Round table with place settings

Conformation and Selection for Performance

External Programs

Course Description

“Good conformation” by most breed standards is conformation as it relates to efficiency of movement.  However, that is not always what we want in our performance horses.  Sometimes we want a horse to trot well with long low sweeping strides, sometimes we want low, slow knees, sometimes we want hindquarters built for speed and power from a standstill.

This course examines conformation as the form relates to the desired function and discusses the conformations desirable for specific events. Students are advised to view horses from many points of view, evaluating each part of the horse in terms of ability to provide the strength and agility necessary to win at different competitions.

Course Outline

             I. Viewing the Horse for Evaluation 
                      A. Front View 
                      B. Side View 
                      C. Hindquarters View

              II. Evaluating Head 
                       A. Airways 
                       B. Vision 
                       C. Intelligence 

               III. Evaluating the Forehand 
                        A. Neck and Shoulder 
                        B. Front Legs 
                        C. Head Girth 
                        D. Back 

                 IV. Evaluating the Body 
                         A. Top Line 
                         B. Rib Cage 
                         C. Underline
                         D. Loin 

                  V. Evaluating the Hindquarters 
                          A. Croup and Hips 
                          B. Hind Legs 
                          C. Viewing the Spinal Column