Originally Posted by mramsay
Caddilac is axtually ten year old :) Like mentioned, being from a PMU farm (a throw-away foal) I doubt that the farm would have taken the time ot the money to have her tail docked.
The notion that PMU farms breed junk or throw-away foals is a myth perpetuated by the "rescues" and animal right groups. The depth of the breeding programs on every ranch I know of and have visited is first class. The big money in draft right now is in hitch horses. It's not uncommon for a 2 year old gelding to sell for $10K or more. If they're making roughly $1500 for the mare on the line, a $10,000 bonus is pretty sweet. Most of the best and coveted dam lines in the percheron industry trace back to the PMU industry.
With the collapse of the NB ranches and the susequent flood of extreemly poor quality foals and breeding stock on the market, the entire industry got tagged with the reputation of poor breeding programs. If you talk to the ranchers who still have contracts, the quality of the foals they produce is one of the overriding reasons they feel they still are working.
Docking tails on foals is not a surgical proceedure. The tails are simply banded just like on other livestock.
Originally Posted by smrobs
Yes, for a draft, her conformation is considered good. "Ideal" isn't the same for them as it is for a light horse. For drafts, cow hocked is a good...and generally desirable thing, as is a short neck and short back. Nice short pasterns. She may be a bit lighter boned than ideal, but that could also be due to the breeding that left her size much smaller than average.
Cowhocked is not the same as set of the hocks. Being cowhocked is a confirmation fault no matter the breed. In drafts it's even more determental to the soundness of the horse because of the power that's generated by the backend. The set of the hocks describes the distance between the hocks and the fetlock joints. Ideally they should both be the same distance from each other. The most important part is the cannon bones need be parallel to each other so there is no undue strain on the hock or fetlock. The closer the hocks are set together (toes will point slightly out) the more power they generate. There aren't any good shots of this mares back legs but I'd venture a quess that they've got some issues because of the puffiness in the hocks. Short necked is undesirable as the horse can not use it's head and neck as well. Balance will be off and they are heavier on the forehand. You want the pastern moderately long so the motion is more elastic and absorbes the concussion of the foot hitting the ground. A short pastern is going to be more upright, the stride short and stubby.
Originally Posted by tinyliny
I think she has some QH in her. Her face is not as Roman nosed, her really wide front legs, I just can't exactly put my finger on it, but I think she might well have qh in her.
It's acceptable for Clydes and Shires to have a slight roman nose but not Percherons or Belgians. Percheron mares should have very feminine heads. You can often see the Arab influence. Male Percherons will have coarser, blockier heads. This mare's head and abundant mane are pretty typical of the Percheron breed. She is base wide in the front and her overall build is more of a throwback to the breed in the 50's (La Don).