He has a pretty long back, and he appears a little sickle hocked. He does have a pretty thick neck too with a pretty steep angle. In the first picture, he has nice muscle tone and appears fit. Not a bad looking guy. :)
Wow, I didn't even notice all that angle in his hocks in that bottom picture until you said that! I think part of it is due to the funny way he is standing. I will try to find or take one from the side with him standing more square to more accurately show everything.
I just noticed also that he sure looks chubby in that bottom picture. I know that part of his neck/shoulders are due to his natural build, but just this winter, he really started to get bigger in that area - filling out as a stallion?
I am surprised about his back looking long, maybe the photos are deceiving? In person, I would say his back is pretty short really, I have to watch the skirt on some saddles to make sure they don't interfere with his hip. Maybe you mean long proportionately?
Thanks for the feedback - I will try to add better pictures
Yeah, there could be some weird angles with the bottom photo...standing with his back legs so far under and his neck foreshortened because he's looking to the left might make his back seem longer. His legs look nice and straight in the front and back pics. He's built like a tank! He seems a little short in the forelegs, and looks like he's built downhill...but a lot of quarters look that way to me. Overall nice looking horse:)
Okay, here are some new pictures on some fairly flat ground (it slopes very slightly downhill to the left of the photos) with him mostly squared up. There is still a bit of angle to his back legs I suppose, but this is a much more accurate photo I think. He is a bit dirty because it has been raining :)
Yes he is adorable, but the op asked for opinions on his conformation and that is what I am doing for her. Proportionately, he is long backed, and his neck is a tad short. A horse that is conformationally correct will be devided equally into thirds, and you figure that by making a trapezoid. Top Line- wither to point of hip, bottom line- shoulder to bottom point of hip, the angles from shoulder to wither and bottom of hip to top of hip joint should all be 45 degree angles. I printed the bottom pic. Of him in your op and drew the trapezoid. Your stallion's angles are more like(and I can't find my protractor)- 35 degrees on his shoulder and 50 degrees on his hip. And he still appears a bit sickle hocked, meaning the line coming down from the furthest point out of his hip to the ground is not straight, but his feet are camped underneath of him. It's not real bad, I've seen worse, but the line is not perfectly straight. I look at Foundation Quarter Horses everyday, so my eyes are trained more for them, but I am constantly testing myself on conformation..and have done so the last 10 years and am still learning. He is a nice looking paint, but just a little out of proportion. I have yet to see a horse without any conformation flaws, or is perfectly proportioned. Have you shown him in any halter classes? That's the best way to find out how he is conformationally, to get a professionals point of view.
I have shown him in one halter class, but up here, he would often be the only horse in the stallion class, which would not really be beneficial because he would place first regardless.
Thanks for putting so much effort into analyzing his conformation. I am just not as good (yet) with a critiquing eye. I can see very obvious things, but otherwise, I am lost.
So a question I have for anyone who feels like answering is - are these conformation flaws enough outside of what is "desirable" to keep from standing him as a stallion? He is a beautiful mover, who is turning out to be pretty versitile and athletic. He is doing nicely in dressage, flat classes, competitive trail riding, and is now learning reining, which I think he will do really well at when finished. He has a "to die for" disposition as well. I agree with the analysis of his conformation, but none of those things seem to interfere with his health or abilities - you would think his thicker/shorter neck would interfere with movement through the poll/etc., but is definitely has not.
For these reasons, we have bred him to our qh mare for a 2008 foal and plan to continue to get foals for ourselves out of him in the future. What about standing him to outside mares - good or bad idea? A lot of people have expressed interest when seeing him at events, but does this mean I should stand him, or should I consider his conformation?
I know this question might fit better under the breeding section, but it started as a critique - sorry :)
In my opinion my answer to your question is no :) I don't think the few flaws that he has and they're not really all that bad, warrants gelding him and not studding him out. The only real obvious flaws that he has is the longer back and shorter neck in proportion to his body. I would look for mares with short backs and longer necks though, to help balance things out in the foal. Since your guy has a terrific disposition, and has proven that he's easy to handle on the trail and in training, I say go for it. He's got good legs, nice short cannons and low set hocks and the angles on his pasterns are good, nice head too. I have seen stallions with near perfect conformation and have the crappiest attitudes and those are the ones I would stay away from breeding to. Color and conformation is not everything. You need to look at the whole package when breeding a mare. Your qh mare is really nice! The only thing I can pick apart on her is I would like to see a little more muscling in her hindquarter and gaskin area. Other than that, I think she is gorgeous!!