Thursday 19 February 2015

BBS - Nancy Conformation Review

Following on from Kika's critique (LINK); now it is Nancy's turn.
Apologies for her bedraggled state, her mane is in dire need of some serious TLC, i must buy more mane and tail spray & braid it again so she doesn't break it all scratching off trees in turn out (one of her fav hobbies). I find her expression priceless in this pic, total patience with the humans silly wishes for photos. She is also not exactly square, but better than her previous attempts.

Cropped photo i used from my "photoshoot" on Saturday

Length vs. Height
Ideal – The length of the horse from the point of the shoulder to the buttock should be equal to the height of the horse from from the top of the withers to the ground. This should create an box around the horse (minus the head and neck) that is a square with equal sides.

Nancy – Like Kika, Nancy is slightly longer than she is tall. It must be something i am subconsciously attracted to! Again according to my super scientific IT skills, the same ruler being held up to my computer screen, Nancy is 1.5cms longer than she is tall onscreen. Maybe this weekend I will see if i can get someone to help me measure them.
However Nancy is considerably wider (not surprising considering her draft daddy), she wears 6ft6/6ft9 rugs whereas Kika wears 6ft3/6ft6 depending on the rug cut ...

Heartgirth vs. Legs 
Ideal – The depth of the heartgirth from the top of the withers to the elbow should be equal to the length of the leg from the elbow to the fetlock.

Nancy –She is symmetrical in this case, so far as i can tell in any case...

Topline vs Underline 
Ideal – The topline should be level so the point of the croup is at the same height or slightly lower than the top of the withers. The topline from the top of the withers to the point of the hip should be shorter that the underline from the point of the elbow to the stifle.

Nancy – Her topline is shorter than her underline, although there isn't much in the difference. I actually think she is butt high again, or at least she would be if she were standing better. She may be going to grow again...I think i remember hearing somewhere that draft types can keep growing until they are 8 years of age. She will be 6 in June, so could have plenty more growth in her yet - so long as her personality doesn't change I don't mind how tall she gets!

Forequarter vs. Hindquarter 
Ideal – The forequarter of the horse (minus the head and neck) should be equal to the hindquarter of the horse when a line is drawn through the center (near the last rib) of the horse in the box from before.

Nancy –Again i guesstimated the positioning of her last rib (it is hard to tell from a photo), she seems pretty even. There is 0.5cms according to my ruler/screen measurements. She is a lot more even than Kika who had a 2cms difference from front to back. This may explain her finding it easier to use herself properly vs Kika's difficulties from having a longer forequarter compared to hindquarter.

Shoulder vs. Back vs. Buttock
Ideal – The shoulder, back, and buttock should all be equal in length when lines are drawn from the top of the wither to the ground and the point of the hip to the ground in the box from before.

Nancy –Not one of these is equal, her shoulder is slightly slighter than her buttocks and her back is considerably longer. In fact i think if front and back were added together the result wouldn't be far off the length of her back...not sure exactly what that means - but under saddle she feels pretty balanced, so all in all i am happy with her even if she doesn't meet the "ideal"

Head vs. Body
Ideal – The length of the head should be similar to the lengths from the point of the hock to the ground, the chestnut on a forelimb to the ground, length of heartgirth, and from the stifle to the croup.

Nancy – I have been waiting for this one, as Nancy has one of the biggest heads i have ever seen on a horse. It kind of takes you by surprise, as it doesn't seem so massive until you are standing alongside it.
her leg measurements are identical, however her croup to stifle is smaller, head is larger and then her heartgirth is larger again. Curious, these lines really highlight an imbalance between her front and hind, she has very "heavy" looking shoulders and a "light" looking hind-end.
Hopefully this will all balance out with more and better work to help develop her musculation...

Buttock vs. Hip vs. Stifle
Ideal – The lengths from the buttock to the stifle, the stifle to the point of the hip, and the point of hip to the buttock should all be similar.

Nancy – Her hip to buttock & buttock to stifle lengths are the same; her stifle to hip is slightly shorter (1cm on screen).

I'm not too sure what to make of all these measurements, however i have had fun dissecting their conformation vs the ideal and am curious to see what they will look like in conformation shots at the end of the year - IF i can get more work done with them and build them up into fitter animals with the help of a trainer and more consistent excercise...We shall see, hopefully!

What do you guys think?
I know i am quite late doing these breakdowns, but all opinions always welcome :)


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