conformational fault, or lack of muscling?

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conformational fault, or lack of muscling?

This is a discussion on conformational fault, or lack of muscling? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Conformation faults and horses
  • How to improve a ewe neck in horse

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    04-04-2010, 02:12 AM
conformational fault, or lack of muscling?

I didn't know exactly where to put this, but I figured that since she's in training to improve this problem it would go here...

My mare, Shelby, has a ewe neck. I've been trying to improve it, but I wasn't able to ride on a regular basis at the barn she lived at previously, but now that she's moved, she usually gets ridden every other day. But my question is; is her ewe neck a conformational fault or is it because of her neck being muscled in the wrong way? I know that true ewe necks can not be corrected, only improved, so I was hoping that her neck was the result of just standing in a stall craning her neck to see out the window for a year and a half before I got her.

Here are pictures from the day I got her;

I know her mane is covering her neck is this next picture, but you can sort of see that her neck looked somewhat normal (lacking a lot of muscle though, mind you) when she started to hold herself correctly.

And here's sometime over the winter;
(she's not as thick in the throat latch as she looks in these pictures. I'm not really sure why it showed up like that. I couldn't really get a good picture of her. She gets a little antsy!). But you can see that her neck started to get a little better. The bottom wasn't as hard and pronounced

Also in the winter, a few months before I moved her;
She looks super gangly and awkward in this, but it's a good example of her neck getting a little better.

Then, after the move(she's been at the new barn for a month now)

And this one is from yesterday;

I have a few videos as well if that would help.
So what do you think? In those two pictures before the Easter one, would she be able to stretch and get (more or less) on the bit if she had a true ewe neck? Or is that swan necks that can't do that? Ahh, i've just been reading so much about all of this that it's all running together....any information will help!!

I'm sorry for all the pictures.. I just thought the more I could provide, the more likely I could get some answers :)
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    04-04-2010, 04:32 AM
Lol well, my horse had a crazy ridiculous ewe neck. She still has one, very thick under muscling, but it has really diminished with proper work. Instead of hard muscle, it is jiggly skin now.

In the first pictures, it looks like it is conformational. I'm amazed at the latter pictures though, the muscles have really changed. I'm still convinced it is conformational, but it can be dramatically altered with proper exercise.
    04-04-2010, 06:59 AM
Yes it is conformational. And some horses won't develop a lovely thick topline. However with correct work, getting her working off her hindlegs, over her back and stretching down and forwards she will gradually build a stronger topline. Such work will mean the bottom of her neck will not be getting worked, this it will begin to diminish, and the top of her neck will start to build up. Just don't expect a huge topline as she's just not built to have it.
    04-04-2010, 09:05 AM
Thanks guys! Hopefully I can continue to improve it, if not only for aesthetics, but also for the fact that she just doesn't look comfortable with her neck muscled the wrong way. I love that girl to death, but it always seems like one day she'll be perfect and the next she'll be downright awful. One step forward, two steps back, I guess.

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