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Conformation Critique-any dressage people too?

1072 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Smilie
Would anyone mind critiquing my 14 year old APHA mare? I have mainly used her for trails and hacking around, however I have recently had the desire to pursue dressage again. It has been about 13 years since I competitively rode and showed dressage however I know it improves EVERY horse and rider and am interested in bringing her to whatever level she can physically handle. She has a lot of holes in her training and that is another reason I have taken her back to square one. She has been allowed all her life to just amble straight down the trail. As a result I have started from square one as she doesn't have any inkling what a circle is, bending, contact with the bit, using her hind rnd , and was pulling through the bit when asked to slow and whoa. I now am working from the ground up and she is learning and coming around nicely. At the point where I have progressed as far as we can together, I will be looking for a horse more bred, built, and suited for dressage (obviously way down the line).

Anyways, I have a decent idea of her more obvious conformational flaws but would really like everyone's opinions. For the dressage riders out there, what areas will I most likely see issues or have obstacles with as she starts her training? What are some exercises or tips to work with her on to help her along while keeping her conformation in mind?

Also as a side note, she is completely out of shape and aside from a nice once a week trail ride at the walk, up until last weekend I have honestly not been riding or conditioning her so we are just beginning training and conditioning together (she is under muscles and not in shape at all..but we are starting towards that). Thanks so much!

Also, I have no idea why the photos are upside down and sideways as they are showing right side up on my tablet ughhh! Anyone know how to fix this?!?

ETA: Photos fixed
-The Moderating Team


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You can try resizing them with photo-editing software on your home computer. Usually the sideways thing is from the photo being too high resolution (72 ppi is good) and/or the measurements exceed the space.

Don't know about upside down though.
She appears to toe out front and rear, and from this angle her shoulder looks like it could use more slope. But the photos are not good for judging. You want your horse standing square with her head up, on a flat level surface. Make sure her legs are square under her so her angles can be seen accurately. All photos should be square to the horse and show the whole horse.
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