Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Things to Know for Horse Judging

Horse judging relies on determining how well a horse conforms to certain functions.

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Horse judging is the process of evaluating horses in competitions. Horse judges look at a variety of factors when making their evaluations. Horse judging relies on the concept of conformation, which is the extent to which a horse conforms to a particular purpose, such as racing or pulling heavy weight. Five basic criteria are looked at when determining conformation.

Related Searches: Balance

Arguably the most important factor in horse judging is balance. Balance is how well a horse is put together; in other words, the overall quality of a horse's anatomy in relation to all of its component parts. Balance is typically judged by viewing the horse from the side at roughly 25 to 30 feet away from the horse.

Structure and Travel

Structure and travel looks at a horses legs and feet. Structure and travel are evaluated from the side and from the front and back. Horses are judged by the quality of the bone structure in their legs as well as the quality of their hooves.


The muscle portion of a horse examination involves examining both the quantity and quality of a horse's muscle. Because a horse has a great deal of muscle over its entire body, this portion of the judging is done from a variety of view points, including side, front and back.


Quality is an area of horse judging that is not directly related to a horse's functional abilities. Quality factors include a horse's hair, for example. Additional factors include the quality of skin, the shortness and erectness of the ears and the location and prominence of the eyes.

Breed and Sex Characteristics

Breed and sex characteristics look at the differences between different types of horses and how well a particular horse conforms to its breed and sex. For example, stallions and geldings should have heads that appear masculine, while mares should have more feminine features. Additionally, certain breeds of horses, such as quarter horses, should be more muscular than others.

ReferencesUniversity of Kentucky: Horse Judging ManualExtension: What Are Some of the Basics of Horse JudgingPhoto Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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