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  1. 1. Conformation Anastasia Kellogg
  2. 2. Head <ul><li>Facial characteristics and desirable head profile varies from breed to breed </li></ul>
  3. 3. Head <ul><li>A concave profile is called a dished face (i.e Arabian) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Head <ul><li>A convex profile is called a roman nose, and is faulted in most, but not all, breeds </li></ul>
  5. 5. Head <ul><li>Generally, a straight profile, (or sometimes a dished face) is preferred </li></ul>
  6. 6. Head <ul><li>Larger nostrils provide for intake of air at speed </li></ul>
  7. 7. Head <ul><li>An overbite is called a parrot mouth (lower jaw short) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Head <ul><li>An undershot jaw may be called a bulldog bite or monkey mouth (lower jaw long) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Head <ul><li>The pronounced bulging forehead of the Arabian is called the jibbah </li></ul>
  10. 10. Head <ul><li>Eyes should be bright, widely spaced, and prominent, but not bulging (bovine eyes) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Head <ul><li>Eyes that are too small are called pig eyes </li></ul>
  12. 12. Head <ul><li>The Exmoor pony is noted for “toad eyes,” and the Appaloosa is noted for a visible white sclera </li></ul>
  13. 13. Head <ul><li>Paints, Pintos, and some other breeds sometimes have blue eyes, called glass eyes, while most horses have brown </li></ul>
  14. 14. Head <ul><li>The ears should be slender and alert </li></ul><ul><li>Ears that are too long are called mule ears </li></ul>
  15. 15. Head <ul><li>The Arabian is noted for ears that meet, or appear to meet, at a point in the center </li></ul>
  16. 16. Neck <ul><li>The length of the neck is said to have an affect on the horses stride </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The shoulder actually has more influence on stride length </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The throatlatch should be clean and trim, and the neck long and slightly arched (degree varies by breed) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Neck <ul><li>A neck is considered too long when it exceeds the length of the body </li></ul><ul><li>The ideal neck is one third the length of the entire horse </li></ul>
  18. 18. Neck <ul><li>A ewe neck is one concave from withers to poll, and interferes with flexibility </li></ul>
  19. 19. Neck <ul><li>A fallen crest occurs when fat deposits in the crest of the neck become so excessive as to fall to one side or the other; most common in ponies, draft breeds, and Morgans, especially stallions </li></ul>
  20. 20. Neck <ul><li>A bull neck is short and thick, with a short upper curve </li></ul>
  21. 21. Neck <ul><li>A knife neck is extremely thin, with poor muscle development on the top and bottom </li></ul>
  22. 22. Forehand <ul><li>The shoulder should slope at a 45 degree angle from the withers to the point of the shoulder; a straight shoulder shortens the stride, causing a trappy, pounding gait </li></ul><ul><li>The foreleg is attached to the body by the shoulder muscles, and there is no skeletal attachment </li></ul>
  23. 23. Forehand <ul><li>60-65 percent of the weight is carried on the forelegs </li></ul><ul><li>The forearm should be twice as long as the cannon bone, and its length influences the length of the stride </li></ul><ul><li>The knee should be flat, wide, and clean </li></ul>
  24. 24. Forehand <ul><li>Tendons should be well defined, and should not be “tied in” behind the knee, as this indicates weakness </li></ul><ul><li>Sprung forward at the knees is said to be buck kneed, or over at the knees </li></ul>
  25. 25. Forehand <ul><li>Sprung back at the knees is said to be calf kneed </li></ul><ul><li>Calf knees are a serious fault and predisposes a horse to lameness </li></ul><ul><li>Buck knees are a minor fault, and some racehorse trainers prefer a horse to stand slightly forward in the knees </li></ul>
  26. 26. Forehand <ul><li>A horse having medial deviation at the knees is commonly called knock kneed </li></ul>
  27. 27. Forehand <ul><li>In a bow legged horse, the knees are too far apart, or laterally deviated </li></ul><ul><li>Bench knees are knees in which the cannon bone is off center, and they predispose the horse to medial splints </li></ul><ul><li>The pastern should slope at a 45 degree angle to the ground </li></ul>
  28. 28. Forehand <ul><li>Short upright pasterns cause a rough gait and can lead to osselets, navicular disease, and other problems </li></ul><ul><li>Excessively small feet predispose to navicular disease </li></ul><ul><li>Large, flat feet predispose to sole bruises, corns and other foot problems </li></ul>
  29. 29. Forehand <ul><li>Toeing out is standing splay footed, and causes dishing, or winging in </li></ul><ul><li>Toeing in is standing pigeon toed, and causes paddling, or winging out </li></ul>
  30. 30. Top Line <ul><li>The withers should be prominent; thick, meaty withers are called mutton withers </li></ul><ul><li>Horses are measured at the withers </li></ul><ul><li>The body should be deep, short, and have well sprung ribs </li></ul><ul><li>Depth through the heartgirth provides room for the heart and lungs </li></ul>
  31. 31. Top Line <ul><li>The back should be short and strong </li></ul><ul><li>Lordosis, or sway back, is a weakness causing extreme concavity in the back, and is sometimes associated with age, especially in broodmares </li></ul>
  32. 32. Top Line <ul><li>A convex bend in the back is called a roach back, and causes short stride and interferes with flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>A long back can predispose a horse to spinal injury, and interferes with athletic ability </li></ul>
  33. 33. Top Line <ul><li>The loin, or coupling, is the connection between the back and the hindquarters (space from last rib to hip) and should be short </li></ul><ul><li>A horse weak in the coupling will also be shallow in the flanks, and is called wasp wasted, herring gutted, or hound gutted </li></ul>
  34. 34. Top Line <ul><li>The croup should be level or slightly rounded, depending on the breed </li></ul><ul><li>The tail setting also varies with breed, with a higher tail preferred in the Saddlebred, Arabian, and Morgan </li></ul><ul><li>Too much slope in the croup is termed a goose rump </li></ul>
  35. 35. Top Line <ul><li>A smooth top line figures heavily in the judge’s first impression during a conformation class </li></ul>
  36. 36. Underline <ul><li>The underline should be smooth </li></ul><ul><li>A horse that is tucked up below the flanks is said to be wasp wasted, herring gutted, or hound gutted, and usually is also weak in the coupling </li></ul>
  37. 37. Hind Legs <ul><li>The hock and stifle are dependent joints </li></ul><ul><li>The hock is the hardest working joint in the body </li></ul><ul><li>Impulsion comes from the hind end </li></ul><ul><li>Hocks with excessive bend are called sickle hocks </li></ul>
  38. 38. Hind Legs <ul><li>Sickle hocks predispose to curb, or injury to the plantar ligament </li></ul><ul><li>Hocks which point towards one another are called cow hocks </li></ul><ul><li>A horse which is too straight in the hock is said to be post legged </li></ul>
  39. 39. Additional External Anatomy <ul><li>Chestnuts are natural horny growths on the the insides of the legs </li></ul><ul><li>Chestnuts are found above the knees and below the hocks </li></ul><ul><li>The shape of the chestnut may be used in identification </li></ul><ul><li>The ergot is a chestnut like growth on the back of the fetlock joint </li></ul>
  40. 40. Additional External Anatomy <ul><li>The top of the head is called the poll, and is formed by the summit of the occipital crest (top of the skull) </li></ul><ul><li>The six joints of the foreleg are the shoulder, elbow, knee, fetlock, pastern, and coffin joint </li></ul>
  41. 41. Additional External Anatomy <ul><li>The seven joints of the hind leg are the sacro-iliac, hip, stifle, hock, fetlock, pastern, and coffin </li></ul><ul><li>Conformation faults named after mammals include: bulldog bite, monkey mouth, pig eyes, mule ears, ewe neck, mutton withers, calf knees, buck knees, hound gut, and cow hocks </li></ul>
  42. 42. Additional External Anatomy <ul><li>Conformation faults named after birds include: goose rumped, parrot mouthed, pigeon toed </li></ul>