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Incitatus32 10-20-2013 11:20 AM

What will you overlook conformation wise?
So I was going to post this in 'Confirmation' but I decided it didn't really fit so I put it here instead.
When your buying a horse, will you overlook any conformation faults if they fit your needs? (In example, my mom purchased her gelding who has crooked legs because he fit all of our other expectations and she liked his personality that much.) I was talking about this with a fellow boarder the other day and just wondered about everyone's thoughts on this, because let's face it, no horse is 100% perfect. :lol:

Personally I've always had the thought that if the horse had a minor fault, but fit every criteria I put it through and I liked it's temperament I would go for it, faults or no. Then again, I just pleasure ride and do trail, so whatever discipline the horse likes to do I'm game to try out. (Now if the horse was unsafe because of these faults then that would obviously be a no lol)

If applicable, what if it had any health issues? Just curiosity spiking here! :D

Chickenoverlord 10-20-2013 11:36 AM

My friends jumper pony is insulin resistant, but he is such a good pony we keep him tended and happy. My horse has a ver short back, and toes out a bit but I love him.

franknbeans 10-20-2013 11:43 AM

Slightly cow hocked. I would totally overlooke that, especially since it can be a good thing for reiners!

DraftyAiresMum 10-20-2013 12:15 PM

Anything that won't drastically effect the usability of a horse can be overlooked, especially if the horse has other redeeming qualities.

For example, my best friend's QH has a slightly long back and is sickle hocked. Neither fault are present in the extreme (although her sickle hocks are noticeable) and do not effect her soundness or the fact that she's a killer little barrel horse and would probably make a great reiner (she loves to slide stop and do rollbacks lol). Because of her personality, work ethic and athletic ability, I would happily overlook her minor faults if I had the chance to buy her.

That being said, there are some things I will not overlook. If it does or will effect the usability and soundness of the horse now or in the future, I will pass on the horse, regardless of temperament or personality.
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CLaPorte432 10-20-2013 12:33 PM

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I actually like a horse with a little bit of sickle hocks. I'm a barrel racer and have found that horses with sickle hocks can have an advantage With stopping.

A Moderately steep shoulder i can over look.

i have 2 horses that are pigeon toed. (Moms horses)

I have a horse with a slightly longer back.

So I can overlook a few things but i cannot overlook anything that will affect soundness. No matter how great the personality.
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Chickenoverlord 10-20-2013 01:00 PM

Okay, these are my horses faults: short back, slightly pigeon toed, slightly cow hocked. He has never had a lame day. How does being cow hocked help refiners? I know he was a fabulous barrel horse, and is very quick on his feet but I thought it was just his Arab blood.

trailhorserider 10-20-2013 01:07 PM


Originally Posted by Chickenoverlord (Post 3915689)
Okay, these are my horses faults: short back, slightly pigeon toed, slightly cow hocked. He has never had a lame day. How does being cow hocked help refiners? I know he was a fabulous barrel horse, and is very quick on his feet but I thought it was just his Arab blood.

A short back is usually considered a GOOD trait, not a bad one. It makes it a little harder to fit a saddle to them sometimes, but a short back is generally stronger than a long one and I've only ever seen it listed as a positive trait. So you can take that off your list of faults. :)

I will over look a lot of minor conformation faults on a horse, heck, maybe even some major ones, but what is VERY important to me is bone and feet. Good bone because (unfortunately) I am a heavier rider, and good feet because, well, that is critical for any horse to stay sound. So I will overlook quite a bit, but I want a horse with good bone and feet.

DraftyAiresMum 10-20-2013 01:10 PM

Short backed is not a fault. You want a horse with a shorter back. Arabs especially will have a shorter back because they have fewer vertebrae than other horse breeds.

As for being pigeon toed, as long as it's not extreme, it's something that won't really effect soundness.

Is he truly cow hocked or does he slightly toe out in the back? You want a horse that toes out slightly because of the way the hind leg is designed to move (in a spiral motion). A LOT of people mistake toeing out for being cow hocked. I have a graphic that illustrates the difference. I'll have to dig it up.

Sickle hocked and cow hocked are two completely different faults.
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Chickenoverlord 10-20-2013 01:15 PM

I will give him credit for his feet, lol they are freaking amazing. He also has a steep shoulder (not like a Cliff, but not ideal), but he moves beautifully it is just like riding a washboard in a hurricane lol. He has decent bone for his size, but Im very light so it doesn't really matter. Are Arabians usually good barrel horses, or is he the freak exception?

DraftyAiresMum 10-20-2013 01:29 PM

I know there was someone on the forum who used to barrel race her older (in his 20s, if I remember correctly) Arab gelding and he did well.

I don't see why Arabs couldn't be decent barrel racers, they have speed (one of my friend's endurance-trained Arab gelding was clocked at over 45MPH at a gallop...and he wasn't opened up all the way), stamina, and quickness. However, one disadvantage they have is that Arabs tend to be long-legged, which can make it difficult for them to get down and really dig into the turns like a shorter-legged QH can. You can have a QH and an Arab of the same height and almost guaranteed the Arab will have longer legs.
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