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Today I am going to post "Mia", a 15.1H three year old Thoroughbred filly, recently off of the racetrack. Now, trust me, I can judge my own horses (I will post my judgement of her below a cut, but PLEASE, comment before you read mine, as I am always interested in other views), so go ahead and rip her apart!

Front: Sorry, only good front photo is through a fence!


Side, slightly from rear:

Another side view:

From out front view we see lovely straight legs as seen from the front. She is fairly narrow through the shoulder, but since she shows decent breadth of chest, and she is so young, I think it is age and fitness rather than structure. From the front, we can see that her head looks a big large, and although nice and straight, her legs are a bit small, especially light in the cannon. She also looks like she may turn out slightly in her front pasterns, but that could also be the way she is standing in sand. From our limited view, she also appears to have nice straight hind legs which are neither too wide nor narrow as compared the front.

Moving on to the side view. While her face itself is pretty, her head is overall a bit large for her body. She appears to have a nice neck, which ties in nicely with her shoulder, if a bit lacking in muscle, but being recently off the track, this isn't much of a concern to me. Her shoulder is long and fairly correct. If I were nitpicky, I wouldn't mind a little more slope. However, her shoulder and hip match in angles, and she has a nice long connection from shoulder to elbow, giving her a deep chest. **Note on camera angles: For horses like her, who have a slightly straight shoulder, doing a photo slightly more to the rear of the horse will accentuate the slope, as you can clearly see in the photos of her above.** Having a nice shoulder allows for a deep heartgirth and a nice neck-wither-back connection, giving her a lovely strong topline. She has a well sprung barrel, a nice short back, although she is slightly long in her loin, giving her a little bit of a weaker connection from back to hip (again, this is being nit picky). She is well balanced, as her shoulder, barrel, and hind end are balanced in size, and flow together nicely, especially considering her lack of proper muscling and conditioning. In spite of her age, she is not downhill at all, and shows a lovely straight line both from wither to top of hip and from elbow to stifle. She has a strong, muscular hip and stifle area, with a long, well muscled gaskin, to match her forearms. I would like to see more bone to her legs, but they appear to be straight and have nice length and slope to the pasterns.

Overall, she is a well balanced and attractive mare. I would like to see a smaller head on her just to make her more attractive, and I would like to see more bone. I would not use this mare for any sort of high-stress/speed/impact careers, like racing, upper level jumping or western speed events, due to her smaller legs. (Also, since I personally know this mare, and you may have picked it out, she did bow her front tendons at the track, which is why she came home. Being such a small horse, she has to work extra hard on the track (and the track in MI this year was VERY poorly maintained, there were many injuries and breakdowns), and given her small legs, it's even more stressful, making it a poor career choice, in spite of the talent the rest of her good built helps provide.) Because of this, too, I would not breed this mare, at least not for a track baby. Perhaps breeding to a stallion known for adding bone, for H/J or dressage. I think she would be a nice lower level dressage or hunter (while she'll probably never be a 4' working hunter, she'd probably excel in 2'6" or 3' hunters). She is expected to be recovered sound enough to do some jumping in the future. Given her smaller size, she would probably make a good pony club horse.

Her dam, just for those who might be interested:

OK, was in a hurry to finish here, hope I did everything right and how I meant! Looking forward to getting more opinions!

I have hundreds of photos of many horses, so you can probably expect a new post from me somewhat regularly!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
Yay, I <3 chestnut mares.

Here's my basic review on an overall very nicely conformed mare!
+ First thing about her that I really like is her overall balance — nice short back (though her loin is a little long), good sized shoulder, lovely hip that all tie together well.
+ Shoulder is good... might want a little more slope depending on what you do with her, but that's nitpicky.
+ Lovely long humerus with a good slope that will make her a good jumper.
+ I would expect her stride to be nice and long with this combination.
+ Clean throat latch.
+ Pasterns a good medium length and angle, too (and match her shoulder).
- Legs looks straight but she seems to have pretty light bone (and maybe smaller feet?) for the rest of her body.
- In relation to that her joints look a bit undersized, both things that would make me think really intensive work might not be for her.
+ Her gaskin is pretty long, which isn't bad and matches the rest of her. Maybe this would even be beneficial to keep more stress off her smaller hocks! Also her stifle is lovely for a TB — nice and flat and square. Maybe I have just seen more of the breeding duds from OTTBs but her hind end is much better than most I've seen irl.
- Hard to tell in these photos, but her neck looks a little long... though it attaches very nicely to her.

I would love to see photos of her again once she is conditioned-up!

As a side note, PLEASE write something up about how camera angles effect what you see! All my studies on conformation were originally done on real live horses or mounted skeletons and so I have no authority to say how camera angles effect things in a precise detailed manner. Plus then I could link it on the info page (if that would be okay) to help people send in better pictures :)
Oct. 12th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
You did a good job! Pretty much hit all the same things that I did. If you read my own critique, you'll note that being a racehorse did not work out with those leetle bitty legs she's got on her. Her neck is a little long, but she also has a big head- which I just realized is actually kind of hard to see from these photos since you never see it actually from the side. I think if her neck wasn't a little long (which, as long as it ties in as nicely as it does for her, doesn't really bother me), she would look like a bobblehead.

The biggest thing you can note for camera angles here, is in both the slope and length of the shoulder. Draw your lines on both the straight-on side shot and the slightly behind, and compare the difference (I don't have ANY even basic programs, or I would and show you!) or just visualize. You can tell how getting more behind the shoulder makes it appear longer and more sloped, and you see the same with the hip. This is why you often see QHs from this angle- it shows their hind end muscling, and makes the hip look bigger. Obviously the more you play with it, the more you can see. I may just go out and pick a horse and do a bunch of different photos to compare on here.

Most stuff, I can't think of off the top of my head, but like that other post I commented on, when I see them, I take note and adjust in my head. It's easy to be fooled by angles in photos. I've known horses in person who I've found very "blah" who have photos that make them look PHENOMENAL, and I've seen horses of incredible quality look like old school nags in photos. This is partly why I'm so nitpicky about sales ads! They're not that hard, and yet even when I explain in detail the photos I would like of the horse, they never come back properly... which is why it's helpful to study angles and how they affect how you see conformation! As things come up, even in the stuff I'm posting, I'll make note of it. I'm sure I have enough photos of enough horses to come up with more examples!
Oct. 12th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
Ick @ bowed tendons — poor gal. I agree she will make an awesome pony club mount once she heals up!

I noticed her face/head/expression is a lot like her dams. Interesting!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )