Sunday, 03 May 2009

Place This Halter Class of Mares (UPDATED with analysis and placings)




Please place these horses in the order YOU think they should be placed. Do not base your opinion on what you think a judge would place them. Please give a rationale as to why you chose the order in the way you did. Please also include conformational points as to why you did or did not like a horse compared to another. After some participation, I will post my views along with my assessment.

Ok, here we go. I placed the horses in the following order: 1,2,4,3. Please see photos.

Horse 1: While this mare is not up to halter weight, she exhibits the best balance and angles of the four mares. Her neck is neither too long, nor too short and her withers extend well into her back. Her heartgirth is also ideal. Her back is relatively short with a strong loin. The length of her hip is longer than horse 2, and 3. She has more carry down through the hip than horse 2 and 3 as well. Her gaskins are neither too short, nor too long and she has good muscle. Now down to the nitty gritty. I placed this mare over mare 2 because she has a better set of hocks. In the picture she is standing a little under herself, in both the front and back (I set her up this way on purpose to get pictures I could fool people with on confo) but you can literally draw a plumb line down this horses rump and hocks. Mare 2, has a bit of set to her hocks and looks to be a little finer boned than mare 1. Mare 1 has excellent slope to her pasterns , is straight through the front legs with no deviation. Her shoulder is very laid back affording her extreme reach. Her neck ties into her shoulder a little higher than what I typically like, but it ties in nicely. I fault this mare on her throatlatch and head. Her throatlatch could be a little more refined and her head could be more feminine; however, her head is not too large for her body. Overall, this mare has excellent bone, and is the most balanced of the four mares.

Horse 2: A very nice mare that is nicely fit for halter. However, on first glance, this mare's shoulder is a tad heavier than her hip. Her balance is better than that of horse 3 and 4, but she is longer through the back than horse 1. She has good definition of the withers but I would like to see them extend into her back a little farther. Her heartgirth is about the same as mare 1's, but not as good as mare 4. Her hip is shaped nicely but I would like to see a little more carry down in order to balance out her shoulder. She could also have a bit more length of hip. While this mare is not sickle hocked, she does have a touch of "set" to her hocks, meaning you could not drop a plumb line down her backside. However, the amount of set is not bad enough to warrant her placing under mare 3 or 4. She has more bone than horse 4, about the same as horse 3 and a tad less than horse 1. Again, not too big of a deal, but she is a bit finer looking for the amount of weight she is carrying. Her pastern angles have nice slope and length, but her feet appear to be smaller than mare 1. However, they are larger than mare 4 and appear to be the same size as mare 3. She has a very nicely angled shoulder, however, her neck is a little heavier than I'd like to see it. Her throatlatch could use some refining; however, her head is feminine and matches the rest of her body. If this mare had a little more carry down through the hip and a hair shorter back she would have been placed first.

Horse 3: While I don't much care for the looks of this mare or the way she is set up, she places over mare 4 for the following reasons: balance and bone. While she is not at all (to me) pleasing to look at, she has more bone to support her body weight than mare 4 and her body proportions are better balanced as well. This mare is mutton withered and lacks depth through the heartgirth. Her withers also do not extend as far into her back due to a more upright shoulder. However, her back is short and she has decent length of hip. While she, like horse 2, could use a bit more carry down through the hip, horse 4 is goose rumped. Her gaskins are of good length but could use a bit more muscle. This mare's hocks are deceiving. While she looks as though you could drop a plumb line behind her, she is actually camped out a bit. (Look at her point of hip in relation to her stifle joint). If she were stood up properly, she would be a little sickle hocked (about like mare 2). Her pastern angles are great and she has nice length to her pasterns. Front legs appear straight with no deviation. Her shoulder is a bit upright (which is why her withers do not extend well into her back). Her neck ties in much lower than what I like (giving her that nest appearance); however, her throatlatch is surprisingly nice. While her head is kind of plain, it is better than mare 1 and 4 but not as nice as mare 2. I placed this mare over 4 because this mare will hold up to a riding career while mare 4 likely will not.

Horse 4: What an impressive looking mare... till ya get to her head! But... Daddy always said "you don't ride the head." This is true, but her head isn't even big enough to act as a proper pendulum. I really like the shape of this mare's neck and the way it ties into to her chest, but it's just not big enough for her body. It needs to be a little thicker to match the rest of her mass. Her withers are better than mare 3, but do not extend into the back as well as mare 1 or 2. Her back is nice and short; but her croup is not ideal. She is goose rumped as all get out. She has great carry down through the hip; but it's even more exaggerated due to her being so goose rumped. If this mare had mare 1's hip and bone she'd be a hell of a halter contender. The thing I like best about this mare is her gaskin and hock. She has beautiful, low set hocks and very nice length to her gaskin, as well as muscle. Her hind pasterns match the angle of her shoulder, but the angle of her front pasterns is more upright than her shoulder. These un-matching angles can cause future soundness problems. If you look very closely at the picture she also appears to toe out slightly in the front. This will cause her to rotate her knee during movement. While this makes for a "flat kneed mover, her sheer mass will cause her to break down due to her minimal bone. Her shoulder is nice, better than mare 3, but not quite as laid back as mare 1 or 2. Her neck could use a little more depth and her throatlatch could be a little more refined. her head, well... it's just too damn small. It reminds me of the guy that had his head shrunk at the end of the movie "Beetle Juice." Where the hell is her jowl? This mare placed last because she lacks balance and bone. Her shoulder is a bit heavier than her hip. Her heartgirth is wonderful but she is supporting about 12-1300 lbs on bone that could be no more than 5 inches in diameter. It's just not enough bone to support her body. If her hip was a bit longer, her head a bit bigger, her front pasterns at a better angle, and her bone a bit larger, this mare would be one hell of a riding horse (structural wise). Of course, the weight would have to come off first!


Anonymous said...


It's hard to make a judgment without seeing a rear view, but I place #2 first because she carries the most overall balance. I placed this mare over #4 because I felt #4 stood somewhat 'downhill' as opposed to #2.

Horse #1 is more short-coupled than the previous 2 mares, which shows some youth to her frame, but still carries balance from head to tail over mare #3, whose head is not in proportion with the rest of her body, giving her quite the unbalanced look.

I do grant that mare #3 has a well developed body, and shows the most maturity, but the head on this mare takes away from the overall picture compared to the other 3 mares.

(critique given by justbloo's kid, only 1 yr of 4-H Horse Judging experience. be kind to me!)

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll play, I will judge these mares as if I were judging a halter class, not an all around class or WP or whatever. If they came in the pen in front of me here is how I would put them.

winning mare is #3, if she is not a world champion she should be. gorgeous neck and throatlatch, awesome topline and underline to die for, over all great profile, nice legs and hocks.

second place is the gray mare, she is nice but not as fancy as the first place mare. her throatlatch is course, her hip ties in higher than i prefer. her legs are good, ok profile.

third place is the yellow mare, she is plain headed next to the other 2, needs more weight and muscle, not as nice a topline, no underline to speak of. not much hip

4th place is the 4 paint mare, not much i like about this mare, her neck comes out at a horrific angle, head is pretty plain as well. She is a rider, not enough muscle and weight for the halter pen, would be a nice performance halter mare as would the yellow mare. for a rider though her hocks are awfully high in back,gonna give her a lot of hock action and with that short forearm and long cannon may not have great movement for WP. maybe hunt seat.

thats all i can think of off the top of my head, let me know how i did. this is sunnyone from the forum.

CCH said...

B, A, D, C

I do zero halter and really only look for horses that I could work. If the horse can do its intended job well, I will over-look conformational flaws. I might change my opinion if I could watch these mares move.

B first because I like the overall balance. She looks a little long in the back and possible a little weak where it ties into her hind, but I think that could be that the picture is at a slight angle. Her pasterns are a bit upright but match her hooves.

A second. I like this mare, but her neck just doesn’t fit with the rest of her. Her throatlatch is a little cleaner than B’s. She has the best front pasterns of all and I bet would be a smooth ride. Looks like she needs to grow up some yet to be compared with B and C.

D third. This horse looks downhill, upright and heavy on the front compared to her hind. Her back end seems to camp out with high hocks and weak stifles, but I like the roundness of her hind quarters better than C’s. Again looks like a horse that needs to grow up some to compare well to B and C. Her face doesn't look like that of a young horse though.

C last. I know this is what places, and I hate this look. I hate the angle of her hip from croup to tail. Her shoulder is nice, but heavier than her hind with a much too small neck that doesn’t balance to my eye.

fuglyfuglyfugly said...

2134. 2, like Anon says, is the most balanced of the four. Although her throatlatch could be a bit cleaner, I don't really dislike anything about her. Her neck appears a bit short, but that could be from the photo angle.

1, while definitely not as show fit as the other mares, looks like a nice, usable mare that could be shown in more than one event.

3 reminded me of a brontosaurus! While she's show fit, she seems very unbalanced (small head, small feet) and I hate that really sloping croup/diaper-butt look. However, disproportionate things aside, she does have a clean neck and an overall good body structure. She just doesn't appeal to me in that she doesn't really look rideable.

I liked 4 the least; while more compact than 3, her neck is short and she looks a bit nesty. She also has a very weak loin attachment, as well as appearing a bit posty behind. The way she's standing doesn't help, looking as though she's leaning too far forward. Her head is probably the least feminine of the four, as well.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I place this class of halter mares 2,1,3,4.

I place #2, the gray mare at the top because she shows the best combined feminity, muscle quality and balance.

In the top pair it was 2 over 1. 1 was more feminine about the head, having a more refined muzzle. She was more level across the topline, showed more length of muscle and tied in deeper in forearm and gaskin and displayed a better set of her hock. Additionally, she was more laid back in the shoulder and stronger through the stifle.

I grant that 1 was cleaner in the throatlatch and shorter and stronger through the loin, but even so she lacked the overall balance of 2 and was higher and straighter in the hock.

But with these faults aside I still placed 1 over 3 in the middle pair. 1 is more correctly turned over the hip and ties deeper into the gaskins. She also is shows a more correct angle to her pastern.

I understand that 3 was a more feminine looking mare about the head, more elegant about the throatlatch and neck, but that does not compensate for the fact that she is steep in the croup, straight in the pastern, ties in shallow at the gaskin.

Nevertheless, it is 3 over 4 in the bottom pair. 3 was more refined about the head and neck, tied in cleaner at the base of the neck, is more defined about the wither. Additionally she is closer to the ground in knees and hocks.

I realize that 4 has more correctly turned over the hip and showed more length through the stifle, but even so she ties in deep at the base of her neck, has a more upright set to her neck, lacks forearm and gaskin muscle and is high and straight in the hock, so she is last.

Wheww...that was fun. Made me have to really think about correct judging terminology rather than the everyday jargon used to describe faults and also the positives.

Anonymous said...

I would place the gray mare first. Although she doesn't look like she has been fitted to AQHA level I think conformationally she is well put together.
She has withers, neck ties in well,nice shoulder angle and good forearm to cannon bone length,nice hip,short backed,looks like she has a nice set to her hocks but it is hard to tell because her tail is covering them.

2nd would be the palomino
I like this mare but based on the way she is standing in the front it makes her look camped under, she also looks fine boned, I would like to see this mare with a few more pounds,but overall conformationally I think she is pretty nice,nice hip,shoulder angle is okay,neck ties in well,good forearm to cannon bone length,nice set to her hocks.short backed

3rd I would place the roan
I do not like the neck or the way it ties in to the chest,the horse looks like it is camped under in the front,a little wasp gutted,does not have a good forearm to cannon bone length which can make for a rough ride,closed shoulder angle,looks camped out in the rear not much set to the hocks,I would almost bet this mare toes out in front

4th I like almost nothing about this mare except I do think she has a nice head and neck that do not look like they belong on that body! Looks straight up and down in the front(not much angle to the pasterns).fine boned,legs look set to far back,steep croup,no set in the hocks,it almost looks like three different horses put together,can't say for sure with out seeing the front end but I would bet she is base wide as well

Dena said...

I really want to see your mare when she is completely fit.
You have brought her a long way in a short period of time.
She has the bones and the padding you have given her.

I need to get and send you a picture of Mathilda. She is almost a dead ringer for Ultimate Tina Turner.

D is the most at this time proportionate to me. Well balanced. And overall attractive.

B is a pretty little thing. I am not thrilled with all and her back is a tad long.
Colour will get her noticed. Performance Halter.

A your horse is well balanced just lacking her weight and full fit.
I will forgive a unbabydoll head and bit longer ear always in favor of a clean throatlatch and elegant neck.

C OMG and I know several someones somewhere are touting this as the end all be all.
All the parts are there but jeeze is she a heaping plateful or what?

I really like your horse success in the pen.
As evidenced by my pick for first.
There are similarities.
However this is a confirmation class. As you cannot expect us to comprehensively participate without the ability to see the contestants

colorisnteverything said...

B, A, D, C.

I placed B above A because B was more balanced overall than A. A has a weaker neck and could use more muscling than B. B was strong through her pasterns and hocks. She had a nice neck and a great hip.

I do however grant two things. One, A could have been shorter through the back. Two, with work, B could be more pleasing the eye than C.

I placed A above D because A was more balanced than C and had a better shoulder. A had much more defined muscling and a stronger hind end over all.

In the end, I placed D above C because D had a better pastern, Neck, and hind end. I found C to be a rather unusuable horse. Under any amount of work, this horse would not stand up.

Overall, I know that C is the big winner, but that is what is wrong with halter.

I think your mare is going to do pretty amazing when you get her fit!

kestrel said...

I don't do halter, so would have to pick them in order in which I would buy them! I like horse #1. Good usable conformation, nice feet and legs, shorter back, kind eye.

#4 could use some work to improve the topline muscle of her neck, and the white gives the illusion of a higher hock than she actually has, however she'd be fun to ride. Intelligent, alert eye.

The grey is mutton withered and long backed, but pretty. She looks a little dull to me though, and I'm not fond of her stifle.

#3 hAS to be a photoshopped mutant. That huge body on bitty pasterns and the deformed goose rump are a breakdown waiting to happen. The tiny head cannot act as a balance for that huuuge butt, so she's going to ride like a grain truck. You could not give me that horse.

success in the pen said...

OMG, Kestrel.
You have me laughing my ass off right now. Ride like a grain truck huh? I'm going to have to use that one. That was a good one.

Keep the critiques coming guys. I'm not posting my choices until tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Yay, I get to play judge! :D

I really like Mare 2, although she doesn't look 'halter-horse' material. Looks more like a western pleasure performance horse with that long back. ;)

So first would be Mare 1. Neck ties in well. Front legs may be a little odd, but they don't have her standing straight either. Cute hip though her loins look a little weak. Nice balance. Back legs look a little posty, but I've seen worse. She's nice.

Mare 2 is second. I like the shoulder, low hocks, neck ties in well (but lower) then horse 1. Nice pretty neck... I wants! <3 Long back though. (I don't think she'd do well in real halter classes... but you told me to place what I liked and why! ;) So I did.)

Mare 3 is third. I don't really like her as her head and neck look like they're from another horse, but her legs are more correct then the 4th place horse. Nice shoulder; dislike her croup immensely. Can you say goose rump? ;) She has too much muscling for me personally and does not look like a mare at all, but that's just personal preference. She's camped under in the back (that's the correct term, right?). Nice low hocks. Longish back.
Really, the head and neck really throw me off, lol!

Mare 4 is fourth. She's downhill. Nice shoulder, neck doesn't tie in nearly as well as horse 1 and 2 and 3 at the bottom. Back looks long in proportion to the rest of her... and she may be back at the knee. Might toe out in the front too! Stifle is high. Croup looks awkward. High hocks.

Now I'm off to see what everyone else placed!

texasnascarcowgirl said...

I do not know anything about halter so I am also going judge them as I would buy them.


A has a pretty head, clean throat latch, deep heart girth, good tail set, nice legs.

D has prety head, deep heart girth, good tail set but I don't like her shoulder as much as I do A. That is what makes her second to me.

B. pretty color but she has a thick throat latch, and I don't care for her tail set. She has a pretty head.

C, yep a gravel truck. I know this is what wins in halter but yikes, no thanks.

Dena said...

Okay woman, unless you are dealing with a riot caused by your renters from hell. Or, you Mother is being unnaturally endangered by the porcelain throne. During which, in your own words you were next to useless for aid anyhow. Get on it!!!
I wants to know...

Dena said...

There is an r in your. Apparently when I write it isw silent and invisible.

your Mother.

Dena said...

And no w in is.