Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Conformation Markup

So I had ML take a conformation shot of Jetta, though I've really been wanting to get Jetta all braided then take her outside with a bridle and get some better pictures, but you can see what she looks like.

Here's the original before I marked it all up. I know she's too stretched out, but this is the only picture I got until she moved! She was convinced I had treats...

Then here's the markup. I'll try to explain what all the lines mean to the best of my ability. I am by no means a conformation judge of any caliber, but I did learn some from showing on the Hippology Team in 4-H and through reading various articles on conformation.

Ok, If you want to see a larger version, just click on it. 

So the red lines are her shoulder angle. She's a little straight in this picture, but largely because of how much she's leaning forward. The humerus is nice and upright and would fold nicely over a jump, it is about half the length of her femur.

The light blue line is connecting her withers to the top up her croup, so you can see that she is very level.

Dark blue is showing her pelvic angle, the smaller the angle the more "uphill" the horse is built, so I am pleased to see that she is pretty uphill compared to other horses. Though please note that I didn't draw the line correctly - it's supposed to end at the chest, approximately where the pink line of the box hits it.

Purple is a line from the point of her buttocks to the hock on down. She is slightly sickle hocked, which I knew, but it is also cause by her awkward stance. She does sometimes stand so that the cannon bone lines up with the purple line, the problem is just catching it in a picture.

The pink box shows that she has a square body type.

Orange lines compare the length of her back to her underline. In mares, the "rule of thumb" that I learned is that the underline should be twice the length of the back, for optimal broodmare capacity :) Jetta's just about there, but not quite.

Yellow shows the angles and length of her pasterns. Her front are slightly too long in my opinion, but not terrible.

The white dot is her stifle, it's pretty low, which is good, but could be a tad bit lower to be even better.

Black dots are her LS joint and point of hip, though the LS joint is in reality a little farther ahead of where I marked it. Optimally her LS joint should be directly over the point of hip, but hers is only about an inch or two apart so not too bad.

Grey line is the length of her head - it is really long but comparing it to the red line of her shoulder it is proportionate. It could be more feminine and triangle shaped, but she has a good sized muzzle but I wish she had larger nostrils.

I can't really evaluate how long her neck to shoulder to midsection to hip length because of how stretched she is, but her neck is a good length without her stretching that far with a nice, clean throatlatch and a very good tie into the shoulder. Not too low, just perfect so she theoretically should be able to carry herself without being heavy on the forehand.

Of course she does need some more weight, still a little ribby and can use the muscle over her topline but she has a very shiny coat, even while shedding out her winter coat. So there you go, that's my amateur evaluation of her conformation, but of course conformation is so subjective, everyone will have a different opinion.

The markup isn't very good because I had to use Paint to do the lines and if I messed up too much I couldn't undo it and would have to start all over again to please excuse the mistakes. I'm still learning too!


  1. If I send you an Izzy conformation picture, will you do this for her? It's so hard for me to figure all this out. I am ok at legs/feet, but body angles mystify me.

  2. I would love to! No guarantees that it will be as accurate as the ones you see in Practical Horseman but I will try! My email is skybluequestrian@aol.com

  3. Awesome!! I will track down a decent picture (or take one soon) and send it to you. Thanks!