Q9) What is the best way to analyze
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.