What are your big no nos when it comes to conformation?

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Random thought of the day!

When looking at horses what would be your big no nos when it comes to confirmation? And if so what discipline in particular?

Is there something that's caused an issue in a previous horse or something that you think is career limiting?
 

Shay

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Over the years I think all my big "nos" have been disproved by one talented horse or another. It depends on what you want them for, how old they are etc. I personally dislike the appearance of a ewe neck or a pig eye - but the horse might actully be fine performance wise. A youngster with wiggly hocks can grown up perfectly straight.

Things that make me think are errors in spinal cnformation which might predispose to KS or neurological problems (but only if I plan to keep the horse long term) and horses that plait, brush or are very close behind. I prefer good feet - but can cope if the horse is otherwise suitable.
 

DabDab

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Long back. Although I've probably seen more well put together horses break than those with dodgy conformation. Its more about the way they move for me.
 

ycbm

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Back at the knee.
Over at the knee unless I can see the reason in the feet.
Dropping fetlocks.
Very long fetlocks.
Plaiting in front.
Plaiting at the back unless I can see a good reason why the horse is weak.
Straight hocks.
Both front legs out of same hole.
Neck set on too low.
Neck too short (allowing for more growth in a horse under eight)
Very bum high.
Roach back.
Sway back.


All either because they are likely to cause issues or because they aren't likely to give the ride I'm looking for.

I quite like small feet, I've found that they tend to do barefoot easily. Not tin can feet though.
I'd worry about weakness in a long back, but they are very comfortable to ride and as I get older and do less I wouldn't rule it out.
 

oldie48

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At a dressage training course I went to we all took our horses in to review their conformation, what I took away from the session is that most horses have a conformational fault or two but you need to take a view of the horse as a whole and also consider it's temperament. A horse that is built a bit downhill can compensate if it has a good hind leg etc. A horse that was competing at PSG wasn't built for the job but because he had a super termperament and was prepared to try, he and his rider were quite successful. I like to see how the horse moves and if it moves well I'm probably prepared to overlook some faults, particularly if it's older and has stayed sound. Bisto was a tad long in the back, a bit upright in his hocks, his feet were dire when I bought him, almost made my lovely farrier cry! they were small, long in the toe collapsed heels but he found the work easy and stayed as sound as a pound. Rose isn't perfect either, a bit close in front and behind but she moves well although she can brush in front and forge but I think both will improve as she gets stronger and carries herself better. What I won't buy is a horse with an ugly big head, not for any other reason than I spend more time looking at it than I do riding it.
 

Cortez

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Too straight in the hind leg
Short and/or dropped croup
Low set neck
Ewe neck
Long back
Long, soft pasterns
Back at the knee
Cut in below the knee/hock
Piggy eye
 

milliepops

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Although I've probably seen more well put together horses break than those with dodgy conformation. Its more about the way they move for me.
^^ arghhhh this :(
I don't tend to really choose my horses, they kinda just end up here. I definitely believe in the concept of handsome is as handsome does, and plain old luck can be the deciding factor in soundness as much as conformation.
I wouldn't choose any major faults but minor ones can be overcome I think :) I currently have, variously, short necks, long backs, upright shoulder etc but they keep on trying despite that ;) Though I was delighted to see short cannons on Salty when we went to get her, given she was the replacement for Millie and her endless round of soft tissue injuries!

I agree they need to have a nice head, cos you look at them a lot though I think even that you can adjust to things - Salty has the white sclera showing in both eyes which I wouldn't choose really but I think she's a pretty mare anyway. I guess the dealbreaker for me is if the horse doesn't look like it all belongs together, no cut & shuts here :)
 

SpringArising

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Long back
Weak pasterns
Sickle hocks
Over at the knee
Back at the knee

All of these would depend on the severity and what I wanted the horse for. You can definitely have tough horses with crap confo, and wimpy horses with fab confo. Like Dab said, sometimes there's no rhyme or reason.
 

nikkimariet

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Straight hind legs
Low or upside down neck
Floppy pasterns
Long back
Thick jaw
Over at the knee
Wasp waists
Shitty piggy rolling eye
Ugly head (sorry I don't do ugly horses!)
 

rosiesowner

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pigeon toes. yet to meet a horse who's had them and stayed reliably sound in anything more than light work. Though I'm sure there are ponies out there who could prove me wrong!
 

JFTD-WS

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I like a horse that looks like it was born as one foal - not cut and shut! I like a horse that moves sensibly, and tends towards the agricultural in their form. If it looks "weird" it's probably not what I want. If it looks alright, we'll see what happens!
 

ihatework

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Very straight hind limb
Back at knee
Croup high and/or low set neck
Mismatched feet
Overly long pasterns

Then it kind of depends on the horses intended purpose & price!
 

alainax

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Anything that significantly weakens the horses ability to carry a rider comfortably or do the job it’s required for.

I very much dislike huge bodies on spindly legs and tiny feet.

Aesthetically I need them to have a handsome / pretty face 😊
 

shortstuff99

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pigeon toes. yet to meet a horse who's had them and stayed reliably sound in anything more than light work. Though I'm sure there are ponies out there who could prove me wrong!
Yep like mine! Has very bad pigeon toes, but because she lands even through the front legs (so no uneven pressure on any part of the legs) is completely sound and trains to a very high level of dressage and has a great pi/pa and I never have any bother! I don't tend to get too hung up on confo as I've seen some horrendously put together horses be brilliant, and most of the well bred, well put together horses I have known have all broken.....

ETA I believe Supreme Rock was pretty pigeon toed too...
 

milliepops

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my advanced welshie is a bit toe in as well. She was positively pigeon toed when I got her, but she was completely unfit having done nothing but mooch round a field for 3 years, I was amazed how much she straightened up just for having some muscle. Regular shoeing helped too obv! But it does show how things that appear to be a big issue can be improved quite a lot just by cracking on sensibly. I'm not a big fan of massively changing a horse's movement artificially when they are mature (OH offers to put a trailer on to correct the flight of a slightly crooked hindleg for instance, I figure it moves that way even now because it needs to) but corrections through good work can only be a good thing?
 

rosiesowner

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Yep like mine! Has very bad pigeon toes, but because she lands even through the front legs (so no uneven pressure on any part of the legs) is completely sound and trains to a very high level of dressage and has a great pi/pa and I never have any bother! I don't tend to get too hung up on confo as I've seen some horrendously put together horses be brilliant, and most of the well bred, well put together horses I have known have all broken.....

ETA I believe Supreme Rock was pretty pigeon toed too...
my advanced welshie is a bit toe in as well. She was positively pigeon toed when I got her, but she was completely unfit having done nothing but mooch round a field for 3 years, I was amazed how much she straightened up just for having some muscle. Regular shoeing helped too obv! But it does show how things that appear to be a big issue can be improved quite a lot just by cracking on sensibly. I'm not a big fan of massively changing a horse's movement artificially when they are mature (OH offers to put a trailer on to correct the flight of a slightly crooked hindleg for instance, I figure it moves that way even now because it needs to) but corrections through good work can only be a good thing?

Two comments I'm really happy to be proven wrong by!
 

Goldenstar

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pigeon toes. yet to meet a horse who's had them and stayed reliably sound in anything more than light work. Though I'm sure there are ponies out there who could prove me wrong!
Me too I have forgiven two horses mild pidgeon toes one because it had such a great nature and the other because I had looked for so long for a driving horse and hadfound nothing .
Both went work .
I like a correct horse who looks all of a piece I have more issues with short backed horses than those who are a tad long although I like a short backed horse .
G has several conformational flaws he’s slightly short in the neck he has little wither and his neck is set on a tad low and he’s a smidgen croup high but he has exceptional hind legs and a great engine and limbs and he looks all of a piece so I forgave him and bought him .
 
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pigeon toes. yet to meet a horse who's had them and stayed reliably sound in anything more than light work. Though I'm sure there are ponies out there who could prove me wrong!
My sister did 120km endurance with her horse who has pigeon toes. He does have slight arthritis at 12, but we think that's due to an accident he had when younger
I've now taken him on as she's gone to uni and I've come back from abroad and no lameness issues unless he's fooling around the field
 

AdorableAlice

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AA I have nothing like your experience but that is absolutely my view too.
Thing is you have to look at them everyday. I have to like what I am looking at and I find certain things with horses that I don't like, which in reality is totally unfair, irrational and ridiculous.

I would not have a chestnut, no matter how correct. I hate wall eyes, coloured horses I struggle with too, especially ones with lots of white. How shallow am I !
 

PapaverFollis

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Granny is a cut and shut of epic proportions. She stayed very sound in the kind of work she got with me. Essentially mooching about and some low level schooling. Not sure she would have stood up to much more and she retired at about 21 years with arthritis. Very pretty face though and I love her to all the her mismatched pieces. But I do look for basically solid conformation in horses now, not that it brings any guarantees!

Why can I no longer attach pictures? It's very annoying.
 
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