Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Using a horse whose conformation isn't ideal in a high-impact sport can make that joint A) more prone to injury and B) break down easier. The horse may be fine, it may be fine for some years then start showing signs of breakdown, or it may not be okay to run at all.
How severe is the defect?
Feathered Feet is correct, though - and just pointing out a very common error. Conformation when talking about how an animal is built (think "form") versus confirmation which is confirming something, ensuring something is correct, or the act of confirming your Christian belief (think "to firm something up.")
Anyways, on to my main point:
A horse that has a conformational defect for a certain sport obviously won't be as well suited to hold up over the long term. It is up to you and your vet whether or not to pursue this endeavor with this particular horse. If you DO decide to go ahead, YOU must then commit to ensuring that your horse is comfortable. That means being extra vigilant and watching for changes, and being willing to call it quits when the horse is showing that they may not be okay with their work load.
This means you have to be pretty in tune with your horse, and know what is normal and what isn't, and being very on top of it. No saying "oh she's just being pissy today," you have to consider that her acting up even a touch might be her way of communicating that she's in pain somewhere.
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