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Conformation Evaluation Of Horses. 2001 D. Karen Hansen, PhD University of Wyoming. 2007 Stephen R Schafer, EdD University of Wyoming. Information Development. Much effort and time was devoted to: developing accurate/current information incorporating appropriate pictures/graphics

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Conformation Evaluation Of Horses


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conformation evaluation of horses

Conformation EvaluationOf Horses

2001

D. Karen Hansen, PhD

University of Wyoming

2007

Stephen R Schafer, EdD

University of Wyoming

information development
Information Development

Much effort and time was devoted to:

developing accurate/current information

incorporating appropriate pictures/graphics

providing proper credit of pictures/graphics

obtaining user/educational permission

Any and/or all errors, omissions, etc. are

purely unintentional and/or accidental.

This presentation was developed for use as

resource and is provided as an educational

service. User and/or purchase fees are not

associated with this presentation.

conformation evaluation purpose
Conformation Evaluation-Purpose
  • Purpose of evaluation (judging) is to identify and breed superior individuals
  • This should (or, at least, could) increase our chances of performance capability
  • FORM ----relates to----> FUNCTION (typically or most of the time)
factors used in conformation evaluation
Factors Used InConformation Evaluation
  • Structure
  • Travel
  • Muscling
  • Balance
  • Type
  • Quality
structural correctness
Structural Correctness
  • There are many characteristics of structural correctness that are desirable for most breeds
  • Some bones are long for increased muscle attachment
  • Some bones are short for strength
  • Structural correctness also includes the way in which the horse’s parts are put together
structural correctness7
Structural Correctness
  • Shoulder, slope should be the same on each animal---approximately 45 degree angle.

- point of shoulder to mid-withers - a long, well laid back shoulder allows:

* a wider range of movement * more shock absorption capability

structural correctness8
Structural Correctness
  • Neck, is used for a lever and counterbalance during movement: a thin and clean neck will allow the horse to be more supple and flexible in its movement - neck should be medium length - attachment to shoulder will vary depending on breed; the lower attachment of neck - throatlatch clean for flexion
structural correctness9
Structural Correctness
  • Back, is the weight bearing area (for rider or foaling mares)
  • The back (withers to loin) should be short in relation to the underline
  • A long underline allows more area for stride and containment of vital organs
  • Heartgirth should be deep; hindrib should be deep
structural correctness10
Structural Correctness
  • Loin, or coupling area should be well-muscled and moderate in length
  • The loin is the flexible area in the spine, and allows the horse to bring the hindquarters up “under” the body to even out the distribution of body weight
structural correctness11
Structural Correctness
  • Croup and Hip, areas should be long and well muscled to allow for more impulsion from the hindquarters
  • The croup slope will be different depending on breed
  • The hip should be measured from tuber coxae to tuber ischii “hooks-pins”
structural correctness12
Structural Correctness
  • Front Legs (front view), the chestfloor should be relatively wide
  • The front legs and feet should be straight down from the shoulder, through the knee, through the cannon, and through the hoof.
structural correctness13
Structural Correctness
  • Hind Legs (rear view), should be wide set apart (similar to the front legs)
  • Have a straight line from point of buttock through hocks, cannon bones, and hoof
structural correctness14
Structural Correctness

Drawings: Unknown Source

structural correctness15
Structural Correctness
  • Front Legs (side view), should be straight from mid-scapula through the knee, through the fetlock and to the ground
  • The front pastern should be medium in length and be the same slope as shoulder and hoof (generally about 45 degrees)
structural correctness16
Structural Correctness
  • Hind Legs (side view), should have an angle or “set” to the hock
  • The hind cannon should be straight and directly below the point of buttock
  • The hind pasterns should be of medium length and the same slope as the hoof (which will be slightly steeper than front)
structural correctness17
Structural Correctness

Drawings: Unknown Source

travel
Travel
  • Can actually be considered as part of structural correctness
  • Can be considered as part of structural correctness because straightness of travel is correlated with correctness of structure
travel19
Travel
  • We evaluate how horses “track” by viewing their movement from the front, rear and the side
  • How a horse travels depends on the straightness of their feet and legs are….and how the legs tie into the body of the horse
    • ASPECTS OF TRAVEL:
      • STRAIGHTNESS
      • WIDTH
      • LENGTH OF STRIDE
      • SNAP AND FLEXION
travel20
Travel
  • Travel should be straight, true, and wide; this is best determined when using the front and rear views to watch the horse move….it can also be observed by checking the hoof prints in the ground
  • Items such as length of stride and overstepping can best be determined when using a side view to watch the horse move….overstepping can also be noticed by listening for the clicking of the hooves
travel structure
Travel & Structure
  • Travel and structure are inter-related because without proper structure, proper travel is not possible.
  • In terms of travel and structure: proper typically refers to or means straight….or straightness of joints, such as the knee because of all the correct positioning required of the tendons, ligaments, etc needed to have proper structure and travel….which leads to better performance of the horse.

Photo: EQUUS

muscling
Muscling
  • Quality of Muscling is important in all breeds
  • There will be breed differences
  • Have enough muscling to do the job required
  • It is important to judge like types
examination of muscling
Examination Of Muscling
  • Muscling can best be examined on the horse in the following areas: pectoral forearm shoulder loin croup & hip stifle gaskin
quality of muscling
Quality Of Muscling
  • Quality of Muscling includes:
    • Long, smooth, low-tying muscles
      • muscles that tie low into the joint
    • Muscling should be balanced throughout the body
      • hindquarter versus forequarter muscling
quality of muscling25
Quality Of Muscling

The muscling of this horse is long and smooth, meaning that is carries down in to gaskin....it is not carried high, meaning that is not bunched on the rump or croup. Long and smooth muscling provides for longer and smoother strides…thus obtaining better performance from the horse

Photo: EQUUS

balance
Balance
  • A well balanced horse has parts that “fit” together
  • Shoulder, back and hip are about the same length
  • Heartgirth and legs are about the same length
  • Length of body and height at withers are about the same measurement
slide27
Type
  • Modern Type….which is a horse that is taller than it is long
  • Old Type….which is a horse that is longer than it is tall
quality
Quality
  • Quality is difficult to evaluate until you have had some experience at viewing horses
  • Quality includes: style sex character breed character

usefulness factors

style
Style
  • Is the relationship of or between the balance and the type of the horse
  • Is also this combination as it relates to the muscling of the horse
style30
Style
  • The 2 most reliable indicators of quality are: head bone
  • Head: large eyes, erect ears, cleanness of head
  • Bone: Cleanness of joints, “flat” cannon bones
sex character
Sex Character
  • Stallion: Larger boned; larger jaw; more heavily muscled; wider neck
  • Mare: Feminine in appearance; smaller boned; narrower and more tapered in the face with a smaller muzzle
  • Gelding: Somewhere in between
breed character
Breed Character
  • Will be dependent on use of the animal
  • For example: Major differences between the Quarter Horse and Arabian?
usefulness factors
Usefulness Factors
  • Gait Defects
  • Blemishes and Unsoundesses
gait defects
Gait Defects
  • A splay-footed horse will travel in what manner?
  • A pigeon-toed horse will travel in what manner?
blemishes and unsoundnesses
Blemishes And Unsoundnesses
  • Blemish = an imperfection which may affect the value of the horse, but does not affect the serviceability
  • Unsoundness = an imperfection in the horse that affects serviceability
  • Soundness = useful for a certain purpose, as a result a horse may be sound for one purpose and not for another purpose
examples and location of blemishes and unsoundnesses
Examples And Location OfBlemishes And Unsoundnesses
  • Head: * Parrot mouth or overshot jaw

* Blindness

  • Shoulder: * Sweeny - paralysis of the suprascapular nerve * Fistulous withers - bruising or infection of bursa
examples and location of blemishes and unsoundnesses37
Examples and Location OfBlemishes And Unsoundnesses
  • Feet: Discolored Hoof

Hoof Crack

Founder

  • Front Leg: Bowed tendon Bucked Shins Splints
examples and location of blemishes and unsoundnesses38
Examples And Location OfBlemishes And Unsoundnesses
  • Hind Leg: Bog Spavin Bone Spavin Capped Hock Windpuffs (Windgalls)
location summary of blemishes and unsoundnesses
Location Summary OfBlemishes And Unsoundnesses

Drawing: Wyoming 4-H Horse Project Manual

location summary of blemishes and unsoundnesses40
Location Summary OfBlemishes And Unsoundnesses

Drawing: Wyoming 4-H Horse Project Manual

conformation summary
Conformation---Summary
  • Conformation = how form relates/function
  • Conformation is founded or based upon:
    • Structural Correctness (how skeleton fits together)
    • Travel (how the horse moves)
    • Muscling (long/smooth is desired)
    • Balance (relationship of the above three items)
    • Type (modern type, taller than long, is preferred)
    • Quality (overall blend and assessment of features)