Eventing Conformation

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by ottbrider ottbrider 3 years, 7 months ago.

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  • ottbrider Original Poster ottbrider
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 33

    So my Thoroughbred mare is my eventing prospect. She has started over cross country jumps and recently done some stadium. She has some conformation defaults that aren’t severe but I’m just inquiring. I have high hopes for this mare, at least a CCI*. She’s about 4 (originally I thought she was 6 but her papers said otherwise) and I feel like maybe she’ll grow out of it but it’s unlikely (she’s already 18hh). Anyways she is slightly over at the knees, barely noticeable. It’s typical of Thoroughbreds bred for racing careers and she’s a Secretariat mare. Her left hoof is slightly pigeon toed. So slight I wouldn’t know if I didn’t put the bell boots on because she sometimes clips a chunk out of the opposite boot. She never trips or stumbles and it doesn’t seem to affect her jumping. My question to y’all being; long term, would this be too much strain on her knees and legs to event to the upper levels and would this be something that’s correctable/she’ll grow out of? Thanks! I’ve provided the best photo of her standing square as I could but she’s standing weird in the back. (Her hocks and back leg angles are near perfect)

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by ottbrider ottbrider.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by ottbrider ottbrider.
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    No horse is incapable of learning- riders are just incapable of teaching

    ottbrider Original Poster ottbrider
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 33

    She also just popped two splints. One on the front and one in the back both on the left inside legs. Will this stifle our goal or affect it in anyway? I don’t want to put her at an unnecessary risk. Thanks!

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by ottbrider ottbrider.
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    No horse is incapable of learning- riders are just incapable of teaching

    drparker
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    Some pictures from the side and straight from the front would be helpful. I can’t really tell you anything from the angle you have. Splints are typically just blemishes but if she becomes lame you should have them looked at as they can occasionally rub the suspensory ligaments. It would be best to bring her along slowly for now. 18h (wow!) is a big girl and that’s a lot of force coming down on those front legs when she lands. If she’s over at the knee very much she will be prone to injury. Her conformation is pretty set at this point in her life and it’s unlikely she’ll grow out of anything, though she may get a tiny bit taller still and developing some muscle will be good for her. Corrective shoeing may help with the pigeon toe. Keep in mind that her extra large size may interfere with her ability to shorten her stride in some of the tighter spaces seen at prelim, a 9 foot bounce might be tough for her. Good luck!

    ottbrider Original Poster ottbrider
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 33

    Wow thanks so much! I’ve never dealt with shin splints before but when I noticed them she wasn’t bothered by them. She was even running and bucking in the pasture with the other geldings the same day I saw them. She doesn’t seem to have any issues shortening her stride despite her size. We’ve condensed her canter down to the speed of my sister’s Arabian gelding’s walk. She does very well in condensing and extending her stride. She very flexible so it helped with the tight turns and shortenings. I don’t have a lot of conformation shots but I hope these help! These are older photos from about that range from 5-8 months ago but they are the best ones I have! Thanks for the reply!

    No horse is incapable of learning- riders are just incapable of teaching

    TheFoxRider
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 28

    Well, I’m not a vet or a conformation expert by any means, but I have had some tough experiences with a racing bred TB mare that I try to share whenever I can – TB’s are the BEST but here are some things to keep in mind:

    My mare, like yours, is behind at the knee and also has long pasterns like I’m seeing in the angle of your mare’s front legs. It does look like you are using SMB’s on her, but the pastern length and the angle the hoof and pastern attach to the rest of the leg can really stress those front leg apparatuses. I would suggest working with a good, knowledgeable farrier and perhaps even your vet to evaluate a trim to keep her toes short and keep the pidgeon toe in check. If their toes get long, the pastern angle increases, and thus the stress.

    Her angles and bone appear to be better in the back, but it’s hard to tell when she’s resting the foot. It sounds like she can and is willing to compress her body and reach deeply underneath of herself, but again long pasterns can cause problems in the hind.

    My suggestion? Get to know her legs and have your hands on them for heat and changes before and after every ride. Get recommendations for a good farrier (perhaps from your vet?) and work with them to keep the toe angles short and the leg supported by the hoof, as well as properly address the pidgeon toe to help avoid injury and striking herself.

    I’ve attached a conformation shot of my mare (before her second injury and wearing wedge shoes on the front) for reference – she was a fantastic lower level eventer and schooled through training level. She also injured a front deep digital flexor tendon when her toes got too long and she slipped slightly – the angles let her hyper extend and we nearly had to end her career and her life from this injury. She couldn’t be turned out in wet conditions for nearly 2 years as even the slightest slip would cause her discomfort again. She did heal, and ran 100% sound on the leg. A few years later she began to show a slight amount of fill in one hind leg – no lameness, 100% willing to work. It turned out that she had 3 dime sized stress holes in her suspensory ligament and again, we nearly had to end her life because she was in so much pain. The fetlock is now dropped with no suspensory to hold it up and gets pain meds every day to keep her comfortable in her retirement.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by  TheFoxRider.

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    ottbrider Original Poster ottbrider
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 33

    Thank you for your insight. My mare is actually over at the knees though; not behind. You are correct though her pasterns are a little long. I think she grew too big too fast and raced too hard too soon. She was about 17.2hh around 3-4 and now she’s 5 and is almost 18hh. But it’s been a while since I posted this and since then we have figured out a few things to help her cope with her faults. She won’t be an upper level eventer and I’m ok with that- she’s a great starter horse and she’ll produce a nice foal when she’s done eventing. She wasn’t over at the knees when I first got her, we think she may have bone chips from racing and because she’s jumping now they are starting to show. I know how I can keep them from impairing her jumping as well as help correct the knees. and my farrier is working on her toe-in issue and he is doing really well. Also, the splints don’t seem to bother her one bit! She’s a beautiful, brave jumper and she’ll be one heck of an eventing partner! Thanks to everyone for your opinions!

    No horse is incapable of learning- riders are just incapable of teaching

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