Conformation - is there a perfect breed?
Earlier this week Belinda led an informative discussion on horse breeds and the conformation of the ideal riding horse in an Online Masterclass.
Using 3D anatomy slides and with numerous reference slides of different breeds and types at her disposal, Belinda described in great detail what to look for in easy to understand, progressive examination of the various parts of the horse.
Belinda emphasised the importance of muscle chain functioning which keeps the spinous processes open and allows the horse to carry their rider without compromising their functional movement and the risk of developing kissing spine or lower cervical spine damage.
“The aim of our training is to enable a horse to remain sound and have the ability to carry a rider into old age. Not all horse breeds are suitable for all disciplines, particularly where professional riders are concerned.
A competition dressage rider for example may need a horse with greater reach and elasticity than a horse whose owner has a different discipline in mind, say working equitation for example.
A High School horse needs a strong body with good angles for collection, a showjumper needs more scope. For most of us a good allrounder is the best horse. A good allrounder will be a more square type, evenly balanced, strong and capable.”
Belinda went on to point out the core features a well conformed horse should have such as their capacity for horizontal balance and vertical balance - how well are they aligned, is their spine as straight, or as straight as possible, and how well they are capable of distributing their weight.