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Conformation and Selection for Performance
ES 110

Instructor: Gord Wadds, PhT



     “Good conformation” by most breed standards is conformation as it relates to efficiency of movement.  However, that is not always what we want in our performance horses.  Sometimes we want a horse to trot well with long low sweeping strides, sometimes we want low, slow knees, sometimes we want hindquarters built for speed and power from a standstill.

       This required course examines conformation as the form relates to the desired function and discusses the conformations desirable for specific events. Students are advised to view horses from many points of view, evaluating each part of the horse in terms of ability to provide the strength and agility necessary to win at different competitions.

              I. Viewing the horse for evaluation
                      A. Front view
                      B. Side view
                      C. Hindquarters view

              II. Evaluating head
                       A. Airways
                       B. Vision
                       C. Intelligence

               III. Evaluating the forehand
                        A. Neck and shoulder
                        B. Front legs
                        C. Heart girth
                        D. Back

                 IV. Evaluating the body
                         A. Top line
                         B. Rib cage
                         C. Underline
                         D. Loin

                  V. Evaluating the hindquarters
                          A. Croup and hips
                          B. Hind legs
                          C. Viewing the spinal column

   Required textbooks:
               • Horse Conformation Handbook, Heather Smith Thomas
               • Horse Anatomy Coloring Atlas, Robert A. Kainer
        These books can be ordered at the College Book Store:


        There is no completion deadline for the course.  The student works at his or her own pace.  The student will not be "locked-out". 

         The grading scale for this course is as follows:
                 90-100%  =    A
                 80-89%    =    B
                 70-79%    =    C
                 Below 70%     Fail

        You are strongly encouraged to communicate via email with the instructor.  Mr. Wadds is available as an instructor and mentor to assist you in meeting your goals for this course.  If at any time during this course you change your email address, please be sure to notify the instructor and office right away.
        Do not use text messaging shorthand or acronyms when communicating with the instructor.
        Please include full name and address in all correspondence.  

        Many lessons require written assignments or essays.  They should be submitted as an attachment to an email using Word or a similar word processing software.
Please be sure to include full name and email address on all documents - not just in the email message. 
        Proper grammar and spelling will be graded.
        Do not use text messaging shorthand or acronyms - this is college level work.

        Access to a horse is required.
        All assignments, quizzes and videos must be completed.

To order course - Click Here

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