As someone who rides performance horses, I'll always prefer a horse I think is usable, versus one that's "just a pretty horse." And I feel compelled to stick to the class specifications and criteria set forth by Arabian judging standards.
We have to consider a horse in this order: Arabian type, conformation, suitability as a breeding animal, quality, movement, substance, manners and presence.
So, as an Arabian judge, the first thing I evaluate is type, which is basically made up of the characteristics that distinguish an Arabian horse from other breeds. There are five main points of type: head, neck, back, croup and tail. Because the horses in these photos are standing still, it's difficult to judge criteria like movement, presence and tail carriage. But I'll evaluate suitability as a breeding animal because this is a class of mares. "Like breeds like," so to me, good conformation and type contribute to a horse's suitability for breeding.
Click "Next" to find out how I placed these three aged Arabian mares.