I will be the first to tell you that I’m an idiot with conformation. I can tell you if a horse is shaped like a donkey or a “foundation dinosaur”, but otherwise that’s about it. So I was super happy to see Breeches & Boat Shoes tackle this topic with information and graphics. I can Photoshop things, so I wanted to give it a try with Mr. Simon to see if he is ideal or not.
P.S. – I’m quoting B&BS on the “Ideal” parts because like I said, I’m a conformation idiot.
Length vs Height
Ideal – The length of the horse from the point of the shoulder to the buttock should be equal to the height of the horse from from the top of the withers to the ground. This should create an box around the horse (minus the head and neck) that is a square with equal sides.
Simon – Simon is slightly longer than he is tall, but honestly I was expecting him to be worse. The longest point of his hind end is also a lot higher than the longest point of his shoulder.
Heartgirth vs Legs
Ideal – The depth of the heartgirth from the top of the withers to the elbow should be equal to the length of the leg from the elbow to the fetlock.
Simon – Simon is a lot deeper in his heartgirth than he is tall. I’m blaming that on the shark withers. Do you hear him coming through the water? Na nah. Na nah. Da da dum!
Topline vs Underline
Ideal – The topline should be level so the point of the croup is at the same height or slightly lower than the top of the withers. The topline from the top of the withers to the point of the hip should be shorter that the underline from the point of the elbow to the stifle.
Simon – His topline is pretty straight, but the croup is definitely lower than the withers. Not sure if it’s considered slight or not? His underline is slightly longer, but not by very much.
Forequarters vs Hindquarters
Ideal – The forequarter of the horse (minus the head and neck) should be equal to the hindquarter of the horse when a line is drawn through the center (near the last rib) of the horse in the box from before.
Simon – I drew two equal boxes in Photoshop (are your eyes blinded from the neon yet?). He’s pretty damn even. Little bit more fore than hind.
Shoulder vs Back vs Buttock
Ideal – The shoulder, back, and buttock should all be equal in length when lines are drawn from the top of the wither to the ground and the point of the hip to the ground in the box from before.
Simon – You can see that his three sections aren’t equal at all – the green line is the same length in each section. I actually feel like his shoulder (muscle wise) goes past the line I drew here, but I went for the top of the withers. His back and hind end are closest in length, but his back is still the longest part of him.
Head vs Body
Ideal – The length of the head should be similar to the lengths from the point of the hock to the ground, the chestnut on a forelimb to the ground, length of heartgirth, and from the stifle to the croup.
Simon – I think he did pretty well here. The hock measurement is dead on, and the front cannon bone is perhaps a tad too long for his actual bone length. His heart girth is way bigger than his head, and his hind end is shorter by a bit.
Buttocks vs Hip vs Stifle
Ideal – The lengths from the buttock to the stifle, the stifle to the point of the hip, and the point of hip to the buttock should all be similar.
Simon – Hey this one looks surprisingly okay to me!
I hope this little exercise didn’t bore you too much, but I found the original blog post so fun and educational that I had to try for myself! Are you interested in conformation too?