Uploaded on


  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


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