Forehead Face Bridge of nose Nostril Muzzle Upper lip Lower lip Under lip Throat latch Point of shoulder Chest Arm Elbow Poll Crest Withers Neck He artgirt h Topline Point of hip Back Loin Rump or croup Buttock Barrel Thigh Flank Stifle Shoulder Gaskin Forearm Knee Cannon Fetlock joint Hoof Pastern Coronet Fetlock Underline Hock Figure 1.
Anatomy of a horse. Horse Conformation Analysis L.A.
Lawrence former Extension Equine Specialist Washington State University Conformation analysis is the systematic comparison of one horse to another, and all horses to an ideal type for the breed or athletic purpose.
One conformation analysis system is known as BSMQTT: balance, structure, muscling, quality, type, and travel.
Start your conformation analysis by becoming familiar with the parts of the horse (Figure 1).
A short, thick neck is often correlated with a thick, unyielding throatlatch, incapable of flexion.
In some breeds, a slight arch or crest on top of the neck is desirable, but an excessive crest, thick upper neck, or broken crest (lop neck) are undesirable because they can interfere with flexibility.
A stallion should carry more crest than a mare.
A thick “studdy” neck on a mare is usually associated with a lack of feminine appearance.
The underline of the neck should be straight and attach high on the shoulder giving the appearance of a vertical chest.
A concave neck, accompanied by a depression in front of the withers, is often accompanied by a thickened, rounded underline and this is termed ewe neck.
Such necks usually result in highheaded horses that have minimal flexion at the poll and are limited athletically. BALANCE The ideal light horse will be balanced, as determined by dividing it into three sections.
Draw imaginary lines separating the shoulder area, body, and hindquarters.
A horse can be divided equally only if it has a long, sloping shoulder; short back with a corresponding long underline; and a long hip (Figure 1).
The head and neck should not look excessively large or small when compared with the rest of the body.
The legs should be about the same length as the heart girth. FOREQUARTERS
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