Good conformation

What is good conformation?

The horse needs to look in proportion.

I remember a friend of mine, buying a warm blood mare, as a project.

She was well bred and had a lovely temperament. Her head looked too big for her body.

If her legs were longer, she would have looked perfect.

She just looked so odd.

Despite the way she looked, she turned out to be an extremely careful jumper, and went on to win many show jumping classes.

Therefore, when it comes to conformation, you should assess the horse on what you want it to do.

If you are new to horses, it is hard to know what is right or wrong, when you view a horse, so take an experienced person with you.

It should form a succession of well-developed out-lines, blending smoothly into the neck, from the “top-line”- the neck, withers, back, loins and dock.

The head should be in proportion to the rest of the horse and the teeth in front of the mouth should meet evenly.

The eyes should be of good size and well set on either side of the head.

The ears should be of a suitable size and pricked when pointing forward.

The neck should be muscular and of a length proportioned to the body.

The top line should be naturally convex, showing a definite arch between the poll and withers.

Top line or outline can be improved with the correct training.

The shoulder should be sloping, thus giving a better ride.

The chest should be deep enough, giving plenty of heart room.

The forelegs should be straight from the top of the leg to the foot when looked at head on and from the side.

The forearm should be longer than the leg below the knee.

The knees should be broad and flat.

The cannon bone should be short and straight.

The angle of the pasternsshould be similar to the angle of the foot, but it may vary between horses.

The back should be of medium length; mares generally have longer backs than geldings.

The hindquarters should be well muscled, as they provide the power.

When viewing the hind legs from behind or to the side there should be a straight line from the point of buttock through the point of hock down to the fetlock and ground.

Scroll down from correct conformation for more on this subject.

Good conformation

Good conformation >> Home

What is conformation?

Conformation faults

Conformation for different jobs

Foreleg conformation


Conformation - reflective actions


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