$300 rescue mare, 6 months later, opinions on conformation? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 05-11-2012, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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$300 rescue mare, 6 months later, opinions on conformation?

"Rescued" this mare for $300 from a couple that had too many, couldn't feed them well, too busy to do anything with them, etc. Had rain rot, was thin/ribby, was hard to tell much about her and she wasn't what I was really looking for, but couldn't leave her there and now I'm very happy I got her. She is coming 4yo currently.

My question is...as I'm a new horse owner and not well-versed in conformation, what is the general opinion of her conformation and do you think she looks built to make a good barrel/pole bending horse?

Also, do you think now that I've gotten some good weight on her that I need to back off a bit...ie does she appear to be putting on too much weight now?
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-11-2012, 03:52 PM
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She looks very pretty and healthy :) is she being worked at all? Her hiney could use some muscling. Look at that shine, she is clearly thriving under your care!!

For a good confo critique, you need some squared up pics. Her pasterns look a tad long, that's about I can tell from that pic.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-11-2012, 03:56 PM
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I actually love her. Nice and short through the back, DIVINE shoulder, relatively level build for a paint (she IS a tad downhill but she's not yet 4, she could level out, and even if she doesn't, she's one of the most level paints or paint/tb crosses I've ever seen), and I love how her neck ties in to her chest. Hard to see how it ties in to her wither with all that beautiful mane but what I can see looks good. I like her pastern angles and lengths. I think she may camp out a little with her hind legs but can't say for sure with how she's standing.

The bad thing is that she's VERY steep through her hip, and perhaps a tad bit rough coupled too. Maybe a wee bit light on bone and her cannons are pretty long - is there TB blood in there?

I think she's got some power going on there though, she'd be fast and I could see her being a good jumper. She's in great nick now, you're right it is time to start backing off a little because she's just right and you don't want her to keep gaining.

I love her expression and her colour and markings are just fabulous.

If she goes missing, she's not at my place.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-11-2012, 03:57 PM
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She's adorable. Overall, I like her. She's compact, which I personally like in a barrel horse. Her cannons are a tad long and pretty fine boned for her body, as well as tied in below the knee.. Her front pasterns are also a bit long and a little too sloped for my liking. I like her shoulder, not sure why but do. Her headquarter looks a little short. For a local playday horse I would think she would do fine. How tall is she? Also, yes, now that she is in good weight(if a little plump) I would back off a bit on her food.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-11-2012, 04:01 PM
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This is a pretty nice horse. Nice long hip and nice nice hind leg. Good shoulder. Relatively short back. I don't like that she is tied in behind the knee and light boned below the knee. Her front pasterns are a bit long and her front feet are a bit low in the heel in this photo on that footing.

A little less feed would be OK now and this horse is one that you want to keep a bit light as her light bone and long pasterns do not need the extra stress.

She is a pretty darn good horse for $300. Who is going to train her? She looks a tad hot.. and will need a good trainer as she is worth it.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-11-2012, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Elana View Post
She looks a tad hot...
I disagree, I think she looks really sweet. She does have a pretty high head carriage but look at how her neck ties in to her wither and her chest, it would be more natural and comfortable for her to hold her head a little on the high side. The opposite is the reason so many QH/paint types hold their head low (as desired for western disciplines) - because their necks usually tie in low.

I think this mare could do western or english pretty well, either way. Her hip is a bit on the steep side for english disciplines but everything else makes up for it. Conversely she's got a lot of power in that hind, so she could easy have the speed for what the OP wants to do, and she's compact enough to be agile.

Her pasterns match her shoulder - this happens in most horses actually - and because that sloping shoulder is desirable, the sloping pasterns need to be allowed for. Or, a more "middle-ground" shoulder should be sought. What bothers me is how little bone she has, she's very fine from knee down (which is what made me wonder about possible TB blood) and the long cannons won't be as strong as shorter cannons so that's a possible weakness that will need to be considered. I think her pasterns match her cannons, the problem is that the cannons don't match the rest of her.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-11-2012, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the quick feedback. I will try to get some better pics of her this evening or tomorrow to post.

For muscling up the hind end, what exercises do you recommend? I've just started working her on the line....although the people I bought her from said she'd been saddled but not ridden, being a new owner I decided to just start her from scratch and although we've had a couple of moments, she's been recently a very willing and eager learner.

As for training....that would be me for right now, although I've been a good student with DVD's, online research, etc...I've decided to enlist the help of a trainer close to me. (I rode friends' horses a lot when I was younger and have always loved and had a good way with horses, but not formally trained in riding or training)

Regarding her lineage...that's up for debate and as her previous owners haven't been able to pony up the paperwork like they said they would (pun intended - lol), it looks like I'm going to have to have her DNA tested. At 1st I wasn't that concerned with registering her, I just wanted to take her home and get her healthy, give her a good home...but the way she's blossomed in the last couple of months I've become very interested.

I was told her sire was long and leggy and her dam stout and muscular, both allegedly APHA registered, and that neither reached full growth until about 5 or 6. She has grown about 4 inches taller in the last 3-4 months and is right around 15.3 right now (haven't actually measured again in about a month).

She is allegedly locally bred here in IN, so if anyone might have any inkling about local paints in the IN area that could be in her lineage, I'd love to hear.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-11-2012, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Elana, she is pretty hot sometimes, although less so now that I've moved her off pure alfalfa hay to a grass/alfalfa mix. When I first brought her home she was very docile and more relaxed, but as her health improved, so has her energy level. When she moves she does carry herself more with an Arab type carriage...higher head and flagged tail most of the time when she's moving much at all. And she's a bit of a clown, if you can transfer that humanish trait onto a horse. Lol But overall, she's a very sweet and rewarding partner thus far. She acts a lot like a young foal a great deal of the time, although she is very aware of humans, dogs, etc and careful about not getting too close when she's romping (after we dealt with charging in the round pen a while back).
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-11-2012, 04:45 PM
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Backing up (softly, not with you hauling her back) will build topline and hindquarter. As will work up hills, or over ground poles, or lots of (correct) transitions. Once she's trained, walk to canter transitions are the BOMB for building hindquarter muscle (with the bonus that they will help her to jump into a lope/gallop for barrels or pole bending), but they do require a lot of coordination and fitness on both horse and rider's part.

You're absolutely right to be getting a trainer's help, young horses can go from learning well to overload in a matter of moments and overload can be explosive. They all have their moments, some bigger than others.

There is actually a significant amount of TB in the Paint breed and from her type she looks to me a lot like the paint/tb crosses I have seen so she might be "purebred" Paint Horse but still with a lot of TB blood (explains the sire's build, and her light bone). Some of the most significant sires in both the Paint breed and the QH breed were Thoroughbreds. Three Bars comes to mind.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-11-2012, 09:31 PM
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I love her look. Sassy =)
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