Critique on 8 year old Clydesdale - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By smrobs
  • 1 Post By tinyliny
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-05-2013, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Critique on 8 year old Clydesdale

Curious what you guys think. I dont know much about the 'proper' conformation on a draft horse, let alone Clydesdale.. So please, give it a whirl! I just bought him in September... He is in the process of gaining weight. Supposedly was used for driving, but is currently only ridden (Very rarely until hunting season is over)
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-05-2013, 01:43 PM
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That's a very nice looking horse.

His legs are nice and clean with good angles and they're well set, not too far underneath him and not camped out. He's got good angle to his shoulder, but his croup is a little steep for my taste. His back is long and he's rather weak coupled...he wouldn't be a good weight carrier for a heavy rider. His head is a little large, but that's pretty typey for many drafts. The large head and the long back combine to make his neck appear short, but I think it's a good length and it's very refined for his breeding, it ties in nicely.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-05-2013, 02:05 PM
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I agree. my first imprresssion is of a very nicely built horse, and even better built draft horse. I can't see the knees, though, due to the light. but, from waht I can see, he looks great. really nice hind end, well balanced shoulder. He's a winner!
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-10-2013, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, I appreciate those comments as I had no idea what to look for. Nice to know I have a well built Clyde -- Looking forward to working with him in a couple months. :) What is your opinion on his hocks? I see they dip in -- What is this?
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-10-2013, 12:31 PM
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dip in?
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-10-2013, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Well.. Nevermind that comment, I did a little looking around and answered it myself. What I was thinking was how his hocks dip into the cannon bone instead of creating a straight line from hocks down (If you are following, I am not sure if I am explaining myself well enough.) After looking around the internet for photos I see that there are a lot of horses like this.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-10-2013, 01:12 PM
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***First post on the site woohoo :)

Always open to critique of my critiques!!!
I would just like to start off by saying that I am in the process of learning horse conformation, however I believe learning is a never ending process. I try to provide evidence to support my claims, but if you sense that I might be off PLEASE don't hesitate to critique my own critiques! It's how we learn, how the owner gets more opinions, and it is greatly appreciated. <3

Beautiful horse! I am a huge clysesdale lover but besides my bias I'd say that overall you will have a sure and sound horse. Now his plates are closed and you have a long working life ahead, but because he is a draft breed I think there's a few things you can look out for in the future to keep him happy and limber and strong.

Looks like his back is longer or as long as his underline. As mentioned there is a weak coupling in the croup. Starting with his L-S joint, I see the steep slope and so the balance of the lower leg is not as ideal. He's got the long stifles that makes him a bit "camped under". This is what causes the "dip" in the hocks that you are noticing.

I can tell right off the bat that he is not over used or ridden because of the slender even neck, and not a lot of tension or tone in the butt. So you have a nice healthy horse, good start. Watch for over tonus/tension because it might be easy to tie this horse in knots. For example I sense a slight upward curve in the crest of his neck, to me this indicates a potential for pretty high head carriage or undesirable pigeon head. Also by the look of his long back and upright well built yet heavy shoulder, he's going to want to throw up his neck to engage his hindquarters, and you may be tempted to pull him down (don't!). Right now neck not too thick but it doesn't telescope over the back like some horses do, mostly due to his being a clydesdale. His neck may not be the swooping definition of an Arabian stallion but it can be strong. I think the best plan for you two is to avoid a hatchet neck in the future. That would elongate the back even more. I would suggest a very careful, diligent and slow progressing training schedule. Don't hang on this one's mouth and look into lots of stretching and gradual development exercises!

Finally, I think the key to this horse's conformation and every horse really is strengthening those horsey-abs! I'm talking core work. A strong core will help this guy's forward movement. With routine excersises he will eventually show you the strength of his conformation, and with his well placed shoulder hopefully he'll hike his knees and look really pretty in the hunter ring like clydesdales do best!

PS it would be easier and far more accurate if the picture was on more solid/flat ground, and out of the grass. Grass + feathers = some guesswork, not too big an issue, but while you are training you may want to consider having a good reference photo to see the before and after development of your work. Also, the more angles the more informed of a position we have. It's nice to see the front and back of a horse too. When you take a picture, mount your camera on a tripod, leveled with his underline, and aim your focus on the hairs of the underline of his belly.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-11-2013, 10:00 AM
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I think what the OP might be seeing is a very slight capped hock, but honestly I think much of the dip is an illusion created by his feathers.

Overall nice looking fellow - I agree a bit long backed and week through the coupling, but with correct work engaging his hind end you can strengthen his topline.

And FWIW I don't see camped under at all. I see correct angles through the rear leg, but with a steep croup and shorter hip.

I would like to see more muscle all around.

Nice looking fellow and he looks very smoochable!
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