Simon Conformation Update

Simon Conformation Update

I am the first person to admit that I’m a bit of a conformation idiot.  I can tell if a horse is shaped like a donkey (and is in fact, a horse… not a donkey) but that’s about as far as it goes.

December 2013
December 2012
December 2013
December 2013

So when I looked at these two comparison pictures, I was kind of like “WAH HE LOOKS THE SAME.  No proof of hard work.”

Therefore, I whined to Jen.

Jen is not a conformation idiot, and said she saw a lot of differences in Simon.  Stronger hind end, stronger top line, stronger abdomen, neck built with more muscles on top instead of underneath.  That made me feel better, and I stopped whining.

Even if I am a conformation idiot, I do think he’s looking fabulous.  He’s almost unrecognizable from when I first got him last summer.

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For next year, I’d like to see his hind end and topline continue to grow.  He has some sunken in areas on either side of his giant withers.  Hopefully a new (better fitting) saddle in 2014 will allow those areas to fill out better.  Also, I’d like to see him with a smidge more weight.  He’s probably a bit heavier than your typical eventer, but still lighter than the hunters.  I’m not sure if it’s the winter or just him being a bit of a hard keeper, but you can see a few ribs on him in person… not necessarily in the photos.

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These pictures just show me (as everything else has recently) that our program is doing good things for him.  Now just to keep a happy, sound horse for the next year!

17 thoughts on “Simon Conformation Update

  1. LOL, I wouldn’t say that I’m not a confo idiot, far from it. But I can definitely see the changes in muscling and how he stands and carries himself. He’s looking great!

  2. That first photo shows a horse who has very poor muscle mass and tone. He is not thin, but he is underweight because of the lack of muscle. His newer photos show a great improvement in muscle mass and quality. That only comes from improved nutrition and exercise. Well done!

    As for his weight, he really should NOT be carrying any more. You should not be able to see his ribs, but they should be easily felt. I would give him a body score of 5 – 5.5, which is just about ideal. He may not be as heavy as a “typical” hunter, but he is carrying the right amount of weight for his frame. If his muscle tone continues to improve, he will gain more mass and look heavier without being fatter. Many people confuse fat with fit, but unfortunately, it just isn’t so. Ensuring that he has a balanced mineral intake and adequate protein along with lots of exercise will help build more muscle.

    He looks great, you are clearly doing things right.

  3. Wow I think he looks fantastic! You can really tell he has put on muscle, especially right behind the saddle and over his topline overall. 🙂 Nice job!

  4. He’s really improving! I agree with you on the weight issue. Packing on a few extra pounds this winter in the right areas I think would help him. He looks good though, and its amazing the difference between him when you first got him and now.

  5. I can tell a huge difference! He’s so much more up-hill and strong/balanced looking!

    That’s funny about the weight- one of the hunter/jumper peeps at my new barn kept telling me my horse needed to gain weight (I’m sitting here thinking, huh? He’s fat…) and I asked my trainer just to double check and she was like “no, he’s perfect! He’s actually a little too fat if it was eventing season” Haha! I guess there’s a huge difference though when you’re asking your horse to gallop the distances and jump the things we ask- they have to be fit and lean like a runner! (But I still don’t want to see ribs!) But I do think Simon is looking AMAZING.

  6. He’s such a good looking guy! I love seeing before and after photos of what good riding does to a horse’s topline. Mmmm mmmm mmm.

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