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Frequently Asked Questions



Q9)  What is the best way to analyze conformation?

Looks can be deceiving!  When you first look at a horse, it may appear to be acceptable.  However, some conformational flaw may hinder its performance in a given discipline.  

It is wise to have a vet conduct a pre-purchase exam which will usually uncover hidden defects.  

When examining a horse for conformation, have the horse stand squared up on a flat surface.  Look at the horse from all angles and run your hands down its legs to check for bumps, lumps or swelling. Run your hands over its entire body.   It helps to look at the horse from a distance as well as up close.

Next, look at the horse while it is in motion.  Have the horse walked and trotted and view it going away from you and coming toward you.  If possible, have the horse canter also.

Sometimes there are minor conformational flaws that do not hinder the horse's performance. Determining suitable conformation depends on the work the horse will be expected to perform.

No horse has perfect conformation.  The standards to measure against are guidelines which can be flexible.  Sometimes a compensatory device is built in.  One area of the horse may compensate for another to allow the horse to perform satisfactorily.

There are many excellent resources available.  In addition to the list below, visit the Conformation area of the online catalog.

Back to Conformation Index    

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