I know I've put this horse for conformation crit before, but since I took the pictures I asked he has put on some weight and the pictures are in better lighting. :D
Sorry he isn't totally square, it was difficult to get him to stand still and not try and come play with me.
He has a long back and possibly a bit of a ewe neck... the muscles along his top line could be improved. Other than that, he looks pretty good to me.
The way he's standing makes him look a bit funny, but he actually has good conformation :D He could do with more topline and perhaps a smidge more condition, but he's very sweet :-) I'm so jealous of your arena!!
I agree that he needs more muscle, especially in the neck, which is a tad long.
His back is also long, but not drastically.
His legs dont look too bad in those pictures, though i think his hind legs could be a tiny bit straighter.
We were working on brining him back to full condition, so I'm not surprised his neck looks the way it does =). I tried to get him to stand square free, he didn't think it was a good idea lol.
Obviously a long back, other than that I like him quite a bit.
Back's too long, he needs more topline muscle BUT other then that looks good =)
I am not surprised that he is undermuscled in these, he had almost the whole summer off due to a farrier related foot problem, started riding the end of September, then in October he coliced, then got to ride him for a month, then we got insane now and I couldn't see him for most of January. When I return to the states he will be doing lots of long and low and collection and pole work. Hopefully his rider back home is doing that now. What are the problems that can come with a long back, other than making it hard to collect?
The biggest problem that I'm familiar with in relation to a long back is just that it can be much harder for the horse to really engage his hind end, reach under himself and round out his back to achieve true collection. It's something you'll likely be working against for most of your riding career together (I know that has been the case with our long backed mare).
I found a bit of info on Wikipedia to give more detail:
"Long backs are more often seen in "gaited" horses, such as Saddlebreds or Tennessee Walkers. They are sometimes, but not always, associated with long, weak loins. The advantage to a long back is that it is flexible, making the movement of the back flatter, quieter, and makes a smoother ride. Even horses that are not gaited often have a smoother trot and long strides, making them comfortable to ride. On the other hand, it makes it harder for the horse to lift or "round" the back to develop speed or engage the hindquarters for high levels of collection. It takes longer to develop the muscles in a long back, and they are more prone to muscular strain and swayback as they age."
Thank you Eolith. I definitely find it hard to collect him, and it took me much longer to teach him to come into a true frame than most others I had trained. I will have to make sure I dont push the muscling to much.
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