, I'm not sure why you made the comment about comparing an Arab to a Quarter Horse, since only
's horses in my post were Arabians, and not necessarily all of them either - you'd have to ask her. She also rides a Percheron-Arab cross (not pictured), who also doesn't have too much fat on. And as a wider comment, because a few people raised it, excess fat is excess fat, no matter what breed it is on. I had an Arabian mare once, who used to compete endurance. This was her when competing:
We did a junior short-course ride that weekend (I was 16), 28km in 56 minutes, which was a club record where I was competing, and she was best conditioned horse for the short-course events as well. A couple of weeks later, I entered her into a ridden show, and was told by a judge that I should not show such a skinny horse, that endurance shape was inappropriate for showing. You couldn't even see her ribs... and the other horses at the show looked like army tanks to me. Heck, they were
army tanks. They looked like our beef cattle just before they go to market. They were out of breath after a few laps at the working trot...
I disagree with the idea that my mare in that shape was too skinny for a ridden show - or that
's competing endurance horses shouldn't be shown under saddle or in the halter ring unless they've been fattened up as if for a cattle sale.
I personally think that kind of shape is spot on, and she was neither too skinny nor too fat. However, when she was 30 and retired, she got fat on the second spring flush she had on our farm, when we were going through a stressful time building a house and I wasn't paying proper attention. I only noticed it when she got sore feet - early laminitis. I cursed myself for letting that happen - I'm responsible for the health and welfare of my animals - and we acted quickly, treating her inflammation and restricting her feed, and thankfully, she recovered without permanent damage. But, it's always left a bitter taste in my mouth, that something like that could happen so quickly, and slip past my radar because my focus was on other things. It served as an ongoing warning to me to keep my eyes open about the weight of my horses. Sunsmart is another one I have to watch in that respect, and he's a French Trotter/STB cross. It doesn't matter what breed a horse is, you do have to watch carefully that they're not getting too fat. It can creep up on you, and when someone asks on HF if their horse is getting too fat, and I can definitely see excess fat on it, then I am going to tell them this.
I agree with
's comments on the points of the OP's horse. The horse needs more muscle, less fat. All the horses in my previous post "look great" (your words) because they have enough muscle and not too much fat - and because they have lovely glossy coats. And they're all in different life stages. I'm going to do a little recap:
This is a rising 4yo STB in early harness training. He was being allowed to mature before serious work and racing. In fact, he was considered too fine-boned to trial until age 5 to 6, and had his first race start earlier this week, at the age of 8. This is his race, and it's worth watching. His name is Baralu, his driver is wearing pink, and his trainer is 80 years old. https://www-harness-org-au.akamaized...AC15041901.mp4
I'm showing people this race because I don't like the racing of immature horses, and applaud what happened here.
This next horse is a 17-year-old STB who was retired from racing at age 12, and had only self-exercised since then, and whom we adopted a couple of years back.
He's a pasture puff, but he's not a pasture puff. Same with his 24-year-old friend Chasseur here, who's a French Trotter-STB cross, and hasn't been worked in over a decade - he just free-ranges at our place since we've adopted him.
This is a STB mare called Dezba in race training, age 7 if I remember correctly:
And then there were
's endurance horses, and my too-fat (but being managed carefully) Sunsmart, to wrap things up, in my initial post. Were I to go shopping for images online, I could find too-fat and just-right photos of any breed imaginable...
, Dezba and my Arabian mare above are the only "race fit" horses I've shown.
's example is also race fit (and not too skinny, but you wouldn't want it skinnier). Some race fit horses show ribs, some don't. When I'm race fit, I definitely show ribs, but at present I'm in about the same shape as Sunsmart, so we both need to work harder.
It's in part feeding, in part the genetics of where the fat gets distributed on a horse. Some horses show ribs, but have fat deposits on their hindquarters. So I think
has posted a very useful guide to checking your horse by feel as well as appearance. It's what I do on me as well - get familiar with my fat deposit areas and check what they're doing on a regular basis (scales are quite unnecessary). The area around my umbilicus tells me if I should be eating noodles with my fish and vegies, or if I should be focusing more on protein and vegies and less on starchy foods, and maybe get in an extra bicycle ride this week. For other people, it may be their backside - deposition sites vary, in people and in horses. But it pays us to consult those fat deposit sites in ourselves and our animals when we're considering quantities and types of food and exercise.
, sounds like you, me, Chase and Sunsmart are all in roughly the same boat!
, hope this lengthy discussion is useful to you - and that you enjoy reading!