This is Arthur, he is a 10 year old 17hh Danish Warmblood who has been in work for 3 years and eventing at BE for 1 year.
The main issue with Arthur is he is over at the knee. You can see how his whole body looks slightly tilted forwards. It is better to be over at the knee than behind but its still something I am very aware of so I would never run him on the hard ground and I check his tendons meticulously. He has accumulated two massive splints which I put down to his being over at the knee just because of additional concussion.
He has good even feet but to add to being over at the knee he is pigeon toed. You can see it in this photo how they point slightly inwards. He moves straight but I get him shod wide in order to try and reduce the pressure that the additional weight because of the way he will naturally put more weight on the inside of his foot. I have had one or two bruises over the years under the shoe but being shod wider has really stopped this issue.
His neck is naturally inverted. Ideally I would want more of a rounded shape with less muscle underneath the neck but part of this is the way he goes (he shortens his neck) and is an onward issue to try and keep adding muscle to the top of his neck. When I have the chiro out he normally will have tightness through his neck just because of the way he holds it and any tension comes through his neck. He is sightly upright in his shoulder and though he moves really well its a challenge to get him to use his shoulders properly. Its the same with jumping – he could be better though his shoulders.
He is short coupled and strong through his back. Arthur is built very uphill with a large wither. This means he gives you a great feeling to ride as always in front of you.
He has a well set croup but it has taken years for him to stop looking so flat across his bum because he is so long in the thigh. The point from his hock to his croup is very long which gives him loads of power but it has taken a long time for him to learn to sit behind.
He is straight in the hind leg which is pretty common in warmbloods. If you compared him with a TB you would see a real difference. I think in the past there used to be more hang ups about it than there are now.
Ultimately conformation does matter. Just like I think breeding matters. When looking at a horse to do a job you need to know they will be able to do it but they also need to want to do the job and looking on paper at the breeding and at their conformation will not tell you what is going in inside their head.
Hopefully we will be able to develop this series and even get some photos of 4* horses!