4 Year Old Quarter Horse Conformation - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 12-10-2011, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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4 Year Old Quarter Horse Conformation

I think she looks pretty good. She's the first horse i ever searched for, found, bought, and paid for myself. She's my drill horse and she's pretty fast as an ex barrel racer but she's got a very good head on her shoulders. She's bomb proof and very soft and supple. Im wanting to retrain her for reining and i was wondering about her confo in general, and if anyone thought she might do well in reining. She's long bodied and she seems to be slightly sickle hocked to me.

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post #2 of 34 Old 12-10-2011, 04:58 PM
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She's really not sickle hocked, she just appears to be by the offside leg. If you drop a plumb line from the point of buttocks to her hock on the near side, it lines up straight. She actually has a decent hock set on her....they line up nice with the knees, and have a nice angle. She does show some straightness from her stifle down through the gaskin, I'd like to see noot such a straight line. Her back IS long and does show weakness in her long loin connection. What I love is her uphill build. She's got a wither that is set back further which I personally like and combine that with a lower neck to chest tie in (I'm a WP person). What I would LIKE to see is a more fit topline from her poll to her croup. She doesn't show any fitness and musculature there, and I'm thinking she carries her head high and her back hollow.
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post #3 of 34 Old 12-11-2011, 06:24 AM
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I strongly disagree with the above about the "uphill" part. Um, no. I see a downhill horse. She's actually posty all through the hind leg, not sickle hocked at all but too upright! Shoulder is ok. I do not like her neck and she looks a little back at the knee to me... Reining is fairly high impact and overall her build is not for high impact sports. She would do well as a trail mount.

I actually cannot believe that this horse was ever used for barrels... just another classic case of people forcing a discipline onto a horse without considering its conformation. I commend you for asking about how she is put together before you start training for reining. Which IMO this horse should not do. She's just all wrong for it.

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post #4 of 34 Old 12-11-2011, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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What do you consider she would do well in? She was actually an AMAZING barrel horse. She could get down low and had an amazing motor. However im not a speed type person. She's got a very good foundation for riding. She's got flying lead changes, slide stops, really puts her back end under her. She DOES carry her head high until she's settled down and working. She could never be a western pleasure horse. She's too high energy to do so. She's a bombshell trail horse but im looking for somethin to do in the arena with her and i just dont see her doing anything thats slow like trail or WP or horsemanship because she isnt slow enough for it. She works like a reining in her gaits. Once she's forced slower than that she loses her rhythm.
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post #5 of 34 Old 12-11-2011, 11:43 AM
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^ The HMS patterns these days are getting more like mini-reining patterns, with extensions at the jog and the lope. And the patterns are getting more distance between the manuevers, not as tight at they used to be. So, HMS may work for her.

And I still contend that she is not downhill...look at her wither placement and the point of croup, as well as the knee/hock placement. This horse is uphill.
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post #6 of 34 Old 12-11-2011, 03:22 PM
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^^^agree. Her neck gives the illusion of downhill although she is more level than uphill I think. :)) Agree she is flat stifled but does have nice hock placement. I dont like the length of her back in relationship to her height and width. Its a bit of a flaw that concerns me although with some topline development she would stay sound.
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post #7 of 34 Old 12-11-2011, 04:46 PM
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Hmm, I really don't get where you guys are seeing uphill build. There are very very few quarter horses that have uphill builds, more that are truly level, and most have a slight to severe downhill build.

If you want to see an uphill built horse, look at a good warmblood that is bred for dressage. That is uphill.

I mostly agree with Blue Eyed Pony about her basic conformation... straight hocks, just a weak looking hindquarter in general, slightly back at the knee, downhill (not severely, but downhill nonetheless), long-ish back, very high tail set. Also, her left knee seems to be a bit offset.

However, I disagree that she couldn't have been successful as a barrel racer. I've seen some very good ones with a lot worse conformation than her. The biggest problem with using a less-than-ideal conformed horse for a high impact/high stress sport is that the wear on their body is much more than it is on a horse conformed for the sport.

I really don't see any reason why you couldn't train her for reining. She'll likely never be capable of higher levels but for lower level, local shows, she'd probably be just fine. Plus, every horse can benefit from reining training.
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post #8 of 34 Old 12-11-2011, 04:57 PM
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Decent horse, but I see downhill. Use her reasonably & sensibly as to what she likes to do. Lots of pleasure trail rides between arena work.
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post #9 of 34 Old 12-11-2011, 05:10 PM
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A little butt high, slightly sickle-hocked, with short cannon bones, a bit of an ewe neck, a high tail set, and a longish back. She has kind of a weak build, overall, but it's not bad. Although she's a little less substantial, she looks like the average working quarter horse.
I think most of the issue with the weak body is her lack of muscle on her top line, though. Try to collect her more when you ride, so she builds up a crest and back muscle. Overall, she's a nice looking horse. :)
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post #10 of 34 Old 12-11-2011, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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It would never be anything but local shows with her. Maybe a 4-H show now and then. Right now she's just been in slow work from the transition out of a barrel horse. She's my rodeo queens horse so horsemanship is definitally in her future however i was looking at local reining. I just wanted to make sure it wouldnt hurt her to do it. I do a LOT of slow work with her. She gets to run maybe once every two weeks and i take her on a lot of trails because she gets arena sour if she doesnt get to go on a trail at least once a week. She's out of working stock, not show stock but farm horses. She's my queens horse, team penning (man can she CUT!!) fast and precision drill, 4-H reining, and 4-H horsemanship. Ive only had her for 6 months and she lost a LOT of weight when i brought her home. She's just finally filling out again. I plan on getting her lunging on some hills soon.
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