Thursday, December 5, 2013

5 Day Challenge - Day 3

11. Critique your horse’s conformation

This is sadly the most recent "conformation" photo I've got of Jetta and it was from almost exactly a year ago. It's definitely not the best for analyzing conformation, but I'll do my best. I did a full markup of her conformation in 2011 if you're interested in reading that. Also, a comparison shot from later that same year, the summer of 2011:

She's filled out a lot in the hind end and over her topline, especially in her loin area, but everything else is basically the same. I use the second photo for looking at her shoulder since it's not very apparent in the first photo, but all other statements are based off the first photo.

  • Her huge honkin' head. It's just barely too large compared to her body (you "measure" this by comparing the length of the slope of their shoulder to the length of their head). It's also not very feminine and she could use larger nostrils for better air intake.
  • She slightly sickle hocked. These pictures above don't show it, but if she stands with her leg directly under herself and drop a line straight down from the point of buttocks to the ground, the line doesn't perfectly match up with her cannon bone, leaving an angle from the hock down. This will likely cause more stress to her hock joints in the future. 
  • I also think her front pasterns are a touch too long and angled. The "ideal" angle is 45 degrees and she's at more like 35 degrees. But, I'd take longer/more sloped pasterns over shorter/straighter ones. Long pasterns make a smoother gait but predispose the horse to tendon injuries while short/straight ones make a more jarring gait and can lead to concussive injuries.
  • She has massive withers. Super uncomfortable and hard to fit a saddle to. But at least there's no side-to-side saddle slippage. 
 Strong points:
  • She has a nice clean throatlatch that's "roomy" enough to allow enough flexibility to make doing on the bit easy. Horses with really thick throatlatches can have a hard time going on the bit. 
  • Her neck ties into her chest well. It's not too low, so she shouldn't be too heavy on the forehand. Her neck is a good length, but I'd like it to come out of the withers a little more upright, but it still has fairly good curvature to it. 
  • She has a really nice shoulder. A long sloped shoulder measured from the withers to the point of the shoulder means a longer stride. Her humerus is nice and upright which will allow nice folding of the front end over jumps. 
  • She has a nice short back, which I really favor. Her loin is strong and closely coupled.  Her body fits in a square, as opposed to a rectangular box. I prefer square horses over rectangular ones, that's mostly based off of personal preferences but there are articles about why "rectangular" vs. "square" horses are better at certain things and vice versa.
  • She has a fairly balanced body. Her shoulder is still slightly heavier than her hind end, but they're more equal now than they were. The slope of her hindquarters and of her shoulder matches up quite well.      
Sorry for the novel. But I really like conformation. I should get a new nice conformation photo and do another full markup with all the lines and everything...

12. Horse’s favorite riding exercise

Jetta's favorite riding exercise would be a 10 or 15 mile trail ride where she's allowed to go any speed she wants and have some jumps thrown in there (but no logs, because those are scary). She loves trail riding. Really, she likes any jumping exercises, except those which require for her to get really collected or slow.

13. Favorite spa day products

Canter Mane & Tail Detangler - Love this stuff. It smells awesome (think roses), unlike the original Showsheen scent (which smells like glue to me). It also lasts a long time and I think it works better than showsheen on detangling hair. 

EQ Solutions Shampoo - Best. Shampoo. Ever. It attaches to the hose so it's very simple to use, can just spray it on. It doesn't smell fancy, reminds me more of a car wash than anything, which is funny. But, it's really neat that you spray it on, wash it off, then spray it on again and leave it. So no leftover residue, no itchiness if you accidentally leave some in, etc.   

14. Three best things about your horse

She's got tons of talent. (The problem is me figuring out how to unlock it). She can jump higher than I ever thought I could and TS thinks that she could someday be my FEI level dressage horse. We'll see.

She's cuddly on the ground. My favorite thing to do it to hug her head. And she won't budge. Grady hated having his head handled and I had to teach him to let me kiss his nose. But Jetta totally tolerates it and seems to actually enjoy it.

When she's working with me, I feel like we are an awesome pair and that she will do anything for me. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I feel so lucky to have her.

15. Favorite picture of your horse

This is seriously one of my favorites of Jetta. It just embodies her dorkiness.

My favorite riding picture is actually from this summer and just now I realized that I've never shared it on the blog! It's been on Instagram, but I forgot to post it here. 

This was taken at Jetta's first recognized HT at Inavale. And it's jumping that dang trakehner that we both hate! She didn't even refuse it. And I actually look like I might know how to ride (despite my swinging lower leg) which often isn't the case when I look at pictures of me riding cross country.  


  1. Omg critique my horse! I'm such an idiot when it comes for conformation unless the horse looks like a donkey (but isn't a donkey).

    1. If you really want me to do a full critique, I will! I love doing it, though certainly am not a pro at it by any means. I can email it to you when I'm done if you want?

  2. Love the fav pics!!!

    I am horrible at confirmation too... i just notice a cute face ;)

  3. Jetta is so beautiful I don't know how you picked only two fav photos!