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Show Horse Alliance Saddle Seat Standard

Show Horse Alliance horses are first and foremost Saddle Seat Show Horses with emphasis placed on conformation, action and attributes most easily recognized and associated with high trotting animated horses possessing upright carriage, brilliance, quality and show ring presence and finish.  The Show Horse Alliance horse should represent an ideal Saddle Seat type horse.  The animal shall be judged according to the following standard. Whether in-hand, in harness or under saddle, the ideal horse shall possess:


MOTION - Balanced and correct with obvious power from the hindquarters flowing into an elevated front end. The front legs must show elasticity, flexion and extension. Impulsion should originate in the hindquarters, with the hocks driving from beneath the horse when performing required gaits.


NECK - Very long, set vertically and high on the shoulder, arched and well flexed at the poll with a fine, clean throatlatch. The neck should be shapely and supple but without a pronounced crest.


HEAD - Expressive and alert with moderate refinement and in proportion to each individual horse.


WITHERS and SHOULDER - Prominent withers with a well defined, sloping, laid-back shoulder.


BODY - Proportionately short back, strongly coupled with a long hip and relatively level or moderately sloping croup.


LEGS - Adequate bone, correct from all angles with long well angled pasterns. Long forearms and short cannon bones in front, hind legs with low-set hocks and good angulation.


HOOVES - Proportionate, round and symmetrical (not dished or clubbed) with wide heels.


The animal should possess refinement while not lacking in substance, especially across the chest and through the girth, shoulder and hip.  The masculinity of stallions and femininity of mares should be considered. Animals should be in good muscle tone with a smooth, glossy coat.  The horse shall have a relatively high-set tail, carried straight.  When observed at rest or in motion, the horse must exhibit naturally high carriage and presence and, when animated, extreme brilliance and freedom of motion.
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