Downhill Conformation? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-11-2016, 01:01 AM
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If you read the link I posted above, you will see what landmarks are used to determine if a horse is downhill ( that being in a horse with a high whither )
A horse that is croup high, according to info, is ALWAYS' downhill
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-11-2016, 01:03 AM
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From that link:

'The words "uphill" and "downhill" is an attempt to articulate the levelness of the spine. The spine does NOT follow the topline of the horse. It's inside the horse. In the front end the spine threads through the scapula (shoulder blades) and becomes the neck. The withers have vertical "finger-like" bones that stick up from the spine. These vertical structures are not calcuated in the levelness of the spine. Only where the spinal cord goes through the bones of the spine, (the centre of the spine) is where you will estimate "spine levelness". When you compare that spine levelness to the ground (or horizon) it will tell you if the horse is 'uphill', level or downhill.

The spine levelness is found by locating 2 points on the horse's body and drawing a line between those points. That line tells you the spine levelness. The 2 points are: The lumbar sacral (LS) joint, and the lower cervical curve (LCC).'

How to find those landmarks, is also in that link
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-11-2016, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
Can you post a picture of your horse that is rump high, yet not downhill?
I have taken quite a few judging clinics, and looking at the topline, with horse standing level, was always used to determine if a horse was built downhill or not
With my horse his rump is only minimally higher, like 1/2" so it's nothing extreme. Majority of horses who are downhill are rump high.

I had always learned to judge from the stifles/elbow.(not that I have formal education in it)

I don't have any decent side shots of him actually. I either have ones that make him look way better than he is, or a sack of potatoes. Ive got a million of my other horse, the poor neglected child. 😅
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-11-2016, 05:53 AM
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When I was a kid I was told that "downhill" is undesirable, cause it inevitably put the majority of the horse's weight on the forehand. The hind leg has a lot more potential for carrying extra weight, both from a muscular standpoint (the big glutes) as well as the angulation of the joints. In the hind leg, the hip, stifles, hocks and pasterns are all angled and can provide spring. In the front leg, only the pastern and to a much smaller degree the elbow can.
That is also the physiological basis for collection.
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-11-2016, 11:34 AM
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Right, far as collection
However, horses that sprint, have an advantage being built down hill.
AQHA horses, having been sprinters on the track, have lines that still tend to be built downhill , due to that fact.
Many AQHA running horses derived from Tb bred horses , and excelled at short distances, hence their name.A sprinter has to have the ability for that very fast acceleration
According to the link that I gave on this subject, if going by those internal spinal landmarks, all TBs are built downhill, regardless of whither height. I will need to research that statement more
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-11-2016, 11:57 AM
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The first half of my training and breeding career I spent thinking that a downhill horse was heavy on its front-end and was difficult to put a big stop smooth collection on and thus 'undesirable'. I went to Bee, Nebraska with two horse to ride with Bob Loomis back in 1980. He mentioned several times how he did not like downhill horses for reining prospects. He was getting Topsail Cody ready for the Futurity and was riding several Joe Cody horses from Willow Brook Farms. He went through all of his horses with me and pointed out that each one was as high or higher at the withers.

Then I met my first Hollywood Jac and Hollywood Dunit horses. If you do not think a horse that is 2 inches lower at the withers, butt high and made like two different horses glued together can perform at a World level, then you have never seen any of them in the reining pen. They are almost all butt high, they have a wider stance behind and many are so narrow and close in the front that their knees nearly touch. They are extreme athletes and have proven over and over that they can stop, spin and handle themselves at a World level.

Rules in horses are made to be broken. 'Always' and 'never' just don't belong in the horse world without noting the exceptions. The Hollywood Jacs and Dunits are one of those exceptions and now 'own' a big part of the reining Hall of Fame.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-11-2016, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
The first half of my training and breeding career I spent thinking that a downhill horse was heavy on its front-end and was difficult to put a big stop smooth collection on and thus 'undesirable'. I went to Bee, Nebraska with two horse to ride with Bob Loomis back in 1980. He mentioned several times how he did not like downhill horses for reining prospects. He was getting Topsail Cody ready for the Futurity and was riding several Joe Cody horses from Willow Brook Farms. He went through all of his horses with me and pointed out that each one was as high or higher at the withers.

Then I met my first Hollywood Jac and Hollywood Dunit horses. If you do not think a horse that is 2 inches lower at the withers, butt high and made like two different horses glued together can perform at a World level, then you have never seen any of them in the reining pen. They are almost all butt high, they have a wider stance behind and many are so narrow and close in the front that their knees nearly touch. They are extreme athletes and have proven over and over that they can stop, spin and handle themselves at a World level.

Rules in horses are made to be broken. 'Always' and 'never' just don't belong in the horse world without noting the exceptions. The Hollywood Jacs and Dunits are one of those exceptions and now 'own' a big part of the reining Hall of Fame.
There is the trade off, as mentioned, far as sprint speed , thus ability for fast acceleration, things both working cowhorse and a reiner needs
Thus, a downhill conformation serves them very well, same as it does a race horse, while anyone wishing do do collected maneuvers, as apart from 'hind end engagement, as per classical definition, or ride a western rail horse, then uphill conformation would be better suited for their purpose.
Afterall, as family of horses became selected over time,through proven performance, that excel in certain disciplines, so then did their conformation traits follow.
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