Yay! I have quite a few emails from people that want to participate in the Conformation Investigation! I love this as it will help us all learn what to look for in our own horses and ponies, as well as allow us to see things we may need to help our horse or pony overcome. It is my belief that it’s better to know the short comings and work with them rather than ignore the fact that they exist.
Our second horse to participate in the investigation is Flint, an almost 6 year old, Quarter Horse Gelding. He stands 16 hands and his owner, Rachel, would like to drive him on trails using a marathon style vehicle. Let’s get started!
We can see that Flint has a lovely length of neck that ties in neatly with his throat latch. He has a nicely shaped head that is not too big nor too small for his size. He has a nice lay of shoulder that matches his pastern angle which often points to a horse that can comfortably cover some ground. Great for those long trots we like to do down the road!
In my opinion Flint is a little big goose rumped, just as my pony Zorro is. This is something I often see in Quarter horses. That pointy top of the hip does allow for a long sloping croup. In Flint’s case, it also frames a nice big hip! Goose rumped horses can have a little harder time getting their rear under them when asked for collection. He will benefit from exercises that strengthen his core muscles.
Flint’s box is a little bit rectangular. You can see by the dividing lines that his back is a bit longer than his shoulder and hip. But what a hip he has! That should be quite the power house when it comes to driving. This photo is a bit deceiving because of the angle. In the above photo it looks like his cannon bones are longer than his forearms. But in the photo below we can see it’s just the opposite!
Why do we want longer forearms than cannon bones? Because a short cannon bone will improve the ease and power of movement in the front legs. A short cannon bone and a long forearm is the mark of an athlete! A horse capable of going the distance. He does appear to be behind at the knee a bit which will need to be watched as he begins to work more and more. I think driving is the perfect job for him!
Look at this face! It’s the face of a sweet gelding who wants to please and is interested in what he is being asked to do. I happen to know this gelding and he is exactly as sweet as he looks! If you have heard about Linda Tellington-Jones and her ideas about swirls, ear shape, eye shape and nostril shape, those long wide set ears are the mark of a steady Eddie type of horse. One that learns at average speed but retains all he learns and is willing and happy to accommodate his owner!