Saturday, January 7, 2012

Conformation Critique - on Milo

I've always laughed and joked on how downhill Milo is. He sticks (last time he was sticked was three years ago, so take it with a grain of salt) at around 15.3 1/2 at the wither and just barely over 16 at the hip. This would reasonably be considered downhill, right?

The FuglyBlog posted about conformation in Toplines Can be Deceiving!, and how functionally a horse operates, at downhill, uphill, or level, irregardless on what the conformation looks like (ie, higher or lower withers). The post compared two seemingly very different horses; one appearing obviously uphill and one downhill. Upon some closer examination, however, the Fugly authors determined that the uphill horse actually functionally works downhill, and the visually downhill horse actually functions level or almost uphill. They used the ever famous and scientific method of drawing lines on a photo in paint. I had to try this for myself on Milo, just to see what happened.

Just as noted in the Fugly post, Milo's hocks sit slightly higher then his knees, which is not alarming, but continuing up it appears that Milo's stifle is strikingly higher then his elbow. We all know Milo has a steep (huge) rear end, and from the point of the femur to the base of the neck at (roughly) the C6 vertebrae, he is actually uphill. Interesting considering his wither sits lower than the the top of the hip.

Now, considering the opposite angles of the stifle to elbow and femur to neck, I might be inclined to think that they sort of "level him out". My estimation is that Milo would neither move as an uphill horse or as a downhill one, but more neutral or "level". I dont think that he feels like he moves up or downhill (but I could also be very used to the way he moves). Thoughts?

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