When judging and evaluating horses, a judge must learn to make physical assessments of the horses. Assessments are made through observations and a systematic process of evaluating the horse from head to tail back to hooves must be followed upon examination.

Assessing through observation the following points of the horse.

Viewing the head consider:

  •  Head, Eyes, Ears and Teeth
  •  Position of each in relationship to the size, shape, width

  • Viewing the front legs from the front and sides:

  •  Correctness of hoof and legs
  •  Width of chest and muscling
  •  Angle and Length of shoulder, humerus and forearm
  •  Neck, shoulder and withers attachment and length
  •  Size of joints
  •  Proportional length of bones in the leg
  •  Angles of hoof and pasterns

  • Viewing the body from the side:

  •  Proportions in relation to parts, depths and lengths
  •  Back, coupling, croup, hips, and tail set
  •  Over all balance
  •  Muscling density and length

  • Viewing movement at the walk and gaits:

  •  Freedom and length of movement
  •  Correctness of gaits
  •  Consistency held in gaits
  •  Carriage of head, neck, and tail
  •  Height of knee and hock stride

  • Considering the horse in relations ship to its breed:

  •  Unique conformation characteristics
  •  Acceptable markings
  •  Gait or gaits
  •  Way of going

    © Copyright 2003 Elizabeth Graves. All rights reserved.

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