Alrighty then I am jumping into this discussion head first!
all information taken from http://www.mustangs4us.com/choosing_...tion:%20Health
Yes, the mustang can look dorky sometimes with it's
big hooves and thin chests (there the dorks of horses! lol).
But lets read a little here, and we shall delve in deeper too the mustang conformation...
Unless you are consciously taking on a rescue horse (and this is a wonderful thing to do, don't get me wrong!) you will probably want to learn enough about conformation (skeletal structure, etc.) to choose a horse who has sturdy legs and feet, and an overall structure that will allow a pleasant smooth ride, and will not cost you big bucks down the line in vet bills. Luckily most wild horses have already been pre-selected by Mother Nature to have strong, sturdy legs and feet.
In evaluating the conformation of wild horses in the adoption pens, you need to "read between the lines." Don't be distracted by a poor coat, a "hay belly" on a youngster, or lack of smoothness and blending.
Look for the underlying structure and use your imagination to see what the horse will be after a few months' good care and nutrition.
With few exceptions, mustangs off the range have excellent conformation. They are sturdy, well-muscled, strong boned and well-balanced for easy movement and the least possible wear and tear on their joints. Perhaps the most desirable trait of all is their feet - with deep soles and thick hoof walls that seldom need shoes, even in demanding environments.
Mustangs do vary in size and type, however. So if you have a specific discipline or activity in mind, choose a horse that is built for what you want to do.
Mustangs tend to be small to mid-sized horses, usually between 14 and 15 hands. Some are quite small, 12 - 13 hands, and some reach heights of 17 hands and upward, but the vast majority are in the 14 - 15 hands range. Mustangs are so sturdy that even a mature 13.2h mustang usually has no problem carrying a 200 lb. rider.
The early Vaqueros preferred the shorter horses, due to their maneuverability and ease of mounting and dismounting. Middle aged and/or less fit riders today are re-discovering the same thing.
Nowadays, many people seem to want tall horses, perhaps influenced by the current popularity of Warmbloods and Appendix Quarter Horses. There ARE tall mustangs over 16 hands tall. Several herd areas - mostly in Northern California and Northern Nevada, are known for their large horses. If you must have a very tall Mustang, you can find one. And remember, mustangs continue to grow through their fifth and sometimes even sixth year. Many people have been surprised to find that the 14.2h mustang they adopted grows into a 15.3 or 16.1 horse. Higher nutritional levels of domestic feeding situations are the reason for this. Since Mustangs continue to grow well past their fifth year, sometimes still gaining height at 6 or 7 years old, don't rule out a 2-or-3-year-old who has everything you need except height!
Just throwing some love to the mustangs! I do agree though with horse_luver4e everyone has a breed that they don't particularly like, I will throw myself on the block here and admit that I am not the fondest of Arabians and Warmbloods. Don't get me wrong, both breeds are very beautiful, I just wouldn't own them. I have never met a "down to earth" arabian that is calm and quiet, thats the breed, they are a bit more spirited then others. As far as warmbloods go, I am a dressage groom and have worked with a couple and I have theory!
Dressage horses are VERY intelligent indeed, I fully agree with that, I just think they are too smart for thier own good. They can passage and piaffe but they have forgotten how to listen to thier surroundings and pay attention so as not to spook at the DUMBEST stuff!
All in good love of horses! Sorry this is long, I am a bit "in Love" with the mustangs!