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Horse Selection & Evaluation


Uses, Breeds, Identification, Unsoundness and Blemishes, Conformation Evaluation, Preparing to Purchase a Horse, Horse Ownership

Content Expert

Dr. Christine Skelly (Michigan State University)

The Horse Selection and Evaluation course is based on the knowledge of equine experts at Michigan State University and nationally recognized equine professionals. In this course, you will discover a wealth of resources for learning about many factors that contribute to sound decisions when selecting a horse for a specific use. Horse ownership can be a rewarding experience, and selecting the right horse is the first step!

Video Introduction


You will learn to make an informed decision when selecting a horse for an intended use based on the horse's conformation and your goals.

Overview of topics

You will learn about many aspects of horse selection, including breeds, uses, identification, conformation, unsoundness and blemishes, key factors to remember when purchasing a horse, and the responsibilities of horse ownership.
More specifically, you will learn about 

  • Horse uses, from dressage to rodeo 
  • Horse breeds and their common uses 
  • Identifying a horse based on color, markings and teeth 
  • The components of conformation, including skeletal structure, balance, muscling, quality and movement as it applies to various breeds and performance disciplines
  • Common unsoundness and blemish problems that may affect the performance of a horse
  • How to evaluate a horse for purchase
  • Common horse-related expenses

Each unit consists of an overview, informative topics including pictures and short video clips, plus optional activities.

It will probably take you 8 to 10 hours to complete the course.

A recommended companion learning product is the DVD, “Understanding Conformation Evaluation in Horses and Judging Arabian Halter."

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USDF Accreditation

Members of United States Dressage Federation can earn 2 credits through this course. Learn more!