I don't think there is anything to do about the hips, except take care of them, don't ask him to do anything that might stress them, like pulling something too heavy,. Not a cart or anything like that. Don't ask him to pull down brick walls.
And don't let him get too fat, the more weight they have the harder it is for them to get off the ground.
I found this photo of the Ozark Empire Fair, this is the pair halter class. The horses are all Belgians, except for 4 Clydes down towards the end. Lots of different colors.
Funny I always assumed he was a champagne (maybe not gold?) because he has really light eyes. But he doesn't have freckled skin, he has lavender skin :3
I just ran downstairs and got some pictures of his eyes
This was him a few years ago, back when I first started driving him when he was healthy and in a summer coat:
And yes - he has definitely got a personality on him! Much like a puppy dog ^^ I don't really care what color he is, but if he's not champagne it explains his belgian-hood :P
I haven't got a stick to measure him with either, just a tape that he wouldn't stand for xD
But what do people think of his conformation?
He has neat eyes, but I still don't see champagne in any other trait of his... Not any of the champagne dilutions (red is diluted to gold, bay is diluted to amber, black is diluted to classic (a mousey color), and if there is a double up of dilutions (like with cream, or dun) the coat tends to wind up paler still.
Here is my DNA tested Amber Cream Champagne (so, in simple terms she is a buckskin with champagne, and we know it for fact because it was confirmed by testing), her coat is ultra pale because of the cream gene paired with the Chamapagne, not all of them are so pale coated, but none are red, bay or black looking, they always have that goldish/champagne tone.
You can see she has light gold eyes, and her skin is freckled (similar to what we see on Appies)
You could always have him tested, if he were positive for champagne, I bet there are quite a few people who study horse color genetics who would find him a facinating case, I know I'd be very surprised if DNA test results were positive for champagne with this horse.
I loff him, PunksTank! Love the pic of you two bareback-what a beautiful head he has!
I know diddley about draft confo, so I'll just suggest that you do what you can to keep him lean but build muscle, especially in the hind end. Walking hills, then working up to trotting, will help build strength, and you might try some ground poles to get him to pick up his legs-walk first over one, then 2, then 3 or more. You can also try trotting one first, the add a pole and gradually more if he's having no trouble negotiating the one.
Walk poles spaced 2 1/2 to 3 ft apart
Trot poles spaced 4 - 4 1/2 feet apart
Since he's quite heavy on the front end, have you thought about doing some dressage with him? It would help strengthen his hind end, and help him carry more behind.
Bravo for rescuing him! Looks like you found him in the nick of time - lucky fellow :)
Aw, he's such an elegant looking guy and those eyes are stunning .
From what I've seen in draft breeding in recent years, they seem to be going the same way as dogs. There are lines that are bred for shows and nothing else; those horses tend to be taller and less substantial, and then there are the horses bred for work who continue to be broad and thick. You can see the same thing in Percherons and Clydesdales, lots of really tall ones without much bulk and thin legs (relatively speaking) and lots of shorter ones that are still huge and heavy with tree-stump legs.
He has a steep croup and is straight throught the hock.. but here is the thing.. if this horse worked hard for years and it still sound, my critique is pure BS. Conformation is about structure for soundness for work. Or it should be about structure for soundness for work.
The horse worked. He is still sound. He is a good horse. Phooey on conformation.
Yes there are various lines in Belgians. If he were in a 6 horse hitch, he'd likely be in the swing team. The lead horses are usually a little smaller with lots of snappy action and the big stout ones are the wheel horses.He is a very nice example of a Belgian.
I have seen some of the lighter colored belgians working draft hitches at the county fair. You get some good food in him and I would be he would dapple up and look amazing! He is a bit more leggy than most I have seen but that means nothing. If he did his rounds in the carriage industry than he probably originated in Amish country and in that case, really all bets are off. I would guess he is pure belgian but a "working" lines one more than a "show lines" horse. Also congrats on your new arrival!
GOOD conformation has the conformation attributes for his breed.
. Bigger shoulder
. More upright shoulder
. More of a longer back
. In the pics of him in good shape he has lovely muscle and a great weight
. Heavier Build
. Set hocks
. I like the front legs I don't see major rotations
. Front legs are camped under
. Neck is thick but that's common in the bigger breeds