How bad is his conformation? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-23-2019, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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How bad is his conformation?

I work with this horse (he is not mine) but he is a sweet horse and I'm tossing around the idea of giving him a retirement home. Can he be helped with some good feed and a chiropractor or is he so poor off he cannot be helped? I don't want to invest money in a horse who can't be ridden at all and all I know is that he has poor conformation.
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-23-2019, 01:39 AM
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I don't see anything horrible about him at all. He might use a little weight and muscle.......but I bet a lot of people on here would tell you he looks just fine the way he is.

BUT, if you want a horse to ride (don't know how old or sound this guy is) you might want to stay away from a senior horse, especially if you don't want to put money into one you can't ride. He might be sound and rideable for 10 years, or he might have some problems going on right now that will only get worse. There are no guarantees with any horse, but the older they get, the more likely you might have a true retiree that can't handle a workload.

Older horses are awesome. But if you can only have one horse that's rideable, you might be better off investing in a younger mount. I think with "retirees" you have to go into it thinking they might not be rideable at some point in the future and be okay with that.

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post #3 of 14 Old 07-23-2019, 02:45 AM
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How old is he? What is he currently being fed?

His sacroiliac connection looks a bit odd , and his neck is set on low, and straight, but I don't see leg issues. He might really amaze when fattened up.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-23-2019, 06:07 AM
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Nothing in his conformation says "unrideable" to me. But without a vet work up you still don't know if he is sound. It usually isn't poor build that makes a horse unrideable, but injury and chronic disease.
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-23-2019, 06:46 AM
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He's not a bad looking horse....
Built butt high and a sacroiliac joint further back than optimum makes him appear wonky and very weak in his hind-end.
A few pounds needed and some muscle tone blended together this horse would be stunning.

What concerns me is you wanting to give a retirement home and still ride him in the same thought.
Depending upon how much riding, how strenuous, how often, what kind and how large a rider you are this older gentlemen may be a perfect match or a don't touch.
Retirement normally means slowing down and can't keep the same amount or type of riding he had done.
So, if a jumping show horse he was, becoming a trail riding partner may be perfect for him.

For me, he looks a kind soul of good size and bone.
He actually doesn't appear terribly thin, but lacking a bit of weight and muscle tone especially along his top-line makes him appear is looks though and can be changed.
As horses age they also sometimes face a harder time keeping weight on, need special diet considerations and better care honestly.
I have older, "retired" horses in my herd.
They are the best trail horses who will walk for hours, trot or gallop occasionally if the group does but mentally are unflappable and know how to take care of inexperienced riders...just nice horses to be around.

Depending upon what "retired" means to you....
For me it means not only do they need, require more care, they will be laid to rest when appropriate and not be sent to a horrors unknown at a sale.
If you are willing, able to take on a older horse, accept them for what they can give, and give them a peaceful existence when all they can give in the end is a nicker of hello...then take him on.
If you are looking for the "retired" horse to go showing, campaigning on and hard rides his own body is no longer capable of, not be able to meet his older bodies food needs nor his extended care needs or more often vet care...then pass on him and look to buy a younger horse who can be ridden daily and do all the things this horse has limitations on because he is aged...
Remember that depending upon his age you could have many years of togetherness and riding if you recognize limitations and work with them not against them.
I expect my guys probably have 8 - 10 years left of riding and life with me...and I will do all in my power to make those years kind ones for them and when time comes they will leave this world with a hug, kiss and tears in my eyes cause they are just special souls and I know it.

It is all up to you in what your expectations are of the animal and what he can do for you, as a team...
It is also all on you to recognize the limitations he may have now and accept only what he can give today and what may change tomorrow...
There are no guarantees in life.
Today the horse may be ride-able, tomorrow morning something occur and never ridden again, for any animal.
That is when you figure out just what it means to be "a caregiver" and what is best for the animal at that moment in time.
Some serious deep thoughts to what you want, need and are willing to accept you face before taking on this animal or any animal.
If you think you want to be his human, get a vet out to help determine if he can meet your needs as a partner and can you meet his needs as a owner. Called a PPE or health assessment.
Good luck.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-23-2019, 07:13 AM
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He doesn't look that under weight to me, just a little bit. He looks very under muscled. There is something going on with his back but not necessarily something that makes him where he can't be ridden.

His conformation doesn't look horrendous either but I would find out what his story is. Where is he? Where did he come from. What has he done in the past? How old is he? What are his physical issues if he has any right now? Have a vet look at him and evaluate him for soundness if you can. You can have any age horse and not know how long it will stay fit to be ridden but with older horses you may be entering a stage where different care has to be given to keep them sound.

You can have an older horse that stays rideable for quite a long time but being rideable doesn't really mean retirement. So that being said, evaluate what you really want. Just remember, if you have any horse long enough, your going to have one that you are paying for but can't ride.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-23-2019, 07:35 AM
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animal communicator and healer Jen Snow

Okay. I watch a lot of horsey YouTube Channels. I just cannot get enough horse viewing.

"Scared Bullied Horse - Session with Energy Healer & Animal Communicator"
by ListenToYourHorse YouTube Channel (another channel I just love)
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-23-2019, 07:43 AM
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Evaluating Horse Conformation

Found this article by Kylee Jo Duberstein an Associate Professor, Animal & Dairy Science at University of Georgia Extension

It is very detailed and fascinating!
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-26-2019, 12:53 PM
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What does the 806 on his shoulder mean?

A thorough vet exam will probably answer a lot of your concerns. Personally, I don't see anything that would prohibit him from being a nice trail horse at the least.
What do you want to do with him other than offer a retirement home?

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-26-2019, 06:03 PM
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Most likely a ranch designation to show sire and dam. Some denote two digit year and whatever other info ranch decides.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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