Standardbred Mare Conformation
 
 

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Standardbred Mare Conformation

This is a discussion on Standardbred Mare Conformation within the Horse Conformation Critique forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Horse conformation standardbred
  • Standardbred and feet

 
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    02-15-2012, 10:46 AM
  #1
Foal
Standardbred Mare Conformation

Hello everyone! I was wondering if you could help me out with Sassy's conformation. Does anyone see anything horrible about her conformation that could potentially cause lameness? She is pigeon toed, huge knees and her feet are AWFUL. I know it's hard to tell in the sawdust she is standing in. The guy that owned her before me (I've had her for about 4 days) said he did them himself, and he just ground them down (!!!). He doesn't know anything about conformation at all, all of her feet are different shapes. I have to wait for her feet to grow out a bit before I can get them fixed, her quick is so long in the back.

So I have her on MSM, and I'm getting splint boots for her because my trainer is concerned about her knees. She says it isn't a problem now, but has the potential to be a problem. She has no air pockets on her legs, her knees aren't warm, her feet aren't warm, her legs are fine, I'm just worried about her conformation. Is it something I need to be really worried about or am I overreacting? Thank you so much for your help everyone!

(Please let me know if I need to get better pictures, I didn't try -too- hard to get her completely squared up, it was freezing outside! Man, I want a heated arena lol. But I work with her everyday, so when I go to the barn today I can get better pictures of her if I need to.)

One of these pictures is just because she is making a hilarious face.

ETA: My trainer says she would like to see some corrective shoes on her, but from everything I've read, trying to straighten out a conformation issue can make it worse? What is your opinion?
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    02-15-2012, 11:15 AM
  #2
Foal
She looks underweight. I don't know much about standard bred confo, but she is clearly toed in, especially the front right. Her back looks a little off too, maybe slightly roached? Maybe it's just that it dips in after the withers...

ETA: didn't see where you said you knew she was pigeon toed in your post, sorry for the redundancy!
     
    02-15-2012, 11:50 AM
  #3
Green Broke
This is a typical Standardbred. She is built like a rectangle which is best for trotting (or pacing). She is long in the back but not weak. Her croup is a bit steep. Her knees and hocks are low and she has good bone. Her neck is ewed and she has typical long ears and is somewhat hammerheaded. These horses can come a LONG ways if they are worked correctly to build their "ring of muscles" so their abdominal muscles strengthen and their neck "turns over."

Usually they have very good feet.

The biggest flaw I see are bench (offset) knees and that causes her toes legs to rotate and so she is pigeon toed.

Get her out trotting up long hills and over caveletti and start teaching her to bend and give to the bit (or side pull.. whatever you start her in). She needs a ton of foundation work.. but these horses can be very nice to ride if you are willing to do the basics and rebuild their muscles.
     
    02-15-2012, 11:53 AM
  #4
Green Broke
PS: No to corrective shoes. Let her grow out and get a farrier in to trim her.

Standardbreds usually have good hoof wall and good feet. Hers will get figured out, just give her time. Have the farrier every 4-6 weeks and you will see.
     
    02-15-2012, 12:02 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by aggiegirl14    
She looks underweight. I don't know much about standard bred confo, but she is clearly toed in, especially the front right. Her back looks a little off too, maybe slightly roached? Maybe it's just that it dips in after the withers...

ETA: didn't see where you said you knew she was pigeon toed in your post, sorry for the redundancy!
Yeah, she is underweight. Working on her groceries :) She's on free choice hay when pastured during the day, she also gets hay in the morning and at night, a pound of oats, shoglo, msm, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, flax seed and BOSS. Before they just had her on sweet feed.

ETA: Also on a mineral block. :) She doesn't like peppermint or treats! Going to try some carrots and apples. I drop them in her bucket. She's kind of mouthy so I don't want to encourage the behavior. She doesn't put her mouth on people, but she likes to play with things with her lips.
     
    02-15-2012, 12:08 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elana    
This is a typical Standardbred. She is built like a rectangle which is best for trotting (or pacing). She is long in the back but not weak. Her croup is a bit steep. Her knees and hocks are low and she has good bone. Her neck is ewed and she has typical long ears and is somewhat hammerheaded. These horses can come a LONG ways if they are worked correctly to build their "ring of muscles" so their abdominal muscles strengthen and their neck "turns over."

Usually they have very good feet.

The biggest flaw I see are bench (offset) knees and that causes her toes legs to rotate and so she is pigeon toed.

Get her out trotting up long hills and over caveletti and start teaching her to bend and give to the bit (or side pull.. whatever you start her in). She needs a ton of foundation work.. but these horses can be very nice to ride if you are willing to do the basics and rebuild their muscles.

Thanks so much for such an informative post! I don't know much about SBs, I know mostly about QH.

Currently working her on trust and respect issues on the ground. She's not bad about it at all, but the guy that had her before said he lunged her once in a round pen and just let her do it herself, and never again. He said he saw no point in ground work (!!!).

She's incredibly intelligent and picked up lunging incredibly quickly. Under saddle currently working on balance and flexion and bending at the poll. I was told she doesn't know how to flex, it just makes her turn. -.- Clearly he wasn't doing it correctly! Lol

He had her in a severe curb bit, right now I'm working her in a jr cow, but I've only worked her under saddle twice, and both times about 15 minutes each. Groundwork is much more important to me right now. She has a super sensitive mouth though, not bad, just really responsive, and neck reins very well (which was something else I was told she doesn't understand) so I'm thinking about switching her to a snaffle.
     
    02-15-2012, 01:55 PM
  #7
Weanling
Just a quick question, how long has the previous owner had her and was she ever on the racetrack? If she was and he has not had her very long (as maybe his riding/training does not sound the best), please know that on the racetrack standardbreds are taught that the harder you pull on their mouth while they are trotting/pacing, the faster and harder they will run. They tend to keep this with them until you train it out of them, and a lot of people who get them end up with the horse running off on them when they are trying to stop.

I also agree that I see a typical standardbred body, long and typically lean. They want as long as stride as possible on them for racing. Toed in as you said and her knees are not set correctly. She does need to put on some weight, but you already said that too. You might also look into knee boots for her. If you haven't used them before they can be a bit tricky to fit and put on correctly. Usually knee boots can be found on websites/tack shops that deal in racehorses of any sort.

Getting a farrier to trim her correctly may help her feet out a bunch also. If he had her for a while it is possible he made it look worse by rasping and not knowing what he was doing.
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    02-15-2012, 02:05 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by minihorse927    
Just a quick question, how long has the previous owner had her and was she ever on the racetrack? If she was and he has not had her very long (as maybe his riding/training does not sound the best), please know that on the racetrack standardbreds are taught that the harder you pull on their mouth while they are trotting/pacing, the faster and harder they will run. They tend to keep this with them until you train it out of them, and a lot of people who get them end up with the horse running off on them when they are trying to stop.

I also agree that I see a typical standardbred body, long and typically lean. They want as long as stride as possible on them for racing. Toed in as you said and her knees are not set correctly. She does need to put on some weight, but you already said that too. You might also look into knee boots for her. If you haven't used them before they can be a bit tricky to fit and put on correctly. Usually knee boots can be found on websites/tack shops that deal in racehorses of any sort.

Getting a farrier to trim her correctly may help her feet out a bunch also. If he had her for a while it is possible he made it look worse by rasping and not knowing what he was doing.
Posted via Mobile Device
That was what I was wondering as well. I think he has had her about a year and a half, I know the people that owned her before that and they never rode her. My trainer also worked with her as a yearling. She was bred to be a pacer, her neck brand matches Ima Parkin Oops, Sire: Park Place Standardbred, Grand Sire on Dam's side: Incredible Finale Standardbred. She was bred to be a pacer but was never raced because her knees were underdeveloped. I actually have the opposite problem with her right now, any tug while moving, no matter how slight or if I'm bumping with my calves, slows her down rather than flexing at the poll. Working on it, but I'd rather have good brakes than a horse that grabs the bit and takes off. But that is an excellent thing to keep in mind when working with racing bred SBs.

I know she will be toed in anyway, but I know a lot of horses are toed in. I'm hoping it won't be as severe when her feet are fixed. They should grow out fairly quickly because the ground here is soft, but I have no patience! Lol. I want to be able to work on them now because she can't be comfortable with how uneven they are right now.

And he can sit a horse, but he always rides in spurs and likes to 'cowboy the sh*t out of them' as my trainer says.

ETA: I know nothing about Standardbred lines.
     
    02-15-2012, 02:10 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Before worrying about flexing at the poll, teach her to lengthen her topline and use her abdominal muscles to support her back. She needs to find balance and that starts by getting a lower head, and a longer topline, reaching under herself with her hind feet.

Use hills. Get her to trot up hills with her head down (hills are steep and you only walk at first). Use caveletti to trot over.. she will need to drop her head and pick her feet up over caveletti.

Get the curb off her. Use a side pull or a snaffle. When you ask for something just gently squeeze with your hands.. like gently squeezing a sponge.. and release. Even when you ask for a turn.. just squeeze and release. It is her reward when you unqueeze your hand. Separate your hands and use a leading rein to help her turn.

When you lunge, do it properly and use either a lunging cavesson or a snaffle bridle. If you use the bridle, run the lunge line through the snaffle ring closest to you, up over her crown (behind her ears) and snap the snap in the snaffle ring away from you. When you change directions, have her remain in place ON the circle and walk out to her.. change the set up and turn her.

When you drive her use the whip pointed at her hip and your other hand in line with the horse's bit. Try to get her to track up (reach under with her hind leg and step in line with her front hoof track.. not swinging her rear in or out of the circle. To move her butt out, point the hip at her hip and wiggle it. To move her forehand out, point the whip at her elbow. Be fluid in your motions. To drive her on, step to the rear and get behind her hip; to slow her down get in front of her hip and opposite her shoulder. Raise the whip to move her, lower it to slow her.

Get side reins and put them from the bit to the cinch ring. Have them relatively loose at first. Have them even in length. As she gains balance, flexibility and muscles, you can gradually tighten the side reins (over weeks). When she is on the circle and properly bent, the inside rein will be a bit loose and the outside rein a bit tight (supporting her) because they will be the same length.

Take your time.

Look at ground driving her too.
     
    02-15-2012, 02:14 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elana    
Before worrying about flexing at the poll, teach her to lengthen her topline and use her abdominal muscles to support her back. She needs to find balance and that starts by getting a lower head, and a longer topline, reaching under herself with her hind feet.
Thanks for that awesome response. The reason I was working on flexing her at the poll was to teach her to bring her head down. Right now she likes to take off at a trot by holding her head high and hollowing out her back. At a lunge I ask her to extend her trot and lower her head. Should I be working on something else?

The only reason I'm worrying about her poll and flexion is to lower her head and work on her flexibility, and that's the only reason. Is it wrong to do this?
     

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