An Eye for Horses Part 1: Conformation of Horses 2018-07-05T00:00:00+02:00

When assessing a riding horse you should try to get the best possible overall impression, most riders are looking for horses with a good temperament, well put together conformation, and nice movement. But what does "good" actually mean when judging the conformation of horses? This video gives you the basics and shows you what factors should be considered.

A horse’s conformation refers to all of the features that can be seen from the outside. The term “type” refers to the breed or gender whereas “weight” refers to the size of the body and bone thickness. The horse's height is of secondary importance as long as it suits the rider. The proportion of the body is more important than any individual dimension.

In addition to its external appearance while standing and moving, a horse's temperament is also important for assessing its quality. Its eyes, ear movements and facial expression can give you a lot of information on the horse.

Further videos in this series:

You will learn in this video:

  • What should be considered when looking at the conformation of horses
  • Why the proportion of the horse's body is of great importance
  • What the facial expression of the horse can tell you about its temperament

Martin Plewa

Martin Plewa is a representative of the classical riding apprenticeship. He was appointed riding master and learned with great masters such as Major a.D. Paul Stecken and Colonel a.D. Hans Winkel. For over 50 years he has been riding and training dressage, jumping as well as eventing. From 1985 to 2001 he was the national trainer of eventing in Germany.

> more

Related videos

An Eye for Horses Part 4: Buying the Right Horse

Martin Plewa

When looking for your future partner, a couple of things need to be taken into consideration. The general behaviour of the horse, the way it moves in hand and under saddle as well as the feeling when riding are important factors to keep in mind. Martin Plewa explains what the crucial steps are when buying a riding horse.

Duration: 00:08:30 Minutes

Just Paul Part 1: First Dressage Training Session with Paul Stecken for the Young Horse

Ingrid Klimke

“Just Paul” is a very talented 3-year-old gelding. You will be able to follow his development over a period of two years. This will allow you to watch in real-time how Olympic champion Ingrid Klimke – under the watchful eye of her mentor Major Paul Stecken – carefully trains her young horses. 

Duration: 00:23:13 Minutes