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by Hilda Gurney

Photo by Brian Dunlap

Hilda Gurney analyzes the conformation of a 3 year old American Warmblood mare.

Reanna has a big but attractive head. Longer heads usually allow for more torque at the poll area and are often easy to flex and put on the bit, so this can be an advantage for the rider. I like her alert expression.

Hilda Gurney is a renowned dressage judge, competitor, Olympic medalist and breeder based in Moorpark, CA.

She has a nicely wedge shaped neck that is set high on her shoulder which indicates a natural uphill balance, desirable for dressage compe- tition. Her neck, shoulder attachment is good; there is no dip in front of her withers where her neck joins her shoulder. A well developed shoulder and long laid back withers make it easy to fit her saddle and keep it in place when she is ridden.

Reanna’s back is long which is often the case in mares [makes room to carry foals] which might make it difficult for her to over-track in the walk. Long backs usually are easier for the rider to sit the trot but may cause the horse difficulty carrying the powerful thrust of the haunches throughout the whole body. I can only evaluate the effect of the long back by watching the horse move.

She has good bone and nice big joints that will disperse the stress of the legs hitting the ground. The hoof quality also looks good. The pastern could be more sloping for effective shock absorption, however, at three I don't know Reanna’s eventual size, and big horses usually have straighter pasterns to aid in carrying their more massive weight. I like this horse's well muscled haunches and gaskins and very correct hock angles. She looks like she will make a very nice competition horse.

If you’d like to submit a photo of a 3, 4 or 5 year old prospect to WT for analysis in a future issue, please send photo and information to editor@warmbloodstoday.com.

Horse’s name:

Real Love (aka Reanna)

Sex: Mare Age: 3 Height: 15.3

Sire: Romeo Sullivan - Holsteiner Dam: Palova - Hanoverian Breed: American Warmblood

Intended Sport: Dressage Owners name: Melissa Buck

Farm name: Four Bucks Farm Location: Perkiomenville , PA

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