How do you tell if a foal will have good conformation? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-13-2013, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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How do you tell if a foal will have good conformation?

How do you tell if a foal is going to have good conformation? I am wanting to adopt a foal and the only pictures I have are moving (obviously because a youngster that young is not going to stand square). So how do I tell which foal will have good conformation? I am hoping for a hunter type horse and I have narrowed it down to several. Please help me in choosing one or maybe I should look elsewhere, either way, I would like to know how to tell what is good and what is bad.

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post #2 of 18 Old 05-13-2013, 03:26 PM
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Personally my favorite is the first foal, then my second choice would be the second one.
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-13-2013, 03:40 PM
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No. 1 is a stunner!
They are all nice babies.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-13-2013, 03:49 PM
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It is a good idea, to be able to see youngsters, at three days, three weeks and three months, on the dot. This will often give one an idea of how a horse will probably turn out as an adult. It has worked out well for us, to have a really good look at a foal at exactly three months.

Obviously you cannot do that. Some of the pictures are not really good and the last one looks as though it might be slightly younger than the others, when the pic was taken. Regardless, my pick would be as you have pictured them. I do like the first one best.

Have you any pics of the sires and dams? That might help us get more of an idea.

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post #5 of 18 Old 05-13-2013, 03:51 PM
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I once read a really good article on foal conformation, but I can't seem to find it. From what I remember of it (and some of my personal experiences) there are some things that you just can't tell from looking at a foal (better off looking at the parent) and some things that will change in only one direction.

For example: A foal or young horse that is post legged will always be post legged, but one that is sickle hocked or camped out behind can grow to have acceptable hind leg angles. Necks can "become" lower set but not higher (they can tie in lower). Pasterns can get lower but not steeper, so be ware of the foal with low pasterns (exception being a new foal that's "down" on his pasterns/hocks, it's best to judge this on an older foal). Shoulder slope can get steeper but not shallower, so a foal with a steep shoulder will have one as an adult. Major crookedness in the legs (toed-in/out, knocked kneed, cow hocked, etc) can't be corrected, but a small degree of crookedness can be partially corrected with effective trimming if caught early.
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-13-2013, 03:52 PM
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I really like that first foal.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-13-2013, 04:07 PM
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It's so hard to tell on such young foals because they are all legs and angles and so much can change (and will change).

The first seems to have a really nice body, but I'm wondering if its neck isn't going to end up a little bit too short.

The second has a longer neck, but it seems thick and rather unrefined with a very low tie-in.

The third has a neck/shoulder that I like the look of more, but his hindquarters look really steep and weak.

The pinto is cute but there's something off about it. I can't exactly put my finger on what it is, but something seems wonky there.

BUT, again, everything about foals so young is prone to change at any point. I'd need to see them in person, see them move, and preferably meet their dam.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-13-2013, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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The problem with seeing the parents is that all of these foals are nurse mare foals. Which means they were taken away from their dams at a few days old so the dam could go feed another, more expensive foal (usually thoroughbred race horses to-be).
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-13-2013, 04:28 PM
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I had a feeling that might have been the case.

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post #10 of 18 Old 05-13-2013, 04:36 PM
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I like the first one too- very good lookin filly overall.. might be a tad too straight in the legs..

The second has a wasp waist and kinda looks camped under- with how its hips are angled- my opinion..

I also like the chestnut (3rd picture) but i dont really like the angle of the pasterns and it looks buck kneed.. hard to really judge a foal it may just grow out of it- but its sickle hocked too.

The 4th is pretty sickle hocked and a little knock kneed.

like i said though- they might grow out of the faults they have now but legs are a big deal to me.. All very adorable! :) id take any of em! :)
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