I already did the Breeches and Boat Shoes conformation analysis for Nilla. Now I'm doing one for Shasta. She was very filthy for this picture, but it's one of the only ones I have of her standing square.
Length vs. Height
Ideal – The length of the horse from the point of the shoulder to the buttock should be equal to the height of the horse from from the top of the withers to the ground. This should create a box around the horse (minus the head and neck) that is a square with equal sides.
Shasta – Pretty much a perfect square.
Heartgirth vs. Legs
Ideal – The depth of the heartgirth from the top of the withers to the elbow should be equal to the length of the leg from the elbow to the fetlock.
Shasta – Equal again.
Topline vs Underline
Ideal – The topline should be level so the point of the croup is at the same height or slightly lower than the top of the withers. The topline from the top of the withers to the point of the hip should be shorter that the underline from the point of the elbow to the stifle.
Shasta – Topline is nearly perfectly level - very slightly uphill, which is good. Her top and underline are really pretty close to the same length.
Shoulder vs. Back vs. Buttock
Ideal – The shoulder, back, and buttock should all be equal in length when lines are drawn from the top of the wither to the ground and the point of the hip to the ground in the box from before.
Shasta – Her back is longer than her shoulder or buttock. This is unfortunate as everything so far was nearly perfect.
Buttock vs. Hip vs. Stifle
Ideal – The lengths from the buttock to the stifle, the stifle to the point of the hip, and the point of hip to the buttock should all be similar.
Shasta – Pretty close to even all around. Very slightly shorter from stifle to buttock.
None of this is really a surprise. Shasta has lovely conformation. Other issues not covered in Breeches and Boat Shoes blog post include knee and pastern conformation
. Shasta has a ideal knees and pasterns. Really, her biggest flaw is hoofs. She does not have very robust feet. She requires Easy Boots on the trails and gets thrush very easily. She has a weak heel and gets a lot of flares. She already gets a lot of biotin and oil and we use Durasol. I suppose no horse can be perfect.