The Breyer PAS:

Conformation/anatomy etc problems:

Boxy, upright feet - OK for a donkey but not on *any* horse, plus: Upright pasterns. Both should be at an angle of 45 degrees for correct shock-absorbing efficiency, but the PAS's are about 60 degrees, resulting in massive stress on the whole leg.

Fetlock joints - swollen in front and too shallow behind. Knees and hocks also swollen, giving the impression of calf knees (have never quite made my mind up if he would actually be calf-kneed if those joints weren't so puffy). Leaving aside the fact that 'dryness' is part of the breed standard, this amount of swelling on a real horse would indicate serious injury or a chronic condition of some kind.

Gaskins - too straight. Might just about be OK on a stock breed or pony, but not at all correct for an Arab.

Legs as a whole: no two are the same length!

Forehand : disproportionally large in comparison to the rest of the body. From chest to withers is about 40% of the body length, whereas on a real horse it's around 35%. Made even worse by the oversize base of the neck - on a real stallion the base of the neck is about 1/3rd of the whole body length, on the PAS it's coming close to half. Elbows tied in. Shoulder at too shallow an angle (about 40 degrees instead of 45) - which is what makes the whole forehand too long.

Hindquarters - too short from point of hip to point of buttock. Even though the gaskin is too straight, the point of hock still falls outside of a vertical line drawn from the point of buttock to the floor. Also too split up between the buttocks, but this is a common Breyer fault. Tail slightly in advance of where the spine should fall in relation to even a pelvis as short as this.

Barrel - lacking in musculature and too thick/deep at the groin. Too short from the base of the withers to the loins, leaving nowhere to put a saddle.

Mitbah (throatlatch) - fractionally too long: though this is less painfully so now than when the PAS first came out, due to breeding for/artifical ways of creating a longer mitbah. Also throat enters jowl slightly too high.

Head - too deep and heavy through the jowl, too small in the muzzle (proportions all wrong). Insufficient jawbone between cheek and muzzle. Parrot-mouthed (top and lower incisors don't meet). Ears belong to a bigger horse. The profile is weak and lacking in definition, and the sculpting of the whole head is blobby and lacking detail. Also the nostrils don't lie in quite the right plane, and the mouth is too small, giving a pinched and ungenerous look.

If the PAS were a real horse, he would have very choppy, short striding movement, not the flowing action that is required of an Arab. He would also not be up to much work, as his leg conformation would not withstand stress. And although he might have a lot of flexibility at the poll, he would be very stiff through the rest of the neck, making him difficult to get on the bit. He would also not be able to generate impulsion from the hindquarters as there is insufficient muscle mass there in relation to the rest of the body and also because the massive barrel would impede the freedom of movement of the stifle. You can often see these action problems when people try to put the PAS in a trot - it just doesn't look convincing at all. In fact, the whole model just looks stiff and rigid.

Stone Arab:

The PS Arab (PSA) is very much a modern Americanised show type of Arab. Whether you like this type or not is a personal thing. But structurally, he's pretty reasonable - definitely amongst the Top 10 Most Correct Arabs in any medium (plastic, resin etc). However he does have his faults:

The most glaring problem is a shallow body. At first I thought he was just shallow through the heart girth (some Padron horses *are*), but longer consideration of his proportions as a whole showed me this was actually more of a sculpting problem than an anatomical one, and that in fact, to balance him up, his TOPLINE needs raising! In other words, his whole back needs to be about 3mm higher. Now, I appreciate horses go shallow when they stretch, but this guy is not in a very extreme stretch (he is very relaxed), so I still stick to the opinion that it's sculpting, not anatomy, that is the factor here. (If you fix his topline, you can also fix his 'dairy croup' which though controversial, is anatomically feasible and not penalised within the breed standard.)

If you raise his topline, then immediately his neck comes into proportion with the rest of him.

His legs, conformationally are reasonably good - he has a very short humerus (but then so do many modern American Arabs, especially those of heavy Nazeer lines). This is exaggerated by his stance: he is (correctly) standing with his forefeet ahead of the vertical, to balance his neck posture. This has made his humerus more upright and hence shorter in appearance. He is slightly back at the knee (calf kneed), and is all round light on bone below the knee, especially the fetlocks & pasterns. His feet are also slightly too small and too shallow, as well as being a poor shape when viewed from the front (hoof walls should be more vertical). Some examples toe-in, but I think this is a cooling problem, as it isn't consistent.

Hind fetlocks, pasterns and hooves are again undersized, with the same hoof wall problem, and the off-hind is wrongly angulated from the stifle - the off hock is pointing out from the body, where it ought to be slightly angled under the body.

The PSA's *biggest* sculpting boo-boo is however the pelvis. It is contra-rotated for the horse's stance! This would not be mechanically posisble in a live horse. When a horse stretches out a hind leg, the pelvis rotates to the same side, so the hip on that side is lower than the hip on the opposite side. If you look carefully at photos of stretched horses, you will realise that you can see at least the edge, if not the whole of the spine tilted towards you. The PSA's *off* hip is slightly lower than his near one, if you look at him from behind.

The neck is correct for the stance, and well detailed. In fact, the whole of this model is well-detailed, and exhibits clear definition of muscle, tendon and bone.

The head of the PSA is often criticised for having a 'blocky' muzzle and big ears, but in fact the side of the muzzle is in proportion with the rest of the horse: it is the head between the muzzle and the ears which is *too small*! It needs enlarging about 10% to fit the rest of the horse correctly. The ears even then would be fractionally too big for a stallion, but would be fine for a mare (mares have bigger ears). In front view, the muzzle has too much space between the nostrils, which if they were as distended as they are portrayed from the side, would have very little space between them (the Keeling/Lermond Arabs are correct in this respect).

A particularly good point about the PSA is the way the tail is held in a correct arch away from the body, with a clean line between the underside of the dock and the buttocks. There are FAR too many model Arabs (even some done by 'big names') with a huge wodge of hair filling this space. **This is a total boo-boo!** The hair at the root of the dock on an Arab is very fine and short, barely projecting below the underside of the dock. It is a crucial part of the Arab's temperature control mechanism, and to give an Arab the tail of a heavy horse or native pony is a serious departure from correct Arabian type

All above notes courtesy of Keren Gilfoyle-McGroarty