Conformation Critique, Arab mare

We are looking at this lovely girl today. Purebred Arabian, 7, 14.3, very well bred, not yet saddle trained. If it works out, we would like to aim her toward low level dressage and see how she takes to trails and such. Maybe try sport horse in hand fun stuff in the local AHA shows. My trainer seems to like her from the pics alone.

To my eye, I also quite like her and we are excited to make the 6 hour round trip today to see her in person. Hoping to grab more pics and vids as well…

My 13 year-old Arab gelding was just diagnosed with DSLD, so I am particularly gun-shy about leg conformation issues right now.

She is gorgeous.

I personally would have questions about her longish and sloping front pasterns, from personal experience.

If you buy her (and I would not blame you) I would emphasize to the farrier that you want her toes as short as is humanely possible, and I would have her on a 4 week trimming/shoeing schedule so those toes stay short. I would also watch her weight with an eagle eye, too much extra weight can just add to the problems (like what happened to my mare eventually in her mid-twenties. When I bought her I jokingly said I had bought a baby hippo who wanted to stay in my pocket.) On an Arabian I like to be able to see slight shadows of the first three ribs when I am around 20-30 feet away from the horse, when their ribs did not show at all I immediately put mine on a diet, as in 12 lbs. of hay a day and maybe 3 fistfuls of grain each meal with trace mineral salt.

Believe me, she will be even more gorgeous with a little bit less weight on her.


Agreed she’s lovely. Why the late start? And agree take some weight off her.

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Any info on why she hasn’t been started yet?

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Thank you so much for your detailed reply. Agreed re the pasterns and toes…am also wondering if I am seeing some high-low going on or if it is a trick of the photo angle.

Also agree re the weight!

@ThreeWishes and @hybriseris I believe she was bought to be a broodmare, but has never been bred and the current owner is deciding to get out of breeding. Both of her parents do have show records (sire in particular has done well for himself). She is “brave and willing,” hopefully we will learn a little more today and see how she moves.

Could absolutely just be photo angle since the photo taken from the left of the front hooves doesn’t look as obvious, but taken from right, the front left definitely appears low in the heel with long toe while front right does not.

My lease mare looks a lot like her actually, due to an old injury. She does very well with a short trim schedule and a wedge pad on the low foot, but its not an inexpensive shoeing case! I’ve learned a ton leasing her and watching her farrier. Do you have a farrier you trust to evaluate her?


I also see the differences in hooves and don’t think it’s the photo playing tricks on us.

But if the price is right, it wouldn’t be a major concern for me. I imagine the price will be right with an unbacked 7 year old.

She is absolutely adorable.

There seems to be some level of inheritance that occurs with DSLD, so if she is a close relative of your gelding, that may give you pause.

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Nice looking mare. I don’t like the choice of farrier that they use, but with proper farrier work I don’t see anything you can’t improve.

I don’t think she is fat at all but just a horse that is out of shape due to her couch potato status. Does she have any training in her past besides being halter broke?

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If that is the mare with the bigger melanoma under the tail, that alone may weigh negatively more than how pretty she may be, sorry to say.


She’s adorable. I am not seeing anything that leaps out at me screaming “Wrong.” Buy her, if the price is right it might be worth it. If you don’t mind, what are they asking for her?

@shiloh 2k. But she has a significant issue re melanomas already at her age.

She was lovely and perfect otherwise when we saw her today. Super sweet, quiet, well-mannered, personable. Moves decently. She does have some very slight unevenness in her feet that would be easily addressed and farrier agrees. The melanoma thing is a huge bummer. Perhaps we are suckers but my mom and I (going into this together) are considering some potential options.

Not UNreasonable but would they drop the price a bit because of the melanomas? Would they come down if they knew you were going ot give her a good home and address the medical issues? Could the melanomas be removed? She is a cutie-patootie. I love a grey and her little face is sweet.

We are going to field that very idea to the owner. She would be hauled directly to the vet for eval and potential removal/prompt treatment of the largest mass. With these immediate costs, plus all of the unknowns associated with the condition and the fact that she might have a malignant case, we are hoping that the owner might be amenable to lowering her price accordingly.

She’d be loved, for sure. I understand completely why the logical decision would be to run away, but holy cow I connected with this horse and I wasnt even on her back.


:clap: :clap:

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Looks like a high heel and low heel on the front end. Let us know how the visit goes.

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Here are slightly better pics of the foot situation!

A bit of high-low, and a club on the RF (pretty common in her lines, her great grandsire is Bey Shah…I swear every Bey Shah horse has the same defect). It’s not the worst I’ve ever seen.

Farrier seems confident he can help this. She moves out fine, no short striding or lame steps.

Back feet.

Right front near camera.

Left front near camera.

Other pics just because:

Stills from a fantastically terrible video I took:
image image

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She is adorable, but between the significant club, and the early onset of melanomas, I’d pass.


Oh geez - hate that right front! But if your farrier can fix that or help her and she isn’t having any problems with moving, then ok. It’s dealable.

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Yeah, I think after a few trims, maybe shoes if needed it will start looking much better! But I am also an eternal optimist. :wink: Might ask the vet for a radiograph of the fronts to take a look at that coffin bone.

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I think that we should not encourage the OP to go into this just for the nice feeling of doing good, without considering also the cost to her, emotionally, stress, financial, time and energy.

OP, weight what helping this mare with her many problems, the happy times you will live thru, the successes, what she will teach about yourself, against all what owning her will demand from you, for a very long time, also the sadness forever if you don’t try.

Most of us in horses long have done both, taken in and passed on horses in need, according to what else is going on in our lives.

There is enough both ways said here to maybe help you make the best decision you can in such a complicated situation.
Best of luck to you and the mare.