Horse experts: Critique this mare? Pretty Please?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bufforp89, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I have had my two mares for a few months now and have found yet another horse that I would like to add to my growing collection [​IMG] Lacy will be going out for 90 days training next month and I have been looking for another horse to keep my other mare, Pie, company as well as another trail horse since we will be missing Lacy all summer.

    What do you guys think of this one? She is a 13 year old Irish Sport Horse mare. Had a career is Dressage a few years ago and then was turned out into a pasture other then the occasional trail ride. She is supposedly very laid back and gentle, well trained and just a great all around horse. I would be using her as a trail horse, we ride maybe 3-4X a week an hour each ride. She will need a tuneup and is obviously out of shape, luckily we have a great trainer right down the road who will come and work with her a few times a week quite cheaply until she is up to par....

    So if anyone wants to give me a few opinions based off the one crappy picture I have of her that would be great! I am considering going and taking a look (with my trainer) in the next week or so and can hopefully get some better pics.

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Basically, all that pic really reveals is that the animal in question is a bay female horse, not excessively athletically constructed but who cares.

    What matters to you is not, generally, the things that can be discerned from photographs (although some general guesses about soundness, both current and future, can be made, they can't be made from that kind of pic and they're not all that spectacularly reliable anyhow).

    What matters to you, or SHOULD, is how easy the horse is to handle, how well you get along with her personality, how well her current state of training matches your current state of riding, and how sound/healthy she is.

    The first three things cannot be settled by reading ads or looking at pics, only by going and meeting the horse, seeing her worked, and trying her out; the last thing can best be settled by an appropriate prepurchase vetting.

    I don't mean the above to sound snarky, I just think that there is nothing we can possibly say that would be both intelligently-founded AND actually-relevant to your needs, from that pic (or, to a lesser extent, even from good conformation pics)

    Good luck, have fun, go see her if you're interested [​IMG],

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  3. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    Did not come off snarky at all [​IMG] I was just wondering if there was anything anyone could tell me about her conformation(sp?) despite the crappy pic or if anything jumps out as bad to anyone. I remember a few months ago I posted a pic of a paint draft mare that I was really interested in and then with the help of a few BYCers noticed that she had a horribly twisted back hoof (I actually think you might have been the person that pointed it out, patandchickens)

    Like I mentioned before I am going to see her next week possibly and will get some good pics of her squared up and standing better.
  4. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Patandchickens is absolutely right. A pic doesn't say much. Go ride her, look her over, see how she performs and see how sound/healthy she is. Good luck and enjoy her if you decide to buy her!! [​IMG]
  5. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I agree with the others about not judging from one photo, esspecially if the horse is gonna be for trail. I think for trail you need to put the focus on whether the horse is safe, relaxed, and does well with the other riders. Looks rank last when i am looking for a trail horse.(I do think she is pretty though!)As long as she is sound, safe and enjoys trail riding LOOKS like she'd be perfect!
  6. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    To be fair I would say that a photo helps for the very first impression of a horse. If the horse is far away I would prefer seeing many pictures and videos first before spending money on a trip to see it. But Pat is absolutely right. Meet the horse, see if fits yoru experience and most of all...have fun. It is alwasy exciting to look for a new horse [​IMG]
  7. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2010
    Well, from what I can see, it appears to be early spring and she looks like she has a nice coat and is well fleshed. It looks as though she can also be pastured with other horses and get along with them. It also appears that she doesn't need to be kept in a pasture "Fort Knox" style, so that's good. Go and check her out!! [​IMG]
  8. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Could you check out the pony to the right for me too when you go out? I am looking for a pony [​IMG] *slap my fingers for even typing this* Just kidding. Hubby would kill me.
  9. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    I wouldn't say the horse looks unathletic. Actually she looks like a rather nice horse. What i don't have is a good view of her feet, or a pose in which she has her head and neck up, and her legs positioned well. A good side view really helps one to see the conformation, but to be honest, I really like to see the horse move, feel its legs, get an idea of its temperament....As a horse dealer I knew used to say, 'A picture is worth a thousand words, most of them lies'. LOL.

    However, for your stated use, as long as that is a light use, you don't really need to worry much about her conformation. You may want to get some other pics and post them for fun, but remember that even if a horse DOES have certain conformation faults, they may be unimportant for the use you intend. AND keep in mind that an awful lot of people, without realizing it, are critiquing the horse the way it would be in a Halter Breed class, and their critique is not about practical use, but 'How much this horse doesn't look like <my favorite breed>'. A lot of those niceties for the halter ring, they really don't matter a lot. I like to find out the use and critique as relates to the intended use. I might be awfully concerned about how the horse's hocks are angled if he's going to go on 50 mile endurance rides or jump six feet, that may not be as important for an elderly pasture pet and pal for light rides around the home pasture at a walk. And there are a lot of different levels and degrees of 'that don't matter for you'.

    The key with a new horse is to find out what's going on in those legs and feet, and based on that and the horse's temperament and disposition, plan for a REASONABLE career and activities for the horse.

    For example, our pony had very serious founder before we got him, many times. He was basically a cripple. The plan we came up with was to spend 3 years trying to fix all the damage to the bones of his feet, and THEN decide whether he would be a pasture pet, doing light work, or actually going into a more demanding 'program'.

    If she was mine, what I'd be most focused on, is getting a really good, detailed concrete 'Base Line'.

    That, more than anything will tell me why she really was turned out for so long and not used.

    Horses MAY get turned out and nothing done with them for long periods of time because the rider went off to college, or because the money wasn't there for shows, lessons or trailering out to activities.

    However, a good many people turn horses out because they develop a lameness.

    A great many people turn a horse out, without really knowing what is causing the lameness - they just stop using the horse. They can't sell the horse if the lameness is too obvious. WIthout a diagnosis, without having tried any actual treatment, without knowing if the turnout period will help or harm the injury - out the horse goes.

    This just is not unusual.

    Turnout does not magically 'fix everything', as some horse folks often tell me. Sure it might, or it might not. It depends on the type of injury, how severe it is, and how strenuous of a use the horse is intended for.

    Turnout can aggravate an injury and turn it into a chronic problem. It can cause an injury to heal, but wind up too tight and stiff to allow for normal, flowing gaits - or comfortable riding.

    Turnout can also mean that a problem is simply allowed to progress because it isn't getting the right treatment. For example, if a horse is lame due to severe hoof canker, the only way to get it out of there is surgery and a very carefully planned and carried out rehab period.

    Today, a lot of vets have moved away from the old 'Dr. Green' philosophy that all we can do is turn 'em out. Today, vets are often moving toward a shorter, more intensive, and very carefully targeted treatment. Medications help heal the tissue, and new therapies like IRAP can mean that injuries that used to heal badly with a long turnout, now are healed up rapidly with much better results.

    WHY have I said all this?

    Well, because, number one, you need to get a baseline on your new horse. With portable digital xray machines, xrays of feet and legs are cheaper and more convenient than ever before. We're not put in a position where we have to guess and cross our fingers about what's wrong. Between xrays and the other techniques we have today, we can find out EXACTLY what's going on in there and what will fix it.

    But there's more to it - a good many people buy a horse that either shows a lameness right away or develops one once it's in regular work.

    Because many people DON'T really treat lamenesses, there is actually a strong likelihood that YOU can take a horse like this and correct what's wrong with it.

    There's always a chance you can't, such as with advanced arthritis. But actually, knowing what's really there is GOOD - you can plan the horse's future. This horse might be best suited to be a companion and do very light work. Or she may be much better off with a much more active life.

    Some of that really depends on temperament. IT's awful tough to give a horse a very light career as a pet for kids if it's just too frisky to settle down. And if a horse NEEDS a light program, it's REALLY good to know that, rather than setting up a lot of expectation for a dazzling and demanding sport career.

    About five years ago, I hurt my foot. Of course I kept walking on it and using it. I restricted my activities so I wasn't causing out and out agony.

    The problem was, the foot healed incorrectly. It continued to bother me whenever I tried to do my favorite activities. It was agony even just pulling on a riding boot!

    The DO finally looked at it, and took ahold of my foot and wrenched it outward. I SCREAMED!!!!! IT was agonizing. He explained that because I didn't get it treated PROPERLY, it had healed wrong. Every step I took stressed the healed area. After a few weeks of FOLLOWING THE DOCTOR'S ADVICE, LOL, my foot was - well my foot was like a new man! LOL.


    How does ANY of this pertain to your horse?

    Well, as I said, you need that base line. Next, you need to see if anything in that baseline answers WHY this horse was turned out (NO, actually, I DON'T always believe the seller's story! Frankly if even my own MOTHER sold me a horse I'd be looking it in the mouth).

    Next, when you put the horse into work, periodically, you re-assess. While another set of xrays is ideal, the vet can also 'flex' the horse's joints and jog her to check to see that she's continuing to take the exercise well.

    Trail riding CAN be quite strenuous. Some people really do the distance, the speed and the terrain. For others 'trail riding' means a relaxed slow 15 minute walk on level terrain. So you have to kind of know yourself, what you plan to do with the horse and how intensive it's going to be. The more demanding the work is going to be, the more you need to get an accurate idea of how sound the horse is...and the more you'd be particular about her conformation.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    To clarify, my "not excessively athletically constructed" comment was pretty much just reflecting that she is significantly straight behind, with a short femur and straight (open) hock angle.

    Not that I would expect that to matter one bit for the o.p.'s purposes.

    As for the rest, what I'd really want to see is her FEET, which you can't in that pic.


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