Can someone please assess this horse's conformation? (in detail)

I’m trying to develop a better eye for conformation for specific disciplines, and am trying to apply what I learn to the BLM mustangs. This short video shows, after a few pictures, the movement of a 2 year old gelding (already at 14.2, unusual for a mustang).

I would LOVE replies that state

a) what experience you have with assessing conformation,
b) the discipline(s) you think this horse could do well in (up to, say, mid level),
c) any potential red flags you see,
d) your impression of this horse’s mind and temperament (strengths, weaknesses),
e) your overall impression of the horse.

Remember, this is a mustang fresh off the Nevada range (gathered in December, never handled other than in the stocks).…

Thank you SO much!

I’m not qualified to give a critique on his conformation, but he’s cute, nice compact guy, nothing icky about his movement/trot, and he has a bright little inquisitive look to him.

Hard to see all his stuff under the fur, but seems a nice fellow considering he’s probably still wondering if this is a bad dream, living in all those fences!

Will be curious to see what experienced folks deduce from the short video.

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I guess when they gelded him they looked at his teeth, but he looks a little more mature than two, no less than three.
His chest has already dropped to the elbow and his bone is more substantial than a two year old feral horse may carry.

He has a nice floating trot, seems sensible when stressed, still moving evenly, not jerkily.
He seems athletic, moves smoothly and well, balanced over his hind end.
His neck seems to tie in well, may be a hair heavier and a bit shorter than ideal, but that could be from being a stallion, secondary sexual characteristics that will fade somewhat as he matures further, now a gelding.
Depending on the discipline, that neck set will be fine.
Has nice gaskins tying into his hocks, adequate V in front, solid looking joints, nice proportions to his back and underline and short cannon bones.
Can’t see pastern angles and hooves, but he seems to travel smoothly.

Hard to tell so fuzzy, but his head doesn’t show much definition, his eyes seem set a little high and are not very big, but that too can change as he matures.

Without knowing a horse’s pedigree, it is harder to see where he will be once mature.
If he is two now, he may be a heavier set horse later, which may be fine, depending on what you want to do with him.

The feral horse we had was caught at five and still a stallion, of course and made one of the best cowhorses we ever had, extremely athletic, moved much better than his looks, a bit drafty, would have told you he would and was very, very smooth to ride, always nice if you ride several hours at the time.

At a young age, you just never know what you will have there until you see them older and work with them, which is what is so interesting to experience.

At least he looks like the sensible type, that has some measure of self preservation, something not all feral horses do, some are flighty by nature.

You know, all that is a mere guess that can be as right as wrong.
You pick which 50% you like of all that.:wink:


Thank you very much for your responses!

My initial impression was about the same. I couldn’t see anything that stuck out as wrong, but I was a little concerned about his head. His nostrils seem a little small, as do his eyes. I like the general quarter-horse, v-type shape to it, but wonder if it’ll ‘pretty up’ or not.

I really like his back and his hind end, as well as his general coordination.

It looks to me like he has good thick, strong legs, but it can be hard to see how much they really have while still fuzzy.

I also thought he looked a little more ‘together’ than most yearlings and two year olds I’ve seen, but don’t have much experience judging those ages (not that I have any professional experience judging anything, haha).

Would love to hear any more opinions!

I am not really qualified to talk about conformation, but he has so much suspension :D, depending on his personality, I think he could do pretty much anything to a certain extent. Looks like he could do some dressage with that trot


See that’s me, as well! He looks balanced enough and can get his hind under him, a shortish neck can be good for dressage, and he has a quirky little presence. Certainty not the classic picture for dressage, but a cute little weirdo for sure! :smiley: I’m not considering adopting him; in fact, I think he’s already been adopted, but it is SO fun to dream, isn’t it?

With horses like that, you want to see what their canter is.
You never know, some keep that forward, floating motion, others canter like a car on square tires would travel.
You want to consider all gaits when talking dressage, something we don’t have there to evaluate.


Thought he was a yearling. Now that I know he is 2, I don’t like him at all. He is short backed and short necked with a common head and straight shoulder. His hocks trail out behind him.


Seems that this is not after all a horse for adoption any more.
It now belongs to someone else and it is not the OP, so not really a horse we need to be too hard to find fault with.

I think that people should be careful when posting about horses they don’t own, but I could be wrong?


Excuse me, I am going to derail this thread for a minute to put in a screen shot of what I saw on the main discussion forums page. I had no idea what this thread was going to be about! :lol::lol::lol: Carry on…

That is computer logic for you. :lol:

It will cut a word any one way it fits the number of symbols, not the meaning of those in full or piecemeal.
One more reason artificial intelligence is not always that “smart”.

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The video’s public, and it IS a mustang, so my sense is that how the horse was before being adopted is fine to pick apart. It’s highly unlikely that the adopter would ever see this, anyways, and if they did, they might find it useful. That’s my two cents anyways.

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I’ve heard this, probably good for me to remember.

I’d be interested to hear what you have to say comparing this horse (#2) with the original one:

This one (#2) is a 6 year old, 15 hand high gelding from Oregon, currently available for adoption. Video available on the page of the link.

I’d be interested to hear what you have to say comparing this horse (#2) with the original one:

This one (#2) is a 6 year old, 15 hand high gelding from Oregon, currently available for adoption. Video available on the page of the link.

I’d be interested to hear what you have to say comparing this horse (#2) with the original one:

This one (#2) is a 6 year old, 15 hand high gelding from Oregon, currently available for adoption. Video available on the page of the link.

These video clips don’t offer ideal angles for assessing conformation. That said, it is evident that this is a very average American Mustang. The horse is very short and upright in the shoulder, with a short, thick neck. The hind legs lack angulation. These aspects are reflected in the short, choppy, unathletic way of going.

Do those observations render the horse useless? Not at all. He’s a very average sort of horse who will probably make a very usable trail horse, like the majority of Mustangs. He has cute markings and a kind eye, so hopefully he attracted a capable buyer.

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^^This. I’ve always competed in one thing or another, so I look for a well propotioned horse. These mustangs are kind of heavy in front and coarse. Just not my personal preference. But there is someone on this board who has a mustang named Mac I think - can’t remember right off hand, but if you post in Off Course and put Mustang in the title, maybe she will show up.

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To clarify, which horse are you looking at? I would have to disagree with the ‘choppy movement’ regarding the first horse.

This is interesting to me, because I find that the second horse looks really nicely put together. Prettier head than the first one, I think. Hard to tell his movement because he’s more freaked out than the first and the clip is a few seconds long.