Please help w/conformation analysis
Below are photos of my horse. I know the dressage bridle was not put on correctly - it was the first time I ever put one on. :) After months of trying to get a decent conformation pic I think I finally found two conformation pics + 1 movement pic to show forging that might work. He is a 4 1/2 yo 16.3H Cleveland Bay x Thoroughbred (I think) Initially used him for trail riding. He takes such wonderful care of me on the trail. But he has a huge trot that is difficult to post on the trail. I am going to take him this spring for some dressage training. One trainer told me he is built downhill and can't collect. His canter is quite nice but lacks the forward motion the other horses have on the trail. I've never been on a horse that has his HUGE trot or his fluffy canter - almost like gliding. Also he forges. A dressage trainer I know thinks dressage may be his forte. I'm not sure. At times he appears quite graceful and then other times he really struggles to find balance. Looking forward to your feedback.
As far as his conformation goes, he has a rather steep shoulder angle
That being said, his neck set does not seem too bad
He appears slightly buck-kneed
Back is not a bad length, however his is bum high as your trainer said
I personally like the overall shape of his hindquarters
It is hard to judge his back legs accurately. I want to say he is a bit posty but not to any extreme degree...
Thanks lilruffian. You can't see from these angles but he is also cow hocked a little. Thanks for your compliments on his hindquarter. He has done a good bit of hill work. I was curious as to what you all would think about his knees. One vet said he wasn't over at the knee. I wonder if the humerus is too long and with the upright shoulder if that doesn't effect the overall quality of the movement. I know this conformation is considered inferior to a more sloping shoulder and shorter humerus. His half sister is a very scopey, careful jumper. He has a half brother who is simply a fantastic mover all round. I've been waiting until he matured a bit more to start him over jumps. I'm wondering if the knees and shoulder angles might make it more dangerous for him to jump. If so I won't push him in this direction. I'm not sure what you mean by "posty." The children and I were just messing around in the barn when we snapped the photos but he should have been wearing his boots, I know. Curious as to whether or not he is still growing in such a way that he might "level out" with regards to being bum high or if this is pretty much what we have to work with from here on out.
He is a pretty nice horse. Decent bone but tied in at the knee. Lovely large hocks and nice angles behind. Nice shoulder.. lays back.. and a nicely placed point of shoulder.
This horse has prominent knees but is not over at the knee. Honestly, the
Cleveland Bay is a sleeper breed.. and becoming a bit rare I think. VERY good horses though they can be a bit large sometimes and that can lead to some issues with movement.
They were bred to be good carriage horses so are really a warmblood breed. Because they are all bays, they matched, making them very stylish for pulling fine carriages as a team etc. Of course, we now drive cars so the poor Cleveland Bay has fallen out of favor to some degree.
Nice horses and this one got the best of that breed.
Thank you, Elana, for the wonderful compliment! :) I've been reading up more on the "tied in at the knee" you mentioned and appreciate your assistance. This does concern me regarding doing any jumping with him.
Are you thinking of taking him to 3'6"? Are you planning to jump the daylights out of him? MOST of the time a horse is on course, he is not jumping but working on the flat!
If you can get him trained to meet the jumps right and you are not going to go really high you may be ok. Try it and use boots on him like those professional Choice deals that support the tendons. There may be more modren boots that help more. Also, keep his feet done and correct.
Now, if you are planning on Grand Prix or advanced Cross Country you may want to re-think your plans.
Honestly wish I could see more Cleveland Bays out there working. They are a bit long in the back but really good horses.
I have no plans to jump him that high and will definitely make sure he keeps those boots on and keep him trimmed correctly. :) I do, however, have a big and completely irrational dream of breeding and training another Cleveland Bay x Thoroughbred (or two), however. Call me crazy.
I have no plans to jump him that hard and will definitely make sure he keeps those boots on and keep him trimmed correctly. :)
He is lovely.
Actually he says jumper to me, quite a lot, especially with that gorgeous shoulder. He IS a little tied in at the knee but with proper conditioning he's not so bad that it's a big issue. Something to bear in mind of course [so good quality slingback boots, like Elana suggested, will be of use]... but don't ALWAYS boot when you're jumping because that fosters reliance on the boot and then if you forget your boots one day going to a show you're in trouble.
I actually never put boots on my horses while jumping. They're only ever booted for shows. And while coming back into work after a break. Careful conditioning. Boots on at shows, because you will be pushing your horse harder at a show, and you should be fine.
Of more concern regarding his front legs, I don't know if I'm just seeing things but is he a little bench kneed? I'm the only person thus far who's mentioned it though so I don't know...
Cannot tell if he is bench kneed. Bench Knees are the cannon set to the side (right or left) below the knee and not lining up with the fore arm bone, placing the knee is shear stress.
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