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You Be the Judge: Front Legs


The Journal showed photos to AQHA Professional Horseman Chris Arentsen of Illinois, a multiple world champion halter trainer. We asked him what he would say about these photos if he spoke to students in a “Halter 101” class. Listen in.

Two setups, two horses, what’s the difference between them?

Chris: The back feet in both horses appear to be straight and lined up well.

It might just be the angle of the photo, but in the photo on the right, the back feet might not be perfectly lined up next to each other. But we’ll assume they are.

In the photo on the right, the horse’s legs appear to be straight all the way down. It is a dark horse, and there’s a shadow on the front, but the leg appears to come squarely out of the shoulder and come straight down to the ground.

In the photo on the left, the horse’s feet are too close together. With them too close together, it causes the legs to appear to have a little bit of bow.

To get the ideal stance, setup or square-up, whatever you want to call it, the goal is to have a perfect square from the front feet to the back feet. On the front legs, you want to be able to draw a straight line from the point of the shoulder down to the middle of the knee, through the middle of the hoof, down to the ground. That’s the ideal way to have the front feet.

Then you want the same distance apart between your front feet and your back feet so you have a complete, symmetrical square. The horse on the right looks like a good example of that.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article from AQHA.

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