Q3) Is there an ideal conformation?
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The horse should show balance and symmetry. It should be
roughly as long as it is tall. The height of the withers, the height at
the hip and the length of the body should all be approximately the same.
While there are no absolutes, most breed registries will agree
on the following conformational traits:
the neck should be long for grace and flexibility; long,
sloping shoulders and high withers contribute to reach and length of stride;
steep angles in the shoulder and pastern will increase concussion and
unsoundness; too low of an angle will increase tendon and ligament strain;
the peak of the withers and the point of the croup should be
the same or the withers should be at least higher than the croup;
the cannon bones should be short in relation to the forearm;
short cannons increase length of stride; the forelegs, measured from elbow
to fetlock should be about the same length as the depth of the body,
measured from girth area to withers; the heart-girth area should be deep
providing ample room for lungs and heart; the back should be short and the
the pastern and hoof wall should slope toward the ground at
the same angle as the shoulder in order to absorb shock;
the hindquarters should be well-muscled and long; hips
should be level when viewed from behind; the hocks should be clean and
straight; the stifle, gaskin and thigh should be heavily muscled to provide
the power for the stride;
the feet should be proportional to the horse's body size and
round at the toes and broad at the heels with the coronet even all the way
around; the hoof wall should slope at the same angle as the pastern.
There are many excellent resources available.
In addition to the list below, visit the
Conformation area of the online catalog.