Confo Critique - Senior Appy - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 07-16-2011, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Confo Critique - Senior Appy

This is Blue, my 24yr old appaloosa gelding. He's in his last year of being a trail horse and will retire probably in September.

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post #2 of 15 Old 07-16-2011, 01:23 PM
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Another nicely built horse. Like a tank. His left rear fetlock, is it swollen?
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-16-2011, 07:03 PM
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Nicely built guy! He's in good shape for 24!

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post #4 of 15 Old 07-16-2011, 07:42 PM
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I am very reluctant to critique a solid citizen who's been doing his job well for 24 years, but since you posted and asked, I'll point out some the obvious stuff.

He does not divide into three equal parts; his back is long and his quarter a tad short. He doesn't "fit into the box", so the overall impression is not balanced.

He has probably always had a prominent wither, but age and loss of muscle mass have made it look more so, and the dip in front of his wither is particulary odd looking. The prominent wither makes his neck look even shorter than it is.

Pretty good fore quarter - decent angle to his shoulder, good ratio of forearm to cannon, but quite upright in his pastern. Little post legged and little cow hocked behind. Clean legged all around. (I'm not sure if the LH fetlock has some swelling or just appears to be because it's white)

Terrific weight and condition for his age, the only thing that gives him away is the wither.

He's a great example of how you can take confo critique a little too seriously in pleasure and trail horses. If you had showed me his photo as a 5 year old potential purchase, I wouldn't have had much nice to say. Yet here he is, 19 years later, sound and useful, and obviously loved and well cared for. So his temperment and personality clearly overrode any other shortcomings.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-16-2011, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
Another nicely built horse. Like a tank. His left rear fetlock, is it swollen?
Thank you. His tank-like quality is why I got him :) he's also 17hands and is taller than me! But his size makes me feel safe for some reason.
No, its not swollen. I think the angle is off. Its like pulling teeth to get him to stand square lol so I think he's just set his leg at a funny angle.
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 12:01 AM
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I have few complaints, but his croup is rather steep and something about his knees is not sitting right with me...could be an optical illusion due to coloration, or he might be a hair calf-kneed. Neck--have you had him checked out for insulin resistance?
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 07:08 AM
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Nicely built guy! He's in good shape for 24!
Ditto! He looks FANTASTIC for his age
I disagree with some of the comments, I don't think his croup is overly steep, nor do I think the dip in front of his wither is 'odd looking'.
I think it's 'age' revealing, but not odd.
I also do not think you can call him 'cow hocked' without a pic from behind.
He is upright in the pasterns.

He looks extremely well cared for, and in great weight.
Good Job!
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 01:53 PM
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Whoa Now,

Yes, a pic from behind is better to evaluate cow hocks. However, if in a pic from the side, you can see that the point of the hock points inward rather than straight back, and you combine that with toeing out slightly, you can make a pretty reliable evaluation.

However, I don't consider mild cow hocks to be much of flaw, lots of horses are to some extent.
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 03:19 PM
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Whoa Now,

Yes, a pic from behind is better to evaluate cow hocks. However, if in a pic from the side, you can see that the point of the hock points inward rather than straight back, and you combine that with toeing out slightly, you can make a pretty reliable evaluation.
That would be arguable - particularly in a horse that is not properly squared up in the rear.

And by the way...there are horses that mosey down the trail, and then there are serious trail horses, just as there are horses that can jump over a log and actual jumpers, and horses that can negotiate their way around a set of barrels (eventually), and actual barrel horses. Conformation is just as important in a top trail horse as in any other discipline, and it should be taken just as seriously as in any other discipline - perhaps moreso...
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 03:41 PM
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I have to dissagree a bit in that I really don't think that conformation has so much to do with a horse's workability as many people think.Yes, it is always better, and in the long run safer to have a well conformed horse- especially for joint-stressful competitions, but for your average trail horse who is going to be hopping a few longs, splashing in some streams, and w/t/c along the trails, non-ideal conformation doesn't always play a huge part. I've known quite a few beautifully conformed horses to break down for no apparent reason at young ages, and I've seen horses who look like preztels who are somehow able to faithfully carry their rider through thick and thin for years.

What I'm trying to say is that while I would never recommend a completely ill-formed horse to even a trail rider, I really don't think that posty legs, strange toplines, or really even minor cowhocks/pigeon toedness affect a horse enough to be considered 'not good enough.'

That being said though, Hatter- he's a nice looking boy! And 17hh? Goodness, that's a big boy. I agree that his withers are a bit too prominent (most likely just age) and his legs are rather posty (seen often in appies and paints) but he's overall not hard on the eyes, and he obviously can do his job!

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