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Horse Judging

( Originally Published 1915 )



Judging is Selection.—Judging does not necessarily mean the placing of prize animals to the awarding of ribbons in a show ring. Judging means the selection of what one wants for his purpose. It is used when One has to buy animals. There are different kinds of judges, and this fact often causes con-fusion to the farm boy. There are buyers who have a standard in mind, they will buy nothing under their standard, and with that in mind they are able to buy an animal per minute. But these are very apt to be better buyers if they learned when younger to judge one animal at a time and to judge critically. The one who wishes to buy a pair of horses has a very different problem to solve in determining which is best for his purpose than has the man who is buying a carload of horses to sell. Judging is the balancing of one attribute against another and then selecting for the margin of Utilities. It takes experience to know just which to pick of a number of animals offered. But it does not take an extended experience to learn whether an animal is worth considering for the purpose intended. One who has had little experience and who goes over an animal point by point is frequently able to make a better selection than is an older judge who is unable to score an animal.

Examining the Horse.—" The most logical system," says Gay is in his excellent chapter on Horse Judging in " Productive Horse Husbandry," Chapter XI, " of examination, begins with the view of the horse from in front, noting the temperament and disposition as indicated by the expression of the countenance, all features of the head, the width and depth of the chest, the station, the direction of the forelegs and feet. Then passing to the side, near side usually, consider the stature and scale, length or compactness, station, depth (especially in the flank), carriage and shape of head and neck, the shortness and levelness of the top line, the length and straightness of the under line, height and shape of the withers, the slope of the shoulders, direction and conformation of the forelegs and feet, the back, rib, loin, flank, coupling, croup, tail, stifle, thigh, direction and conformation of the hind legs and feet. From the rear the symmetry, levelness, width, rotundity of hips, fulness of thighs and quarters, direction and conformation of hind legs and feet." Then we pass to the opposite side and view to confirm the observations on the other side.

Classification of Horses.—Horses are classified under two general types as light and heavy. The light are again divided into carriage, coach, riding, racing, pony, etc. These are divided into horses that have been bred for uniformity of shape and color and hence are breeds. As explained elsewhere, the word Thorpoughbred is used for the English race or riding horse. Other horses may be registered or have a pedigree. Among the breeds of light horses are the English Hackney, the German and the French Coach, the Morgan (Fig. 29), Hambletonian, etc. If there is a family particularly interested in any one of these breeds, some of the children should read up on the origin and advantages claimed for that breed. The pupils should score at least one light horse in order to learn the differences between the light and the heavy or draft types of horses.

LIGHT HORSE SCORE CARD

From "Productive Horse Husbandry."—GAY]

General Appearance.—12.

1. Height
2. Weight
3. Form—rangy, deep, lithe, angular
4. Quality—bone clean, dense, fine, yet indicating substance, tendons and joints sharply defined, hide and hair fine, general refinement
5. Temperament—nervous, active, disposition good, intelligent. Head and Neck.
6. Head—size and dimensions in proportion, clear cut features,
straight face line, wide angle in lower jaw
7. Muzzle—fine, nostrils large, lips thin, trim, even
8. Eyes—prominent orbit; large, full, bright, clear; lid thin, even curvature
9. Forehead—broad, full
10.Ears—medium sized, fine, pointed, set close, carried alert
11.Neck—long, lean, crest well defined, extended carriage, well cut out in the throttle, head well,set on

Forehand.—23

12. Shoulders—long, oblique, smooth
13. Arms—short, muscular, carried well forward
14. Forearm—long, broad, muscular
15. Knees—straight, wide, deep, strongly supported
16. Canons—short, broad, flat, tendons sharply defined, set well back
17. Fetlocks—wide, tendons well back, straight, well supported
18. Pasterns—long, oblique (45 degrees) , smooth, strong
19. Feet—large, round, uniform, straight, slope of wall parallel to slope of pastern, sole concave, bars strong, frog large, elastic, heels wide, full, one-third height of toe, horn dense, smooth, dark color
20. Legs—direction viewed from in front a perpendicular line dropped from the point of the shoulder should divide the leg and foot into two lateral halves. Viewed from the side, a perpendicular line dropped from the tuberosity of the scapula should pass through the centre of the elbow-joint and meet the ground at the centre of the foot

Body

21. Withers—well set up, narrow extending well back
22. Chest—medium width, deep
23. Ribs—well sprung, long, close
24. Back—short, straight, strong, broad
25. Loins—short, broad, strongly coupled
26. Flank—deep, full, long, low under line

Hindquarters

27. Hips—broad, round, smooth
28. Croup—long, level, smooth
29. Tail—set high, well carried
30. Thighs—full, muscular
31. Stifles—broad, full, muscular
32. Gaskin—broad, muscular
33. Hocks—straight, wide, point prominent, deep, clean cut, smooth, well supported
34. Canons—short, broad, flat, tendons sharply defined, setwell back
35. Fetlocks—wide, tendons well back, straight, well supported
36. Pasterns—long, oblique (50 degrees), smooth, strong
37. Feet—large, round (slightly less than in front), uniform, straight, slope of wall parallel to slope of pastern, sole con-cave, bars strong, frog large and elastic, heels wide, full, one-third height of toe, horn dense, smooth, dark color

38. Legs—direction viewed from) the rear, a perpendicular line dropped from the point of the buttock should divide the leg and foot into lateral halves:, viewed from the side, this same line should touch the point of the hock and meet the ground some little distance back of the heel. A perpendicular line dropped from the hip-joint should meet the ground near the centre of the foot

Way of Going:

39. Walk—long, free stride
40. Trot—long, rapid, straight, reachy stride

Heavy Horses.—The farmer is apt to be more interested in the draft horses. These are classified into breeds according to their ancestry and the places where they originated. We have the Clydesdale from Scotland, the Shire from England, the Belgian and the Percheron from France. Of these the Percherons seem to be gaining most in the favor of the American farmers. There is a historical reason for this, and this historical account illustrates nicely why we wish to know the historic origin of the breed we select. The French had a heavy draft horse but, like other European horses, it was lacking in movement and staying qualities. In order to get a horse to draw their cannon in war times, the French rulers had the native French horse crossed with a horse from Arabia and from that cross they selected or, rather, bought their war horses. This gives us the most active of the large horses. In America, distances are long, we must travel over territory to fields and markets, hence we like the Percherons on our farms. They are equally good horses for the city express and coal wagons (Fig. 41). This does not mean that there are no other good horses; the Clydesdale and the Shire have their friends who will not admit that the Percherons are the best horses, we should score the horse district, but we should score one how a draft horse differs from alight horse.

DRAFT HORSE SCORE CARD

[From "Productive noise Husbandry."—GAY]

General Appearance.

1. Weight
2. Height
3. Form—low station, wide, deep, compact, massive
4. Substance—bone ample, joints broad, proportioned to scale
5. Quality—bone dense and clean, tendons and joints sharply defined, leg broad and flat, hide and hair fine, refinement of head, finish :
6. Temperament—energetic, disposition good, intelligent

Head and Neck.

7. Head—size and dimensions, in proportion, clear cut features, straight face line, wide angle in lower jaw
8. Muzzle—broad, nostrils large but not dilated, lips thin, even, trim
9. Eyes—prominent orbit; large, full, bright, clear; lid thin, even, curvature
10.Forehead—broad, full
11.Ears—medium size, fine, pointed, set close, carried alert
12.Neck—long, muscular but not thick, well crested, throttle well cut out, head well set on

Forehand.

13. Shoulders—long, sloping, smooth, muscular
14. Arm—short, muscular, elbow in
15. Forearm—wide, muscular
16. Knees—straight, wide, deep, strongly supported...;
17. Canons—short, broad, flat, tendons sharply defined, set well back
18. Fetlocks—wide, tendons well back, straight, well supported
19. Pasterns—long, oblique (45 degrees), smooth, strong
20. Feet—large, round, uniform, straight, slope of wall parallel to slope of pastern, sole concave, bars strong, frogs large and elastic; heels wide, full, one third height of toe; horn dense, smooth, dark color
21. Legs—direction viewed from] in front, a perpendicular line dropped from the point of the shoulder should divide the leg and foot into two lateral halves. Viewed from the side, a perpendicular line dropped from the tuberosity of the scapula should pass through the centre of the elbow-joint and meet the ground at the centre of the foot

Body

22. Withers—well defined but muscular
23. Chest—wide, deep
24. Ribs—well sprung, long, close
25. Back—short, straight, strong, broad
26. Loin—short, broad, strongly coupled
27. Flank—deep, full, long, low under line

Hindquarters

28. Hips—wide, level, muscular
29. Croup-long, level, muscular
30. Tail—attached high, well carried
31. Thighs—deep, muscular
32. Stifles—broad, thick, muscular
33. Gaskins—wide, muscular
34. Hocks-straight, wide, point prominent, deep, clean cut, smooth, well supported
35. Canons—short, broad, flat, tendons sharply defined, set well back
36. Fetlocks—wide, tendons well set back, straight, well supported
37. Pasterns—long, oblique (50 degrees), smooth, strong
38. Feet—large, round (slightly less than in front), uniform, straight, slope of wall parallel to slope of pastern, sole con-cave, bars strong, frog large, elastic; heels wide, full, one-third height of toe; horn dense, smooth, dark color
39. Legs—direction viewed from the rear, a perpendicular line dropped from the point of the buttock should divide the leg and foot into lateral halves; viewed from the side, this same line should touch the point of the hock and meet the ground some little distance back of the heel. A perpendicular line dropped from the hip-joint should meet the ground near the centre of the foot

Way of Going:

40. Walk—straight, strong, active
41. Trot—powerful, free, moderate action



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