Sorry about the wait; as Dressage
Princess Empress delighted in pointing out the other day, I’ve been slightly distracted lately… I promise I’ll improve!
And now, without further delay, our (my) thoughts on the prior-posted ponies:
None of the examples are ideal, especially if we are considering the POA breed standard. That said, our first place pony is Pony C.
This pony comes in first because he is the closest to level and has by far the best shoulder. The angle of the scapula (top green line) is nearly perfect and is paired to a nice, long humerus (lower green line) at an equally ideal angle. This will give Pony C excellent range of motion through his front end with a smooth stride. His pasterns are nicely sloped as well, which will also contribute to a smooth ride. From a hunter/jumper perspective, his neck is well set, with a good length and a nice clean throatlatch.
On the negative side, he’s rather light of bone through the legs, with long cannons too, so soundness issues might raise their ugly head in the future, especially with heavy work. His hindquarters are also a little weak and he’s quite short through the femur (yellow line); true collection won’t be easy for him, because his hind end really isn’t set up so he can shift his weight back there. Definitely a good thing the gelding bus has been called!
What most intrigues me about him is how non-pony his conformation is – he really looks like a little spotted Thoroughbred. Ponies typically have shorter legs in relation to their bodies; his are quite long. For all that his topline is level/slightly uphill (top red line), he’s slightly downhill from his stifle to his elbow (bottom red line), which is very common in TBs, especially racing bred ones. And his hooves are very sloped, with almost no heel: another trait that is far more common in TBs than POAs. I’d be very curious about his breeding!
Second place goes to Pony A.
He’s more “pony-ish” in proportions – his elbow falls pretty much halfway between his withers and the ground. But he too has the deceptive downhill build (a horse that initially appears level, but who isn’t truly). The two red lines show that while at first glance it appears his bum is higher than his withers, the angle of the photo is partially to blame. However, the orange line points out that his movement will still be downhill, since his hind legs are longer than his fronts.
Overall, he has a long back, more upright than ideal shoulder and pasterns and appears to be slightly back at the knee (blue arrow). His neck is set decently, but is currently poorly muscled. The over developed underside (yellow arrow) tells me he spends a lot of time bracing it, but this is something that can be improved with working him correctly. On the positive side, his legs appear straight, he has a nice slope to his hip (appropriate for the discipline they are using him for) and he appears to have the most refined head of the three.
Finally, we have Pony B!
He had no chance since being downhill is one of my biggest pet peeves. The red lines show how he’s higher in the back than the front at every point. Combine that with a short humerus (yellow line) and you have a pony that will be nearly impossible to get off the forehand; even in the photo he appears to be tipping forward! The fact that his head is so heavy doesn’t help, I think it might actually be longer than his (very short) neck. He’s also thick through the throatlatch (blue arrow). All of this combines to create a very inflexible front end.
On the plus side, he has the sturdiest looking legs of the three, with nice short cannons and his owners have done an excellent job with the picture. It’s so refreshing to find a sales pic where the equine is clean, placed in front of a pleasant, simple backdrop and taken from an angle that won’t skew proportions in a pose where the conformation is clearly visible! Considering he’s been gelded (thank Gawd!) and his asking price is $500, I think his owners actually get the gold star of the day for the ad itself. Kudos for the realistic pricing and the effort! I hope you find a buyer who loves him and all his awkwardness.