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While some hunters may have a femur that is shorter than the ilium, those horses move with the hocks out behind them, do not look as collected and are more susceptible to injury from hock down. This is true of that particular configuration no matter the discipline. Although the show hunter does not need as much


scope as a grand prix jumper, a stifle protrusion that is below the level of the bottom of the sheath is an advantage in the higher-height divisions. Our sample hunter has a stifle protrusion well below his sheath for ample scope. As with the Olympic disciplines, lightness of the


forehand makes for an easier ride as well as adding to longevity. The line depicting the pillar of support (a line extended up and down through the naturally occurring groove in the forearm) shows that the bottom of the line emerges into the rear quarter of the hoof, which is ideal for soundness. It also emerges well in front of the withers, which aids in lightness of the forehand. Where our show hunter varies most from a jumper


or a dressage horse is in the rise to his humerus. Having less rise from elbow to point of shoulder results in a


lower point of shoulder. This in turn results in lower knee action on the flat and hunter form over fences. When he rotates his scapula back, his point of shoulder will not rise enough to allow his knees to be as high as those of a top jumper. Although his base of neck is above the point of


shoulder, that point of shoulder is low, so it does not add to lightness of the forehand. However, the length and shape of his neck (traits of his sire line) allow him to position his neck to compensate for that to some degree. Add all these traits together and you get a horse that


excelled at what he is built to do rather than what he was bred to do.


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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