Conformation – Part 1


This is the first in a series of posts about conformation, and as always, has my opinion. As all horses are different, all disciplines require different strengths, and all riders prefer different builds of horses, it is highly subjective and open to opinion.

Feel free to give an opinion!

Conformation is made up of two aspects; the skeleton and muscle/fat development. Skeletal conformation cannot be changed, but development conformation can be used to disguise weaker areas of the body. As equestriads, we need to learn to look beyond the colour of the horse, the number of white legs it has, and see what strengths the horse has, and how we can best train the horse to work correctly and thus increase their working lives.

Initially, we have to look at the horse overall and judge whether the forehand and hindquarters are in relation to each other; whether the feet are balanced and in proportion, the length of the back and barrel, and the position and shape of the pelvis. Someone once taught be to see if the horse, from the withers to the point of buttocks, and down to the hoof, fitted into a square box. The head and neck should be half the length of the body again.

Part 2 begins with the head next time!

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