Conformation Evaluation Of Horses 2001 D. Karen Hansen, PhD University of Wyoming 2007 Stephen R Schafer, EdD University of Wyoming Information Development Much effort and time was devoted to:
developing accurate/current information incorporating appropriate pictures/graphics providing proper credit of pictures/graphics obtaining user/educational permission Any and/or all errors, omissions, etc. are purely unintentional and/or accidental. This presentation was developed for use as resource and is provided as an educational service. User and/or purchase fees are not associated with this presentation. Conformation Evaluation-Purpose Purpose
of evaluation (judging) is to identify and breed superior individuals This should (or, at least, could) increase our chances of performance capability FORM ----relates to----> FUNCTION (typically or most of the time)
E n v iro n m e n t (N u tritio n , H a n d lin g ) G e n e tic s P E R F O R M A N C E C O N F O R M A T IO N T ra in in g D is p o s itio n " M in d " Factors Used In Conformation Evaluation
Structure Travel Muscling Balance Type Quality Structural Correctness There are many characteristics of structural
correctness that are desirable for most breeds Some bones are long for increased muscle attachment Some bones are short for strength Structural correctness also includes the way in
which the horses parts are put together Structural Correctness Shoulder, slope should be the same on each animal---approximately 45 degree angle. - point of shoulder to mid-withers - a long, well laid back shoulder allows: * a wider range of movement * more shock absorption capability Structural Correctness
Neck, is used for a lever and counterbalance during movement: a thin and clean neck will allow the horse to be more supple and flexible in its movement vary depending attachment of neck clean for flexion - neck should be medium length - attachment to shoulder will on breed; the lower - throatlatch
Structural Correctness Back, is the weight bearing area (for rider or foaling mares) The back (withers to loin) should be short in relation to the underline A long underline allows more area for stride and
containment of vital organs Heartgirth should be deep; hindrib should be deep Structural Correctness Loin, or coupling area should be wellmuscled and moderate in length The loin is the flexible area in the spine,
and allows the horse to bring the hindquarters up under the body to even out the distribution of body weight Structural Correctness Croup and Hip, areas should be long and well muscled to allow for more impulsion from the hindquarters The croup slope will be different depending on
breed The hip should be measured from tuber coxae to tuber ischii hooks-pins Structural Correctness Front Legs (front view), the chestfloor should be relatively wide
The front legs and feet should be straight down from the shoulder, through the knee, through the cannon, and through the hoof. Structural Correctness Hind Legs (rear view), should be wide set apart (similar to the front legs) Have a straight line from point of buttock
through hocks, cannon bones, and hoof Structural Correctness Drawings: Unknown Source Structural Correctness Front Legs (side view), should be straight from mid-scapula through the knee, through the fetlock and to the ground
The front pastern should be medium in length and be the same slope as shoulder and hoof (generally about 45 degrees) Structural Correctness Hind Legs (side view), should have an angle or set to the hock The hind cannon should be straight and
directly below the point of buttock The hind pasterns should be of medium length and the same slope as the hoof (which will be slightly steeper than front) Structural Correctness Drawings: Unknown Source Travel
Can actually be considered as part of structural correctness Can be considered as part of structural correctness because straightness of travel is correlated with correctness of structure Travel We evaluate how horses track by viewing their
movement from the front, rear and the side How a horse travels depends on the straightness of their feet and legs are.and how the legs tie into the body of the horse ASPECTS OF TRAVEL: STRAIGHTNESS
WIDTH LENGTH OF STRIDE SNAP AND FLEXION Travel Travel should be straight, true, and wide; this is best determined when using the front and rear views to watch the horse move.it can also be observed by checking the hoof prints in the ground
Items such as length of stride and overstepping can best be determined when using a side view to watch the horse move.overstepping can also be noticed by listening for the clicking of the hooves Travel & Structure Travel and structure are inter-related because without proper structure, proper travel is not possible. In terms of travel and structure: proper typically refers to
or means straight.or straightness of joints, such as the knee because of all the correct positioning required of the tendons, ligaments, etc needed to have proper structure and travel.which leads to better performance of the horse. Photo: EQUUS Muscling Quality of Muscling is important in all breeds
There will be breed differences Have enough muscling to do the job required It is important to judge like types Examination Of Muscling Muscling can best be examined on the horse in
the following areas: pectoral forearm shoulder loin croup & hip stifle gaskin Quality Of Muscling Quality of Muscling includes: Long, smooth, low-tying muscles muscles that tie low into the joint Muscling should be balanced throughout the
body hindquarter versus forequarter muscling Quality Of Muscling The muscling of this horse is long and smooth, meaning that is carries down in to gaskin....it is not carried high, meaning that is not bunched on the rump or croup. Long and smooth muscling provides for longer
and smoother stridesthus obtaining better performance from the horse Photo: EQUUS Balance A
well balanced horse has parts that fit together Shoulder, back and hip are about the same length Heartgirth and legs are about the same length Length of body and height at withers are about the same measurement Type Modern Type.which is a horse that is taller than it is long
Old Type.which is a horse that is longer than it is tall Quality Quality is difficult to evaluate until you have had some experience at viewing horses
Quality includes: character usefulness factors style sex character breed Style Is the relationship of or between the balance and the type of the horse
Is also this combination as it relates to the muscling of the horse Style The 2 most reliable indicators of quality are: head bone
Head: large eyes, erect ears, cleanness of head Bone: Cleanness of joints, flat cannon bones Sex Character Stallion: Larger boned; larger jaw; more heavily muscled; wider neck
Mare: Feminine in appearance; smaller boned; narrower and more tapered in the face with a smaller muzzle Gelding: Somewhere in between Breed Character Will be dependent on use of the animal
For example: Major differences between the Quarter Horse and Arabian? Usefulness Factors Gait Defects Blemishes and Unsoundesses
Gait Defects A splay-footed horse will travel in what manner? A pigeon-toed horse will travel in what manner? Blemishes And Unsoundnesses
Blemish = an imperfection which may affect the value of the horse, but does not affect the serviceability Unsoundness = an imperfection in the horse that affects serviceability Soundness = useful for a certain purpose, as a result a horse may be sound for one purpose and
not for another purpose Examples And Location Of Blemishes And Unsoundnesses Head: * Parrot mouth or overshot jaw * Blindness Shoulder:
* Sweeny - paralysis of the suprascapular nerve * Fistulous withers - bruising or infection of bursa Examples and Location Of Blemishes And Unsoundnesses Feet: Discolored Hoof Hoof Crack Founder
Front Leg: Bowed tendon Bucked Shins Splints Examples And Location Of Blemishes And Unsoundnesses Hind Leg: Bog Spavin
Bone Spavin Capped Hock Windpuffs (Windgalls) Location Summary Of Blemishes And Unsoundnesses Drawing: Wyoming 4-H Horse Project Manual Location Summary Of Blemishes And Unsoundnesses Drawing: Wyoming 4-H Horse Project Manual
Conformation---Summary Conformation = how form relates/function Conformation is founded or based upon:
Structural Correctness (how skeleton fits together) Travel (how the horse moves) Muscling (long/smooth is desired) Balance (relationship of the above three items) Type (modern type, taller than long, is preferred) Quality (overall blend and assessment of features)
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