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Video: Exterior And Horse Evaluation Teaching
A horse's fitness for sport depends to a large extent on its constitution. There is even a direct relationship between certain conformation traits of a horse and its performance in a particular sport. Therefore, it is important to know some basic provisions that make it possible to assess the morphological and anatomical features of the horse and, based on this assessment, draw conclusions about its suitability for sports.
The structure of the horse's body, its individual parts, their relationship with performance
Exterior refers to the appearance of a horse, including the individual parts (stats) of its body, skin, color, markings, as well as the quality of its movements at different gaits. The exterior of a sport horse must meet the following requirements.
The head should be typical of each breed and sex, not too fleshy, not heavy or coarse, preferably broad-browed and not very long. The shape of the head has no practical meaning, but the beauty of the horse largely depends on it. The mouth should be wide, the upper lip slightly overlap the lower one. The upper and lower jaws should be closed.
It is desirable that the nostrils are large and wide open. The eyes should be mobile (with a quick reaction), the pupil should be horizontal. The ganaches (posterior edges of the branches of the lower jaw) should not be too thick. The distance between them should be wide enough to facilitate collection of the horse. The back of the head should not be too short, mobile and, with the free movement of the horse, be at the highest point.
The neck is preferable to be long, since this sign is associated with the speed of movement. A short neck is found in horses with great draft power. A low neckline also indicates a great strength of the horse, but it is unprofitable for equestrian sports, since it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to develop the desired posture in such a horse. A too high neck exit is also undesirable - it also negatively affects the collection of the horse.
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The ribcage should be wide, deep and long. Its width should be approximately 33% and its depth approximately 48% of the height at the withers. A large chest volume is desirable as it provides a large tidal volume that improves performance.
The bony base of the withers is formed by the spinous processes of the anterior thoracic vertebrae. The withers should be high, long and muscular. This contributes to the correct position of the saddle on the horse's back.
The base of the horse's back is formed by 18 thoracic vertebrae. The back should be broad, muscular and not too long. The stretched back is put under great strain when the horse's front and hind legs interact.
The loin should be straight and firm. Its bone base is normally 6 vertebrae.
A long croup indicates agility, as it allows for a flat movement with a lot of space. A wide croup is essential for great pulling power, as it is associated with more muscle volume. With a straight croup, the ischial tuberosities are located approximately 10 cm below the hips. The horizontal croup allows you to count on great strength in the hind legs.
The slight slope of the croup is conducive to galloping and jumping over obstacles. A drooping croup increases the back's ability to carry load (rider weight) and jump power. The rearranged (higher than the withers) croup should be assessed negatively, as the horse's forelegs are overloaded. For riding horses, especially those participating in dressage competitions, this is very disadvantageous. In mountain horses (Hutsul, Gaflinger), this feature is favorable and occurs quite often. A short croup is also undesirable, since it does not provide the development of sufficient impulse for wide productive gaits.
The abdomen should be slightly tucked up at the back as it transitions to the iliac region. Horses with a sagging back often have a sagging belly. A short sigh is desirable, without a pronounced "hungry pit".
Setting the tail high and separating it from the body during movement is a sign of the horse's energy and health.
The forelegs of the horse carry most of the weight during normal movement. The shoulder blade should be long (about 33% of the height at the withers), sloping, with the shoulder joint protruding forward. The shoulder is preferably also long, not too close to the chest. The elbows are most effective long, tilted back from the axis of the shoulder and not in contact with the chest. This ensures strong development of the tendons and ample space for their attachment.
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If the forearm is shorter than the pastern, then a good canter can be expected. When the ratio is reversed, a low wide stroke in trot and stride is achieved. The pastern on a riding horse should be short, protruding from the middle of a sharply defined, wide wrist joint.
The hind limbs serve for pushing away, so they must have strong joints and well-developed muscles. The angle between the ilium and the femur should be about 90 ° so that the long thigh covers the scrotum. The sharper this angle, the more favorable it is for a push.
The knee joint should be large and level with the elbow. Its angle is approximately 100-120 °. A more obtuse angle promotes traction. The lower leg of the horse is desirable long and strong. The hock joint should be as low as possible. It should be strong, wide, bony and dry, with no underhand grip.
The main defects of the horse's hock are: filling (soft painless tumors of the inner and outer sides), curba (thickening behind the joint under the calcaneal tuberosity), spar (deforming inflammation of the joint with bony growths on the inner and outer sides, accompanied by a characteristic convulsive twitching of the leg at a step - " cock move ").
The angle of the hock joint is of great importance. In fast-paced riding horses, the angle is smaller. This allows them to bring their hind legs under the body. A more obtuse angle makes it easier to straighten the hind leg when pushing off, but shortens the stride length.