Horse Evaluation Equine Science & Technology Horse Evaluation How to Select a Horse As with other classes of farm animals, any one or a combination of all four of the following methods may serve as a basis for selecting horses: 1. Individuality 2. Pedigree 3. Show-ring winnings
4. Progeny testing. Horse Evaluation Selection based on Individuality The horse should be purchased within a price range that the
rider can afford. The amateur should have a quiet, gentle, well-broke horse that is neither headstrong nor unmanageable. The size of the horse should be in proportion with the size of the rider. The horse should be well suited to the type of work to be performed. Horse Evaluation Selection Based on Pedigree
Complete pedigrees in terms (speed, show winnings, etc.) can be useful Pedigree selection is of special importance where animals are so young that their individual merit cannot be determined with any degree of certainty. Horse Evaluation Selection Based on Show-Ring Winnings Breeders of pleasure horses have long used show-ring records as a basis of selection.
The show record may be a most valuable criterion in indicating the utility value of a horse. Horse Evaluation Selection Based on Progeny Testing Although selection based on progeny testing is the most infallible tool available to the horse breeder, it must be pointed out that the following limitations exist: Because of the relatively few offspring, it is difficult to apply progeny testing to females. There is a hazard that the stallion being tested will be bred to only a few select mares and that only the top offspring can be tested.
Horse Evaluation Considerations When Buying a Horse Although many fine horses are bought and sold at sales, there is little opportunity to try them out. Many reputable breeders or dealers will let the prospective buyer take a horse home to try out. The price is important.
Although a high price may be justified for superior breeding and performing horses, sound judgment should always prevail. Horse Evaluation Considerations When Buying a Horse Before buying a horse, the buyer should have the horse examined by a licensed veterinarian. The buyer should always be on the alert for possible misrepresentations.
Horse Evaluation What to Look For A horse must conform to the specific type that fits the function it is to perform. The horse should be true to the characteristics of the breed that it represents. Horse Evaluation Balance
Balance refers to the overall symmetry of the horse. Balance is best evaluated by viewing the horse from the side. All parts should blend and appear symmetrical. Horse Evaluation Good Head, Neck, and Shoulders
The head should be well proportioned to the rest of the body, refined and clean cut, with a chiseled appearance. The neck should be fairly long. It should be carried high, Slightly arched, Lean and muscular, and Clean-cut above the throatlatch
with the head well set. Horse Evaluation Ample Chest and Barrel Well sprung ribs are desired. A deep wide chest A large, full heart girth provides needed space for vital organs
It indicates a strong constitution Horse Evaluation Well-Muscled Arm, Forearm, and Gaskin The muscles of the arm, forearm, and gaskin should be well developed. The powerful muscles of the croup, thigh, and gaskin give the animal the ability to pull, jump, or run. Horse Evaluation
Correct Legs, Feet, and Pasterns No foot, no horse. The legs should be straight, true, and squarely set; the bone well placed and clearly defined. The pasterns should be sloping; the feet large and wide at
the heels. The hock should be large, clean, wide from front to back, deep clean cut, and properly set. The knee should be deep from front to rear, be wide when viewed from the front, be straight, and taper gradually into the leg. Horse Evaluation Blemishes- include those abnormalities that do not affect the serviceability of a horse. Such unsightly things as wire cuts, rope burns, nail punctures, shoe boils, capped hocks, etc. Unsoundness may be caused by any one or various combinations of the following:
1. Bad conformation. 2. Strain and stress on the horse Horse Evaluation 3. 4. Accident and injury. Nutritional deficiencies. Horse Evaluation Unsoundness of the Head and Neck Blindness
Partial or complete loss of vision. A blind horse usually has very erect ears and a hesitant gait. Blindness can be detected by a veterinarians examination. Horse Evaluation Wobblers
Number one neurological disease in horses. Cervical Vertebral Malfunction (CVM) commonly known as wobblers. This condition primarily affects long-necked horses such as Thoroughbreds. Begins with hind-limbs as evidenced by dragging of the toes. Horse Evaluation Unsoundness of the Shoulders
Sweeney A depression in the shoulder due to atrophied muscles. Sweeney is caused by nerve injury and is more commonly seen in harness horses that wear a heavy collar. No known treatment will restore the nerve. Horse Evaluation Unsoundness of the limbs Bog Spavin
A filling of the natural depression on the inside and front of the hock. Common treatments include removal of excess fluid, corticosteroid injections into the joint capsule, liniment and pressure bandages. Horse Evaluation Gravel
Usually caused by penetration of the protective covering of the hoof by small bits of gravel or dirt. Once material enters the soft tissue inside the wall or sole, Infection develops rapidly producing pus And gas that creates pressure And intense pain in the foot. Horse Evaluation
Ringbone A bony growth on the pastern bone generally of the forefoot, although occasionally the hind foot is affected. The condition usually causes lameness, accompanied by a stiff ankle. Follows severe straining, blows, sprains, or improper shoeing.
Horse Evaluation Splints Abnormal bony growths found on the cannon bone. Splints may enlarge and interfere with a ligament and cause irritation and lameness. When found on young horses the problem often disappear. Horse Evaluation Thrush
A disease of the frog of the horses foot caused by unsanitary conditions. Produces a foul smell. Treated with sanitation accompanied by trimming away the affected frog. Horse Evaluation Judging Procedures for Breeding or Halter Class
Master the terms of the horse & parts. Have an idea in mind, and be able to recognize both desirable characteristics and common faults. Follow a procedure in examining:
Front view Rear view Side view Soundness and Action. Horse Evaluation For more information on judging visit the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture website below. http://www.ca.uky.edu/agripedia/AGMANIA/HORSE/INDEX.asp
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