Originally Posted by Elana
He is certainly useful.. he sounds like he needs work and training (not so laid back a life after all!). His legs are adequate (not perfect) and he should be OK. Yes.. he toes out but the whole leg is rotated and as long as he does not interfere and is trimmed level, he will be OK. If he interferes, use boots on him.
His hocks are nice and low and he is hind pasterns are a bit weak.. but the hind legs carry 40% of the weight so unless the pasten issue is medically based and will get worse, don't worry about it.
The poorest part of this horse's conformation is weak coupling and overly rounded croup with a low tail set.
What this horse could use (aside from learning he must pick his feet up and have good ground manners.. so get that done) is a LOT of trotting up hills with his rider standing in the stirrups in a two point and the horse on a long rein. Getting him to stretch forward and down.. and drive from behind up the hill strengthening his abdominal muscles will help him more than anything.
This horse does not need a laid back life. He needs to be worked (most do)!
His ground manners are now pretty decent, he's still slightly touchy about one of his back feet but he'll pick it up, he just doesn't like it being held up for 5+ minutes. I only get to work with him once a week now so progress is slightly slower, but he will be trimmed(and stand there looking like the pinnacle of mannered horses) as soon as the farrier can make it up here. He'll be getting rode, a lot, but I'm never going to have the time to do more than trail riding and local shows, so that's why I put laid back.
I'll have the vet check out that back pastern when I get his coggins this spring. He got a quick once over when he was tranqed for getting gelded but that was all the vet had time for.