Traditionally, conformation traits play an important role in horse breeding. There are surely differences between breeds that are closely related to the specific breeding goal definitions. However, functional aspects are generally relevant for the usability and health of the horses and should accordingly receive appropriate attention when it comes to decision making.
Many conformation traits can be assessed in the young horse already, and they are often used as an early source of information. This neglects the fact that correlations between conformation of body and limbs on the one hand and health and performance on the other hand are mostly uncertain because of the lack of reliable studies. The required long term follow-up investigations under widely standardized conditions are very hard to realize. Accordingy, there is substantial need of further research in this field, and a reliable and large enough data basis is crucial for that.
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