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Why is he still sound?

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Monsterpony
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Why is he still sound?
I've been pondering one of my horses to try and determine what about his conformation is keeping him sound. He has every right to be lame, yet he has never been lame other than two traumatic injuries. Harley was rescued 20 years by my boss when he was around 10 years old. She got him as a bag of bones that had more scabbing than skin (severe allergies) that had been used as a pack horse and was getting the crap beat out of him regularly by his herdmates. My boss rehabbed him and had him as her personal riding horse for 5 years and then he became a school horse. About 13 years ago, a big yahoo decided that using a mounting block was for losers and hauled himself up onto Harley, wrenching his whole left shoulder and back out and putting him in rehab for a few months. Harley came back as sound as ever. Then, about 11 years ago, Harley was being ridden on a trail when he stepped in a 4 foot deep post hole (who removes a sign and doesn't fill in the hole along a horse trail?!) with his left hind leg, mangling his soft tissue. Again, he was rehabbed for about 6 months and shrugged off the whole thing without a sign of permanent damage. At thirtyish, Harley can still do an amazing piaffe when he is excited and hold him back when he wants to go and he'll start canter pirouettes. He has spent 15 years teaching unbalanced beginner riders and is still going strong. So what I am wondering is what about him is keeping him so sound. What do you see in his conformation that could be working for him? I know none are ideal for conformation, but these are the best I could find. Six years ago IMAGE(http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j294/monsterpony/Harley/harleysideold.jpg) Two years ago IMAGE(http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j294/monsterpony/Harley/harleyside-1.jpg) May of this year IMAGE(http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j294/monsterpony/Harley/Harleysidenew.jpg) A couple days ago IMAGE(http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j294/monsterpony/Harley/Harley.jpg)
accphotography
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Re: Why is he still sound?

Just general correctness? I mean he's really well put together. there's only two minor things I'd change for my personal liking, but they obviously haven't affected him in an ill way. Could he be one of those examples of why correct conformation is to be striven for?

IMAGE(http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w65/accphotography/Misc/Sig.png) IMAGE(http://phrf.pitapata.com/uno2m5.png)

Jenks
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Re: Why is he still sound?

A fabulous and caring owner who has never pushed him beyond what he is capable of.

His front legs are pretty darn close to perfectly straight! His perfectly placed LSJ and strong loin with smooth attachment has to help his back which is a tad long but not excessively so, laid back shoulder that matches his pastern angles, pasterns just long enough respective to his cannons to absorb shock and perhaps not long enough to wear out and sink(?) , His cannons are perfectly half the length of his forearm, withers are well behind his elbow....he's not as sexy now as he was 6 years ago....now you have me wondering about Serenity's hind legs and just how bad is it? He must be a tough guy. Harley fits him.

accphotography
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Re: Why is he still sound?

You say that, but you never said what is wrong with his hind end angulation.

But in reality we've seen very, very nicely made horses not stand up to much so maybe he would have.

IMAGE(http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w65/accphotography/Misc/Sig.png) IMAGE(http://phrf.pitapata.com/uno2m5.png)

Jenks
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Re: Why is he still sound?

PMin' ya.

I said something good about every single other body part on the horse. NO horse is perfect mind you. Edited my above post to remove what was not asked for.

Monsterpony
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Re: Why is he still sound?

You can go ahead and point out any problems/faults. He is 30ish and a gelding so whatever you see wrong isn't going to change a thing for him at this point :D Also, the two year old picture was taken after he had nearly died from a puncture wound behind his eye that turned into a 2 week long colic episode due to the antibiotics being used to treat the infection.

He is named Harley because my boss told her husband that he was the only Harley that the husband would ever be owning.

.

Jenks
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Re: Why is he still sound?

Snort!

I think the easiest solution for his back legs would be a shorter Tibia. Then I thought maybe a slightly longer femur but no I think maybe the pelvic/hip length could be longer(?). I was just telling ACC I am way too nit-picky uneccessarily! Serenity has similar back legs as Harley and I've been afraid to do anything with her! Color me inspired! She starts back in training just as soon as Khaos is tuned up.

Monsterpony
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Re: Why is he still sound?

I would go for it. No reason not to use her if she hasn't had any problems. All our horses have to earn their keep (at least that's what my boss says...though she makes a lot of exceptions :D ) so they work as long as they are functionally sound. We actually just figured out Harley's age as everyone has called him in "his late teens" for so long that it was pointed out he couldn't be in his teens still. We have a few other horses that are in their mid to late twenties, mostly retired show stock that definitely show wear and tear, but not Harley. He's just awesome.

.

Crias
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Re: Why is he still sound?

I think there is often something beyond the physical components that can keep a horse sound as well... perhaps it s pain tolerance or a mental thing but some horses seem to shrug it off easier than others. I am sure we have seen horses with a small injury that act like they are going to die while others have a totally mangled horrible injury and act like nothing is wrong. I have seen a horse with half her hoof gone from a trailer injury never was lame a day and another horse with very mild hoof rot that was extremely lame.

Yep he's a pretty well put together guy on the whole and it also sounds like you have done a good job rehabbing him after each injury. I would say the icing is he is mentally tough with a good pain tolerance :)

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