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kiltsrhott 03-10-2012 11:52 PM

Opinions on mixed-breed mare
I'm mediocre at judging conformation. I just want to hear what people have to say about my mare. What are her strengths and weaknesses and if you have any suggestions about exercises that might improve her weak areas, please contribute. She is relatively untried over fences because of her young age. What potential do you see in her for hunter jumpers? I apologize for not having any good, square conformation shots. This is the best I can do at the moment.

Misty'sGirl 03-11-2012 01:01 AM

I can't help with confo but she's absolutely stunning :)

TexasBlaze 03-11-2012 01:10 AM

In the first picture it seems like she's uphill but in the others it seems like she's quite even. Either is good for a hunter truthfully. If she were downhill if say something against it however not with the way she is. Also her neck seems to tie kind of low which i believe is actually KIND of good as it allows her to stretch her neck over the jumps. I think she'll make an excellent lower level hunter.

tinyliny 03-11-2012 01:22 AM

Well, she looks a lot like the Irish sport horse/draft cross that I sometimes ride. She is very nicely built. her hind end has a lot of slope to it and her rear legs are a bit straight, which mean she might have a pretty hard trot.
The only thing that looks a bit off for a jumper is that her humerus bone (arm bone), which is the short one that goes down from the shoulder to the elbow, seems really flat and short. If I remember correctly, this may make it harder for her to lift her knees up very high, so could impact her ability to clear very tall jumps.
might not make a whit of difference in hunter classes.
The mare is quite lovely!

paintedpastures 03-11-2012 03:23 AM

Long back,short thick neck & Cowhocked,where the first things that jumped out at me:-( I do like her nice bone ,topline & that pic of you riding the 2 of you look really nice:D

kiltsrhott 03-11-2012 09:55 PM

Thanks for all the input so far guys! I had actually noticed the shortness and horizontal angle of her arm bone before but I'm not confident in my observations on shoulder conformation. I don't plan on doing more than 3'6" with her, so I'm hoping this fault won't have a detrimental effect on her performance to that height. She is over 17 hands tall and will step over anything under 2'6". She probably won't have to do a whole lot of lifting and tucking to clear those fences simply due to her size. From what I gather from you guys, show jumping is off the list of future endeavors for Ursula.. oh well. ;) And despite her straight back legs, her trot is like floating on clouds. It's very smooth and long-strided, but lacks suspension.

FeatheredFeet 03-11-2012 10:36 PM

Handsome girl and in nice condition. Lots of Draft in there. I'm not crazy about the extreme slope to her tail. Difficult to tell from where she is standing, but I'm not sure I like the angle of her hoofs and pasterns. They are not a straight line and in some pics, she almost looks a little club-footed.
Lovely head and perfect for her body type. I'm sure you will find her niche.


tinyliny 03-11-2012 10:51 PM

I like your mare. I am riding a horse that has many of the same conformational "faults", if one would call them that. LIke, the very straight back leg.
I couldn' find my good pictures of Zulu, so posting this video. YOu may see similarities in the way he moves. skim past the first 30 secs, not relevant.

your mare is of what breeding mix?

DraftyAiresMum 03-11-2012 11:06 PM

I'm not seeing the cowhocks that paintedpastures mentioned, to be honest. Toes out a bit more than is seemly, yes, but nothing as extreme as cowhocks. Of course, it's impossible to tell without a good squared-up pic from straight behind.

The biggest thing I see is...holy upright shoulder, Batman! :shock: An upright shoulder can make it more difficult for the horse to tuck in, as is required in jumping.

Her neck is short and thick, but that's typical draft. Show me a draft, other than maybe a clyde or a shire, that DOESN'T have a shorter, thicker neck.

Her back may be a little longer than is preferred, but I don't think it's extreme. Certainly not enough to make it difficult for her to jump.

She's a wee bit over at the knee, but that's pretty common.

In the first pic, she looks pigeon-breasted and it looks like her neck ties in EXTREMELY low. In the second pic, she doesn't look pigeon-breast, but her neck still ties in a little low on her chest.

Honestly, I'd like to see some good squared-up pics of this mare on level ground.

kiltsrhott 03-11-2012 11:12 PM

FeatheredFeet, I agree with the comment on the tail set. It bothers me too, but only because it is so low set that she cannot lift it to go to the bathroom and makes a huge mess all over it and her back legs. I never noticed the club-footedness though. Now that you mention it, I do see what you mean. I've never had any comments about a club foot from my farrier. He always tells me what great feet she has. Perhaps she looks that way because she is so thick through the pastern and her hooves are so broad. Her hooves are about the size of dinner plates, and her pasterns are definitely on the short side.

Tinyliny: Zulu's a cutie! He does move similarly to Urs in the hind end. They both tend to track with their hind legs behind them and there's not much suspension on him either. I think it's much more pronounced in Ursula, particularly on days when she's feeling fat and lazy, which would be most days. It's particularly bad in this video:

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