Horse and Rider|Summer 2020
HERE WE HAVE A CLASS OF MARES that I’m judging based on the major stock breeds’ criteria of balance, structural correctness, breed and sex characteristics, and muscling, and looking for the most positive combination of those components.
I’m also looking at these mares specifically for their potential as reined cow horses, a division that requires bursts of speed, quick turns, and powerful stops. Balance is considered the most important characteristic when judging conformation, but structurally correct legs for soundness and muscling for adequate power in reined cow horses are musts.
Clay Cavinder of Starkville, Mississippi, has a lifelong history of showing and judging horses. He’s currently the Extension Horse Specialist at Mississippi State University where he educates about horse management practices and training to improve performance for showing and recreational uses. He holds judge’s cards with AQHA, APHA, ApHC, NSBA, and NRHA, and has judged extensively across the US, as well as in Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe.
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