If you’re a horse owner or rider, you should know some basic facts about the horse’s conformation and examples of what “good confirmation” includes.
The word “conformation” refers to the body structure of the horse and other important characteristics.
My dad was a professional horseman for many decades. Our family owned a farm called “Sweetbrier.” Dad did a great deal of studying about horses. One of the first thing he studied when he was considering buying a horse was it’s eyes. Why is that? Well, you may have heard the expression “A person’s eyes are the window to the soul.” You can draw a similar conclusion with horses. My dad shied away from a horse with small, sunken eyes, often called “pig eyes.” What do pig eyes signify? A horse with a nasty disposition. Even with training, you can’t change a horse’s temperament. Look for a horse with big eyes and a kind expression. Dad could tell a great deal by the expression of a horse’s eye.
What about the head of the horse? Look for a wide space between the eyes and a little curved or “dish” in his head, not a rounded nose. Horses with round noses are called “roman-nosed” and are more apt to be stubborn.
What about balance? In order to be properly balanced, a horse needs good proportions. He shouldn’t have more weight in front, than behind. Another important factor is the length of his back. A short back is always preferred. Why? He’ll be much better balanced with a short back and he’ll cost less to feed. When you look at the horse, is his topline shorter than the bottom line? If so, he should be well-built.
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