Critique 4 Year Old Gelding Please
Please critique my 4 year old gelding Khemo Storm. My plans for him are endurance and just riding for fun. Maybe down the road get into something else.
I wanted to wait until he was in better shape but I might as well do it now. He's pretty unfit after having about 5 months off and me slowly getting into a schedule after moving.
Please ignore the hay belly.
I know next to nothing about conformation..it seems to me that he is a bit under himself, but other than that I can't pinpoint things the way I know many of you can. Your brutal, honest opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Since I know very little about conformation when you post a critique or point something out can you please explain what it effects/what it limits him to? Thanks!
The first thing I want to point out is that he needs a good hoof trim. To me it actually appears as if his left front hoof is clubbed (bad angle that causes him to put pressure on the wrong part of his hoof. Generally genetic but can be fixed with corrective, frequent trimming most of the time), but with his 'nails' like that I really just can't tell.
He's narrow chested (making for a choppier stride and less ability to keep going at a good pace for a long amount of time) and base narrow/knock-kneed. If you were to draw a verticle line from the start of his chest to the ground, his legs should be ALMOST straight along that line, while your gelding's legs take a large dip in towards eachother, making the knees almost touch and splay out. This causes outward rotation of the leg at the cannon bone and below, causing large amounts of knee strain. I altogether just do not like the build of those front legs and wonder about his soundness. I can't see his back hooves well but they may be a tad bit pigeon toed. (hooves point towards eachother. A very common fault and not too much to be worried about as long as it isnt severe.) I otherwise like them quite a bit more than his front legs though, as they are cleaner built.
Nice withers but not enough slope in the shoulders. The more slope a horse has to his shoulder, the smoother and longer his stride is, so I'd expect his gait to be short and a bit choppy. His neck ties in decently and he has a good, clean looking head. Pretty good back length but slightly butt high. (withers and butt should have a straight line running between them)
Overall I really think he could do with a LOT of conditioning in order to keep him sound and happy, as well as some wraps or boots for his front legs when you're going to do anything strenuous such as cantering for a long period of time, when on a road, etc. He's cute, and I love the richness of his coloring, but he does have some faults that tell me he would not be an endurance cannidate. I see no problem with being a good all-arounder though so long as you listen to how he's feeling and condition him well.
The first thing I noticed was that he needs a lot of conditioning and muscle toning. He's in good flesh but there is no definition to speak. Also, to me, he appears to be uphill in his build BUT that could be because of the condition of his front feet. I would get a farrier to do some corrective trimming on those ASAP.
I just adore his color though! Very rich and glossy.
I agree with Endiku about his legs and I'm not a fan of how narrow his chest is.A narrow chest usually means a narrow chest cavity and they don't have good wind (their lungs don't expand as much as they should and they get winded faster than horses with deeper chest cavities) Start out very slowly with this one on conditioning and exercise and use boots on him, as was suggested. If you go slowly and build his stamina then you can do longer workouts and hopefully put some muscle in that chest. Horses should have a cleft of muscle in the front of their chest between the legs and your boy just doesn't have it.
He sure does have a cute face though! :)
Thanks guys, very informative, I appreciate it. He's never worked an honest day in his life, so he will be brought slowly up to fitness.
So about the front club foot... I am going to dig up some pictures and post some from before this last trim if I find any. He was done about 4 weeks ago. I will talk to my farrier when he comes in two weeks, and also to my barn owner when I go out on Thursday and ask her 'in person' thoughts, maybe I can have the farrier come out earlier.. Will he need shoes? He's always barefoot.
Oh, and the other girls at the barn always compliment him on his coat, it's so shiny and healthy!
In regards to that hoof, he needs to be on his heel, not on his toe. Kind of looks like he's standing on tippy-toes, ya know? I'd ask the feet about trying to slope that toe down a bit and build him a good heel to rest on.
TheMadHatter is right on target with that advice. I would really consider looking for a new farrier though, if his feet were done only four weeks ago. They are extremely choppy and the overgrowth of his toe is forcing him to stand on the wrong part of his foot. Once he is trimmed properly, I would expect him to be sore for a few days.
As far as shoes, I'm honestly just not a fan of them. None of our horses are shoed, but many people do shoe. IMO if you can get his feet under control with a good farrier then theres on reason to get him shoed, unless a correcting shoer can do something about that front hoof. Otherwise it just looks like someone has been doing a crappy job for a long time, and he's suffered for it.
His hoof still appears to be clubbed in this photo as well, though its still hard to tell due to the overgrowth of his toes. Get a good farrier to come out and ask them about clubbed feet. Any good trimmer should be able to tell you if he is club footed, the extent of the damage, and be able to help you correct it as much as possible. Plenty of club footed horses are just fine with frequent trimming, so I wouldn't worry unless the farrier points something out that I'm not seeing.
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