5 Conformation Faults You Didn’t Know You Needed

There’s a plus side to everything!

Parrot mouth. Wikimedia Commons/Cgoodwin/CC

There are a few conformation faults that might not win you any ribbons in the show ring, but have their advantages — for example, cow hocks coming in handy for mountain riding. With the legs set closely under the horse, he’s able to navigate steep and narrow terrain much easier than his “perfectly” built counterparts. As his feet toe out, he is able to keep his body firmly planted without worry of slipping.

All seriousness aside, here are a few tongue-in-cheek reasons to embrace your horse’s conformational oddities.

1. Cow-hocked: This is not what they mean when they say “cowhorse” — just that your horse resembles something of a bovine. He might be a good candidate for tight rope walking if times get tough and he’s forced to join the circus.

2. Long backed: Your horse might resemble a dachshund more than an actually horse, but this long-backed equine comes in handy when you have a buttload of screaming, snot-nosed little kids that want to ride but you only have one horse. Load all those little brats up and cram them on there like a bunch of sardines in a can. Make sure PETA isn’t watching, because you know what they’ll say when they see a horse carrying 10 children on its back at one time…

3. Sway backed: As gravity and genetics take their toll on your horse, his back might start to sway and his belly start to drag. As long as he’s not in any pain, it sure makes bareback riding so much easier. Know why? Built in furry saddle. Comfort and convenience. No dealing with tacking up, heavy saddles, matching saddle pads, itchy girths, when you have your own custom sway backed horse.

4. Short necked: No worry about decapitation if you’re one of those idiots who trailer their horses and let them stick their heads out the window if your horse has a super short neck. Now you can get away with it without anyone saying “I told you so!”

5. Extreme parrot mouth: Does your horse have a parrot mouth? Is it so bad that it’s got you wanting to feed it fruit loops and let it sit on your shoulder while you walk around with a patch on your eye and a wooden leg? Well rest assured — at least your horse won’t be a cribber. Even if he wants to be a cribber, he won’t be able to get his fix if he can’t bite down on anything with his front teeth. So, you CAN have that wooden fence and barn you always dreamed about!

Look on the bright side! And go riding.

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