Ysh conformation and soundness2010 nov 2012
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Ysh conformation and soundness2010 nov 2012

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  • 1. YORKSHIRE SPORT HORSE [SHB OF GB] CONFORMATION AND PERFORMANCE JANE NIXON MA, VET MB, BSc, MRCVS. www.nixonequinevetconsultancy.comwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 2. The Horse Some pertinent evolutionary facts It is a  Herd animal  Galloping animal  Chased ‘prey’ species. Fright Flight (not fight!)  Defender rather than an aggressor  Single limb bone column: on Tip Toe  Pedal bone in horn capsule, the hoof  Grazer so requiring  large head  long neck  capacious digestive system  Four legged, one at each corner, with  no collar bone  powerful hindquarterswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 3. As a prey animal the wild horse had to be  Readily aware  Quick off the mark  Agile, fast and balanced in asymmetric gaits  Quick to return to grazing composure As a domesticated horse the  Fright and Flight had to be trained (converted) into  Alertness  Responsiveness to aids, (biddable)  Capable in all gaits (increasing speed and agility)  Not stressed under saddle  Fit to do and to recoverwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 4. 80% of propulsion comes from the hindquarters  Hamstring and pelvic muscle power  Top line muscle power to lift forequarter “come up in front”  Good shoulder / pastern line  Saddle room for shoulder blade sweep Always view from both sides Growth to maturity is judged by final height at withers  Brisket, ribs, vertebrae & dorsal processes later  Limb bones to elbow close around 2 years  This age of this varies with breed  Ponies usually earlier than warm bloodswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 5. The Horse’s outline - Points are those of the skeleton  The surface areas – the jargonese description or name of the various parts  The “points”  The landmarks at protruding parts of bones usually at a joint  Visible and palpable  Obesity does not hide the pointswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 6. The skeletal top line and the bird’s eye views show areas of bone available for optimal muscle attachment. i.e.  Flat of ribs  Side of dorsal processes  Lateral processes of lumbars  Flat of upper hind limb bones  Ham string and thigh muscles “size”www.nixonequinevets.com
  • 7. Fore Quarters Hind Quarters No collar bone Bony Attachmentswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 8. Scapular range Shows the different positions assumed by the blade bone during the flexion and extensions of the limbwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 9. AT MATURITY Balanced fore quarter Balanced Hindquarterwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 10. A balanced horse at grass Able to graze without compromise of forelegswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 11. Conformation > Soundness, ability, durability  Based on underlying, genetically determined skeletal framework (eg Skeletal “top line”)  Unalterable after maturity  Can only be ‘managed’ by breedingwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 12. Conformation is (constant and) fixed  However there are 3 variables which can be managed I. CONDITION II. HOOF BALANCE III. DENTAL ARCADE BALANCE  All 3 of which can give a false impression of altered conformation and actionwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 13.  Conformation must not be confused or interchanged with conditionwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 14. Condition  in the “furnished” animal reflects  muscle development between bones – fittening  fat deposition throughout - nutrition at varying levels It is weighable and contour measurable - profile/scoring It is manageably variable and gives the effective top linewww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 15. A “Furnished” Horse It should “fill the eye”www.nixonequinevets.com
  • 16. VETERINARY TIMES JANUARY 25TH 2010 “ANIMAL LOVERS UNABLE TO RECOGNISE PORTLY EQUINES” WORLD HORSE WELFARE CHARITY POLL i) 50% could not recognise pictures of overweight horses and many did not view condition as a welfare threat ii) Thin horses often the correct weight, but looked thin compared to overweight field companions JUDGES: Go National Hunt racing to see fit horseswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 17. FAT DISTRIBUTION UNFIT HORSE FAT FILLS IN BETWEEN MUSCLE GROUPS ↓ SMOOTH ROUNDER APPEARANCE ↓ FIT HORSE FAT IS REDUCED ↓ DEVELOPED MUSCLES STAND OUTwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 18.  HORSE WITH GOOD CONFORMATION WILL/SHOULD  BE EXHIBITED IN CONDITION SUITABLE FOR JOB IN HAND  THOSE HORSES WITH WEAK CONFORMATION ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE EXHIBITED TOO FAT IN ORDER TO HIDE FAULTS  I.E FAT HORSE IS INDICATION OF CONFORMATION PROBLEMwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 19. THE FEET The hoof wall is modified skin (epidermis) thus  It is constantly growing down from the coronary band  Coincidentally worn down or trimmed  The whole hoof as judged at weight bearing should be balanced front to back, side to side, to give level foot fall  Should be trimmed to conformation of the individual limb  It is subject to distortion by torque from action due to poor conformation and/or foot balancewww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 20. MEDIO- LATERAL INBALANCEwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 21. LEFT FORE FROM BEHIND OUTSIDE OUTSIDE INSIDE INSIDEwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 22. How to assess foot balance, left and right handed farriers Well balanced foot Unbalanced footwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 23. Conformation of Dental Arcade THREE-POINT BALANCE PLUS Three-point balance refers to the correct EXCURSION function of:- 1. The incisors 2. The molars 3. The mandibular (jaw) joint Three-point balance allows normal jaw movements to take place and is achieved by:-  The removal of hooks  The removal of sharp points which develop on the outside of the upper and the inside of the lower premolars and molars  Adjusting the line of the incisorswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 24. Conformation of Dental Arcade  A purebred horse shows better conformation of the lower molar dental arcade fitting with the upper dental arcade than a crossbred horse.  Crossbred horses are more likely to have aberrant dental arcades with regard to the width, length and contours of the top and bottom jaws.  The angle of the head on the neck also makes a difference as to the fitting of the lower jaw to the upper jaw.  The factors alter the acceptance of the bit & the consequential muscle development & action of the horsewww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 25. CONFORMATIONAL FAULTS  Does no t fill the eye 1st appeara on nce Unbalan cedwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 26. NECK  Hollow in front of withers  dorsal spinal ligament – weak build up ventral muscles  Crest fat → laminitiswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 27. THE BACK  WITHERS HIGHER THAN CROUP  → Horse built upwardly  → Easier to transfer weight to hindquarters  → Trotters → Highest Speeds Achieved with Wide Short Thoraxwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 28. BACK CONFORMATION AND PERFORMANCE ADVANTAGE FOR CONFORMATION Jumping Ability HEIGHT AT WITHERS (Holmstrong 2001 Sweden) LENGTH PELVIS NECK LENGTH Dressage Ability Longer Backs than Jumpers as greater required supplenesswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 29. CONFORMATIONAL FAULTS  Shallow girth → poor lung capacity  Short back → kissing spines → lumbar spine pain  Slack loins → SI disease BACK  Jumper’s bump → SI disease  Long back → More flexible but Weak → S I disease  Roach back  Sway back → caudal 1/3 foot painwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 30. LONG BACK – More Flexible →SI Diseasewww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 31. ROACH BACK - Unsightly but not usually a problemwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 32. SWAY BACK Cause of 1/3rd of Foot Painwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 33. SHORT BACK – Kissing Spineswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 34. “SLACK LOINS” → SI diseasewww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 35. SHALLOW GIRTH POOR LUNG CAPACITYwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 36. Slab Sided Narrow Pelvis Ribcage Good horizontal surface for saddle panels Weakwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 37. THE FORELEGS  MAINTENANCE OF RHYTHM IN ALL PACES IS FUNDAMENTAL  LONGER LEGS → i GREATER VARIETY IN STRIDE LENGTH ii EXTEND MORE EASILY WITHOUT RAISING FREQUENCY OF STRIDEwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 38. THE FEET 1  SLIGHTLY ODD FRONT FEET  ESPECIALLY HEEL DEPTH  NO HEEL SUPPORT  WEAK HOOF CAPSULES  SIGN OF LAMINITIS  UNEVEN HEEL DEPTH → Uneven scapular height → Asymmetrical Shoulders re: saddle fitwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 39. THE FEET 2  NAVICULAR SYNDROME  LATEST RESEARCH DR S DYSON 2011  FIN AND FRESIAN HORSES LOW FLAT AND CONVEX  DUTCH WARMBLOODS HIGH CONCAVE AND UNDULATING  * More Research required into sensory nerve supply of the Navicular Bone. The syndrome does not seem to be related to foot shape!www.nixonequinevets.com
  • 40. SHOULDERS Breed susceptibility to  overloading → laminitis → poor saddle fit Asymmetrical scapular cartilage → difficult to fit saddlewww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 41. The Competition Horse conformational faults  ALL rotational and angular limb deformities out 8/10 rule  Overdeveloped muscles indicate → lameness behindwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 42. NORMALwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 43. BACK AT THE KNEEwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 44. BACK AT THE KNEE Back at the Normal Kneewww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 45. BACK AT THE KNEEwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 46. FAULTS PREDISPOSING TO SPLINTS Offset Knees Bow Legs Knocked Kneeswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 47. THE HINDQUARTERS  The flatter the pelvis  → More muscle  → Greater strength and flexibility  STRAIGHT HIND LEGS → Unable to come under the horse  ACUTE HOCK ANGLE → Less able to carry weight  TARSAL VALGUS → Risk of Pelvic fractureswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 48. The Competition Horse conformational faults Quarters width should be parallel with thighs HINDLEG NORMAL HOCKwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 49. HINDLEG CONFORMATION FAULTS PREDISPOSED TO HIGH SUSPENSION DISMITIS AS SEEN IN ANDULASIAN Straight Hocks AND PASAFINOSwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 50. HOCK CONFORMATION Cow Hocks Sickle Hocks Pre-dispose to Pre-dispose to Pelvic Fractures Curbswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 51. CURB ANATOMY APPEARANCEwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 52. DEFINITION OF A CURB  COMPLEX OF SOFT TISSUE INJURIES ON BACK OF THE HOCK JOINTS  CONFORMATIONAL BONY ABNORMALITIES AND/OR INJURIES MAY MIMIC AND CONTRIBUTE EVENTUALLY TO CURB FORMATION  CAUSING UNDER PERFORMANCE AND LAMENESSwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 53. PASTERNS  SLOPING → OVEREXTENDED FETLOCK  → STRAIN UP THE WHOLE OF THE BACK OF THE LEG TO THE PELVIS AND BACK  UPRIGHT → JARRING OF JOINTS ESPECIALLY FETLOCK → ARTICULAR AND TENDINOUS WINDGALLSwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 54. HIND FEET BALANCE  MORE IMPORTANT THAN FORELEGS BECAUSE HIND LIMBS ATTACHED TO AXIAL SKELETON AT SI JOINT  LONG TOE/LOW HEEL → SLOWS BREAKOVER → PELVIC PAIN  MEDIO LATERAL INBALANCE  → HIND LIMB TORQUE  → PELVIC ASYMETRY  → BACK PAINwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 55. DISCIPLINE INDUCED ORTHAPAEDIC RISK (AHT 2006)  S.J. ↑ INJURY SOFT BELOW FETLOCK) REPEATED STRAIN ON  SOFT FORELEGS ) LANDING OVER HIGH  FENCES  DRESSAGE ↑ HINDLEG HIGH SUSPENSORY ) EXTRAVAGANT  DESMITIS ) MOVEMENT AND  ) COLLECTION  GOOD CONFORMATION WILL DECREASE THE RISKwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 56. Examples of conformation faults causing multifactorial problems in the Competition Horsewww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 57.  HEAD CONFORMATION → JAW JOINT PAIN  → One sidedness  → Head Tilt  → Uneven back muscle development  → Poor saddle fit  → Hind leg lamenesswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 58.  Heel of one front foot deeper than the other  High heeled foot → ↓ Shoulder blade → Poor Saddle fit ↓ ↓  → Suspensory ligament pain → Uneven loading of back ↓ Hind leg lamenesswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 59.  Straight hind leg conformation →  Upward fixating patellla →  Gaskin MM → Asymmetrical pelvis  → S I Pain  → ↓ Impulsion  → Forehand M M  →Foreleg lamenesswww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 60. Equine Development and Welfare is dependent upon EDUCATION &TRAININGwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 61. ‘TO MEASURE IS TO KNOW’  What is NOT new ;  BALANCE  1 routine monitoring for early identification of problems.www.nixonequinevets.com
  • 62. BALANCE 2 monitor rider position Forehand = fluidity //hindquaters =stabilitywww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 63. www.nixonequinevets.com
  • 64. What IS new ; /pacing anytime Fairfax girthwww.nixonequinevets.com
  • 65. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE? www.nixonequinevetconsultancy.com  please phone 07713342416 anytimewww.nixonequinevets.com