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sheath, even if the he has stepped forward with the near hind, which heightens the protrusion. This low stifle (well below sheath level) adds length of stride and equates with scope when jumping. The range of motion/long stride is evident in the trotting photo and the scope is evident in the jumping photo. His rear triangle (point of hip to point of buttock,

point of buttock to head of the tibia, head of the tibia to point of hip) measures slightly shorter in the ilium (point of hip to point of buttock), which is a trait found (usually to a higher degree of difference) in top dressage horses. The longest side is from point of hip to stifle (head of the tibia), which is a common trait in top eventers and top steeplechasers because it correlates with the ability to run and jump. The same trait is often found in jumpers specializing in speed classes. Marius’ pillar of support (a line extended upwards

and downwards through the naturally occurring groove in the forearm) that emerges in front of the withers, which adds to lightness of the forehand, and into the rear portion of the heel, which adds to soundness. His humerus shows a substantial rise from elbow

to point of shoulder, and the base of the neck ties in above the point of shoulder. Both of these are factors for lightness of the forehand. In addition, a high point of shoulder aids in the ability to raise the knees quickly when jumping. All three photos show that he has ample room behind his elbow, allowing it to go through its full range of motion without making contact with the ribcage, which would cause a shortening of the stride. In closing, I leave you with something to think

about. While a low stifle adds scope and stride length, it makes sustained collection more difficult. This, in my opinion, represents the fine line between enough dressage ability and enough jumping ability in the modern eventer. The more the horse is structurally adept at dressage, the less adept it is at jumping. That is just physics. I mention this because riders are not usually airlifted from and horses are not often put down in the dressage arena. Sufficient scope for cross country can be a life saver.

WT

Coming next issue: Judy analyzes the Olympic jumper Hickstead.

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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