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Summary

The variation in conformation of 356 Swedish Warmblood horses is described, using a quantitative method of measuring horses. Thirty-three of the horses were élite dressage horses, 28 were élite showjumpers, 100 were riding school horses and 195 were unselected four-year-olds. Most horses had a long body form. The average height at the withers was 163.4 cm. Sixty per cent of the horses had a bench knee conformation, 50 per cent had a toe-in conformation of the forelimbs and 80 per cent had outwardly rotated hind limbs. The majority of these deviations were mild or moderate. Conformation was influenced by sex and age. Mares were smaller and had longer bodies and shorter limbs. The élite dressage horses and showjumpers had larger hock angles and more sloping scapulas than other horses. The showjumpers also had smaller fetlock angles in the front limbs. It is suggested that the larger hock angles among the elite horses may be because hocks with small angles are more prone to injury, and because small hock angles may negatively influence the ability to attain the degree of collection necessary for good performance in advanced classes.