Thought 4the day: To of loved and lost then to never to of loved at all... Horses are amazing creatures. This goes out to Hannah McGuigan. Its her 16th birthday today and very sadly she lost the horse she had fallen in love with yesterday. All i can say to Hannah is that its better to of loved her and met her for those few months and had the privilidge of spending that time with her then never to ...of met her at all. She came into your life for a reason and departed for another that you have yet to learn. Life is a curve ball and horses teach us valuable lessons too. She left you with so much inside yourself and taught you so much without you realising. Cherish her memories hun as shes still with you right now. Have a great birthday as she would of wanted you to realise something. Shes happy now and at peace and remember one thing that she gave you. That she handed to you. Yet you still have to see is there. Xx
Fact 4the day: The Chest
The Shape of the horse's chest plays a significant role in his level of endurance and stamina. A horse that will do slow, steady work might not be hampered by chest conformation that limits lung capacity, but any other horse that will do work requiring speed, power, or endurance needs as much room as possible for maximum lung expansion. The horse's ribs form the outer surface of the chest and define the appearance of the horse's midsection, or Barrel, the area between the front legs and hindquarters.
A horse's chest is measured from the bottom end of the neck to the tops of the front legs.
Ribs play an important role in the shape of the chest, whether they are narrow or wide.
The overall shape of a horse's chest plays a key role in the front leg movement.
The horse's chest should be well defined and NOT blend in to the neck.
Width of the chest is measured from shoulder to shoulder, at the points of shoulders.
Chest should be wide, with relatively wide gap between the front legs, but not too wide, as this may cause the horse to have decreased speed and agility.
Chest Shape When viewing the chest from the front, the chest should be wider at the bottom than at the top. The shoulder blades should be much closer together at their tops, toward their withers, than at the points of shoulders where the front legs attach.
Most important thing to remember: The chest width allows for lung expansion and determines agility!
Well Sprung Ribs
Ribs that have a greater degree of curvature, have the "greater spring of rib."
A horse with a well rounded rib is usually more endurance type (i.e. Arabian or Thoroughbred)
Flat, short and upright rather than sloping backward.
Ribs go straight down instead of outward and back, limiting room for lung expansion.
Horses with slab-sided ribs tend to have less-developed abdominal muscles and less stamina.
Also a longer, weaker loin, and can not carry as much weight.
Barrel Chest and Deep Chest
Most horsemen prefer a deep, wide chest over the barrel chest, as his length of leg tends to be greater than his depth of chest.
Although, a horse with a barrel chest that has proper proportions can provide just as much lung room as a deep chest (in terms of actual efficiency and endurance)
Barrel chest horses tend to have good stamina.
Chest Faults Narrow Chest
Too Narrow in front with a narrow breast, and not enough room between his front shoulders.
Narrow chested horses have a harder time carrying a riders weight.
With a too narrow chest the forelegs may be too close together, or may angle out to be base wide.
Too wide ribs hinder the backward sweep of the upper arm.
Also spreads riders' legs apart uncomfortably and apply stress to the riders' knees.
Too-Wide chest cuts down on speed and agility
[All information is derived from "The horse Conformation Handbook" written by Heather Smith Thomas]
With the horse standing square, the width between the front legs is relatively narrow. However, this can be skewed by how far apart feet are placed at rest. A narrow breast often represents general thickness and development of shoulder.
A narrow breast is usually seen in Gaited horses, Saddlebreds, Paso Finos, and Tennessee Walkers
A horse's ability to carry weight is dependent on the size of its chest, so a horse that doesn't do well with draft work may be fine in harness or with a light rider.
Narrowness may be from turned-in elbows which can cause toes to turn out, making the horse appear narrow.
Narrowness in the chest may be from immaturity, poor body condition, inadequate nutrition, or under-developed breast muscles from a long time in pasture and lack of consistent work. The horse usually has undeveloped shoulder and neck muscles.
The horse may tend to plait, and is more likely to interfere, especially at the trot
The horse is best for pleasure riding, driving in harness, and trail riding.
Pigeon-breasted horse, with the sternum protruding
The front legs come too far back under the body, giving a bulky appearance to the breast as viewed from the side. The front legs lie behind a line drawn from the withers to the ground, setting the horse under himself. It is often associated with a long shoulder blade that drops the point of shoulder somewhat low with the arm bone relatively horizontal, setting the elbow more to the rear.
A relatively uncommon fault, mostly seen in Quarter Horses with big, bulky muscles.
Bulky breast muscles and legs set under the body decrease the efficiency of stride and swing of shoulders, thus hastening fatigue. It may interfere with the front legs, forcing them to move to the side rather than directly under horse. Causes a “rolling” gait that slows the horse’s speed, especially at the gallop.
Should have little interfering in the sprinting sports that need rapid acceleration. The inverted V of the pectorals are important for quick turns, doges, and spins needed by stock horses.
This conformation quality is most useful in Quarter Horse racing, barrel racing, roping, and stock horse sports where a low front end crouches & the horse makes quick turns.
Quote 4the day: Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyways. ~John Wayne