vs Hip vs Stifle

Ideal: The lengths from the buttock to the stifle, the stifle to the point of the hip, and the point of hip to the buttock should all be similar.

Actual: She wins at this game! And her race trainer always made fun of her pointy ass. Take that, race trainer!

So, what did we learn? We learned that even though the majestic horse beast has some flaws, most are pretty minor and I still love the crap out of her. And that maybe I will have to revisit this again with a better picture. And take a look at my other ponies! And for those of you who want to do this eval too, please go to Terise's post!

Also, lookie, my first ride of 2015! Sad, isn't it?
She is so gross. And I want to fix it. Only, it is going to start raining again!
I was going to ride her in her new PS of Sweden gear and my cwd saddle that my butt has been missing. But she is caked in mud. And trying to brush it off kills her, so I tried to shave it off. HA! Didn't really work...but I was just so happy to be on her and she was just wonderful.
Withers and crotch don't mix.

Stretchy horse wanted to be extra stretchy.

I just love her. And the fading spider with 9 legs on her ass.


  1. I'm so impressed that your first ride in months was bareback!

  2. Okay, I'm also impressed that first ride of 2015 was bareback. My legs would dieeee! Happy you got to ride! :)

  3. I love seeing all these conformation posts! So cool to read about everyone's horses!

  4. I kind of want to do this for C Rage, but not until his dressage muscles have come in. Lol. Yay Bacon!

  5. Your bay giraffe is adorable.

  6. I'm really enjoying these conformation posts! Yay for first ride of 2015 :)

  7. I'm glad you are out riding and enjoying :)

  8. legs for DAYS!!! and yay for first ride of 2015!! :)