SUMMER FUN

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Horse Judging - Oral Reasons


In talking with folks about our upcoming judging clinics, I’ve had several questions about oral reasons and what they look and sound like. Here’s a pretty good example. Throughout this set, I will provide input in CAPS. A set like this is a result of several months of work and practice, and by the time we do a few, all our 4-H’ers will be talking this well and better.


Aged Quarter Horse Mares

Beginning with the individual who dominated the class in terms of muscling, balance and
femininity, I placed this class of Aged Quarter Horse Mares 3-2-1-4. GOOD OPENING STATEMENT – SHOULD BE DESCRIPTIVE IN NATURE

In my top pair I did place 3, the palomino, PERSONALLY I DISCOURAGE THE USE OF COLOR TERMS – IT DOESN’T ADD TO THE SCORE BY TALKING ABOUT THEIR COLOR, BUT IT CAN CERTAINLY LOWER THE SCORE IF THEY USE THE WRONG COLOR. IN THIS CASE, IF WE MENTION 3 THE PALOMINO WHO IN REALITY IS 3 THE BAY.

over 2, as she displayed the greatest abundance of muscling over her largest frame. She was the widest from stifle to stifle, exhibited the greatest circumference of gaskin, and the heaviest muscled loin. Moreover, she was the deepest V'ed up front, with her forearm muscling tying lowest at the knee. In addition, she displayed the boldest spring of rib and greatest depth of heart, and did stand on the widest, most desirable foundation. GOOD COMPARATIVE TERMINOLOGY. REMEMBER OPENING STATEMENT IS DESCRIPTIVE, THE REST IS COMPARATIVE.

However, I do concede that 2, the sorrel with the wide blaze, did present a more even turn to her croup. AGAIN NO NEED TO MENTION COLOR.

Moving to my middle pair, I placed 2 over 1, as 2 followed 3 more closely in terms of total
dimension of muscle. She showed more bulge, flare and expression throughout the quarter, stifle and gaskin, and did exhibit a greater length of hip. Additionally, she presented a more correct angulation to her shoulder and more prominent withers which extended further into her back, thus, giving her a shorter, stronger back in relation to a longer, more tapering underline. Further, she presented a more correct angulation to her pasterns and stood on more durable bone, although I grant that 1 did exhibit sharper chiseled features about the head and a cleaner throatlatch.

Concluding with my bottom pair, I placed 1, the grey, over 4, the brown, as 1 was a more
symmetrical individual, dividing herself more evenly into thirds when viewed from the side. GOOD EXCEPT FOR THE COLOR TERMS AGAIN.

She was more feminine about the head, being wider between the eyes, shorter down the bridge of the nose, and more refined about the muzzle. Moreover, she showed a longer, leaner neck, which tied in higher at the shoulder. Furthermore, she stood more structurally correct when viewed from both the front and the side, on a straighter column of bone. Although I must grant that 4 was closer coupled, and did stand taller at the withers, I must fault 4 and leave her at the bottom of the class today as she was the lightest muscled individual in the class, with the coarsest head and neck and she did stand sickle hocked when viewed form the side.

VERY IMPORTANT POINT – WHEN FINISHING AND LEAVING 4 ON THE BOTTOM, MAKE A COUPLE OF GENERAL STATEMENTS ABOUT WHY THE HORSE IS LAST AND QUIT. IT IS TEMPTING TO WANT TO “HAMMER” THIS HORSE, PARTICULARLY IF THEY ARE REALLY BAD FROM A CONFORMATION STANDPOINT. HOWEVER, REMEMBER THAT THE REASONS JUDGE MIGHT BE THE OWNER OF THAT HORSE AND THINK HE/SHE IS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD. IF YOU HAMMER THE HORSE, THE REASONS JUDGE MIGHT HAMMER YOU IN YOUR SCORE.

It is for these reasons that I placed this class of Aged Quarter Horse Mares, 3-2-1-4.

Tim Potter

J.Tim Potter, Ph.D., PAS
Area Specialized Agent-Equine



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