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BASIC HORSE CONFORMATION

Conformation Is Important
Definitions
Good conformation is based on physics and geometry.
Things like structural strengths, leverage force and
proper angles can explain why some horses stay sound
and others do not.   Selection of a good breeding
or performance prospect requires the following factors:
breed, breed type (how the horse embodies the characteristics
of it's breed or type), pedigree, color, disposition and
personality. The most important one however is conformation
and how it make the horse suited for the activity.

Good conformation is one that has no faults from the overall
general makeup.   The horse should have presence that
catches the human eye. It sould have overall good appearance,
coupled with fluid movement and conformed to move freely.
Conformation will influence greatly the horse's ability to move,
often referred to a "a way of going".   A horse with good
conformation, correct body and leg angles will experience less
wear and tear on joints and other structures.   They should
be able to give a lifetime of athletic service and contribute to
siring or birthing good performing offspring than a horse with
serious flaws.

Poor conformation will predispose a horse with unsoundness
and some poor conformation can be inherited.   If either
parent has crooked legs the foal will most likely also have them.

Some stock breeds with their heavy bodies and small feet have
navicular syndrome.   While navicular disease is not inherited,
small feet are and these are prediposed to this painful problem.

Some types of leg conformational flaws can develope things
like ringbone, splints, curb hocks, and other injuries.  
When the feet and legs of a horse are correctly conformed
the horse will have less wear and tear on joints as weight and
propulsion are distributed evenly over a balanced structure.


Still Dreamin #12
Chestnut Rabicano Roan

Sculpted and Painted by:
Carol Williams
Rio Rondo Enterprises

Blemish:
A visible scar, lump or thickening that is not considered
an unsoundness unless it interferes with a joint or ability
of the horse to work or come up lame with hard work. It is
usually caused by injury or strain (such as windpuffs on joint
capsules of the fetlock joint.

Conformation:
The structural aspects of the horse's body, the shape of it,
the configuration and relationship of the body parts and they
all functions together. Conformation will determine the
movement of the horse and how it can handle stress and concussion.

Fault:
An undesired aspect or flaw that may lead to unsoundness
while performing.

Navicular Disease or Navicular Syndrome:
A soundness problem in horses of an inflammation or
degeneration of the navicular bone and its surrounding tissues,
on the front feet. It can lead to significant and even disabling
lameness. Affected horses display a "tiptoe" gait - trying to walk
on the toes due to heel pain. They may stumble frequently.
After several months of pain, the feet may begin to
change shape which tend to become more upright and
narrow.

Sound Horse:
A healthy horse with no injuries or impairments.

Unsound Horse:
A horse with an injury or abnormal defect that interferes with
the ability of the horse to compete or be serviceable to ride.

Unsoundness:
Anything pertaining to the horse that would make it lame or unsafe
to ride or impair the stamina needed the animal to work or perform
normally.


Okie Too #7
Burgundy Chestnut Overo

Sculpted and Painted by:
Carol Williams
Rio Rondo Enterprises

Click on the thumbprint to see a larger version of the photo.
Click on the artist's studio to go their web site where you can
artist resins sculpted and or painted by them for sale.