Critique appaloosa mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Critique appaloosa mare

I am curious what you think.

9 year old Appaloosa/thoroughbred cross. 15.2 +/-
We do primarily dressage.



Thank you!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Another (yucky winter!) photo, showing the other side:



Hmm... thought I had front and rear shots on photobucket. Will have to transfer them from the old pc.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 11:57 AM
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I'm not terribly great at this, but I did notice a couple things.

I can really see the thoroughbred in her neck and high withers. She is built up hill, which I like, and I also love her color.

She seems to have a belly, and I'm not sure if that is due to her perhaps being a broodmare before? I also see the start of a sway back. Her pasterns seem very sloped, especially on the fronts. She could use some good back and hind end strengthening exercises, like trotting up hill.

her back end looks very off to me, but I'll leave that to the more experienced critique-ers.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 02:51 PM
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Well her colour is really quite nice!
I think she's probably a little thick through the jaw, her neck is of adequate length and it ties in well to her chest. She has a high wither, but a good back. Her shoulder is quite nice, but I am undecided about her knees. I can't decide if she is a touch back at the knee, or just right. I think her pasterns are a little... Off. There is just something there in both pictures I don't like about those front pasterns. She is built uphill... Good for dressage. Her hind end, in all honesty, is her worst feature. In your avatar, especially, you can really see that she does not have that rounded apple rump you want for power in the dressage ring. I would have her checked out by a chiropractor actually, then when your in the clear, start strapping her hind quarters (only if she tolerates it). I find strapping is really helpful. Also hill work will help her muscle up there. She will never have that apple shaped bum, but muscling up will improve it a lot. I think she has quite weak gaskins, moving down into sickle hocks. She has a well set tail and a nice enough top line. The top line could be better, but loads of long and low will help her there.
Over all I think she's a really nice mare, and I wish you the best of luck pursuing your dressage career!
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 03:07 PM
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For a mare training in dressage she has a LONG way to go. Here is what I see.

She stands over a LOT of ground and has quite a belly sag. She is long in the coupling and with the belly sag she tends toward narrow waisted. The circle on her neck shows her neck is hollowed and has not turned over or started to. She has a shoulder that is adequate and her neck ties in high enough to allow some freedom in her front end movement. She is stretched out in this photo so it is hard to tell her hind leg construction. She is in good flesh which helps her look good but she is NOT using her ring of muscles. She has a good front leg (not back at the knee or tied in). Her feet look a bit shallow heeled.. like she could use a better farrier.

For dressage this horse needs to learn to use her body. Her stance tells me she has not. She needs to get out of the ring and go out and trot up hills. Every day. 6 days a week. On a long rein with light contact. With the rider in a two point. Ride her out and hour a day and if you find a good long hill trot up it.. and repeat.. and repeat and yes.. you may both get winded! Ring work can be cut to 2X or 3X a week after the hill work. In the ring you need to drive her forward.. and not resist too much with your hands. Transitions and serpentines and figure 8's and spirals at the walk and at the trot. FORWARD at the trot and light contact.

Once this horse loses her belly and her "U" sort of shape she will be ready to go forward in dressage training. The hill work is really important. She is a nice enough mare.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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All as I suspected.

She is really a pleasure horse. We do dressage because she's terrible at jumping but also because I found I much preferred the dressage trainers, over the hunters in my area. (Just my personal opinion!)

Oh, if only we had hills! We live in a valley, so it is rather "flat" around these parts. I'd have to trailer out about 2 hours, or so, to get to any decent hills. Other ideas?

I have been looking for someone to half lease her because I don't have the means to ride her everyday (boy do I wish I could. I've gone back to school to get a better job!). Currently she gets ridden 2-3 week because that is all I can manage right now.

We are also battling old injuries. She fracture her pelvis at 3 yrs old (unknown cause, possibly bucking in the field) and fractured her hock around 4 yrs old (she climbed over a shelter divider, probably pushed over by her herd mates at the time... too many horses in the paddock)

She has been seen by the chiro once but I haven't had the funds to have her back again. Hoping to do so soon. We have also gained a great farrier since these photos were taken (both are around age 6). She has been vetted since injury, and nothing in particular was noted.

Thanks for the critiques and suggestions!
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 07:15 PM
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She also appears to be club footed in her back left leg.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-29-2014, 08:44 AM
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If you lack hills, trotting over poles can do the same thing (again.. loose or light contact and rider in two point). Gradually go from two poles to 8 poles and trot her over those.. then start raising them until they are 12 inches off the ground. This will help her back by strengthening her abdominal muscles. It will help her to stretch and support her back.. and with an old injury might help her in that area as well.

I do not think she is club footed as much as she has poor farrier services in these photos.
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