Conformation Clinic: Choose the Yearling with Potential - Expert how-to for English Riders

Conformation Clinic: Choose the Yearling with Potential

Place these young geldings in your order of preference. To find out how your choices compare to sporthorse judge Julie Winkel's, see Conformation Clinic in the January 2009 issue of Practical Horseman.
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Evaluating yearlings can be tricky as they may be at awkward stages of growth. However, I still look for proportionate body parts, correct angles and structural correctness: The legs, as viewed from front, side and rear, are straight with the forearms directly over the knees; the cannon bones set straight under the knees without deviation from plumb; and pasterns with the same angle as the hoof and shoulder. You can expect a yearling to look gangly and high in his hind end during growth spurts, but don't expect that he'll "grow out of" a short neck or straight shoulder.

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See how I placed these yearlings in the January '09 issue of Practical Horseman.

Conformation Clinic appears monthly in Practical Horseman.

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