Thursday, December 18, 2014

What's the Ideal Endurance Horse Conformation? - Full Article

Endurance competitor Dr. Michelle Roush explains what to look for in endurance horse conformation.

Question: I really enjoy your monthly Conformation Clinic column. The information is very useful when I work with and care for sporthorses, but I'd also like to know what endurance horse conformation and qualities I should look for when selecting a mount. Can you offer any suggestions?

Answer: In endurance, beauty is as beauty does. Horse conformation traits rewarded in the show-hunter ring for their aesthetic value mean nothing in endurance if they don't help the horse get down the trail. Arabians and part-?Arabians dominate the sport?for a variety of reasons I'll explain later?but I've seen horses of all shapes and sizes succeed in the sport. Most of them prove the rule that "form is function": Structurally correct horses are more likely to stay sound over the many miles of repetitive motion and concussion that the sport entails. Here are the most important structural qualities to look for...

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