OK. Here goes a really in depth critique. It may not be well received and really.. if the OP only wants to hear "What a beautiful animal" then this is not the place for that.
I will start by saying again that I like this horse. However, like every horse he has his flaws.
Lets look at him with some lines drawn. In this photo he is set up fairly well and his feet are level. He is leaning over his front feet a bit which makes him appear more level than he is. He IS downhill even here. Not a lot but it is there. Down hill is determined from the point of buttock (which is lower than normal because he is stretched out behind) to the root of the neck). With the level line in place (parallel to the level line at his feet, and a line from point of buttock to root of neck this horse is downhill. NOT a lot but it is there. Set up square behind it would show even more.
He has high knife withers typical of many Thoroughbreds. The spines at the top of the withers do not determine if the horse is built up hill.. they are simply what they are (long spinal processes).
His neck ties in low and is short. Again.. the red lines show what would be ideal. In the photos trotting free he shows he is a bit ewe necked with his head drawn up and back a bit.. and substantial muscling on the underside of his neck. His neck is "upside down" and due to his build being a bit down hill and his neck being low, he will work harder to become more balanced and better muscled with a neck that has turned over. It will take training.
On to the shoulder. This horse is NOT free through the shoulder and has a limited reach at the trot. The shoulder is a bit steep and the point of shoulder is low and the humerus lays at a low angle. If the point of shoulder were located at the X I have drawn on the horse, he would have a much better reach in front. However, the lower point of shoulder and the low angle of the humerus limits his stride. He can extend at the trot but he will never extend with a nice full reach of a really good dressage horse because he is physically precluded from doing so. If his shoulder laid back a little more it would also help.
None of this really "disses" this horse. He is a nice horse with a lot of potential. He would probably make a really nice hunter over fences as he has the bone and the substance and enough shoulder to likely get even in front over a fence tho I am not sure if he will tightly fold at the knees. The shoulder (again) and the neck set may limit his ability there.
He needs work on hills and over caveletti to help build his abdominal muscles. He should do well pretty quickly with this because he is short coupled and has nice low knees and hocks and a strond coupling. He is athletic.
The hardest thing for this horse will be learning to raise the root of his neck to free his forehand as much as he is able to.
A nice horse with some faults.
I attempted to constructively critique the riding as this can only help him get to his full potential in spite of the faults.... and he has quite a lot of potential.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
Last edited by Elana; 07-02-2013 at 12:16 PM.