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redandrae420 06-13-2013 08:38 AM

Is high withers bad conformatain??
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I'm looking into another horse she's a TB but she has super high withers will this effect her peformance. Is this bad confo here's a pic of herAttachment 211242

albertaeventer 06-13-2013 01:16 PM

Just looking at the withers alone, them being very high or low isn't really something that you would pick out and say "bad conformation".

While high withers shouldn't negatively affect a horse's performance, you also have to consider that finding a saddle that fits properly may be very difficult, and using a saddle that's not quite the perfect fit, *that* is what may affect the horse's performance. I know some people with horses that have shark fin withers, that are constantly having saddle fit problems because of that. Just something to be aware of before buying, making sure you have the means to accommodate what could possibly end up being a nightmare for saddle fitting in the future.

Speed Racer 06-13-2013 01:19 PM

Agree with alberta.

I have a friend who has a horse with monstrous withers, and she played heck trying to find a saddle that fit him. I don't know how many dozens (yes, really) she went through before she found one that fit him and she could live with.

redandrae420 06-13-2013 01:35 PM

Thank you so much!!

Joe4d 06-13-2013 02:28 PM

ditto, seen a few horses like this on the endurance circuit. get the same thing from owners, OH hes great performer I just cant get a saddle to fit that stays put and doesnt hurt him.
Way to many normal confirmation horses out there to settle for one you know for a fact will always have problems.

TheatricalAffair 06-15-2013 03:02 PM

Not really "bad conformation", lots of horses have "shark fin" withers. It will probably be harder to get a good saddle fit of all things. High withers don't affect performance. :)

DancingArabian 06-15-2013 03:41 PM

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It's not bad conformation, but I think it could certainly make a horse less desirable to some people because of the tack issues.
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Corporal 06-15-2013 03:52 PM

The high withers aren't this horse's problem. The neck ties in too low and lacks musculature. I'm not fond of this horse. She isn't balanced--too uphill.
I did a quickie search here and found this thread:
Look at the pictures on post#3 and you will see a more balanced withers-neck picture, which the mare you are interested doesn't have. (The weight difference between the one in your post and the other horse isn't important.
I always suggest that someone buy the best build/best temperament possible. Temperament trumps build but unless your grandmother can safely ride this mare, I'd keep shopping. It's still a BIG buyer's market. Be patient. =D

freia 06-15-2013 07:56 PM

I'm a conformation idiot, so won't comment on that. But the first thing I thought when I saw the picture was "How on earth will you get a saddle that fits?"

After reading everyone's comments, I'm really curious about why no saddle-maker has really started making and marketing saddles to fit this conformation. It sounds like a very common problem, with most people having to resort to custom saddles. I know Stubben makes a saddle now for this build, but I think it's semi-custom and quite spendy. You'd think someone could make something affordable for these poor horses and their owners.

KWPNowner 06-17-2013 05:50 PM

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Like other have said, high withers isn't poor conformation, although you will have to be careful with saddle fit. It's certainly possible to fit a saddle to a horse with high withers though. I had a great hunter with major shark fin withers and she was (and continues to be) successful at A/AA shows, so it's not like it was impossible to find a saddle that was comfortable for her.

What would you want to do with this horse? For a sport horse, there's really no such things as too uphill - it's a downhill build that will limit performance in jumpers/dressage/etc. It looks like this mare is standing on a slight incline, but there are still a lot of things I like about her build for a sport horse. And some that are less common in a TB! I like her open shoulder angle, and the placement of her front legs. She has a nice length of pastern and good bone for a TB. Her legs look clean in that photo. I love the depth of her stifle and her LS placement and short loin.

She looks a little unthrifty, and I'd prefer to see her with more weight. I think with good nutrition and proper work she'll develop that topline a little more and make the withers a little less notice-able.

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