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Thoroughbred mare: pleasure horse!

Owner: morgieporgie (thanks for the pictures!)
Breed: Thoroughbred mare
Age: 11
Job: Pleasure/trails, low level dressage, some jumping…
From Conformation Critique

From Conformation Critique

I picked this photo because she was standing better in relation to the camera...
From Conformation Critique

This horse was off the track but never raced, and has only recently been back in work.

First you can see that this mare is well-balanced with all three “sections” of her body being roughly equal (light blue lines). Her back is a good medium length and her withers appear to be well-sprung without being overly prominent.

This mare’s shoulder is decent in both slope and length — both falling into the range that will give her a good strode length and free shoulder but not “ideal” since her shoulder blade could be longer (see green lines). A slope of around 55 degrees for a shoulder is still excellent (if 45 degrees is “ideal”) for an average horse. Her neck is roughly the same length as her shoulder (yellow line) which means it is slightly short but by no means bad. Her neck attachment is pretty good as it is well above the point of her shoulder and ties into her withers smoothly. This neck attachment will give her the ability to use her neck independently to balance, which is needed for most sport disciplines but is particularly useful for dressage and jumping.

Her humerus is long and moderately sloped, which will increase her stride length and probably make up for her shorter shoulder. Since her humerus is more horizontal than it is upright she will not be able to tuck up here knees easily for large jumps but should be able to do so for smaller jumps just fine. Notice how she stands slightly camped under as a result of her more horizontal humerus (compare yellow line that is dropped straight down with the blue line following the natural line of her leg).

We can see from the thin blue line that this mare has good straight legs and a well-muscled forearm. Her front pastern angle is similar to her shoulder angle, though it appears a little more acute. The more acute angle may be a result of having slightly long pasterns (again, just slightly) and should result in a nice springy-ness to her stride.

Her hind end (denoted by pink lines) is well balanced. Her pelvis is medium-long and her croup is pretty flat, which will allow for a long stride with power over distance rather than short bursts of speed. Her thigh and gaskin areas are fairly weakly muscled in these pictures, but her stifle appears to be well conformed: flat and roughly “rectangular” shaped. Her hind legs have a good angle to them which will allow for good stress-absorption and the ability to reach under herself and lend power to her hindquarters for both dressage and jumping. Notice that she has a very high tail set only because this sometimes has the appearance of shortening the croup. It appears that she has capped hocks, which is just a blemish (usually caused by lying down or banging them) that shouldn’t affect soundness.

Overall this horse has very light bone, smaller-sized feet and small joints. Her frame is similarly fairly light (watch out for horses with heavy frames and light bone — NOT good!), but it will be especially important to make sure this horse stays a good weight to not put excess strain on her more delicate bones. Proper conditioning is especially important for horses with smaller joints. Luckily her short cannon bones will afford some strength to her lower legs and the angles on shoulder, hock and pastern are not upright, allowing for good stress distribution along her skeleton and hopefully fewer issues in her small feet.

In general this mare appears well suited for dressage and lower level jumping!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)

These were taken about 2 months ago. We're dealing with her weight right now, because she's getting a bit... portly. Though I am very happy that she's putting on muscle as well(she had like NONE when I got her).

I'm happily surprised you think her back is a good length lol! I remember thinking when I first saw her that she had potential, but her back was looooong. I think it was just due to her lack of muscle, because since she's put on muscle, she's started to look much more proportional. For reference - this was taken about a month after I got her!

Thanks again!
Jun. 14th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah -- her back is fine. Definitely not *short* but well-balanced. The, erm, hay belly and wasp-waist do seem to combine to make it look funky is all!
She is definitely under-muscled, but the difference is good after only a couple months. My own horse is seriously wimpy right now too after time off and it always gives the general impression of awkward angles and pointy bones where the underlying skeletal structure is decently put together.
Jun. 14th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Lol, I agree! I hope that in a few months she looks even better, which she probably will. With more muscle. And less hay. But yeah, she's come a long way in a few months.

My gelding looks terrible, but he's retired and has been out of work for sometime (hence the purchase of this mare). He looks like a completely different horse when he's all muscled!
Jun. 14th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
She's really pretty. I like her a bunch! I wish my TB looked even a tiny bit like that. I guess not all TBs are gangly, spindly, tall but delicate horses.
Jun. 15th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! My TB gelding was very delicate looking, but this girl is much more substantial. You should see my friend's TB mare. She is a freaking TANK.
Jun. 16th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
I'd have guessed Appendix from the muscle.

I have to fight so hard to keep weight on my TB. But even aside from tending towards being thin, he's butt high, has ridiculously high withers. OTOH, he's an old man. Maybe he had better days!
Jun. 16th, 2010 11:51 am (UTC)
Ha, yeah I could see that. Wait until she's really in shape!

We had to cut back on her feed, which I was fine with! I really didn't expect her to be such an easy keeper tbh. Not complaining that she is, but it was a surprise.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )