Equiniphile - I used Screen Protractor 4.0 and a program called Bit Ruler (though I think BitRuler also has the ability to do angles)
You can do all the same measurements with the "real" tools too, just place them over the screen - the actual measurements might come out a little different than mine, but the ratio's should stay about the same.
It takes me about 1 1/2 hours to do all the lines... then the breakdowns and typing it out. (I can see and "say" it a lot faster... but transferring the information on my computer slows things down a bit, I still need to smooth out the process LOL)
Unicorn and I have been friends for about 4 years now. She's one of my absolute best friends - but she's in Vancouver B.C while I am in Michigan, U.S.A. So yeah...she knows Nelson very well. She was by my side when Nelson first came into my life - she actually analyzed him during that time..all that technical, scientific approaches she uses. Her words helped make my decision on taking him into my life :)
Lol, cheating? Maybe :P - but she did speak the scientific truth ...... lol, I sound like a dork.
I think what she does is amazing :) And she spoke the honest truth. I'll tell you what, when Nelson retires and I am in the search for my next horse...she'll have a huge part in my decision :)
I say - if anyone else wants their horses analyzed like she did for Nelson - please feel free to post here :)
I absolutely agree with the analysis. I don't have the wonderful tools that Unicorn does to perform it and demonstrate it, but the analysis is spot on. But if you *know* Nelson and his accomplishments; it's kinda a foregone conclusion that his strengths balance his weaknesses and he's a functional athlete, right?
Maura - actually, I don't think it's cheating... I consider it "proof" that the science works. I find a lot of people approach conformation from a subjective standpoint, and it's not a subjective thing. Good conformation will stand the test of time, and my opinion of Nelson wouldn't change if I didn't know how old he was or what he does, because the numbers wouldn't change if he were a trail horse. You'll note that while I do sometimes mention musclature, it's not actually a part of whether a horse is "ideal" or not... that's because conformation actually has little to do with musclature (yes, some conformational weaknesses will show themselves as musclature issues, and likewise the strengths will show as strengths too) it's actually about the bone structure of the horse.
The horse is a sum of all parts - so it does little good to just pick on a few points... or focus only on the weaknesses. There is no such thing as the "perfect" horse (or if there is, I haven't seen it) there's always SOME flaw you can find, if you go in depth enough. What I'm doing here is actually VERY basic... on purpose... I like to do it the way I do as a learning tool, the points I'm talking about are the basic points for someone to go out and take a look at a horse and decide "is this horse capable of what I want to do?".
Paint isn't ideal for doing the lines... I downloaded a free paint program called Paint.Net... it's not the best I've worked with, but it doesn't do too bad (I used to use Macromedia Fireworks - AWESOME program, but expensive... when I got my new computer I never loaded it, but I should)
MIE - has it been that long? Huh... time flies when you're having fun!