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motion is much smaller.” Dressage horses have stifles (the visible protrusion)

at the bottom of the sheath or just below it —not as far below the sheath as with the jumpers. Salinero’s stifle is just below the bottom of the sheath, in keeping with his job. This allows for sustained collection and extension as opposed to the jumper, who compresses the hindquarters for short periods before moving to extension over a fence. Good dressage horses tend to have a shorter

level ilium side (top point of hip to point of buttocks) and a longer femur side (point of buttock to stifle). Again, Salinero fits the ideal. Those where the femur is shorter than the ilium side move with their hocks further behind themselves. They do not reach as far underneath the body and are more susceptible to injury from hock to hoof. The top dressage horses all have a high point of

shoulder for lightness of the forehand. And they have a base of neck set well above the point of shoulder— more lightness of the forehand. The dotted line depicting Salinero’s pillar of

support shows the top emerging well in front of the withers, adding to lightness, and bottom emerging into the rear quarter of the hoof, adding soundness/ longevity. It also bisects the humerus near the midpoint for more lightness. The length and angle of the humerus make a

big difference in how the front end moves as it is an integrated part of the front end apparatus— scapula to point of shoulder to elbow to knee—that determines movement and reach of the forehand. As the photos show, Salinero’s humerus is well angled and has sufficient length for full extension. The freedom of movement at the elbow is also

very important to the dressage horse. An elbow that is set so close to the body that it strikes the horse’s ribcage can cause rebellion in lateral work. In extreme cases, the horse will shorten the stance phase of the stride on the contact side and consequently shorten the swing phase on the opposite side, making the gait choppy. This is not an issue for Salinero. Despite his height and the accomplishments of his

brother, Salinero is structurally designed to excel in dressage.

WT

Coming next issue: Judy analyzes the 2008 Olympic Event champion Marius.

About Judy: Having researched equine conformation for the last 30 years, Judy has written two books about the subject with two more on the agenda. She travels worldwide giving clinics about conformation for all disciplines. Her website is

www.jwequine.com.

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