Well, most of you know that I've had Danny for a few months now. He's my BFF and I'm not overly concerned with his imperfections. That being said, I'd still like to know what others think his confirmational & carriage flaws may be. So, with a deep breath, I'm putting him up for an official critique...
12 Year Old, APHA Gelding, 15.3 Hands. Last week we started some basic dressage lessons to help him get better balanced, learn to bend and get his muscles in better condition, and start to ask him to step under himself more. He's always been sort of a pleasure horse with limited training. He knows the basics of w/t/c and is green to jumping.
Nothing new since February, but there are some crappy videos of him being ridden by me (just don't blame him for my poor abilities!) on youtube.
YouTube - sonnysfirststar's Channel
I didn't see much conformationally that jumps out....maybe a little cow-hocked, which is common. From the videos, he appears to be pretty hollow which is keeping him from getting more under himself and balanced. I'm certainly not a H/J, but I would work on his collection some to get a little better balance and flexibility.
Cute horse. Love his face & eyes !
He is VERY hollow. His nose and tail go straight up to the sky! We're working on asking him to flex a bit, use his hind instead of having ALL of his weight on the forehand, and trying to get him in front of my leg. He is really, really, really dead to the leg. Even as a hunter, I like a more rounded frame, in between dressage & typical hunter frame. I'm hoping to develop his topline and try to get him at least a little bit rounder.
Is he solid reg? His color is gorgeous, along with his face and eyes. Ummm as for stucture. A tad bit more muscle on his front. and a bit more on the hind end too. and a little cow-hocked. but easily fixed.
I think he's absolutely gorgeous!!! i love his colour and markings
He's so, SO cute. I love his markings!
The most noticable thing is that he's really downhill in the riding pictures. Definitely work on getting his hind end engaged and lift his front end.
The only thing I would add would be to really build that topline. Ride him really round and long and low, stretch the back and get him working from behind. He's a little flat backed and borderline roach-backed where his coupling is which makes it harder for horses to round and come up under themselves. Lots of trot work, stretchy circles, hills and maybe some lunging in side reins to build his whole topline from ears to tail. Other than that he's adorable!
I FINALLY got a new video uploaded. We working on getting him to move off my leg (this is going to take some time), but he's getting it for the first 10 - 15 mins of our ride. After that, he seems to be getting bored and will just shut down. I ride lots of transitions, circles, etc while we working. He is starting to build his topline and seems to be getting more stamina. Still having a LOT of trouble getting him to pick up the canter in either direction and keep it going...
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Goodness me, he looks like such a gentleman! I bet he has a good temperement, such a kind look in his eye, you are a lucky girl.
He looks pretty well put together for the whole, just looks like he needs some solid work. I can see the difficulty he has in being more round and if he is the type of horse I am imagining him to be, you could probably try leg work until your little legs are numb and he would still be pretty relaxed about the situation!
Why don't you try lunging him with side reins? Two reasons for this:
1.) You don't want to de sensitize him to leg signals any further so try your luck on the ground with a lunge line, voice commands and of course a good lunge whip.
2.) When a horse collects nicely and transfers some weight to their back end, it feels different for them. It seems illogical but it is actually the FRONT legs that are the strongest (despite the back end appearing powerful). This is because the front legs are designed for weight bearing as the carry the weight of the head and neck as well as the body. The back legs are designed for speed i.e. taking off down the prairie to avoid predators.
So my guess is that your lovely boy would benefit from making this transition to his back end being more supportive and weight bearing on the ground. This will build some beautiful muscle along his topline also and you will have yourself a horse pretty much beyond conformational critique!
All the best!
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