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Conformation (downhill)

From: Sandy

My husband bought an Azteca filly in December named Danzadora (Dancer). She turned two this year. Her hindqarters are about 1 1/2 inches higher than her withers. How likely is it that she'll even out and if she will, by what age could we expect this to happen? If she does stay downhill, will this make her totally unsuitable for dressage or is there hope for her? Is there any discipline that this comformation would be suited to? I would guess that she wouldn't make a very good broodmare either as it would probably be passed down to her offspring, correct?

Thanks for your time. Sandy

Hi Sandy! I don't think you should worry about your filly's build. Young horses tend to grow first at one end, then at the other, and the Andalusian part of her heritage means that she will develop more slowly than she would if she were 100% Quarter Horse. It's not unusual for a horse of her age to be higher behind. Aztecas typically have high withers -- and the withers are the LAST part of the skeleton to complete their development, which usually happens between the ages of 5 and 6, and sometimes later. I've owned horses that added an inch or so to their wither height between age 7 and 8.

If she is still higher behind when she's full grown, I'll be VERY surprised. And it doesn't mean that she will be useless as a riding horse, or even as a dressage horse -- it will just be a little harder to take her up through the higher levels.

Don't give up -- you've got a wonderful breed of horse! Take your time with your filly, let her grow up, and enjoy her. When she's 6 or so, take a good long look and THEN think about her potential as a dressage horse and/or a broodmare. But her shape NOW is not likely to be her shape when she's fully developed.

If you want reassurance, you might contact her breeders and ask them to describe the typical development pattern in her family.


- Jessica

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