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eq_conformation's Journal

The place for equine analysis.
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
Horse conformation evaluated—a place to learn and teach.
"A horse's conformation is its overall body shape or form. Conformation has also been described as the relationship between form and function. it ultimately determines how a horse moves and withstands impact-related stress. This in turn affects not only the horse's beauty and presence, but its health and soundness."

From Horse Conformation—Structure, Soundness and Performance

This community was created to educate, challenge and analyze horse conformation and condition based on characteristics of breed, age and what the horse is used for. The key word is analyze, which opposed to criticism, is flexible and focused more on examination of the horse’s characteristics rather than a general score of “poor” versus “good”. The reality is that no horse has perfect conformation, and many horses with serious conformation faults are still usable and sound for many activities.

A fault is something that deviates from what would be considered ideal for the breed of horse. A fault can be anything from a blemish like a capped hock to something more serious like being post-legged. Obviously the effect of these faults on soundness can vary greatly!

Initially this community will be run by lurath with membership rules being loose. Please join, comment and add your thoughts and analysis of the horses pictured.

It is important to know the parts of the horse before you get started. After that it is a good idea to have a general idea of what the imaginary ideal horse looks like, keeping in mind breed differences. If you know quite a bit about a particular breed and their conformational tendencies, enlighten us!
From Conformation Critique

If you are interested in the subject I highly recommend this text:
Horse Conformation: Structure, Soundness and Performance, Juliet Hedge, DVM. Veterinary Editor and Don Wagoner, Editor. 1999 by Equine Research, Inc. The Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut.

I come back to it time and time again for reference sake. It also has quite a few of the major breeds and outlines conformation differences in representative members of that breed.

Find a photo of a horse that has good general lighting, is standing as square as possible on level ground. If you have photos of the horse from the front and back, feel free to submit those too! Obviously try and get the best photo you can, but if the horse is generally standing straight we won’t discount it. Even less than ideal pictures are good to practice on!

After one small photo and a brief introduction to the horse's name/breed/age/job/etc. Cut your post to keep from overloading people's friends page.

This is the general guideline on how to analyze for this community:

1. Give horse’s breed, age (approximate or guessed) and anything else pertinent to the picture (such as name, owner, how the horse is standing in the photo, etc.). Also give the horse’s job or prospective job!
2. Overall first impression. Is the horse balanced? What is the condition of the horse? Feel free to give it an actual condition score if you know how to judge it.
3. Start going over the whole horse. It’s okay if you focus on some points more than others, but it is a good idea to make sure you highlight the good traits as well as the bad.
4. Finally, TAG your post with both the breed of the horse (or two breeds if it is a cross) and it's current or prospective job so that in the future people can search for particular posts based on the horse being analyzed. Here is the list of current community tags.

People are allowed to disagree! We are not asking for perfectly groomed and set-up horses in these photos because this is a place to safely practice conformation analysis above anything else. There will be photos where the horse is standing oddly and it makes for a more difficult analysis. Feel free to debate! In general, posting pictures of your OWN horse is encouraged but certainly not required. Be aware that posting your own horse means you have to be willing to accept that people may nitpick every fault they have - it's what this community is here for!

Please contact lurath with any questions, suggestions, or "photo donations".