Most people who have been around horses for any period of time tend to share a vision of what ‘good’ conformation should be. My question is – given that so many jumping and dressage horses, even eventers, can be hugely successful even with ‘bad’ conformation, how useful is conformation as a guide to later success?

In the KWPN Magazine (Issue 2, Volume 1) Inez Kampman dissected one of the most sophisticated systems of conformational analysis, the Dutch system. Senior inspector, Ine van Deuzen explains: “For each horse in the studbook inspection, the jury describes 21 conformation traits which have a demonstrated functional relationship with sport performance. These traits don’t just come out-of-the-blue, but actually have a relationship with the manner in which the ultimate sporthorse moves and jumps.”

“The inspection standard for dressage horses states: The envisioned KWPN dressage horse has rectangular-shaped conformation, is long-lined and proportionally built, has an uphill body and is long-legged.”

In general, certain guidelines are appropriate and helpful when selecting a future athlete or champion and one of the biggest questions is: Can he do the job?

Most outstanding athletes are well-balanced in their overall conformation. This means that the depth of body (from withers to underline at the girth) and length of front legs are similar, the back is neither too long nor too short compared with length of leg, and the underline is longer than the topline.

In the young horse that has not yet reached his mature height, however, the front legs will be longer than the depth of body because his withers have not yet attained full height.

The correlation between conformation and performance has been analysed and discussed by experts for hundreds of years. But how important is what is less obvious, the interior?

We asked some of the most successful riders of the last European World Cup season and the Athens Olympics to comment on their top horses good and bad points. Basically the horses were picked at random, although some as purely successful and some as examples of stars with less than ideal conformation with very good results.

As a group you can say that they correspond to our European Warmblood breeding goal; horses with Thoroughbred blood and – with some exceptions – long legged. Besides that they differ a bit, said Mari-Ann Barkevall, leading SWB judge and breeder. She viewed the conformation pictures with no clue to the identity of the horses except their level of competition.

Most people who have been around horses for any period of time tend to share a vision of what ‘good’ conformation should be. My question is – given that so many jumping and dressage horses, even eventers, can be hugely successful even with ‘bad’ conformation, how useful is conformation as a guide to later success?

In the KWPN Magazine (Issue 2, Volume 1) Inez Kampman dissected one of the most sophisticated systems of conformational analysis, the Dutch system. Senior inspector, Ine van Deuzen explains: “For each horse in the studbook inspection, the jury describes 21 conformation traits which have a demonstrated functional relationship with sport performance. These traits don’t just come out-of-the-blue, but actually have a relationship with the manner in which the ultimate sporthorse moves and jumps.”

“The inspection standard for dressage horses states: The envisioned KWPN dressage horse has rectangular-shaped conformation, is long-lined and proportionally built, has an uphill body and is long-legged.”

In general, certain guidelines are appropriate and helpful when selecting a future athlete or champion and one of the biggest questions is: Can he do the job?

Most outstanding athletes are well-balanced in their overall conformation. This means that the depth of body (from withers to underline at the girth) and length of front legs are similar, the back is neither too long nor too short compared with length of leg, and the underline is longer than the topline.

In the young horse that has not yet reached his mature height, however, the front legs will be longer than the depth of body because his withers have not yet attained full height.

Most people who have been around horses for any period of time tend to share a vision of what ‘good’ conformation should be. My question is – given that so many jumping and dressage horses, even eventers, can be hugely successful even with ‘bad’ conformation, how useful is conformation as a guide to later success?

In the KWPN Magazine (Issue 2, Volume 1) Inez Kampman dissected one of the most sophisticated systems of conformational analysis, the Dutch system. Senior inspector, Ine van Deuzen explains: “For each horse in the studbook inspection, the jury describes 21 conformation traits which have a demonstrated functional relationship with sport performance. These traits don’t just come out-of-the-blue, but actually have a relationship with the manner in which the ultimate sporthorse moves and jumps.”

“The inspection standard for dressage horses states: The envisioned KWPN dressage horse has rectangular-shaped conformation, is long-lined and proportionally built, has an uphill body and is long-legged.”

Judging Horses - Conformation Classes - eXtension


Conformation in Horses | TheHorse.com

Posted by 2018 article

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