Half -Arabians [ Part I ] by Cindy Reich
“I want to start a dialogue about judging Half-Arabians because I think there is a fundamental problem we are overlooking,” says Cindy Reich. “I will elaborate in next month’s piece. I’m inviting readers to submit e-mails to Arabian Horse World so that I can look them over and add my comments to them.”
FOR ALL OF THE ARMCHAIR JUDGES in the audience, here is a scenario for you — a class of Half-Arabian stock/hunter aged geldings comes before you to be judged. Horse A comes in with an Arabian show halter at a high trot, with nearly level knee action but not much impulsion from behind. Horse B comes in with a braided mane and tail and a hunter bridle and trots in with high, trappy action. Horse C comes in with a stock halter and trots in with a low, even movement. Horse D comes in with an Arabian show halter at a trot that is very low and reaching with a lot of drive from behind. How would you score the movement? As they walk the rail: Horse A walks briskly with a short, agitated movement. Horse B walks with a long, reaching stride. Horse C walks with a short, somewhat stilted stride. Horse D walks with an even, long stride. When they stand for inspection: Horse A has a long, ‘hooky’ neck set high on a somewhat straight shoulder. The back and loin are slightly long. The croup is long and nearly level, with a long hip. The head is very typey. Horse B has a long, straight neck set on a well-sloped shoulder. The back and loin are slightly long. The croup is short and sloping and the hip is somewhat short. The head is very typey. Horse C has a shorter neck than horse A or B, set on a well-sloped shoulder. The back and loin are short. The croup is long but sloping. The hip is long and well muscled. The head is straight in profile with a large eye. Horse D has a moderate, underslung neck set on a somewhat straight shoulder. The back and loin are slightly long. The croup is long and sloping. The hip is moderate in length. The head is straight in profile with a smaller eye than the other horses.
How would you score type on each horse? How would you score neck and head? How would you score back and topline? We will assume feet and leg scores for all horses are equal. How should the horses be placed, and why? Here is some information to help you: USEF Rule Book, Subchapter AR-31, AR249 Description: 2. The head should be attractive, with an eye that reflects a good disposition and character; withers well defined; coupled with a strong back that will easily carry and hold a saddle; shoulders and pasterns sloping and conducive to a free, light springy gait and long stride; feet, sound and strong, well conformed. True and straight forward action, winging and paddling to be penalized. The tail carriage is preferably high. AR 250 Breeding/Gelding In-Hand Classes. 2. Classes to be judged on conformation, quality, substance, and Arabian type, in that order. The Half-Arabian or AngloArabian may show characteristics of any other breed. The foregoing first named three qualities shall take precedence in adjudication of in-hand classes over breed type. 5. Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian in-hand classes may be divided at the discretion of competition management into Stock/ Hunter or Saddle/Pleasure type. Each of the conformation types has been developed with specific goals and standards in mind. In no case should any one type be considered by breeders or owners as a handy place to put less than ideal individuals of another conformation type. Conformation type is determined by the breeding and
conformation characteristics, including way of moving displayed by the horse. Stock-type horses display the conformational qualities necessary for western events. Hunter-type horses should display the conformational qualities necessary for all hunter seat events. Horses of this type carry their head and neck lower than the saddle/pleasure type horse. It is shown in a more relaxed fashion and stance. When in motion, the horse has a forward frame. The stock/hunter type should be a horse of substance, exhibiting ground-covering motion without excessive elevation. Saddle-type horses display the conformational qualities necessary for saddleseat English-type events. Pleasure-type horses should display the conformational qualities necessary for any pleasure-type event except western pleasure and hunter events. Horses of this type carry a high-set-on neck of sufficient length and set onto the head in such a way as to allow them to set up in the bridle properly, and should exhibit a free-flowing and animated trot. The saddle/pleasure type should be a refined horse that is more animated than a stock/hunter type. Exhibitors are encouraged to show their horses in a manner and style consistent with the horse’s type. Bridle or other suitable headstall consistent with the horse’s type is acceptable (throatlatch mandatory). Horses shown braided must be shown in hunter, show hack, or dressage appointments (See AR 143.1, AR 132.1, and DR 121 respectively) or in a leather stable halter. Get to work — the best submissions, along with my comments, will be published in the next issue. Submit your opinion to: firstname.lastname@example.org.