ESI Q and A Forums Home
 Search       Members   Calendar   Help   Home 
Search by username
Not logged in - Login | Register 

Assistance analyzing horse
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
 New Topic   Reply   Print 
AuthorPost
greisen
Member
 

Joined: Sat Jul 15th, 2017
Location:  
Posts: 3
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Jul 26th, 2017 08:17 pm
 Quote  Reply 
I need some help analyzing this 3 year old Andalusian Stallion (3 pictures attached).

To begin with, I feel this is a beautiful guy and overall has harmonious parts that flow together. He placed 3rd for his movement at his inspection out of 238 horses. I have not seen him in person but wanted to analyze his conformation components first to determine if he is stallion material.

My concerns consist of his knees and radial axis, and long stifles. For example, I cannot determine if he has over straight knees because they look a little “tied in”. Next, I am not sure I have correctly identified the stifle joint location to get accurate measurements for his gaskin and femur length, and his stifle and hock angels. I calculated his THL to croup height and got 94% and not sure if this is too high. Also, my measurements suggest his pelvis length is longer than his femur length, and I would use him for dressage so this might be another concern.

If anyone can help me on these issues, I would greatly appreciate it.

Attachment: image1 (2).PNG (Downloaded 103 times)

greisen
Member
 

Joined: Sat Jul 15th, 2017
Location:  
Posts: 3
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Jul 26th, 2017 08:19 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Here is another picture.

Attachment: image1 (1).PNG (Downloaded 103 times)

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3042
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 07:21 am
 Quote  Reply 
OK, I have a little time tonight to help you out, Ms. Greisen. You've done a pretty good job of reading and studying, and you've learned the basic technique which I use to analyze conformation. Even if you don't feel 100% confident in placing the points and lines,  you at least get the idea that the particular points we are usually looking for are the centers of rotation of actual skeletal joints. And you get the idea that the particular lines we are usually looking for are summarizations of the positions of actual skeletal bones. Neither the points nor the lines are just arbitrarily drawn on, and, I would emphasize, no point or line that anyone could mark would have any INTERPRETABLE biomechanical or architectural meaning except insofar as we know the exact relationship of that point or that line to the actual skeleton.

I say "usually" above, as in we are USUALLY looking for points or lines that directly relate to the skeleton, because there are four lines which we draw that neither mark a joint center, nor summarize a given bone:

1. Withers height -- plumb vertical dropped from highest point of withers to ground;
2. Croup height -- plumb vertical dropped from peak of croup to ground;
3. Body length -- point of buttock to point of breast;
4. Overal body balance -- core of loins to widest palpable zone of the base of the neck, over C5-C6.

These four lines are used as denominators for ratios, or, in the case of the OBB, as a general (and very important and highly useful) summary of body balance.

We also skip over joint centers and ignore individual vertebrae when we measure the neck length (peak of withers to poll), the length of the functional back or freespan of the back (peak of withers to lumbo-sacral joint as projected on the dorsum), and the length of the croup (lumbo-sacral joint to palpable base of the dock). This set of conventions makes neck length the least accurate measurement of any, since the neck is very flexible and a horse can stretch of compress his neck enough from one photo to another to make a considerable difference in the measurement we derive. This highlights the fact that when your interest is what you have stated, Ms. Greisen, that is to say, not merely "academic" or passing interest, but it is going to have long-term practical and financial impact, you really need to measure several photos of the horse, taken on different days.

So much for the very basic things. There are several points which are harder to locate than others in a photograph, particularly, the widest part of the base of the neck; the hip socket; and the center of rotation of the stifle joint. The other ones are pretty easy because the bone structure underlying them is rather prominent, or else they lie on the silhouette outline. The stifle joint is the easiest of the harder three, because you can almost always locate the little dimple in the skin contour of the fore surface of the hind limb which marks the notch between the femoral condyles and the tibial crest. A horizontal line which bisects this notch will pass, near enough, through the center of rotation of the stifle joint. Then all you do is bisect this horizontal, that is, go halfway back along that line from the front to the rear surface of the hindlimb, and that's where you mark your point.

Now, as to your other questions, they are not a matter of learning how to analyze conformation by means of photographs; they are instead, a question of experience. In other words, let us say Ms. Greisen, that we take a photo completely apart by analysis and we do a perfect job of it. A complete analysis yields two tables of numbers: the first, the raw measurements either in cm if you do it on a print with a ruler, or else in Photoshop screen units (using the Photoshop measurement tool) if you do it that way. The second table will be the table of percentages, for example, how long the horse's neck appears to be RELATIVE TO his body length or his withers height, whichever you choose for your denominator. You will also have a set of angle measurements, which I greatly prefer to measure on-screen in Photoshop because of the greater accuracy and also ease and speed of use. The angle measurements begin with OBB but also include stuff like pastern, pelvic, and shoulder angles which everybody has always been interested in.

But none of this output will do you, or me, or anybody else the slightest bit of good in the absence of experience. I am talking about "experience" on a number of levels:

1. Experience with horses in general. Is the animal you're analyzing weird looking in some way, compared to the general run of horses? Does he have OUTSTANDINGLY crooked legs, gross calf knees, a great big capped hock, one ear frozen off?? We need a little perspective here.

2. Experience with horses belonging to the breed of interest. How many other Andies have you considered buying or breeding to? If you're going to plunk down the big bucks, my dear, I hope your answer is "in the hundreds".

3. Experience with horses belonginig to the particular bloodline. Have you obtained photos (which you will also hopefully want to analyze) of the particular colt's sire, dam, and full and half siblings? How much about the growth and maturation pattern in this bloodline do you know?

4. Experience with how things shake at shows. Is the colt's bloodline the currently fashionable one? Does he have near relatives who are champions or consistent winners?

5. Experience with yourself. PLEEEEEEEEASE don't tell me you're seriously going to keep the beast a stallion, honey, because he is utterly worthless as that and a misery to himself and everybody around him while he still has balls. There are very, very few people qualified to own or handle a stallion, and, on top of that, you have so much competition that you will NEVER make an economic go of it. In other words: tell it to the IRS in terms of hobby-loss. I live in the central San Joaquin valley of California, out in a little village where people still can pretty safely ride horses along the roadway so you see 'em every day. And there are -- easily -- fifty different Mexican families just in my neighborhood who are breeding Andies left and right, paddocks full of mares and colts, twenty different stallions within ten minutes of my house -- most of which are, overall, greatly superior to the one you're showing me here. So you MUST NOT fall in love, you MUST NOT get hooked by a seller who claims to be offering you a price, and you MUST NOT get in a hurry. That is, if you want to "win" long term.

So why do I rate the other horses higher? Because what you've got here is one of what I refer to as the "stuffy" types of Andies -- somewhat like Albert Ostermaier's old stallion Golondrino IV: pony-like overall even though a fairly large horse; no great cut of withers, rather fleshy through the shoulder, cut out behind the knees, crooked hind legs, a little light of bone in front. Might work as a breeding stallion if all he ever saw was good TB mares.

The crooked hind legs, in an Andy, are as forgivable as they are in the American Saddlebred, meaning, almost 100% of the horses belonging to these breeds have what a TB breeder would consider 'crooked' or over-angulated hind limbs; but some are more crooked than others. What is of MOST importance in any horse, but particularly one to be used in dressage competition, is the breadth of the hock as seen in rear view. If the hocks are substantial, you can get away with quite a bit of over-angulation.

You're right in thinking the horse in the photo has a big pelvis, and that's great; he also has a good strong back. But IMHO you can do better. If you want to make a splash in dressage on an Andalusian, you need a horse that shows more 'frame', that has a much more flexible and movable shoulder, and that is not cut out (or 'tied in') under the knees. Some of my Mexican neighbors are selling to the general market, but much of their production goes to the mounted bullfighters in the local Portuguese community. They need a highly flexible horse to dodge the horns, but you need the same thing if you want to make scores for lateral work and have that flashy, long, high trot the dressage world is so much in love with.

You also want to pay attention to temperament, because I see people over-mount themselves way too often. What most people will succeed with, if they can for a crucial few moments (the crucial few moments where the actual purchase is finalized) stop being ambitious, stop dreaming their dreams -- is a gelding of 9 to 12 years that has been ridden by somebody capable of teaching the horse, on the one hand, to rise to the leg, but also to mind his manners. You need a horse that will give you as much energy as you ask for at any given time, but no more than that. If you have that kind of horse, you will have material which you can then have the pleasure of making beautiful, and with a good coach you can figure on being in the ribbons within a couple of years of making your purchase.

Hope this is of assistance. -- Dr. Deb




greisen
Member
 

Joined: Sat Jul 15th, 2017
Location:  
Posts: 3
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 11:17 am
 Quote  Reply 
Thanks!


 Current time is 12:21 pm




Powered by WowBB 1.7 - Copyright © 2003-2006 Aycan Gulez