Originally Posted by Elana
GotaDunQH I must disagree (and I do not often disagree with you) with your statement regarding an open angle at the point of shoulder. If this angle is less than 90 degrees, the shoulder is incorrect. A LOT of Quarterhorses have a closed angle at the point of shoulder and the humerus lays quite flat.
An open angle and laid back shoulder (this shoulder could lay back a bit more) allows for free-er action in the front leg and more reach. Over fences, you need laid back AND open so the horse can get his knees UP and fold his front legs. Knees level (or not even level) and front legs hanging are based in physics (shoulder construction and neck tie in) not in individual style.
Fore things such as WP etc the open angle at the point of shoulder may not be as important and it may actually produce the down hill trot and lope that is popular there.. but it makes for a horse that has less scope in his front end.
In geometric terms.... and when you draw lines....you DO not want an open angle because that means it's a very straight shoulder. I could not imagine a horse with a 90 degree angle.....it would be an "L" and that is far from correct.