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Good conformation? Maybe

Good conformation-as defined by almost everyone-is often times not exactly what you want in your performance horse.

"The best conformation," says Don Blazer in his newest Know and Go Series e-booklet "is the conformation which gets you the performance you want. And good conformation by the usual standards may not get the job done."Blazer explains the standards of conformation established by most breed associations are related to the horse's efficiency of movement and not to specific performances.

"Yes," Blazer agrees, "what is called good conformation also has a direct bearing on soundness in most cases. But soundness and efficiency of movement may not be the most desirable traits for specific performances," Blazer points out. "Today's winning western pleasure horse is not the epitome of soundness and efficient movement. And the best conformation for a gaited horse is not the best conformation for a jumper."

According to Blazer certain conformations are best for certain performances. "Today we breed for specific exercises. A horse which is built to slide 20 feet has very different hindquarters conformation from a horse which will excel at endurance racing," Blazer said.

The Know and Go Series is made up of e-booklets available only on the Internet at The booklets are priced at $4.95 each. The series includes e-booklets on bits, shoeing, nutrition and behavior modification.

"The series is intended to give the busy horse owner the information needed to both understand a subject and to get immediate positive results when applying that understanding.

"You can study conformation or bits or nutrition for years and enjoy every minute of your research and effort. And we encourage that. We also know horse owners are pressed for time and need accurate, helpful information at their fingertips now. And that's what the Know and Go Series provides." For example, Blazer said, study your horse and really look at his nostrils. Are they large? Are they small? The size of the nostril affects the horse's air flow. Horse's with small nostrils are not going to get as much air, so they may have trouble with racing, cutting, jumping or eventing.

Study the horse's neck and by understanding its length and shape you'll be better able to select an event suited to that horse's natural talents.Most horse owners don't have the time to study every little detail of conformation, so the Know and Go series gives them what they need to know to get results, now. The information is presented quickly, easily and in an entertaining manner.

Visitors to can download a free e-booklet, Bits-A Quick Look, and take a Horse Smart Quiz. The site also offers information about college certificate programs for online courses including Training Performance Horses and Coat Color Genetics.


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.