Would this TB mare suit eventing?
Just wanting some critique on my TB mare. I specifically want to know if her conformation is suited to jumping?
At the moment I am retraining her for dressage, and hope to start jump training with her in the next month or so. She has been off the track for a few months now.
I'm going out to see her at lunch so I will get some confo shots of her legs..
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Argh - having issues posting more photos from my phone..
Let me try again!
I see a horse that is herring gutted, straight through the stifle and hock, and maybe a little ewe-necked. The ewe neck may improve with correct work but hind-end angles will not. This limits her scope somewhat.
Combined with a shoulder that is more upright than I would like, the fact that she is posty behind makes me think that she would not make the higher levels.
Also, a herring gut will limit her stamina. All that being said, would I buy her? Probably not. Would I ride her? In a heartbeat, she looks like a sweet mare.
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You know I have been told so many times that my horse can't do this and that.. it's silly. That's like saying a short person can't run in a marathon cause they don't have long legs.
Sure there may be some preferences behind it.. but I'd say try it.. and if she doesn't love it then try something else :)
Everyone tells me my horse would be a perfect jumper cause of his large strong hind, but is he? Nah.. we just piddle around in the arena and on the trails.
You know your horse, and you should always give it a go despite what it may or may not have.
^ horses with the right conformation FOR THEIR JOB will have a distinct advantage over those that are not built right FOR THEIR JOB. Of course there is the occasional horse that excels despite its conformation, but will it stay sound long-term? Unlikely.
This mare does not have a strong hind. She is too straight in the stifles and hocks to have the physical scope to jump or event at a high level. HOWEVER, that does not mean that she cannot excel in the lower levels. If she has the mind and the heart for it, she will be amazing - at the lower levels. I have never seen a horse that is this straight behind competing in high-level jumping and eventing. As much as the heart and mind have to do with performance, conformation does limit or encourage performance. It DOES depend on how a horse is built as to how they do in a specific discipline.
This mare does not have desirable conformation for a showjumper or eventer. That IS the bottom line. She might have all the heart in the world, but heart/spirit/whatever you want to call it can only make up for so much.
By the way, herring-gut is a serious fault, as it limits heart and lung room and therefore will limit stamina. THAT is the whole and sole reason why I would not buy this mare as an eventer or showjumper. I think I would have her in a heartbeat as a show hack, dressage horse, or trail horse, but anything that requires stamina will be harder for her than for a horse without the fault.
YES, racehorses often appear herring-gutted, to a degree, but rarely this much unless it IS a conformational fault.
She has good depth of girth right behind her elbow but it sharply decreases in a line that is slanted upwards. A horse should ideally have an almost horizontal line for the first 2/3 to 3/4 of its barrel before it starts to slant upwards. This is for lung room.
Here is an example of a horse without a herring gut:
And here is a horse that displays this fault:
Note, they both have other faults, particularly the grey, but the grey was the best example of a not-herring-gutted horse that I could find. Please do not publicly critique these horses, they are not mine and the photos are not mine either (found on google images). Thanks :)
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the replies - pretty much what I thought - though I had not heard of the term herring gut before, but looking at those pictures I can see what you mean.
For the record I don't expect to go 4* on her - I haven't jumped xc since the end of 2007 when I sold my competetive horses and had kids! I'm looking at getting back into the low level stuff - maybe 1* if I'm brave enough and Lady shows enough talent...
And if she doesn't like jumping? - Well, I will just do some low level dressage on her - she has beautiful movement :-)
Depending on how tall she is, if she has the spirit for jumping she could well reach 1*. It's not that big, not when you compare it to 4* at least! THOSE jumps are scary.
You may have some difficulty finding a jumping saddle that will fit her properly, looking at her back and wither again. She looks quite straight-backed and that wither is pretty big. I'm in a very similar situation, but I don't really have to worry about Monty's wither. At the moment I have a dressage saddle that fits him great and I'm in the middle of looking for a jumping saddle. I'd be happy to share the kinds I'm considering through PM if you want :)
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