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heartprints62 07-21-2011 02:23 PM

How is her conformation?
My mare was 664 lbs when I got her (Jan '11). She has an old injury resulting in a tilted pelvis, so far 2 back adjustements have helped, but she still needs more work. I'm not great at pinpointing weekness in conformation but I do know she looks amazing now compared to when I got her. I'm hoping some of our conformation experts can give some insight! Here is her bloodline for those interested:
Lenas High Fidelity Quarter Horse AKA "Jo"

For those who will ask: **I trail ride her mostly. However, I am learning reining and cutting. She is just my practice/lesson horse, she doesn't do any rollback or sliding stops, just the patterns. My instructor want me know what & how to ask before I start using his reining mare for "real practice".**

I tried to find flat ground for pictures, I didn't realize how lumpy my pasture is! =) In the last 2 pictures she is turned slightly downhill in the front, so it makes her conformation look more "downhill" than she really is. (sorry, she was being impatient) The rest of the pictures are just about flat ground.

**You can see muscle tissue missing on the left side from whatever her injury was that caused her tilted pelvis, which in turn makes her compensate on the right** Sorry the picture is so light, I can try to get a better one this evening when the sun is going down for anyone that wants to see a better pic.

**More muscle injury to her shoulder**

Endiku 07-21-2011 08:16 PM

she's a pretty girl =]

what I'm seeing is some toeing out in the back, not too extreme- but enough to notice, as well as possibly being a bit under at the knees in the front, though its hard to tell. A good front view all the way to her hooves might help. She almost seems a bit swaybacked, but I'm thinking that is because she is still a bit underweight and looks very butt-high. She seems to have nice hindquarters though, and a very pretty head. Her neck is a bit short for her body, but not to an extreme. I'm also noticing that her tail is set a bit low, meaning that her spine might have a little bit of a strange curve to it.

Over all though, she's a cutie and I'm sure she does her job well! Sounds like she's made a great improvement in the time you've had her. I'm looking forewards to more updates!

heartprints62 07-21-2011 11:29 PM

Thank you Endiku!

She is much better than before, she is still having her back worked on, 2-3 more adjustments now then we will see where she is. Her tilted pelvis is what makes her tail do that.... I'm hoping it straightens out a little more as well.
"A bit under at the knees..." is that like what they called "knock-kneed"?

This is the day I brought her home. You can see how severly tilted her pelvis was then and her spine sticking up from compensation just above her flank.

Here are pictures I found online from her first owner, the one before the owner I got her from. She was 7yrs old in these pics (she's only 10 now). Wasn't she goregous =)

Endiku 07-22-2011 10:37 AM

oh my, she HAS come a long ways! I'm so glad to hear that she's finally getting the life she deserves, no horse should look as rough as she did!

No, I believe knock-kneed is when the horse's knees turn in towards eachother. I don't know the 'expert' phrase for what I'm seeing, as I'm still new to conformation critiquing, but if you'll look at her shoulder, then her knees, then her pasterns, you should see a straight line all the way down. With her though, the line is straight until her knees, then dips under from knee to pastern. Her back legs are nearly perfect though, if a bit posty.

blue eyed pony 07-22-2011 11:18 AM

You mean over at the knee, Endiku? (knee forward from the line from middle of leg through middle of fetlock to the ground - SHOULD touch the heel of the hoof but doesn't always) It is not a serious fault and in fact some people who have horses for high-impact sports (racing, jumping, etc) seek out horses that have it, as it decreases the strain on the tendons. The opposite, back at the knee, is a VERY serious fault as it causes extra strain on the tendons and incorrect loading on the joint. I would rather over than back.

I see a horse that is over at the knee. As I said, not a serious fault. I see butt-high and sway-backed (even in the 7yo pics) and that dropped hip really bothers me. Also, on her off-side, there is a big 'bump' in the muscle on her hindquarter, which may be a knot in the muscle. She has a lot of bumps and dips on her near side, both hindquarter and shoulder. There is something funky about her chest. I see a horse that has a lot of muscular soreness.

Her dropped hip is not the worst I've encountered but it is a serious weakness that needs to be addressed. Sometimes it can be fixed, or strengthened with the right exercises, but sometimes it is permanent. It is almost always caused by injury, but is not always fixable.

I see a horse in pain. If she's not acting up, she is a saint. Sometimes, riding is GOOD for horses that are hurting, as it makes them work muscles they would otherwise protect. Muscular pain is a snowball effect and may be secondary to her pelvis/hip.

Edit; note the tensed muscles in her hindquarter. A hindquarter should be smoothly muscled. Tension is a sign of guarding. She is protecting something, whether it be her muscles or the hip/pelvis problem.

heartprints62 07-22-2011 01:17 PM

She's def a saint, big heart and wants to please!

On her initial exam by the chiropractor, she scored a 9.5 level of pain (on a 1-10 scale, 10 being the worst). The only sign of pain she had ever given before her exam was not wanting to bend to trot a circle and a short, VERY choppy trot, but she was never cinchy, never pinned an ear, never missed a step. And I wasn't just missing it, I am very in tune with my horses behavior and "listening" to them after my gelding came up crippled. Both have improved drastically since her adjustments! She's bending beautifully and is stretching out her trot now.

I should mention also, that she had both hocks and stifles injected for arthritis.

She is being ridden for excersice now. Still has a few knots to work out, but she's not in pain anymore. And yes, her muscle pain was snowballed from her pelvis/hip/spine issue, which is all still being worked on. We are doing some horse yoga for stretching and strengthening. She will, however, always have a drop on that hip and be "tighter" looking on the opposite side because of the damage done to that muscle. She wont ever have that smooth muscled look across her hindquarters. Doesn't effect her riding, but I sure wont be showing her anywhere! =)

Also, her chest has damage from being run threw a barbwire fence sometime when she was young. When she is wet, you can see all of her scars. Maybe thats whats "funky"?

Endiku 07-22-2011 04:14 PM

*headdesk* yes, over at the knees. i really shouldn't be typing when I'm tired ;P thankyou, for the correction.

she really is golden if she hasn't reacted badly. I've ridden so many crow-hoppers that simply had a sore neck or back, and yet she still worked without complaint? You're've got a saint of a horse.

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