Tips for Buying a Horse : How to Tell the Conformation of a Horse

This is Randall Powell with Expert Village,
and today we’re going to talk about conformation of a horse. When deciding what kind of horse
you want, to determine if he has good conformation or not, you’d start at the nose or the muzzle
of the horse. Look at the overall head shape of the horse. You want a horse with a really
short head and clean around the neck and throat latch area. The throatlatch is where the neck
and the head combine underneath the horse’s throat there. No loose skin there. You want
a really tight horse with a small head, really clean around his ears and neck. Then you move
down to the shoulders. The width of the horse’s shoulders determine a lot of how much weight
he’s going to be able to carry over long periods of time. You want a horse with really thick
shoulders, that’s really square in his shoulder and carries quite a bit of muscle throughout
there to the middle of his chest area. Then you move up to the withers. You want a short
backed horse. You’d measure a horse’s back from the withers to right in front of his
hips is where you measure his back. It’s always important to find a horse that has a shorter
back than his underline. The underline is right behind the front legs to right in front
of the back legs. That’s the underline of the horse. When choosing a horse, makes sure
that the back is shorter than the underline. Then the hip should be approximately put together
well with the rest of the horse. You want a big hipped horse that’s carrying some weight
back there so he can get down and hold cattle if he needs to or maneuver pretty tight spaces
off his hips there off his back end. You also want the horse to be very straight on all
4 legs. If you look at the horse from the rear view or the front view, all 4 legs should
be symmetrical and in line where they look like the same leg. Those may be some things
that help you look for conformation in horses.

7 Replies to “Tips for Buying a Horse : How to Tell the Conformation of a Horse”

  1. i only have one thing to say: when u are holding a horse dont ever wrap the lead rope around ur hand! just a ponit, cuz nobody likes getting hhurt by a horse! but good video

  2. how about you show people what to look for instead of just talking about it? Straight shoulder? back at the knee? sickle hocks? You didn't mention how to tell the slope of shoulder of whether your horse is post legged, or anything that may be useful to someone who thinks their ewe necked and toed out mare should be popping out babies.

  3. This is useful if you already know what he's talking about, in which case you don't really need this video.
    If you're a real novice and determined to buy a horse–which is a bad idea, by the way; better to start by taking lessons from a professional–then talk to a large animal vet and see if there's a tech (veterinary technician) you can hire to look at one or two horses with you, and think about taking any serious prospects to the vet for a once-over before you spend any real money.

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