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heavy. If the line emerged behind the hoof, there would be additional stress to the suspensory apparatus of the forelegs, especially when landing after a jump. If it emerged into the front of the hoof, the concussion of landing would be amplifi ed in the bones of the hoof as well as the rest of the foreleg.


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There are several factors that aff ect lightness of the


forehand. We can see that the pillar of support emerges well in front of the withers even though she has her neck bent and is facing the camera. A signifi cant rise to the humerus from elbow to point of shoulder not only lightens the forehand it allows the knees to raise high and to do so quickly. Imagine how much heavier on the forehand she would be if she had a low point of shoulder and how much slower she would be at raising and folding her forelegs. Having a considerable range of motion to


the top of the scapula also aids in raising the knees since from top of scapula to knee is all one apparatus, and none of the bones move independently. (Photos 2 & 3) And of course, the higher the base of the neck is above the point of shoulder—especially if the point of shoulder is high—the lighter the forehand. (Photo 1) Even though her neck is bent because she is looking at the camera, her base of neck is well above her point of shoulder. Using these points for assessing functional


conformation, there is little doubt that Sapphire was built to do the job she did so well. Enjoy your retirement, old girl! Today there are two Sapphire clones, and


McLain Ward says, “I have pictures of her when she was young, and they look just like her.”


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About Judy: Having researched equine conformation for 30 years, Judy has written two books on the subject. Her most recent, Learning by Example: Analyzing Functional Conformation for the Olympic Disciplines, is available as an e-book. She travels worldwide giving conformation clinics for all disciplines. Judy also analyzes individual horses based on photos and gives breeding consultations. Learn more at www. jwequine.com.


Warmbloods Today 63


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