How can you improve your proficiency and confidence? ACQUIRE A WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF THE IDEAL TYPE OF HORSE BY: Studying breed pictures • Looking at live horses and asking a knowledgeable person to point out faults and good points of breed type, conformation, set of legs, action, and unsoundnesses. • Practicing.
Concentrate and train yourself to look critically.
These points and the following clues may help you zero in on the problem. • A top horse has eye appeal.
Eye appeal includes desired type, balance of parts, quality, muscling, and appropriate size. • Remember a horse should be an athlete and his athletic ability is affected by his conformation, set of his feet and legs, the soundness of his feet and legs, and his ability to move freely.
The scorecard shown will help you, in a general way, to learn the amount of emphasis to put on various points.
A more flexible scorecard would include the following: Type, muscling, balance, conformation Feet and legs Action. . . . . . . . . . . . . Actual judging 50% 25% 25% WHERE SHOULD YOU LOOK? The best view of a horse is a side view from about 20 to 30 feet away.
From this view you can observe the overall type, balance, con formation and relative size.
Does he have a trim throat latch, a long supple neck, a high prominent wither, a long sloping shoulder set at about 48 0 , a short back, a heavy muscled coupling, and a long level croup with depth and muscling through the stifle region? In addition, you can see how he stands on his feet and legs and determine whether he is too short and straight in the pastern or whether he has too much set (sickle) to his hock or possibly is too straight and post-legged.
Jordan is a professor of animal science, University of Minnesota. -3 he buck kneed, or even worse, back on his knees (calf kneed)? Are his tendons and bones clean and well defined, or do his legs appear round, fetlock full and puffy with coarse hair? By moving behind the horse (8 to 10 feet) you can get a good indication of the amount of muscling that he has through his stifle.
This is the muscle region that propel s the horse and thus it’s very important regardless of the breed being judged.
You can also see whether the horse is cow hocked (hocks too close together and his feet spread wide and usually with the toes turned outward), Look for unsoundness of the rear legs such as a bog spavin or a bone spavin about the hock, a thoroughpin, curb, or capped hock.
A front view from 8 to 10 feet provides an indication of width between the eyes, the balance of his head, the distance from his eye to his muzzle, and finally, whether he stands straight on his front legs.
Is he too narrow in the chest, are his knees too close, does he turn his toe out or turn it in, and does he stand too wide or too narrow? All of these points would not only have a bearing on whether he would remain sound but on the way he goes or his action.
PREPARATION, PRESENTATION OF AN ORAL SET OF REASONS It’s fun, educational, and satisfying to be able to judge a class of horses and then present a logical set of reasons defending your judg ment.
The essentials of an impressive set of reasons follow.
Presentation of yourself a. Confidence-as reflected by the way you walk, good posture, voice tone, volume and facial expression.
The reasons Organize in your mind the main points and present them so they provide a clear picture of the two horses you are comparing.
A good start is a job half done.
The terms should be primarily comparative- taller, straighter legged, typier rather than he was tall with straight legs. However, descriptive terms may be used to create a general picture of the class ie 1 and 2 were of similar type or there was an easy top and close bottom pair, etc. After such a general statement you should provide evidence in the form of comparative terms telling why you thought there was an easy top or a close bottom pair.
Another effective place to use descriptive terms is with the bottom pair.
You might finish your reasons with two or three descriptive terms about your bottom horse.
For example, the gray horse I placed last was off type, ex hibited coarseness about her head, tendons, and joints and moved very wide behind with a short choppy stride. -4 c. Points to include Start with the significant points.
Points you are most certain are correct, points that made you decide and points that you and the judge are most apt to agree on.
The way to win a debate is to get the other person to agree on some of the early points you make.
Include pertinent points.
Remember a horse is judged on the basis of type, conformation, balance, quality, feet and legs, and action.
Failure to mention one of these main areas, like action, suggests to the judge that a.) you didn’t know action was a factor to consider; b.) that you didn’t know anything about action and therefore didn’t mention it; or c.) you didn’t look or didn’t detect any difference.
If you don’t know, attempt to create a sense of knowledge by saying both horses lack flexion and length of stride (you would be right by most standards on most heavy muscled stock type horses), or both horses were comparable in action and way of going. Or finally be honest and say I didn’t detect any significant different in the way these two horses traveled. You have at least conveyed the thought that you realize action is an important factor. Give the devil his dues. If your second place horse excells the top horse in some respect, grant or admit the fact.
By doing so you provide evidence of having carefully observed both horses, that your decision is based on weighted evidence.
And, finally, the judge may have placed your second horse on top.
If you had mentioned the good points of this horse, your placing score on that pair reflects a difference in emphasis that you placed on the points and not on your failure to see or mention significant points.
Actually your reason score should not suffer.
Denote the degree of difference between the two horses with effective and expressive adjectives that convey a clear picture with the correct degree of emphasis.
If one horse is 4 inches taller and appears to be heavier muscled and weighs 300 pounds more than another, merely saying he’s a larger horse doesn’t provide a very concise verbal picture.
Why not say he is decidedly taller over the withers, and if he appears to weigh 300 pounds more he is much deeper and wider through the heart girth, likely longer in the underline and heavier muscled and more powerfully made through the stifle region. Use horse terms, mention color, sex, or condition (the fat horse).
They suggest that you are knowledgeable and are speaking about a horse that you saw and remember. -5 FOREHEAD FACE ~ POLL — UNDER LIP POINT OF SHOULDER CHEST- ARM ELBOW FOREARM Figure 1 Parts of the horse -r t r~ PASTERN CORONET — HOOF Figure 2.
Desired horse traits SHOULDERS EARS SMALL WEll RI BBEO UP: DISTANCE FROM RIBS TO POINT OF HIP BONE VERY SHORT- / 3 FINGERS STRAIGHT (NOT SO IMPORTANT IN HUNTER OR ‘CHASER’ AS IN FLAT RACER) TAIL SET ON HIGH UP BACK SHORT ___ / LONG I EYE LARGE ‘ ‘ QUE. ”’\ ; ,, ~\ — ~ t -TIED IN BELOW KNEE I – NO BONE J /1/,/ ‘…J PASTERN TOO SHORT AND UPRIGHT – BAD HOOF -L.=J /’- v- I FETLOCK OVERSHOTI~ I ~ .: I ~7- DETRACTORS FROM YOUR REASON SCORE Indicating by word and action that you are inexperienced, un certain, and uninterested is a bad way to get started.
A. Expressions like I liked his color, he seemed more friendly, he had a nice look about him, or he was fatter and prettier, do not instill in the judge that you know very much about horse judging.
Are you making them up, didn’t you look care fully, or don’t you care? c. Incomplete.
Failure to mention points vital to the worth of the horse, like type or action, will cost you points.
Too long a set of reasons particularly if they consist of long pauses, lots of and’s and ah’s, are repetitious, and belabor small, inconse quential points, detract from an otherwide good set of reasons.
E. Reading your reasons from prompting cards or asking the official judge how you placed the class.
If you can’t remember how you placed the class no one will have much confidence in your reasons. -8 Terminology for Oral Reasons GENERAL • Has the best combination of type, balance, quality, and feet and legs.
Is more structurally sound, has more breed type and character with a more massive jaw. • More powerfully made with longer and more definite muscling in the arm, forearm, and through the stifle and gaskin. • Greater size and substance with more evidence of doing ability. • Excels in type and conformation with a nicer balance and blending of parts.
FRONT END-NECK AND SHOULDERS • More style and breediness about the head with a more pleasing earset and a larger, more expressive eye. • More desirable head and neck carriage. • Cleaner about the throat latch. • Higher, more prominant wither, a longer shoulder with more desira ble angle, smoother shoulder and blending of it into the body with greater evidence of muscle development. • Deeper, more spacious chest, deeper rib, cinches up better. • Wider, deeper chest with more evidence of inside and outside muscle in the forearm.
TOP AND REAR QUARTERS • Shorter, stronger back, closer-coupled, heavier muscle over the kid ney area, smoother hip, more desirable turn over the hip and croup, longer underline, deeper flanked, easier keeping kind, longer croup, longer from hip to hock, heavier muscled through the stifle and gaskin area with greater evidence of power and drive, more athletic in his form, conformation and way of going.
FEET AND LEGS, STANCE • Heavier boned, more substance of bone. • Flatter, cleaner, more dense appearing bone. • Stronger, shorter pastern with a more desirable slope. • A deep, spacious, hard hoof with greater width and depth at the heels. • Stands straighter and more correctly in front with no tendency to be pigeon-toed or splayfooted; critical terms-a long, weak pastern Painting of ideal Quarter horse. carrying a severe angle deviation between pastern and hoof-coon footed, off-set or bench-kneed, knock-kneed, calf or buck kneed, shows evidence of splint, windpuffs, questionable knee joint, as viewed from behind he is cow hocked, too wide behind, bow legged, curby, has a thoroughpin, is stocked up. ACTION • Longer stride with more hock and knee flexion, travels straighter and truer with more collection. • Has more power and drive. • Shows more brilliance and animation. • Critical terms-paddles, rope walks, interferes, rolls at the shoulder, has a labored and pounding way of going, spraddles behind, leaves his hocks behind, is strung out, lacks flexion, wide behind, lacks spring, short stride, lacks aggressiveness. Minnesota Extension Service publications Livestock Judging (4H-BU-0478) and Selecting Your Horse (AG-BU-0478) provide additional material on judging and preparing oneself for judging contests. -10 Saddle Horse at Halter 1 WEIGHT, 900 to 1,200 POUNDS Height, 14.3 to 16.1 Extremes undesirable FORM Saddle horses should possess beauty, refinement, symmetry, and style Body: round, full-ribbed, heavily muscled with well-sprung ribs Back and loin: short, wide, and well muscled Croup: long, level, and muscular Quarters: deep and muscular Gaskins: heavily muscled Withers: prominent, showing good
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