Transformation Tracking (Conformation Edition)

A happy boy. October 2021

 I guess one of the benefits to not posting for a whole year is getting to do a lot of great transformation posts. These are just so much fun, I can't resist doing a bunch of them! For today, we're just going to stick to looking at Bast's conformation photos from the beginning to now. Since he came directly off the track to me, it's especially fun to track the changes in his body as we've transitioned him from the track to life as sport horse, and finally into competitive dressage.

Let's get started!

August 2017 (5 Years Old)

1 month post last race. Fit, lanky, weird, and very narrow everywhere. Of note: the lack of muscle on the top of his butt and a more developed underneck vs topline. This was Bast the Blank Slate, and the picture I purchased him from.

April 2018 (6 Years Old)

About 7 months into life as a sporthorse. We were dealing with pretty significant ulcer issues here, which were causing his coat to look like absolute garbage. He couldn't keep weight or topline on, either. Muscle increasing over the top of his butt, but overall not really a great look. What I do like is how his muscles had overall relaxed, creating a more comfortable stance. He also had widened up some behind at this point. (He interfered so badly behind when he first came off the track.)

January 2019 (7 Years Old)

Between April 2018 and this photo, Bast had a substantial amount of time off to recover from his fence injury and his ulcers. He'd come back into work in the fall of 2018, and just was back into full work when this photo was taken. Of note: much wider behind, with better coverage over the top of his rump. His shoulders are starting to show development, and his back is looking pretty good here. He doesn't have dressage horse muscle yet, but is looking much more balanced and healthy overall.

October 2021 (7 Years Old)

Almost a full year of really good grass and full work transformed Bast. Here you can see him looking ROUND. Of note to me: his shoulder development, muscling on his neck. However, he is pretty fat compared to fit here.

October 2021 (9 Years Old)

The big reveal! I didn't take a conformation photo in 2020, apparently. So we jump straight to the end of 2021 for our comparison here. Bast is incredibly fit here. His muscling stands out on his topline, his shoulders, and over the top of his rump. It might be harder to tell in these photos, but he stands much straighter through all of his legs (especially the fronts). We clearly have his ulcers under control, as he is shiny and muscular after a long show season. He finally looks like the fit dressage athlete he's becoming.

For a final comparison, let's look at how Bast changed in 2021 alone:

June 2021

This photo is from our first show at 2nd in early summer 2021.

October 2021

By the end of the season, and a shift in our training towards more collection work and a push more towards 3rd, he's put on a ton more topline. His back is much more supported and his underneck is not as prominent. He's also a fat cow after a summer on the best grass in the world!

Hope you enjoyed this journey along Bast's development! I'd share photos of him from so far in 2022, but it's legitimately too cold to snap any decent photos without his blanket right now. Suffice to say, he looks pretty darn good!


  1. Damn! What a change! You should be very proud of yourself.


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