Thursday, February 28, 2008

Conformation clinic #1: Everybody's a critic!

Let's make this a group exercise. I'm not an expert, and would like to see lots of contributing comments for this entry!!!

This is a a "borrowed" photo (don't ask, don't tell) of a three year old warmblood filly. The angle of the camera almost looks a little low, like we're looking up at her. She may be standing with her hind legs situation at a lower point of the ground--she may be a little more downhill than she looks here?
The overall picture is one of good, harmonious proportions. She has a lovely feminine head with a delicate muzzle. Her eye is big and kind. I see a nice throatlatch, and well-shaped neck that could be a bit longer. It ties in nicely to the wither, neither low nor high.

I like her shoulder, too, it has some angle and length. At 3, her spine and wither have more growing to do, so her wither should get better defined as she matures. Her front legs are a bit more "underneath" her and it's hard for me to evaluate her knee. Her pasterns have a nice angle (wouldn't want more than that) and length.

I have trouble judging the hindquarter, but here goes. Her loin connection seems really good. Her hindquarter looks good to me, although a little more length in the croup would be ideal. The gaskins look long and thin--kind of weak, and when I see them I think she must be more downhill than this picture suggests. Her hock seems to be a nice angle.

Ok, what say you all? I would hate for my assessment to stand alone, so please comment!


  1. I am definitely no expert but I don't like her hind quarters. Maybe it could be a little more powerful, more developed. It seems a little small in relation to the rest of her.

  2. I agree. I have always been amazed at how much muscle they develop from age 3-7 (warmbloods at least). Maybe it'll develop but the anagles seem a bit compressed.

  3. My first thought was that her back was too long, but maybe it's her bottom line that seems too long in proportion to her neck length. Then again, it might be that her neck just seems too thin for the size of her body. I agree with your hind leg assessment. But, she is young, and unmuscled. Chrome can mask a multitude of errors. But you're so right about proper photography. Her front legs look behind, but may not be at all...

  4. I don't agree with Windyridge about the hind quarters being proportionately too small, but in this picture, the camera is too low and the photo is taken from an angle toward the rear. This makes for a photo that doesn't represent the horse well. Another photo might look better. The horse, however, as far as being a dressage horse, still seems like it would be a good lower level horse. Where I find her weakest is in her back. It's long in through the loin and is weak and dips downward. The bone in the front legs is deficient below the knee and the ankles and feet look rather delicate. It's hard to criticize the neck on a 3 year old as it will change and mature. It's hard to see the angle of the shoulder because of her coloring.


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.