I am new here, please critique my mare. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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I am new here, please critique my mare.

Hi, I am Tamara and I have been reading posts for a while and decided to post my own. This is Missy a 10 year old AQHA mare that I got a few months ago and I am taking english lessons with. Would love to hear what you think, be honest!
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 09:11 AM
Green Broke
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Hi Tamara. Welcome to the forum. Your mare is really a cutie. She could use some more muscling along her topline, and her neck looks a bit thin and long for her body (more muscle would help that as well) but overall she is pretty well proportioned. Her hocks are a little too straight IMO, but it's not so bad that it will cause her any problems. She looks like she may have underrun heels on the front. A good farrier would be able to correct that though. That's about all I can tell from the one photo. If you could add a couple pictures of her squared up from behind and standing with her head straight, we might be able to add more. She seems to toe out a bit in the back, but from this photo, it's very hard to tell. I really like the look of her though, very nice mare. One question though, how tall is she? She looks a bit on the short side. Nothing wrong with that, just wondering.

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! She may be a little over 15 hands. I am taking lessons with a dressage trainer right now and she hasn't been used for a while when I got her so we are working on her getting into shape. I am 30 years old and used to ride in high school doing local hunter jumper stuff. I am just getting back into it and learning so much more then I knew before. Trying to do things the right way, lol. Also we just started with a good farrier and he does the natural trimming stuff so we will see how that goes. Thank you for the reply I look forward to learning a lot from on here. Here is a couple other shots.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Here are some old pictures of my other girl. She is three and a halfand the pictures were taken when she was two and a half. I am doing lessons with her as well. Just a note I don't have that saddle anymore so I do know it is not a great fit.
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 11:30 AM
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Pretty horses, and welcome to the forum!
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 12:17 PM
Green Broke
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I agree with all apachiedragon stated about the first mare.
As for the 2nd, she doesnt look too back for her age. Could use some more muscling as well, but that should come with time. She's standing funny in the last pic, so i'm not sure if she's naturally set back on her front legs...

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 05:01 PM
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If you're sure about wanting an honest critique... this is what I have for you.

First some numbers - because I find it easiest to demonstrate this way
Shoulder Slope = 50.77 Degrees
Shoulder angle -- 90.27 Degrees
Illium angle - 56.11 Degrees
Hip angle - 54.44 Degrees
Pelvic angle - 71.61 Degrees
Body Length - 11.5cm
Scapula length - 4.5cm is 39% of Body Length
Humorous length - 3.2cm is 71% of Scapula Length
Back Length - 6cm - is 52% of Body Length
Neck length - 6.4cm - is 56% of Body Length
Ribcage length - 5.5cm - is 91% of Back Length
Hip Length - 4cm - is 34% of Body Length
Femur Length - 4 cm - is equal to Hip Length
Pelvic Length - 3.5cm - is shorter than Hip Length.

This critique, like any/all online ones is going to come with the disclaimer that if the photo was not taken “perfectly” with the horse standing ideally and the camera being directly on the barrel of the horse there will be some distortion on screen, this throws measurements out a bit - sometimes drastically.

I am basing my measurements on the photo I’ve attached, and I’ve added the doodles to help visualize.
So the first thing I look at is overall “balance” … and I want to see a square standing horse to do this. By Square standing, I am referring to the box I’ve drawn around the horse… it should be pretty square (rather than rectangular). This mare is pretty good.

Then next thing I’ll do, is take a look at how the horse “fits together”. So I’m actually going to start at the shoulder… I want the shoulder, or rather, the scapula length to be no less than 1/3 of the horse’s total body length. In this case I pulled a measurement of about 39%… so we’re good. I want the Humorous length to be no less than ½ of the scapula length… here I got 71%… so good again. Now I want to check out the horse’s shoulder slope… this angle is taken from a horizon line, and the shoulder blade - I got an angle of 50.77 degrees. I believe the “ideal” here is actually 45 degrees… with a maximum of 50 degrees. This mare does have a fairly steep shoulder slope… but don’t be alarmed just yet, we’re going to take a look at how that relates to her shoulder angle , since the shoulder is a unit and works together - this photo gave me a shoulder angle of 90.27 degrees… it’s passable, but we‘d REALLY like to see no less than 100degrees here - the more open the better. Paired with her steep shoulder slope though… this is really going to limit her range of scope and length of stride.
Due to time constraints, I didn’t actually draw or measure her foreleg… but we want a longish forearm… and a cannon that is no longer than ½ of the forearm length. We then want the pastern to be no more than ½ the cannon length.
I’m going to move onto her wither/back/loin now… since that’s the weight bearing part of her back. We’d ideally like to see a nice smooth, well set wither. Too much wither is going to make saddle fit a bit tougher. We also want to see the wither tie in strongly to the back… this mare looks like she could use a bit of topline conditioning, but, structurally I don’t see a huge issue with her wither. Te wither is the front anchor for the back .
Her overall back length is 52% of her body length. That’s actually longer than the “ideal”, but it’s fine if she also has the loin strength to go with it. Her loin does look like it may be on the longer side, but it also appears to be strong at this point. Her loin-girth is nice, which will provide ample support. I have a measurement listed here as “ribcage length” this is actually going to tell me how long the loin is - as the loin stretches from the last rib to the LS joint. In this case I got a measurement of 91% of her back length - in a perfect world this measurement would be the same, or GREATER than her back length… but 91% isn’t too bad.
LS placement - perfect being ahead of the point of hip, good being at the point of hip… and losing strength as we move back… this mare’s LS placement is a tad behind the point of hip. The LS is the joint which anchors the back - at the back. Since the back is like a suspension bridge, we’d really like to see this joint further forward than further back - as it will shorten the span of “suspension”.
Hindquarter - The perfect hindquarter forms an equilateral triangle…. With the hip length (and therefore the femur and pelvic lengths) being no less than 1/3 of the total body length. This mare has enough hip, but her pelvic length drops off a bit, so that throws the angles a little out and away from “perfect”.
Hind limbs need to be angulated to ensure the ability flex, and thrust… the “motor” of the horse might be the hip/femur/pelvis… but without the appropriate amount of angulation to the hind limbs you’re going to lose some horse power. This mare appears to be a bit straight behind (post legged) which is going to make it difficult for her to really give you that ultra smooth ride that a horse with more angulation might give. That said, she’s not standing up as well as she might be… so unless that’s how she naturally stands, all the time, I don’t know that I’d be overly concerned about it.
Now, aside from all that, I want to see good balance to the horse’s neck, with a nice tie in to the chest… this mare, I like how she ties in, I like how deep her chest is… and about the only thing I’d really change about her neck would be the the muscling she’s carrying.
I really like the expression this mare has, she looks to me to be the type of horse who will try to please.
Overall this mare has nice balance, a great expression, I like the amount of bone she has, I like her foot size… she has some faults, like any horse… and while she may not be the “ideal” horse from a conformation stand point she looks like a kind and willing soul.

And the doodled on photo I was using... I like to do this to help visualize what certain traits look like :) Sorry about the "novel"
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 05:04 PM
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Great post Unicorn!


OOOH I want you to do Nelson!! OH OH OH!!! DO NELSON!

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post #9 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 05:28 PM
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If you start a thread with good conformation shots I can see what I can do :)
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 05:40 PM
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Amazing post, Unicorn.

Do you mind if I link back to it when I post? I like to refer to the horse's body "fitting in a box" and the angles of shoulder, humerus, forearm, cannon, and your doodled photo makes for a great example.


Welcome to the forum. While I can't add anything to Unicorn's excellent analysis, I like your mare too. I am a fan of QHs, and I love this mare's expression and kind eye. While not a perfect conformational specimen, this mare looks to be a good all around type who will probably be successful at the lower levels of just about anything.
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