Confo Critique - Senior Appy - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 05:57 PM
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Judging confo from a single, side photo is a more a matter of educated guesses, and not having the horse stood up square in back makes it more of a guess. However, I suspect if I saw this horse in person, he's mildly cow hocked. That's my best guess bases on the evidence of the photo.

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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
I agree, and don't believe anything in my previous posts contradicts that.

I did say that this horse is a great example of how you can take confo critique too much to hear, because he has clearly stayed sound and useful through his twenties. Doesn't mean I don't think confo is important, or that trail/pleasure are less demanding disciplines.
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 07:23 PM
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I agree, and don't believe anything in my previous posts contradicts that.
Well, you said this...

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He's a great example of how you can take confo critique a little too seriously in pleasure and trail horses.
Now you say that confo is indeed important in pleasure and trail horses. Those statements are quite obviously conflicting.

You are correct in that conformation is not critically important if your definition of a trail horse is one that you use to casually wander around the back 40 or trailer to a moderate bridle trail. But conformation is extremely important if you do endurance work in rugged terrain under less less than optimal conditions, where a conformational fault or soundness issue can have serious rammifications to both you and your horse, or otherwise compromise performance.

Any horse can walk down a trail...that doesn't make it a trail horse any more than running any horse around a race track makes it a race horse...
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 07:57 PM
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Nope, no contradiction. You can believe confo is important, which I do, and also believe some people take it way to much too heart for your average backyard trail/pleasure horse. For the vast majority of pleasure, trail and amateur horses (I'm excluding endurance horses or serious trail athletes) temperment and willingness trumps confo, IMO. There are many, many examples of horses with serious confo flaws (and my photo album is full of them) who do their job happily and well into their teens and twenties. I think the lovely senior
Appy in the OP's post might well be one of them. Doesn't mean I don't prefer a well conformed horse to a poorly conformed one, or that I don't consider it everytime I look at a horse. What priority I give it depends on the intended use of the horse.

Now, it your definition of "trail horse" is a seriously conditioned athlete who is expected to cover 25 - 50 miles per day, that's a sport horse by another name, and then yes, confo is critical.

However, if you're looking for a safe horse for your average tentative adult amateur, it's best to be forgiving about confo flaws and consider temperment and history first.

Last edited by maura; 07-17-2011 at 08:00 PM.
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by maura View Post
Now, it your definition of "trail horse" is a seriously conditioned athlete who is expected to cover 25 - 50 miles per day, that's a sport horse by another name, and then yes, confo is critical.
Although I would never equate dissimilar horses like sport horses and trail horses, of course that is what I mean by a trail horse. To be redundant, just because a horse walks down a peacefull trail does not make it a trail horse any more than a horse jogging around a race track makes it a race horse.

In any case, to the OP, being an Appy and Araloosa guy myself, I like to see the old guys that have had long productive lives. He is in good shape for his age, and is a fine senior citrizen...
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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wow, so many comments! lol I've never really noticed the possible/slight cow hocks, but then again, I've never looked.
Thank you to everyone for their informative views. Yes, he does have a very high wither but he's always had that I believe, but it is more noticeable now in his senior years. The crest in his neck is due to him having foundered in his youth.

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Women and horses
And power and war. - Rudyard Kipling
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