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Conformation of the Thoroughbred Racehorse. How horses are put together and why they can run so fast.

17 September 2014
Conformation and description of the Thoroughbred Race Horse
The conformation of a racehorse essentially means how well he is put together in order to accomplish the task he was bred to do and that is to run very fast. Conformation is the blending of the various body parts, and how well they fit together visually and physically to create a running machine.They have been genetically selected to race. Their body structure (long legs, lean body, "hot" or high-strung temperament) enables them to run faster than other horse breeds Conformation is the physical appearance of an animal due to the arrangement of muscle, bone and other body tissue. It is the sum of these body parts and how they blend together which determines the acceptability or unacceptability of the horse's conformation. Good conformation is the overall blending of body parts to form a beautiful athlete
No horse is conformed perfectly. Remember that in examining horses the purpose is to exclude those with physical faults your team considers unacceptable.

Overall, when examining a horse you should consider balance, bone, intelligence and athleticism.

Balance - Is the horse well-proportioned? Does the frame suit its muscle?

Bone - Does it appear to be substantial - not too light?

Intelligence - Does the horse seem in control, aware of its surroundings, alert?

Athleticism - Does the horse look physically fit and capable?

Remember, every horse has some physical fault with regard to pedigree and conformation. The art or science of evaluating a horse is deciding which of those faults are less likely to adversely impact the intended use of the animal. It is helpful to know something about the pedigree of the horse as it may relate to a particular horse's conformation. Some sires pass similar conformational faults to offspring, with some of the faults having little or no consequence with respect to their racing success.

Secretariat considered to have the best conformation in a Thoroughbred Race horse
The great Secretariat is considered by many
to have near-perfect conformation