Any horse conformation experts out there?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by beetandsteet, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am going to look at this sweet, crazy-eyed paint filly on Saturday. She has been traded around from auction to auction in her short lifetime, and is currently with a rescue organization. She is halter broke and is being sold for $350. I'm buying her as a project for my dad (who has trained horses before) and I to work on this upcoming year. I have not actually bought a horse before (I do have 2 senior mares who I rescued from bad neglect situations) and would like some opinions on her conformation. Are there any BYC horse experts out there who can criticize this young filly's conformation? It looks to me like her back and pasterns are a little long, and her hips are somewhat short. She is grade, about 13 hh at the withers, and is believed to be between 1 and 2 years old. Do you think she is worth $350? Thanks in advance! :)
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    *UPDATE*
    I am going to look at her this afternoon. I also received a few more current pictures from the owner.
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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  2. DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She looks like she has a good topline. In the first photo, she looks a bit over at the knee, but that is only a small problem outside the show ring, and may only be the camera angle. Her back legs look a little bit sickle-hocked. Do you have any pictures from directly behind and in front of her? They would be a big help.
    (you should get another opinion, i dont own horses and have relatively limited experience).
     
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    I'm feeling very sorry for this horse, because it sounds like she's had rotten luck so far, but I'm hard pressed to find many positive things about her conformation. Her starved condition makes her hard to look at - and it's hard to know just how much a lack of proper nutrition at such an important time of her life may have impacted her development. Yes, she has long pasterns, and in a couple of the pictures it looks like she may have a club foot on the off hind. In every picture, it looks like one or the other of her hind feet are pointing well off from forward, so she may be cow hocked. It looks like her front feet may toe out, too. She appears to have an unusually large head (particularly so for such a young animal). Skinny horses' heads often look large, but even allowing for that, she appears to have a big head. Her neck looks very long, and it has an odd dip in the middle of it. Add that large head and long neck to the very steep, straight shoulder, and I'm seeing a horse that probably will always be heavy on the forehand, with a short, choppy stride that may not be very comfortable to ride. None of the things I have pointed out necessarily will make her unrideable, but she may not be very useful.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  4. DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fortunately, condition and conformation arent the same thing, so her conditioning issues can be taken care of. She may not be the best riding horse you can get, but she isnt hopeless. She has a few of the same conformation flaws typical of mustangs(hammer-head, bad hocks) Is that in her breeding? She does have very beautiful markings, though, despite her conformation.
     
  5. TroyerGal

    TroyerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Awwwww.... That's MY name!! [​IMG]
    She looks a little scrawny to me...
     
  6. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for describing more eloquently what I am also seeing....

    beetandsteet - I would not bank on this horse having a long serviceable life, ESPECIALLY if you start her now. She has a lot of conformational challenges, and I think she is definitely a horse that deserves extra time to mature before you start her. As in waiting until she is 4 or 5. She is simply not built right now to support the weight of a rider, or even rigorous ground training and conditioning. I would NOT work her in a round pen at this stage, either. She will likely have joint pain and arthritis a lot earlier than a horse with better conformation.
     
  7. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Since you have two rescued horses already, I fully understand your desire to help this filly, too. And if you are willing to simply acquire another pasture pet, she may be worth all that and more. But if you are hoping to more or less 'turn this horse's life around' and train her up into some kind of athlete, that may not be a realistic goal. The structural issues that these pictures seem to show will limit this animal's flexibility, balance, and weight-bearing capacity. She might do perfectly well giving rides for pony parties, but she probably won't be durable enough to be a lesson pony, for example.

    Looking at her, I have been thinking that it's a shame she's not a mini - most people don't expect a mini to work, so as long as the animal is comfortably sound, their conformation is much less of an issue. This is my mini, Blondie:
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    If you look past the fluff and flowers, you can see most of her conformation challenges in this picture: ewe neck, roached back, severe cow hocks. What you can't see is the locking stifles; a couple of weeks ago, I was trimming her feet and made the mistake of trying to pick up one of her hind legs when it was locked. When that thing unlocked, it nearly knocked us both down (note to self - don't do that again!!) But I bought her for her mind, not her body; most people that meet her fall in love with her sweet personality, and never see her "issues." So yeah, even a horse that is a conformation train wreck can have its uses, if you get creative enough.
     
  8. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have absolutely no idea what her breeding is, but she could very well have mustang in her. I also know that she probably has some nutrition deficiencies--she's on free choice round bale hay right now, with a half scoop of 12% horse pellet per day. In my experience, free choice hay, especially from a round bale, does a horse more harm than good.
     
  9. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a sweet little horse! I have always wanted a mini. :)
    I have a heart for the underdog horses (my wallet is not pleased with my heart by the way) and I do not have athletic goals for this horse at all. I am wanting to gain experience with training a young horse. However, if when I go and look at her this afternoon I feel like there are too many red flags to justify me spending my money, I may have to let her go.
     
  10. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, no round pen work for awhile (I don't even have a round pen currently--next up on the shopping list!). She is behind on basic training already, and we would have to start with simple things like standing for the farrier (she has a hard time doing that now) and trailer loading.
     

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