Conformation Investigation – Cinder

This series of posts discussing conformation and how it effects your driving horse or pony is so fun for me to write!  If you are curious about your horse or ponies conformation feel free to shoot me an email at You can refer to this first post with Jasper for all the information about what I need to proceed.

Let’s get started with our next horse! Cinder is a 6 year old miniature horse mare who stands 34″ tall. This mare is very cute. I love the diamond shape of her head. She has a large, kind eye and a pretty tipped ears.

Let’s look at her in a box:

You can see her box is almost a perfect box. I just had to expand it a little bit from side-to-side to get her to fit. However you can also see that her back is a bit long when you place the line at her shoulder and at her hip. Now this is a catch 22… mares should have a bit of a longer back than stallions or geldings because they need some place to carry their foals. So I don’t really count a back of this length as a con when it’s a mare. In my opinion this mare is very balanced as far as that goes. What she could develop more are her shoulder and chest muscles as well as her hip muscles. It’s amazing how different a pony can look after they have put on a bit of muscle! And proper muscle building is all about posture and very little about conformation.

Be aware that teaching a horse or pony to properly use it’s body can also change how the withers and shoulders lay. It is possible to move the withers forward or back as much as 6″ with a big horse and about 3″ with a small pony/mini. Just imagine if this mare’s withers/shoulder moved back towards her back about 3″. That would change the entire length of her shoulder and the degree that her shoulder lays! Horse posture is so amazing. There is a lot to learn about it and much to implement once you dive in.

This mare looks like she is a bit butt high but that is due to her posture. A bit of Hill Therapy would be a game changer for her. (Side note: Hill Therapy is a game changer for every single horse and pony when done correctly!) I highly suggest taking a look at the link above and then implementing this into your training.

Cinder has a nice length of neck. Though to be perfectly balanced, she could use a few more inches. Her throat latch is super clean and tight, which will help her when it comes to being on the bit and collected.

She has lovely straight legs. Look at her behind!! Just a touch cow hocked, but you will rarely see a horse so nice in the hind end. She has clean flat knees and a forearm that is longer than the cannon bone. I talked about why this is important in the Conformation Investigation with Flint.

This mare also has a nice angulation of her hind leg. Her gaskin and stifle area are well balanced. It is VERY unlikely a horse with this nice of angulation will have stifle issues. (And this is why stifle issues are hereditary… because it boils down to conformation.)

With proper training and a focus on helping Cinder develop good posture, she will make a wonderful little driving horse. I think she will excel in many different driving arenas. She is not built as a roadster horse, but more like a country pleasure horse or a dressage horse.

Thank you to all who are participating in this series of blogs! I have a few more that I will be sharing over the next few weeks and then I’ll need more horses to share. Coming up soon is a Conformation Investigation of a yearling miniature horse! We haven’t looked at a baby yet. If you are interested in sharing your horse here please email me at You can refer to THIS post for the photos and information I need to write a blog. Thank you to all who are participating!


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