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Reining Horse Conformation Analysis: Part 3By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · December 17, 2010

Photo and Analysis Courtesy Lisa Coulter. See “Reining Horse Conformation Analysis” for the first part of this series.

This horse is long and lanky, especially when compared to the first two horses in the series. I like that his wither is set even with his hip. He appears to have a long back, but notice that his wither ties in deeply to his back. Therefore, his back is really not that long, and he should have strength to his topline.

This horse's hip is steep and that allows for deep stops, but I prefer the hip to not be this steep. A steep hip usually coincides with a short hip. And though a short hip might allow for strong stops, a longer and more sloping hip sets a horse up for hard stops of longer distances.

He has a good set to his hocks; however, he has some excessive length to his cannon bones that I don't like to see. He also has too-long pasterns, which makes them more vulnerable to stress-related unsoundness. This horse is also small-boned.

He has an unusually long head; a shorter distance from eye to muzzle would make him prettier, in my opinion. He won't steal any points for being fancy, yet this would never stop me from riding or purchasing this horse as pretty is as pretty does, especially when looking at reining prospects.

Lisa Coulter is the No. 1 ranked reining rider in FEI standings. She bases her training at a ranch in Pilot Point, Texas, as she travels back and forth between British Columbia and Texas doing business and competing. Look for future conformation analyses from Lisa and other Elite Riders sponsored by Kentucky Equine Research

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