Conformation Investigation – Quinn

Whew! It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write one of these. Thank you to those of you who are still sending me photos. They will show up here I promise!

If you are interested in your horse or pony showing up here please email me at with 2 side shots, one front and one hind, horse’s name, age and height!

Onto Quinn! Little Quinn is between 34-35″ tall and is 5 years old in these photos. As you can see she fits in a square box very well. I had to lengthen it slightly but you can’t really tell. Her shoulder – hip – back length are all very equal. This is pasture condition! Just imagine if she was in work. Her shoulder and hip muscles would round out and she would be perfectly balanced.

In the above photo you can see that she over uses the muscles on the under side of her neck. They are larger than the muscles on the top of her neck. Horses and ponies that are often on high alert, or more right brained, will often have this type of muscling, because they always have their heads up looking for danger.

A right brained horse will live in a more reactive state of mind, meaning they will react first and then settle and look later. First they will boogie out… getting out of the danger zone! A more left brained horse will stop and look and inspect the situation a bit more. This type of behavior is both a bit innate and a bit learned. You can absolutely take a right brained horse and help them manage their emotions until they are more centered and tipping towards left brained. Typically a more right brained horse will stand with it’s poll above the withers. A left brained horse will stand with it’s poll below the withers.

Also, there are excellent exercises that will help with the top line of a horse. I have mentioned them in past Conformation Investigation posts, so feel free to go dig in those!

In this photo you can really see how she would look if her neck muscle along the top of her neck was built up more than the under one. It’s totally possible for her top line to look like this even when her head is raised!

Quinn has a lovely laid back shoulder, the angle of which matches her pastern angle very well. She has a short croup but a well angled hind leg. I would say she would move out very nicely, with a more forward and long trot as she matures and learns to use her body. Most horses and ponies will have a very high action trot when they are anxious but once in work they typically will level out some, when they have conformation like hers.

Quinn is a very refined mare. With some muscling her chest would be a bit broader and more filled out. This would help a bit with her toeing out as well! It’s interesting what muscling does for a horse or pony.

She is only slightly cow hocked which is good!

In my opinion this mare is in perfect weight. Not too fat and not too thin. She is ripe for putting on muscle right now. But if she is a pasture pony, then she is looking super healthy and pasture fit! With her refinement I wouldn’t want to see her any heavier.


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