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-   -   5yo AQH gelding confo and riding critique (

Mira 06-01-2009 09:29 PM

5yo AQH gelding confo and riding critique
It's been awhile since I posted one of these and the photographer at the last show got a nice confo shot of Gizmo. My mom also videoed all of my classes so I figure I'll get some outside opinions of my huntseat and western classes.
Note! -I did not take this photo, it is from the photographer's website located here: Photo Sharing by :: Eye of the Horse Photography by Jadine Bruner :: SHOWMANSHIP - This album is full of photos from Showmanship Classes. If you want to purchase a photo, write down your caption title and return to my MAIN website to

Huntseat pleasure -
Video - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting

Western horsemanship -
Video - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting

Go ahead and pick apart his conformation, my riding, and whatever else.

Jillyann 06-01-2009 10:00 PM

his conformation looks good, hes just got pretty high withers. and a rather small neck.

mom2pride 06-01-2009 10:11 PM

He lacks real impulsion from behind; which could be because he is going so slow (not a trait I like about WP, WH). Even in his trot, he barely reaches well under himself with his hind legs. He 'looks' pretty, but I probably wouldn't put him up over a horse who was driving well under himself, even if he was going a bit faster. He also lacks alot of muscle through out; his neck, and wither could be improved probably even drastically with exercises to improve the neck and back strength. Some groceries, and muscle building exercises (I love the "101 arena exercises" book) to help him build 'oomph' in his neck, and power in his hindend.

Your position looks nice though; you're alert, and attentive to your horse, and what's going on around you. I would like to see you stop correcting him so much though; you tended to keep his nose tipped in too far, even though he wanted to keep it in a decent position (which is straight from poll to nostril).

smrobs 06-01-2009 10:23 PM

His confo is a little long for me, long body and long neck. It wouldn't look quite so odd if his legs were a little longer. I think that some muscle along his topline would help his appearance significantly. His neck does seem a little thin but I think that is just the lack of muscle. He seems to travel nice and smooth. I don't know how you are supposed to ride in WP or WH but it looks like a pretty common thing from looking at the other riders to stick your feet way out and way forward from where they should be. Your feet should be underneath you and you should ride on your seat and thighs, not have your feet stuck out in front with all your weight on them; but that may be the way that it is done in shows, IDK.

Mira 06-02-2009 07:55 AM

mom2pride - I'll tell you he can lope nicer than that, same speed or slower but with more reach. We're still working on doing it in the ring. :)
Also, I just modified his diet so hopefully I'll be seeing results soon. Thank you for the book recommendation, I'll look it up. :)

smrobs - Yeah, you're correct, my feet should be further back. That's my biggest challenge right now. I can usually keep it at the walk and jog but at the lope.. fail lol.

amy 06-02-2009 01:47 PM

I think he has quite a straight shoulder and little bend in his hocks. He has little impulsion from behind, probably because of his lack of rear muscle and posty rear legs.

Mira 06-02-2009 07:52 PM

How do you propose getting his rear more muscular?

smrobs 06-02-2009 08:20 PM

Hills are always a good choice. It may help to speed up his lope every now and then when not training. When WP horses lope slow like they do, they are not using all the same muscles that other horses do when loping naturally. Just take him out onto a trail and let him lope free for a while, it can't hurt and would probably help him build some more muscle all along his topline. However, if you are in an area where hills are available, walk/trot up and down them will make worlds of difference.

Mira 06-02-2009 09:03 PM

As my warm-up before every ride, I do a lot of circles at a forward lope, counter-canter, etc. To clarify, (and I'm not trying to be snippy and saying you're assuming this!) I don't hop on and ask him to go slow. Everything is forward until he is ready and wanting to go slow. :)

I will work on perhaps doing this more though? Unfortunately the land around me is all flat (boring!) but I can ask my dad to disc up the arena and make the dirt deeper so Gizmo will have to work harder. I'm thinking that would help. Thanks!

smrobs 06-02-2009 09:19 PM

Hmmm, he may just not be destined to be very muscular then. IDK. And you did not sound snippy, it's just many WP horses I see travel like that any time they are under saddle and some never learn to really stretch out and lope with a rider. I wish I could send you a few of my hills. We don't have many but some of them are really good and not too steep. I can still lope up and down them without much trouble.

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