What to look for in a "round" horse? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 9 Old 11-08-2013, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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What to look for in a "round" horse?

I'm sorry if this has been asked before, or if it is a stupid question but, how do you tell if a horse is "round"? Where/ what do you look for? Is it something to do with the headset, back, legs or a combination of all? I would really appreciate pictures and/ or videos showing round and hollow horses and what the difference is.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-08-2013, 08:57 PM
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I always look for "round" in terms of the horse's barrel. You almost want to see an arch throughout the horse's body (the "rounding" that they speak of). I don't have any pictures of my horses engaging their hind end and I'm not sure if I'm allowed to just post from the internet. I'm sure you'll get a bunch of good pictures below.
Too often people look only at a horse's neck to see if they're round, but a horse can be curling its neck falsely without every actually engaging it's hind end.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-08-2013, 09:57 PM
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yeah, you feel the horse get kind of "thicker" around the middle, as his barrel shortens a bit and literally pushes your leg out a bi., and you feel the back come up under you. There will be more a feeling of "rebound" with each step the horse takes, less a feeling of falling forward onto his nose.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-18-2013, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, thanks.
Are these pictures of horses that I have attached links for considered round? If yes, where are you looking to tell? If no, what are you looking at to tell?

http://www.dressage-academy.com/images/dressage.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...c6/WCLV07f.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...2/20/WC07b.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Qualifying.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XJPVbyyr-o...formyspace.jpg

Thanks!
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-19-2013, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwyneth View Post
Alright, thanks.
Are these pictures of horses that I have attached links for considered round? If yes, where are you looking to tell? If no, what are you looking at to tell?

http://www.dressage-academy.com/images/dressage.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...c6/WCLV07f.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...2/20/WC07b.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Qualifying.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XJPVbyyr-o...formyspace.jpg

Thanks!
The last link doesn't work, but no... only one is considered 'round' but he seems pretty much on his forehand.



Now see how this horse's spine is arched and raised, there is the same gentle curve continuing all through the back. This is round.





Round but behind the vertical.



Another round horse..

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 11-19-2013 at 09:35 PM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-19-2013, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, I see what you mean Sky.
Can a horse be tracking up and not round?
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-19-2013, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Gwyneth View Post
Alright, I see what you mean Sky.
Can a horse be tracking up and not round?
Yes, but it can cause injury since they aren't using their backs properly. A round back is a soft loose back. A hollow (as in concave or banana shaped) back is a stiff one.

Also some horses have fency leg action and can appear to be travelling correctly when they aren't

Also horses can learn to swan their necks without actually being round, which is why it's not the only indicator.

You need all the pieces to be round. A western horse (without contact) can even be round

Does that help?
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"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-19-2013, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Gwyneth View Post
Alright, I see what you mean Sky.
Can a horse be tracking up and not round?

No. Not really. IMO they cannot be tracking up to the maximum for that gait if they are not round. By not being round, they are unable to track up as much as is possible. (sorry if that sounds redundant.)

Roundness has to do with the pelvis being tucked under enough to allow for that maximum reach underneath, and the base of the neck being lifted between the shoulder blades (this can even be done when the neck is extended forward).
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-19-2013, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yes that makes sense, thanks Sky and Tiny. :)
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