Confo Critique... Just for Fun!

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Confo Critique... Just for Fun!

This is a discussion on Confo Critique... Just for Fun! within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        07-28-2011, 02:32 PM
    Confo Critique... Just for Fun!

    I have a very hard time eyeing a horse's conformation. So, just for fun, I'd like to know what everyone sees when they look at Zee. I know they're not real conformation pics, but they're the best I've got that show his entire body.

    22 year old Hanoverian by Zeus. 16 3/4 hands...
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        07-28-2011, 04:54 PM
    All I can say is he is a beautiful boy and is looking great at 22 years old! :)
        07-28-2011, 05:08 PM
    Thank you! The first two pics are from early spring while he was rehabbing following his suspensory injury. The rest are all from last Fall, right after I bought him and before I had him back in shape!!

    He's beautiful to me, and I could care less about any faults he has, I'm just curious to know what his confo strengths and weaknesses are. He was trained in Germany to be a 2'6" Hunter, imported at 9 years old, shown heavily for a few years, then owned by a woman who wanted something super safe to hit the A circut with. He sat for several years without much of a job before I bought him, and now that he's had the suspensory tear, we're switching to basic dressage work to keep him healthy.

    My trainer had him in a gorgeous frame last night, total self carriage and could throw the reins at him. I was amazed to see him go like that! I know a lot of people have said that he didn't have the confirmation to have made a good dressage horse in his prime, but I have no idea what I'm looking at...
        07-28-2011, 11:13 PM
    The only thing that throws me off is his back, hindquarters, croup and loin. I'm no expert so hopefully someone will be able to help you! :)
        07-28-2011, 11:32 PM
    He is very flat from his withers back. But I am no expert, and not sure what the repercussions of the flatness would be. I imagine it might impede him bringing his haunches well in under him for higher collection. However, I am one of those who think that any horse with four legs is capable of basic dressage, so I don't believe that it will stop him any time soon
        07-29-2011, 09:06 AM
    Chiilaa, I totally agree with you. His back is extremely flat. Our saddle fitter had a heck of a time trying to find something that worked, and we ended up having to go with a custom made tree and panels on his saddle... He does naturally want to leave his hind end trailing out behind him and dive his head down so that he has a straight line from nose to tail. In this week's lesson, we taught him how to bend through the ribcage and contract his abs for the first time in his life. He actually had that awesome lift working through his back so I'm anxious to see if this new way of going changes the shape of his back at all. This was also the first time he really stepped under himself with his hind legs. But, for the type of dressage work we're doing, I don't expect it to be too much of a hinderance, especially since we're training for his health and not training to compete. I *think* that's what most people are referring to when they say he made a better hunter in his day than if he had been expected to be a high value dressage horse. I imagine upper level collected work would be nearly impossible for him.
        07-29-2011, 09:16 AM
    Green Broke
    At 22 years old you can see how a strong (in this case over flat) coupling from back to croup REALLY helps the horse. No sign of a sway in this boy's back!

    I really like this horse a LOT. He is put together well as a single picture. He has all the right things in all the right places. That is worth an awful lot.

    At 22 he is sound and working. I think that is all the critique you need.

    I would love a horse like this in MY barn!!
        07-29-2011, 09:31 AM
    Thank you Elana! I've never considered the huge benefit of the shape of his back in preventing a sway back as he ages. It's hard to remember sometimes that not all 22 year olds are in the shape that he's in. I joke all the time about my old man who likes to take things slow and would rather stand in front of food all day every day than go play with the other horses. Other than the suspensory tear earlier this year, he's never had any major soundness or medical problems. His old owner owned him since he was 10, and my trainer has had him in the barn for the last 7 years so we know quite a bit of his history. I wish I could have seen him go in his glory days!

    He made an amazing recovery after the suspensory tear. Although he has lumpy bumpy legs, they're heavy, thick drafty legs that I hope will help to keep him sound as he ages. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he's got at least 10 good years left in him. Sadly, there aren't many sons and daughters of Zeus left, but I still keep my eye out to try to find a replica of Zee!

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