R. Bras. Zootec.15/Oct/2018;47:e20180013.
Association of morphometric measurements with morphologic scores of Criollo horses at Freio de Ouro: a path analysis
This study used path analysis to establish the direct, indirect, and total effects of body linear and angular measurements on subjective morphological scores of the 247 Criollo horses that participated in their most important performance event, Freio de Ouro, in 2012. Freio de Ouro is the only event of the Criollo breed that considers morphology. Measurements of wither height, thoracic girth, cannon bone girth, body length, metatarsus length, croup length, shoulder width, head length, neck length, and upper neck girth, and the angles of rump, shoulder, and hock were taken. These morphometric measurements collectively explained 83% of the variation in morphological score. The measurements with the greatest total effects on score were neck length (correlation coefficient = 0.2300), upper neck girth (0.2100), angle of rump (–0.1600), thoracic girth (0.1400), shoulder width (0.1400), body length (0.1100), croup length (0.1100), shoulder angle (–0.1100), and metatarsus length (0.1000). These results mean that these variables have the highest association with morphological evaluation by referees. This is the first scientific study of the correlation of morphological measurements with judge evaluation in Criollo horses.