In the Performance Horse World, ‘Conformation’ is everything and yet largely ignored by those buying for their chosen Sport.
Let’s talk about Dressage…….
- If a Horse is not ‘Built for Purpose’, it cannot adequately complete the task.
- Behavior will then be affected, as the Horse struggles to do what it wasn’t built for.
- This removes ‘relaxation’, the first level of the ‘German Training Scale’ and without it, forget Dressage.
and yet, at every Comp I attend, I see OVER 50% of all Horses, being not ‘built to cope’
CONFORMATION INDUCED MISBEHAVIOR
So here is a range of Photos, of Horses so called mis-behaving,
Have you ever wondered if getting into fights with your Horse on the flat, that your Friend is most likely attempting to communicate the fact that it just can’t do the work?
I have noticed a direct link between the conformation of the Horse and their ability or not to excel at flatwork. The more challenged they are in their conformation, the more they object and of course we see many cases of stress, fighting, resistance, sweating and the like. In fact, there are thousands of such events every day of the year around this Country…..and they call them ‘naughty horses’
In Australia, conformation is largely the last thing that people look at when buying a Horse whereas in Europe, it is one of the first. I guess that’s what sets us apart but this is not about who is better or winning, this is about the pain caused to Horses that are not built for the job. So it is that the following Horses have the most difficulty and shouldn’t even be asked to perform such tasks.
- Rump Higher than the wither
- Front legs shorter than the back legs
- barrel too long for the rest of the Horse
- neck too short compared to the rest of the Horse
- >Neck coming out of the Body incorrectly…..and…….
- TOO STRAIGHT in the hind legs.
The Horse Deals Magazine is wall to wall with poorly conformed Horses. The habit here is to breed the Horse when it can’t be ridden successfully. Little thought is given to whether they are going to Breed another problem….and they do. Time and time again.
The Further out the back they Camp their Legs, the less they can ‘collect’
These Horses simply physically cannot do the job asked of them and the more that is demanded of them, past the extent to which their Body will just allow, the more they object, resist and stress. When is it the most evident?
Most Horses, regardless of their build, have little trouble collecting at the walk and the trot but it is at the Canter when things begin to get difficult. The more built challenged the Horse, the less it can SIT, COLLECT and ENGAGE. Therefore, the more you demand of it, the more the fight or lets say ‘communication’ where the Horse attempts to tell the Owner about the things that I have just mentioned. Most Owners don’t listen for they don’t know. Not their fault of course, again, Industry shortfall in teaching about the things that matter.
Ever wonder why you can’t keep your Horses head down???? Why it is up and down all the time???? The worse they are build, the more it hurts them to have a ‘head set’
The more incorrectly built, the less ability to COLLECT, the more the Sacroiliac pain comes into play. I have noticed that Horses do not have to be ‘unsound’ to feel the pain and act up, they simply need to be asked for a level of ‘collection’ for which their Body cannot give.
So if you are fighting with your Horse, doesn’t want to collect, go into a frame, come off the forehand, sit or engage, Tie the Horse up, go get a cuppa, pull up a chair side on and take a real hard look at it’s conformation. It may save you both a lot of grief in the future. In the future, stop looking at the heads of Horses when buying. Look at the rear end!!!!!!!!
See if you can see this?
Too straight behind and yes, this Horse has problems. (2010 $15000 purchase still can’t do the Dressage)
Rump High and too long. No way could he sit.
All Horses with rear end problems
So if you truly care for Horses, as most people profess, don’t ask them to do ‘flat work’ unless they are equipped to do it.
NOT BUILT FOR PURPOSE
This Horse ( a ‘Green Horse’ ) was sent unsound in 3 Minutes, on it’s first ride on the Arena.
Such Horses should NEVER be asked to Collect!!
Help is here if you want it, no matter where you are.
Listen to Your Horses