Conformation Tutorial - Page 11
 
 

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Conformation Tutorial

This is a discussion on Conformation Tutorial within the Horse Conformation Critique forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Measuring horse neck conformation
  • Body conformation

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    11-29-2010, 12:20 AM
  #101
Yearling
I used a ruler and protractor, so my measurement might be slightly off. I might actually be failing with the protractor... I haven't used one since 10th grade...

Length of body: 11.9 cm

Shoulder: 4.6 cm (38.7 %)
Humorous: 2.8 cm (60.8%)
Shoulder slope: 59 degrees
Shoulder angle: 91 degrees

I’m not really sure what that means... his slope is too big and his angle too small.

Forearm: 3.2 cm
Cannon: 2 cm (62%)
Can’t measure the pastern because of the boots, but I know it’s too long
His cannons are fine, but he has long, weak pasterns

Illium: 3.4 cm (28.6%)
Femur: 3.4 cm
Pelvis: 3.1 cm
Weak hindend

Back: 6 cm (50.4%)
Rib: 5.5 cm (91.6%)

The length of his back is okay, but it’s weak
     
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    11-29-2010, 10:40 AM
  #102
Green Broke
Please help me too!!

OK I want to have a go at this with my girl, the photo isn't great as the she isn't square (making her look like she has one post leg ha ha) and her hooves are a bit long but we'll give it a go, how are my dots so far? I think I need to make the box a bit bigger?
Bobbie conformation.jpg
     
    11-29-2010, 10:54 AM
  #103
Green Broke
OK I added in the lines, haven't measured anyting yet in case I have set something up wrong.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bobbie conformation.jpg (66.2 KB, 396 views)
     
    11-29-2010, 12:07 PM
  #104
Yearling
Supermane - his shoulder isn't that bad. It's a little steep, but the angle is fine (90 degrees is generally considered "very acceptable"...). The length of his shoulder and humorous both will counter his steepish shoulder slope... so really, there's nothing to be overly concerned about there.

You missed his forearm/humorous percentage, but I can see just looking at the measurements that it's longer... which is a good thing. His cannon isn't "too" long, but it is on the longer side - and I'll take your word for his pastern, since I actually can't see it.

I agree his length of back is ok, but I get a longer ribcage length than you did, I actually got about 110% of his back length, which makes for a nice short loin. He possibly loses some loin girth depth, but not critically so - and he's still got plenty. I wouldn't say he has a weak back at all, though he does have a bit higher wither than I'd think was "ideal".

I also wouldn't necessarily call his hind quarter "weak". I think you'd have a little more length to his hip/illum if it wasn't further from the camera than his shoulder... and the triangle formed is so close to being equal, that even though (in this shot) it looks like he lacks some length, he will still have the benefit of the right angles.
     
    11-29-2010, 12:11 PM
  #105
Yearling
Sarahhvr - Looks great! His ribcage isn't quite that long.. maybe move it about 2mm or so forward... not that it will really skew your results that much where it is.

Also, he isn't standing that bad, he's not "perfectly" square, but he looks like he's standing comfortably. Sometimes when we force a horse square it looks forced because we've set them up so WE are happy, I'd say this horse is standing "naturally" and it's only helping to show his strengths.
     
    11-29-2010, 12:56 PM
  #106
Green Broke
Thanks!! Here is what I have so far, I don't have a protractor so haven't been able to do any angles but I do have the lengths and percentages and I did alter the ribcage line:

Bobbie conformation.jpg

Body length = 113mm
Scapula length = 44mm
Humorous length = 39mm

-Shoulder length is 39% of body length (greater than 1/3 so not bad)
-Humorous length is 88% of Scapular length (greater than 50%, I know you said longer is better but is 88% OK?)

Forearm = 44mm
Cannon = 21mm
Pastern = 8mm

-Forearm is 112% of Humorous (slightly longer)
-Cannon is 47% of Forearm (phew, less than 50%...just)
-Pastern is 38% of Cannon (not as bad as I thought she would be)

Leg isn't bad, if that forearm measurement is correct perhaps it explains the huge trot action she has?! Leg is relatively straight, pastern angle is somewhat exaggerated thanks to a farrier no-show that week


Ilium = 34mm
Femur = 32mm
Pelvis = 34mm

-Roughly equivilent, this is a good thing right? Interesting to see what the effect of pelvis angle would be in combination with these measurements.

Neck = 52mm
Back = 50mm
Ribcage = 53mm

-Back is 44% of body length
-Neck is 46% of body length
-Ribcage is 106% of back length

As I suspected, she is a loooong horse - pretty much all neck. Also, she is lacking topline which I am trying to combat with plenty of long and low work etc. Back is also a little long for my liking, again something for us to work on to ensure that it is well muscled and will stand up to hard work. Finally, she is the recipient of 'shark fin wither" syndrome sometimes found in TB's, a little more prominent than I would like to see. Yes, finding saddles that fit has been fun! Lastly her ribcage exceeds 98% which is a good thing. Not sure how to measure the loin depth? Neck seems to tie in to the shoulder OK, what are your thoughts Unicorn?


LS joint is slightly ahead of the point of hip (not by much) so not too bad. Again I get the feeling that the angles will provide more insight to the functionality of her hip. Off to see what I can do about a protractor!
     
    11-29-2010, 02:15 PM
  #107
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastUnicorn    
Supermane - his shoulder isn't that bad. It's a little steep, but the angle is fine (90 degrees is generally considered "very acceptable"...). The length of his shoulder and humorous both will counter his steepish shoulder slope... so really, there's nothing to be overly concerned about there.

You missed his forearm/humorous percentage, but I can see just looking at the measurements that it's longer... which is a good thing. His cannon isn't "too" long, but it is on the longer side - and I'll take your word for his pastern, since I actually can't see it.

I agree his length of back is ok, but I get a longer ribcage length than you did, I actually got about 110% of his back length, which makes for a nice short loin. He possibly loses some loin girth depth, but not critically so - and he's still got plenty. I wouldn't say he has a weak back at all, though he does have a bit higher wither than I'd think was "ideal".

I also wouldn't necessarily call his hind quarter "weak". I think you'd have a little more length to his hip/illum if it wasn't further from the camera than his shoulder... and the triangle formed is so close to being equal, that even though (in this shot) it looks like he lacks some length, he will still have the benefit of the right angles.
Thanks, this was really fun. Maybe I'll try and some good conformation shots of my other ones and practice on those as well.

Anyway, I'm glad you're doing this, as it's really hard to look at your own horse objectively.
     
    11-29-2010, 02:37 PM
  #108
Yearling
Shoulder slope is 46 degrees, excellent. Shoulder angle is 89.01 degrees... this is a little on the closed side, but still close enough to 90 that it's not going to really be any issue, especially considering the whole rest of her shoulder construction.
Her humorous is a little TOO long, over 60% of the scapula is usually overkill, as it makes the horse "camped under". She is not so much so that it should effect her much.

You expressed interest about how her hindquarter angles are going to effect her movement... and the answer is, that the angles are 58.2 degrees (hip) 59 degrees (femur) and 61 degrees (pelvis). That slightly extra tilt to her pelvis would make it harder for her to "change gears".. but, we're talking such a minimal amount of tilt, I doubt you'd really "notice" it.

The rest of her hind leg isn't bad either, her hock does extend past the plumbline - even if you mentally straighten her cannon... but it's hardly worth mentioning. She shows enough angulation to have both flexibility and power.

The LS being forward is EXCELLENT.

And if you look at her "box" you'll see she isn't really what one would consider a "long" horse at all. Actually, she's a really well balanced horse. She doesn't have a long back - long would be over 50% of her body length... and it's a bit of a myth that a longer back (within reason, naturally) is weaker. On it's own, back length has little to do with the strength of the back... strength comes from the wither and the loin. Her wither is a little on the higher side than would be ideal, a saddle fitting issue mainly. Her back/wither is actually pretty strong, and if you look from the base of wither to the LS joint you'll see that that whole (short) section is actually pretty strong looking.

Loin girth is usually visual - you can draw a verticle line and place it at the flank, and another at the heart-girth(right behind the elbow) and measure them, they should be close to equal... but most people can "see" this without the use of a line.

I like how her neck ties in alright... but the shape is not quite ideal being almost a ewe neck (in spite of the the strength the rest of her body has, her neck stands out as being the weakest portion). I'm not convinced that she actually it, she may simply be straight necked and holding her head funny, giving the appearance that her neck is structured wrong, but it's still not the most graceful looking part of her.

Overall, I quite like this horse too. It does look like a better trim might help her out... there's a fair bit of toe there, but she's fit, and she's strongly built for both flexibility and scope... she should have pretty big movement, and still have the ability to flex... I would expect she can jump reasonably well too.
     
    11-29-2010, 02:42 PM
  #109
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supermane    
Thanks, this was really fun. Maybe I'll try and some good conformation shots of my other ones and practice on those as well.

Anyway, I'm glad you're doing this, as it's really hard to look at your own horse objectively.
That's actually why I learned how to do this. (and you can get really accurate by measuring the actual horse too!) It's a lot harder to argue with solid numbers... which kind of forces the rose colored glasses to come off.

I think it's worth pointing out to people though, a horse's ability isn't solely dictated by it's conformation. Conformation is just one part of the equation that makes a good horse.... and I've yet to meet a horse of "perfect" conformation. So even if your horse doesn't meet the standard of PERFECTION it doesn't mean they are a "crappy" horse - it simply means they are not the "ideal" horse, from a structural standpoint.
     
    11-29-2010, 03:03 PM
  #110
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastUnicorn    
Shoulder slope is 46 degrees, excellent. Shoulder angle is 89.01 degrees... this is a little on the closed side, but still close enough to 90 that it's not going to really be any issue, especially considering the whole rest of her shoulder construction.
Her humorous is a little TOO long, over 60% of the scapula is usually overkill, as it makes the horse "camped under". She is not so much so that it should effect her much.

You expressed interest about how her hindquarter angles are going to effect her movement... and the answer is, that the angles are 58.2 degrees (hip) 59 degrees (femur) and 61 degrees (pelvis). That slightly extra tilt to her pelvis would make it harder for her to "change gears".. but, we're talking such a minimal amount of tilt, I doubt you'd really "notice" it.

The rest of her hind leg isn't bad either, her hock does extend past the plumbline - even if you mentally straighten her cannon... but it's hardly worth mentioning. She shows enough angulation to have both flexibility and power.

The LS being forward is EXCELLENT.

And if you look at her "box" you'll see she isn't really what one would consider a "long" horse at all. Actually, she's a really well balanced horse. She doesn't have a long back - long would be over 50% of her body length... and it's a bit of a myth that a longer back (within reason, naturally) is weaker. On it's own, back length has little to do with the strength of the back... strength comes from the wither and the loin. Her wither is a little on the higher side than would be ideal, a saddle fitting issue mainly. Her back/wither is actually pretty strong, and if you look from the base of wither to the LS joint you'll see that that whole (short) section is actually pretty strong looking.

Loin girth is usually visual - you can draw a verticle line and place it at the flank, and another at the heart-girth(right behind the elbow) and measure them, they should be close to equal... but most people can "see" this without the use of a line.

I like how her neck ties in alright... but the shape is not quite ideal being almost a ewe neck (in spite of the the strength the rest of her body has, her neck stands out as being the weakest portion). I'm not convinced that she actually it, she may simply be straight necked and holding her head funny, giving the appearance that her neck is structured wrong, but it's still not the most graceful looking part of her.

Overall, I quite like this horse too. It does look like a better trim might help her out... there's a fair bit of toe there, but she's fit, and she's strongly built for both flexibility and scope... she should have pretty big movement, and still have the ability to flex... I would expect she can jump reasonably well too.
Thank you so much!!! I had been trying to measure angles by copying and pasting into a program on the web but had no luck So a huge thank you for helping me out there.

Thank you also for your honest opinion. I agree, her neck is her downfall undoubtedly but I am glad to hear that you don't think her back is too long. I am slowly building some topline on that neck, photo was taken a month ago so it is a little more muscled than this particular photo (and considerably more muscled than when I brought her home if you saw her 'before' photos in my other thread!)

She is a bit of a hodge podge, certainly not the most 'correct' TB I have owned but I am happy to work with what I have got, knowing her shortcomings also really helps with the type of excercises that I design for her in the future.

Hope you're right about the jumping, after 6 months of flat work and basics I put her through a couple of grids and cavaletti for the first time this weekend and she is very willing and surprisingly, not an idiot. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

Oh, one more note on her conformation, being a TB and a mare, there is one more fault that she has between her ears, let me illustrate:

Crazy Bobbie.jpg

Ah the poor girl, she's actually pretty good these days I should really stop picking on her Got hooked using Paint though, what's a girl to do?
     

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