Conformation
An Analysis by Lee Ziegler


Horse One
Horse Two

Horse One
Although the typically luxurious mane hides a good deal of the shoulder and the top of the withers, making it a little difficult to find these points, I have marked where I think they may be on this picture.

This horse has a rather long functional back in relation to his body length, which inclines him to travel in a hollow or ventroflexed position.  He has a relatively long loin area (from last rib to the lumbo sacral junction, marked with the red dot on the top of the croup) again, inclining to a hollow carriage.  His loin is also shallow in depth (from back to underline) which further inclines him to a hollow position, especially when carrying weight on the back. All of these factors which incline to a hollow position will cause him to travel in a pace, a stepping pace (skeith tolt) or the flying pace. They can also incline him to the body position for the rack
(hreina tolt).

His croup is steep and his pelvis is also relatively steeply angled, another factor that inclines him to a hollow position.  As an interesting side note, in one study of Icelandic conformation it was noted that the horses with the steeper croups were those most likely to perform a flying pace.] 

His hind legs show a  very slightly longer femur than tibia/fibula,
inclining him to take a moderate step under his body with his hind legs.  He will probably not have very high hock action in his gaits because of this.

In the front, his shoulder is slightly laid back, not overly steep, and his humerus is relatively long but steep. (  a line dropped from the withers to the ground falls well behind the elbow, indicating a short humerus.)  These two factors combine to incline him to take a relatively long, but high step in front.

His neck is relatively short, and set high, again inclining to a more
ventroflexed or hollow body carriage. 

Overall, his conformation inclines him to travel in a stepping pace,  hreina tolt, and perhaps a flying pace,  but he may have trouble performing the trot or gallop well.


Horse Two
The bay horse is also hiding his withers under his mane,  and I have again approximated their location.

Comparing him to the sorrel horse, this bay has a slightly shorter
functional back (from withers to lumbo sacral junction) and a shorter loin area. His loin is again a bit shallow.  (from last rib to the lumbo sacral junction, marked with the red dot on the top of the croup) These features incline him to a more neutral and less hollow self carriage under the weight of a rider.  His croup is slightly longer and more level than that of the first horse, and his pelvis also more horizontal. His femur and tibia/fibula are similar in length, although the tibia/fibula is somewhat longer, which inclines him to a relatively long step under his body.  These factors again incline him to a less ventroflexed or hollow position than the sorrel horse.

In the front, his shoulder is steep, and his humerus is short and steep as well. (Again,  a line dropped from the withers falls considerably behind the point of the elbow, indicating a short humerus.) This combination will incline him to take short, upright steps in front.

Overall, the conformation of this horse inclines him to prefer a trot over a flying pace, however his tolt may be very solid. He may gallop more easily than the sorrel horse.

*Note: Photo was lightened and the horse was leveled to be able to analyse these photos.
 
 

See also 
Index of Conformation Analysis

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