critique my fat horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 08-18-2019, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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critique my fat horse

Despite critiquing many others' horses I have never been brave enough to submit my own. Partly because I am a poor and reluctant photographer. As you can tell. However these might be enough to go on.

The first photo is of Brooke at age four; I had just been given her and she had never been ridden. Just for comparison.

The others are from yesterday. She is nearly nine now. I know she is too fat. She is 14.2 hands, purebred but unregistered Morgan of unknown parentage.

What I see is that she has more of a dip behind her withers now (although the photos exaggerate it). Of course she has more wither, which accentuates that. The last pic, taken after she had been rinsed off after a trail ride, is closer to how her back really is. Her shoulder could have more slope to it although there's nothing really wrong with it. On the other hand she has many strengths -- good straight legs, a long smooth hip, an elegant neck.

And she's really fat.
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File Type: jpg Brooke_4yrsold.jpg (139.0 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg b_side2.jpg (169.0 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg B_side1.jpg (177.6 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg b_rear.jpg (175.4 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg b_front.jpg (107.9 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg apres_trail.jpg (303.0 KB, 23 views)
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-18-2019, 08:54 AM
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imo, I don't think she is too awful fat. She doesn't look fully matured in her four year old picture, and now, she looks fully grown, but out of condition.

I personally don't care for her neck attachment, it just kinda 'turns into' her chest all of a sudden, rather than being a clean attachment. This could change with conditioning.

I LOVE her hip, looks like she has a very good motor!

Nice straight legs as you said, but I would like more substance on her fronts particularly. Her front legs look tiny compared to her hind, but that could also be because of the angle of the photos.

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post #3 of 25 Old 08-18-2019, 08:55 AM
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I like her a lot looks very sturdy well built horse. She has a elegant look about her. Yeah a little fat but winter is coming doesn't appear to be overly fat..just extra fluff. I'd have no problem owning her she's beautiful.

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post #4 of 25 Old 08-18-2019, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ClearDonkey View Post
imo, I don't think she is too awful fat. She doesn't look fully matured in her four year old picture, and now, she looks fully grown, but out of condition.

I personally don't care for her neck attachment, it just kinda 'turns into' her chest all of a sudden, rather than being a clean attachment. This could change with conditioning.

I LOVE her hip, looks like she has a very good motor!

Nice straight legs as you said, but I would like more substance on her fronts particularly. Her front legs look tiny compared to her hind, but that could also be because of the angle of the photos.
Her fronts are fine, actually. Must be the angle. She does have a big butt. It is true that the flab will come off as soon as the weather gets cold. Still not used to that phenomenon. She is out of shape. It's not been a good summer for riding, sadly. I am not sure what you mean about her neck attachment though.

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post #5 of 25 Old 08-18-2019, 01:29 PM
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There is a huge difference in maturity from first to last picture.
She grew into herself, not so gangly.

To me she is to fat...
She has pads of fat where she should not, carrying to much on her frame everywhere but you know that already.
She is a nice, really nice looking horse first off and please do not be offended by what I write of.
She has a pretty face, nice eye shape and placement, along with her ears being sculpted and placed well on her skull.
A face not to long nor to short, wide and flat forehead, it fits her body.
I see a hind leg set that makes her sickle hocked tendency.
However, I think in Morgans it is desirable as they are a driving horse and this works for pulling.
She has a lovely hip and hindend and bet a smooth pushing motor.
Her right front leg appears to have a slight, slight toe-out seen in front looking picture from the knee.
All her side-view pictures she appears to stand with her 4 legs slightly under her, not on the "corners" of her body.
I think her looking belly heavy emphasizes her back looking dropped, but it is not in actuality.
She is big barreled, big belly, to me long-backed and with the weight hanging it tricks the eye..
She is a beautiful animal, carries traits of the Morgan breed and I can imagine how versatile and handy she is and smart.
We had a Morgan when I was a child...my dad bought him for my mom cause she loved to look at him.
He was to much horse for me and he was a show horse, literally.
Dad sold him a few weeks after purchased to a group of people who owned a show barn...
That horse took his rider to the National Horse Show held in Madison Square Garden doing children's hunter and placed very high in rankings if they did not win first place {so long ago I don't remember}
That horse though was only 15 hands and built much as your mare....beautiful, just beautiful as your horse is.

You know all comments are just opinions...
My opinion is your mare is a really nice, nice horse to own, ride and spend time with.
...
jmo...
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post #6 of 25 Old 08-18-2019, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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yes I agree she is a little long backed too. And even when she is not overweight she takes a wide tree.

What I really appreciate about her is her steady forgiving temperament. She is a bossy, opinionated, dominant mare (queen of every herd she's ever been part of), and she is not bomb-proof by any means, but considering that I hadn't ridden for 40 years when I got her, just got a 60-ride start put on her and then took off down the trail, she's a pretty good horse.
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post #7 of 25 Old 08-18-2019, 09:52 PM
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I agree she mostly just needs conditioning, I would try and build up/keep her topline as I suspect it will be more and more of a problem as she ages.

I also noticed she doesn't really seem to want to stand square, I suspect it's just her preference and candid photos but as you know it can be a sign of something not right.

She's such a pretty girl! Nicely built!
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post #8 of 25 Old 08-19-2019, 12:53 AM
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Have not read all the replies.
I think she's what I'd call 'typey' of a Morgan. Many Morgans have that smooth body build that doesn't show a lot of muscle development and tends to carry a bit more fat under the skin. But, she IS overweight, without a doubt.


I like how her neck ties in, and it's length balances the longer torso.

She has nice hock angles, with relatively low hocks, but even lower knees, with short canons. But, her front right leg is a wee bit crooked, angling out a bit .


Her hips is well angled and sized. The dip behind the withers could be just genetics. She may be destined for lordosis. I'm not sure how one can tell, but it's basically genetic, isn't it? There was a Morgan at our farm who had been a show horse. HE was a spirited horse , lovely liver chestnut, and was a firecracker out on the trails, up to 32, when he colicked. He had lordosis, and required special pads to make his saddle fit.


I agree that she is pretty and well formed for real use.
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-19-2019, 02:56 AM
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She is overweight, but very shiny! Her top line will improve with more riding. Attractive lady.

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post #10 of 25 Old 08-19-2019, 06:19 PM
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When I look at a horse's conformation, the question I always ask is, "Do I see anything that is likely to cause problems with fitness or performance?" Overall she's a lovely horse, one I would be happy to have. She does look a little long-backed which is unusual for a Morgan, but horses vary. It's something to keep an eye on, but I've seen plenty of horses with long-ish backs perform for decades with no problems whatsoever. Truth be told, most horses in the United States are overweight and under-fit because they don't really have a job like their ancestors did. Probably with some work the fat would disappear and the fitness would take care of itself.
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