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Ok Hook I am going to try to post some pictures for you and others to comment on SKY's conformation. So have at and please be honest. I was thinking of tradeing her for an Arabian until I took her to her first show. She changed my mind for me.
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[Image: 100_0216.jpg]Thanks Rick
Gee Rick im no expert but she must be ok if she did so well at her show.
I think shes very nice
I'll find some time this week to go through the full conformation analysis but in the meantime she is a very showy type horse, very pleasing to the eye.

Why were you thinking of switching for an Arab. Was it because you lost a bit of confidence in her after her tripping accident or were you looking just looking for a different type horse. Quarter horses are know for surefootedness, good temperament and versatility, you know ... hint .... hint[Smile][Smile][Smile]
She is pleasing to look at,I think she did so well for her first show.
Goodness! She's pretty. Not just her shiny coat and that deep color, but I like her conformation as well. Her cannon bones look somewhat small, but it makes her look all the more petite and very feminine. Sky has a very nice, mare look to her and I envy that tail. No matter how much I brush, I can never get my colt's tail to look that soft and flowing. [Smile] Overall, I think she's beautiful.
Looks like she might have a really nice running walk and rack? I thinks she's great![Smile]
She is beautiful! Do you keep her inside? Or out on pasture? She is sooooooo shiny!
Melissa, I keep her in a 12x12 stall with 12x24 run. I work her every other day for 30 minutes minimum and then clean and groom her for another 30 minutes finishing up with a good brushing of her mane and tail. I really like her full tail and long mane. Rick
Okay Rick, here is my full blown critique for Sky based upon the conformation basics summary outline. The comments in blue are how I see Sky based upon the pointers above.

Conformation basics are the same for each breed with slightly different emphasis for breed characteristics but the basics of balance, structural soundness and suitability for purpose are still the same.


There are a lot of factors which affect a horse’s suitability for purpose. A healthy , sound horse with a willing temperament trained to do what you want in should be the overall consideration in horse selection.

Judging a horse’s conformation from a photo does not enable one to properly assess the horses movement. A thorough conformation assessment would require full side views as well as front and back shots.

I have marked up a side profile of Profit at two years old to illustrate the basic points of conformation. Please feel free to comment on his profile based upon the following basic points. After all, he is Mrs. Hooks horse and she promises not to be offended by any negative comments. You may want to refer to that photo as a reference. In that show as a two year old stallion he was first in his class and was Grand Champion at the AQHA show.

The first impression. A side profile of the horse should present a pleasing balanced picture. 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. The horses general condition should be obvious with healthy coat, good flesh without being excessively fat or thin. A good confirmation horse’s over all impression will be pleasing to the eye of both knowledgeable and casual observer alike.

Sky gives a very good first impression. Her front shoulder and neck seem a bit more heavy than her back end which I think is a breed characteristic of TWH. She is in very good condition with a healthy looking coat and good weight .

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.

Sky's top line is very good with her withers level or just slightly high of her hips.

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.

It is a bit hard to tell from this picture with her stretched stance but I think that she has a very good ratio her with a short back and long under line which should contribute to be able to have a long flowing stride.

The underline should follow a smooth line from the bottom of the withers to the flank of the horse.

Sky has a very good under line with a smooth line from her front to her back. There is no drooping tummy which is due to her basic conformation and level of 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 sight dish from the nostrils to the forehead.

The photo does not show her head in a very pleasing position with her ears back and her face slightly turned away. From what I see she has a very nice head and fine muzzle with a slight dish that contributes to a very good impression.

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.

Sky's head is attached cleanly to her neck with a trim throat latch. I would suspect that she can collect her neck very easily with easy give to the signals from the bit.

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. The neck should flow smoothly with no or dip in the top line of the neck from the withers to the poll.

Sky's neck meets all of the above criteria. The depth of her neck at the shoulder is greater than a typical Quarter Horse but that is a TWH characteristic. Notice how her neck is joined well up on her chest which allows her to move her shoulders to get that long stride.

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.

Sky has an exceptionally good low shoulder angle. If you visualize the line from her withers through the point of her shoulder and extend it to the ground you can see just how easy it is for her to move her shoulder and leg into that long stride. It may be a breed characteristic required for the TWH movement but is a desired trait in all riding horses.

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.

The pictures do not have her placed absolutely square enough be completely sure but my feeling is that she has a very good balance support system for her front end with good size bone for her body weight and conformation.

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.

Her withers end well back on her strong back to a well muscled loin. I would guess no problems in saddle fitting her.

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.

With the stretched position in the photos it is hard to judge the hip angle but it appears to be quite a bit steeper than her front shoulder angle. Her depth of hip is also shorter than I would like to see to balance her very good front end. Again, remember I am used to more heavily muscled Quarter horse hips. so I think that this is good conformation for a TWH and helps contribute to that walking stride where collection and driving from behind is not as big of a necessity. (No Quarter horse sprinting required.[Smile])

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.

My guess, trying to visualize her standing in a quarter horse halter pose, that she would be absolutely correct in her support system on the back end.
Sky is a very good example of the TWH horse breed with good balance, overall pleasing appearance and SHOULD place well in halter and performance events with enough substance to trail ride and bring you back home. From what you say her temperament is also very good and she can compete in the riding classes as well. I THINK SHE IS A KEEPER.

"Quoting hook"

Quarter horses are know for surefootedness, good temperament and versatility, you know ... hint .... hint

Geez hook, add extreme stamina and endurance to that list, and you just described an ARABIAN!!!!!!
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