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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My rescue mare - her adoption papers say "grade," but I heard offhand that she's 1/2 Arabian and 1/2 Standardbred. I know her hind feet are slightly duck-footed, she is a little ewe-necked, and I was told before she has quite a long back. To me, her rump looks a bit level and may have a bit of swayback going on. What are your opinions?
 

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I don't see swayback, and I don't think her back is overly long. I personally like the look of her. I wouldn't even say ewe-necked. Her neck is a bit short, but it's not inverted the way I'd think of as ewe-necked.

I think if she developed more muscle over her back and crest, the sway-back and ewe-neck look would disappear pretty quickly.
 

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She doesn't look swayback or ewe necked. With a bit of work, she will have a decent neck and a better topline. She's a decent horse, nothing glaring out to me that says bad conformation.
 

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I do think she looks a little long backed but maybe the way she is standing or lack of 'topline' strength emphasizes that look. She is definitely not sway backed & I too don't see 'ewe necked' altho this is often a training/riding prob, not 'conformation' - if the rider is heavy handed for eg. I also don't see 'duck feet' behind, tho need more/better/different pics if you'd like a hoof/lower limb critique.

Overall, nice looking horse I reckon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone! I only thought sway-backed because she does have a slightly deeper back than when I first met her five years ago, but I know it's nothing that I should be focused on or concerned about. The duck feet are apparent in person, unfortunatey it doesn't look like I have a picture that shows it well but her back feet do definitely point outwards a bit.

I worked with her a lot in 2015 before her then-owner sent her back to the rescue and currently I have only been working on her for the past few months, and not as frequently as I did in 2015. I remember in 2014 her having a very high-set Arabian neck/head when she was excited that made her look like she had an ewe neck, but I haven't seen it much since then. In between 2015 and 2019 when she was back at the rescue and I wasn't involved with her, she was more or less a pasture pet, so she lost all of her 2015 condition and I've started back from square 1.

First picture is when I first met her 2014, second/third pictures are late 2015 when she had a year's worth of consistent exercise on her and a better topline (ignore my position in the last picture, I didn't expect her to jump so dramatically :biggrin:). I hope I can get her back to that condition at some point.
 

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She's a nice horse with no extreme issues and, more importantly, looks like a fun ride.




@JCnGrace - This might be a silly question but: why is the word 'grade' used?
 
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She's a nice horse with no extreme issues and, more importantly, looks like a fun ride.

@JCnGrace - This might be a silly question but: why is the word 'grade' used?
Funny, that question occurred to me too just now. In the US anyway, a grade horse is any unregistered horse even if they come from registered parents, but more typically has a breed attached to the end; I have a "grade Morgan" for example. Identifiably Morgan from purebred Morgan parents but no papers.

It seems to me it is a trifle more specific than "type", as in "Morgan type". But they can be used interchangeably. And grade can be used like "mutt" in dogs as well, generally in the phrase "just a grade".

Maybe the term came from an older way of classifying horses without documented parentage? Such as breeding studs in which the mares were grade (graded of good quality) but of the type wanted? Something much more common in the past of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Grade has always been used to mean "mutt" in my understanding of it. Especially used in rescues where they have no idea where the horse came from, its parentage, and the horse has no ID (tattoo, brand, etc) so they can't make any reasonable assumption about its true breed. Usually if they have a general idea of what it might be, "mix" is used, like "Arabian mix," "Thoroughbred mix." I personally have never heard of that use with grade, like "grade Morgan," but that makes sense too!
 

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Anyway that is a very nice mare. Especially for a 'rescue'. She is uphill, nice shoulder, long hip, balanced, good big feet. If I was to nitpick I'd say yes her neck could be a bit longer, and I can't tell from the photos but she could be a little tied in below the knee.

As far as breed goes, I think she could be any number of other things, as she is a color common to most breeds and has no obvious 'type' markers for any particular breed. Because being built uphill is really only commonly found in TBs and Warmbloods, that might be a clue she has one of those breeds in her.

I'd just enjoy your lovely, classy horse! She's a prize.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Anyway that is a very nice mare. Especially for a 'rescue'. She is uphill, nice shoulder, long hip, balanced, good big feet. If I was to nitpick I'd say yes her neck could be a bit longer, and I can't tell from the photos but she could be a little tied in below the knee.

As far as breed goes, I think she could be any number of other things, as she is a color common to most breeds and has no obvious 'type' markers for any particular breed. Because being built uphill is really only commonly found in TBs and Warmbloods, that might be a clue she has one of those breeds in her.

I'd just enjoy your lovely, classy horse! She's a prize.
I was told through a chain of indirect communication that she was intentionally bred, 1/2 Arabian and 1/2 Standardbred, but that she was attacked by a mountain lion around six months old (if you look closely, she has three white slash mark scars on her left belly and a few other white puncture scars up both sides) and that her owners surrendered her to the rescue because they couldn't care for her in that condition. But I heard this indirectly, so I can't count on the credibility of it, besides the fact I know she definitely did get attacked by something at some point given her scars.

I think she is a great find! She rarely spooks, despite her history of being attacked. She bounced around at least four adoption homes before I got her, for reasons completely not her fault. Her last adopter sent her back because the owner's husband had cancer and she couldn't care for them both at the same time. Very sad, but very good mare.
 

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Funny, that question occurred to me too just now. In the US anyway, a grade horse is any unregistered horse even if they come from registered parents, but more typically has a breed attached to the end; I have a "grade Morgan" for example. Identifiably Morgan from purebred Morgan parents but no papers.

It seems to me it is a trifle more specific than "type", as in "Morgan type". But they can be used interchangeably. And grade can be used like "mutt" in dogs as well, generally in the phrase "just a grade".

Maybe the term came from an older way of classifying horses without documented parentage? Such as breeding studs in which the mares were grade (graded of good quality) but of the type wanted? Something much more common in the past of course.

Thanks Avna.


I've never heard the phrase 'just a grade' before and i've never heard the word 'grade' used here. I did wonder about it coming from 'graded' though.
 

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She's a nice horse with no extreme issues and, more importantly, looks like a fun ride.




@JCnGrace - This might be a silly question but: why is the word 'grade' used?
No clue, that's just what they've called unregistered horses at least since the beginning of my memory and I've never asked anyone why.
 

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A 'grade' horse is an unregistered horse-- some have unknown parentage, others simply weren't registered or the papers have been lost.

So you can have a 'grade' Quarter horse that is purebred, but who wasn't registered for whatever reason, and a 'grade' horse found at the feedlot with no idea of breed or breeding. I looked at a filly this weekend that 'sells as grade' because they haven't sent in her registration papers yet. Had I purchased her, I would have paid 'grade' price but if I wished to cough up the funds to register the filly as a 4 y.o. (it's more expensive the older the horse) I could have a registered horse.
 
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