New lease horse conformation critique?
I'd like a critique on my new lease horse, Dude, who we just brought to my trainer's farm today. I tried to take some confirmation pictures, but he was wiggling around too darn much :-P. I just have the video of my friend walking him, but I'll try and get some better ones tomorrow when Dude is settled in some.
Dude is a ten year old, 16.2 or so, Appendix (3/4 QH 1/4 TB). Supposedly he was registered, but his papers and original name were lost after several owners. We are going to be putting at least front shoes on him. Dude has not been in work for almost a year, also, and is very out of shape.
I don't know if these pictures will help anymore than the video, in the first one he wouldn't stand still (that is NOT how he normally stands, he was stepping away from my friend) and the second was one was sent from his owner a few months ago. Ignore his bad hooves in that one, it was right after Sandy and the farrier had no ability to get to the farm for weeks.
I like him! he's not perfect, but pretty darn nice. He looks like a very nice all around horse. Sweet!
Anyone? Here is another from a few days ago, we were messing around and braiding his mane/tail. And a couple of his odd and annoyed self :lol:
I think he is beautiful! Not an expert though Lol
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I think he's cute!! The pictures aren't the best quality so I'm hesitant to say much, but I love Appendix crosses and he seems to be put together nicely, however out of shape as you have mentioned. Looks to have good, solid bone and I like his legs, but he does seem to be built down-hill. Maybe his neck ties in low? I'm bad at judging that.
As for the videos... I see a horse who needs to be taught to reach under himself a little more (I feel like he strides a little short in the back, but that could be due to the way he is being ridden), and also a horse who needs to learn to accept light contact. I don't love the way your trainer is riding him (but who am I to judge!).
What kind of bit is he in? If I were in your shoes and he was already in a soft bit (a plain or double-joint snaffle), I would start asking him to move out with big strides (use your legs to really get his butt moving!) and offering little-to-no contact the reins--instead asking him to relax his neck and move forward. Over time, you can offer a light contact and push him into that contact with your legs, but for now I feel like he is so focusing on resisting bit contact that he doesn't move out in an effective way. You need to gain his trust in your hands before you can offer that consistent contact.
That's my two cents! I'm no professional, so take it with a grain of salt. :-)
ETA... (and not related to confo!) in the video, it seems his saddle is a hint far forward which might have to do with his resistance. Make sure that you take care to feel where the shoulder is, and not to place the saddle on top of it! (It should be just behind it so that you aren't hindering his movement.)
Yes she was riding him oddly, that is NOT how she normally rides, however she was posting higher to try and get him to elongate his step. He naturally has a very long stride, but was not using himself at all. Parker was also being very reactive (he had a total hissy fit on the lunge line), he was nervous about the rain in the indoor. She was only on him for about ten minutes, and we have not been able to get on him since (LOTS of groundwork, though!) He was in a double-jointed snaffle bit, which he was not used to at all.
You are definitely right, the saddle was too far forward. I think that happened during the hissy fit :lol:. It also looks worse because of the saddle pad being so far up his neck :oops:.
The little butt is going to be getting a serious refresher course! But Parker is so darn kind and friendly that he is quickly becoming the barn favorite :D. Everyone is very excited to see him when he sheds out!
I don't see anything wrong with the way your trainer is riding. Yes, the horse is sucking back and nervous of rein contact, but it's not beacuase of the rider being overly busy or harsh. In fact, I see her as having pretty consistent hands and she's being patient and allowing him to figure things out as she kind of gets to know him.
Sure , he needs to move out more and reach under himself, but this is an early ride where they are just feeeling each other out . no need to get forceful right off the bat. the horse is sucking back for possible emotional reasons, though it's also possible that the saddle does not fit well.
Is your trainer good with saddle fit?
I think he will gain more confidence and soon be more willing to move forward, and forcing him too much at the beginning will not be wise. You might look to having him move out more on the lunge line, in the beginning, so he starts to feel that it's comfortable to stretch and go.
What can you tell us about his mind? have you tried to do any desensitizing stuff with him to kind of see if he is reactive, calm or kind of shut down . I get the feeling he might be a curious horse.
He is very curious, however he is also VERY desensitized to things like cracking the whip on the ground, tarps, balls thrown at his head
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