Daily Equine Forums

Full Version: Phoenix confo shots
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Got a couple of confo shots, and was hopeing Hook & others could go through his list, and tell me what they think for some fun!

She is comming 3 this june 06
Dont know the breeding, we think maybe TB?

Front shoes only, as she is going to trainers in a few days.
I put a little extra wieght on her for same reason as well.

She is on the road, and the left side of pics, may be slightly lower, from the slope of the road, but not much. Thanks.

[Image: DSC00958.jpg]

[Image: DSC00949.jpg]
Nice 3 year old, looks like she still has some growing and balancing to do.

I will take the time this weekend and do the point by point conformation review.
Hook; I believe you are a smidgen more educated on conformation than I am, so I'm asking; I notice that this mare has a pronounced dip behind the withers. Now, I'm used to seeing this on older horses that have been ridden a lot, but not on a 3 year old. Is this because she's still growing and a late bloomer, or is this part of her permanent comformation?

Mtn; This is in no way trying to run down your horse, but just an observation on my part. Otherwise, I think she's a beautiful mare.
Hook, I appreciate it, whenever you have time, no rush.

Red Hawk, thanks for your question to Hook, and your concern for my feelings as well.

I figure, if there is a chance a person may not like the responses they get, then they shouldnt be asking the question in the first place!

What I have learned so far, is that conformation shots are way harder to get, than action shots. Esp with a horse that has never been taught to stand square!
Move forward, move back, not both feet, just that front one. Stop resting that back one. geeeeee whiz!

Then after I posted them, I notice that in both pics, she is standing under herself on the fronts. I dont think she stands this way normally, dont remember noticing her doing this before. Now I have to watch her at liberty, and see. Go figure eh?

I am going back to action photos!

I have copied and pasted the basic conformation pointers. My comments on Phoenix will be in Blue
The photos do show her standing with her front feet to far under but I will try to visualize her with them in the proper alignment.

The first impression. A side profile of the horse should present a pleasing balanced picture.
I like the second picture better that the first. She is alert and interested. It shows her nice head, solid looking legs, bit growthy looking as she should as a 3 year old. Overall good first impression.

The head and neck should flow together into the front shoulders through a proportional back to the hind quarters with no one portion of the body over powering another.
Phoenix's head and neck flow together nicely. Her neck seems to attached to her body a bit high but I think this a a common characteristic of a thoroughbred and is not a conformation defect as such. I think this will be less obviously as she matures.

The horses general condition should be obvious with healthy coat, good flesh without being excessively fat or thin.
She has a nice winter coat that looks uniform and beginning to shed. She has quite a larger tummy than you would expect on a three year old, but I would suspect she is fed quite a lot of hay and she looks like she could do with a regular conditioning program, longeing perhaps before she goes to the trainer, or gradual increase in work at the trainers. We add a couple of oz of "Pura Yeast", and Flax seed to our horse to improve the action of their digestive tract and help coat conditioning.

A good confirmation horse’s over all impression will be pleasing to the eye of both knowledgeable and casual observer alike.
Overall a pretty good first impression. Lots of potential in this horse.

A horse’s top line drawn from the highest point to the withers to highest point of the hips should be basically level, or slightly higher at the withers. The neck should join the withers smoothly and be level in appearance.
Her withers seem to be slightly higher than her hips, which is a good thing to allow better collection and movement of her back end. In the first photo her withers look too high but I think it is a result of the road angle combined with her low head position which accentuates the wither.

If a horse is low in the withers they will have more problems with collection that a horse that is balanced.

The distance from the withers to the point were a line joining the point of buttock to point of hip exiting the back should be approximately 50% of the length of the horses under line.
Her back appears to be a nice length in relationship to her under line.

The underline should follow a smooth line from the bottom of the withers to the flank of the horse.
Looks good except for the aforementioned tummy and fitness.

The horses head should give an overall refined appearance with large bright eye placed on the side of the head. The muzzle should be in proportion to the rest of the head with a flat or slight dish from the nostrils to the forehead.
She has a very nice well proportioned head, small muzzle, slightly dished forehead (perhaps some Arab)large well placed eye.

The head should join to the neck cleanly with trim throatlatch to allow the horse to flex at the poll to allow easy response to the bit. A thick throatlatch would make it more difficult to give to the bit.
Nice throat latch, looks like she will have no problem with flexing at the poll to aid collection.

The preferred neck is long and slender and attached to the withers in a smooth line and attached to the shoulder well up on the chest to allow free shoulder movement.
Her neck looks a bit short for the rest of her body. I think this will improve as she finishes growing. It also thickens a bit where it joins her shoulders which could affect her ability to move her shoulders ahead for those long sweeping trots and lopes.

The neck should flow smoothly with no or dip in the top line of the neck from the withers to the poll.
Her neck joins her body higher than ideal but they extend well back which I think is pretty common on a throughbred. I would be sensitive to withers clearance on the saddle.

A line drawn from the point of the withers to the point of the shoulder and on to the ground will indicate the shoulder angle of the horse. It is impossible for a horse to bring his leg forward at an angle greater than his shoulder so it becomes obvious that the steeper the shoulder angle the shorter the stride of the horse. A short stride ( steep angle) horse will produce a stride that is shorter and more choppy with more up and down movement than a long stride horse.
Good shoulder angle, should be able to move out well.

The horse front leg should be placed well forward under the shoulder. A line drawn vertically from the highest point of the withers to the ground should pass behind the line of support of the front leg as indicated by the line through the cannon bone which should also be vertical to the ground. If the line of support angles back under the body or ahead of the body the horse could be predisposed to soundness problems because of unequal stresses imposed on the knee.
The canon bone line should pass though the rear of the hoof. The pastern angle should reflect the shoulder angle. Excessive pastern angle or steep pastern angles would move the hoof ahead or behind the column of support and lead to soundness issues.
I would say if she was standing with her legs straight under her she would have a good column of support with her pastern angles matching her shoulder angle. Good solid straight legs with well proportioned feet and hoof angles. If she were standing straight it is possible that she is trimmed with her heels too high. It may be the reason she is standing under on the hard road surface as she is trying the match her pastern angle with the hoof angle to be more comfortable. I would suggest that you get her standing square on the hard surface and check the hook angles just to make sure.

The withers should be well defined for good saddle retention and extend behind the front shoulders flowing smoothly through a strong back to a well muscled loin to the point of the hip. Excessive dips or flatness in the back will require some type of compensating pad or saddle to ensure a correct fit of the saddle.
RedHawk, I think what we are seeing her is a slight dip that appears more pronounced due to her prominent thoroughbred style withers. The first photo also seems to exaggerate the dip. In the second photo the dip less pronounces. My thought is that the dip is a result of both her level of conditioning and her stage of growth.

The hip angle is formed by a line joining the point of the hip to the point of the buttocks. An excessively steep angle would translate into a short hip and would not be as strong as a long hip due to the difference in the amount of hip muscle. A steep hip angle will affect the movement of the horse by limiting the ability of the rear legs to move under the horse as required for proper collection.
Her hip angle seems a tad steeper than her shoulder angle but not enough to affect her movement in any major way. I would think that when she is working you would want to pay extras attention to making sure she is moving her hind legs well up under her to help make her more balanced. She also should have a bit more hip muscle to balance her strong front end.

A line dropped vertically through the point of the buttock should ideally pass through the point of the hock. If the hock is forward of the line the horse is said to be sickle hocked. The rear canon bone should also be vertical to the ground and a line through the canon bone should pass through the hoof with a pastern angle that is not too steep to ensure ideal support for the tendons and ligaments.
I think if she was positioned a bit better in the photos we would she that she a good over all hind leg structure with a good column of support.

Overall a nice horse with some growing and balancing to do. She is a good solid horse with many strong conformation points with no significant faults.
Thank you so much for taking all the time that it looks like you did to reply to this Hook.

Great learning experiance for me.

""Her hip angle seems a tad steeper than her shoulder angle but not enough to affect her movement in any major way. I would think that when she is working you would want to pay extras attention to making sure she is moving her hind legs well up under her to help make her more balanced. She also should have a bit more hip muscle to balance her strong front end.""

This part above is very valuable information. Something for me to pay attention too.
It will be interesting to see how she changes, after a summer of riding, with some mountain rides thrown in. They always develop the hind end going up & down there.

Thanks again Hook, really appreciate your time spent.
Keep us informed with pictures as she develops & grows.

I am glad you were able to follow the outline and my description. My hope is that the step by step approach will allow folks to develop the ability to see conformation strengths and faults and relate it to their present and future horses.