The Walking Horse should present an image of overall balance, beauty, intelligence, willingness and strength. Anything less is not correct. Head: The head shall be noble, without coarseness, well defined, with an alert expression. It shall be neither dished nor Roman in profile and be in proportion to the size of the horse. The muzzle should possess a well-defined nostril and teeth shall meet in an even scissor bite. The eyes shall be wide-set for efficient vision in all directions and shall be kind, expressive, and of good size. Expression may be key to interpreting temperament. The ears are mobile and medium sized, but longer ears in mares are not considered a fault. The forehead is medium to wide, indicating intelligence. The throat latch shall be clean with the two jawbones spaced widely enough for ease of flexion and correct collection without windpipe interference. Neck and shoulder: The neck should be muscular, of correct proportion to the body, with a slight but definite arch between the poll and withers. It may be set on the shoulder at a medium to more upright carriage. Neither is more correct than the other, however the more upright neck may be more desirable in an English, show-type discipline, and the medium set neck more attuned to a Western show or working-type pleasure horse. A more laid back shoulder will naturally result in the neck rising upwardly, while a slightly straighter shoulder will produce a medium neck and head set. The withers should be clearly defined and in a mature horse should be of similar height as the croup. Chest: The chest should be of medium width providing plenty of heart room. If too narrow, the horse moves too closely in front and the hind legs cannot reach through and forward of the forelegs to create the desired overstride during movement. Too wide a chest will inhibit fluidity of front leg motion. Back: The Walking horse’s back should be strong and well-muscled, with the back being short to medium in length. The mare’s back may be a bit longer to accommodate the size of a full-term foal. The loin shall be broad and well developed. Body: The body should be deep through the girth with well-sprung ribs allowing room for the heart and lungs. The body should display no signs of being slab-sided. Hindquarters: The hindquarters shall be strongly muscled and the croup shall have a remarkable slope, resulting in a slightly lower set tail than most other breeds. There should be plenty of length between the hip and point of hip, and between point of hip to stifle. All of these combined features allow the base of the pelvis to more easily rotate down and forward, thereby allowing the hind legs to stride well underneath the horse when executing correct flat and running walks. When viewed from behind, the buttocks and thighs of the Walking horse should appear to be the powerhouse of the entire horse, because that is exactly where drive and impulsion begin. Legs and feet: The forelegs should be straight and plumb when viewed from the front. When viewed from the side they should be straight from the top of the leg to the front of the fetlock so as to minimize strain on the ligaments and tendons since there is no muscle located below the knees. The leg shall be neither over, nor behind at the knees. There should be little to no setback of the upper legs underneath the chest so as to enable the horse to reach effectively during all forward motion. The forearms should be muscled and powerful in appearance. The cannon bones should be shorter than the forearms, clean, yet of substance without being coarse in appearance. The hind legs shall be very well muscled through the thigh and gaskin in order to drive the body forward with a gliding, sweeping motion when in gait. The hocks should be large. When viewed from behind, the legs should be straight and powerful looking in appearance, neither set too far apart, nor too closely together and without any toeing in or out of the feet. The deep hip of the Walking horse will naturally lead to slightly more angulation of the femur through the stifle joint to the tibia and on through the hock than is noted in most other breeds. This should not be confused with being sickle-hocked, which is not desirable. Most undesirable is an overly straight posty leg which produces an up and down (hocky) action with little to no forward stride. The pasterns should be of medium length. Long, over-sloped, pasterns are subject to strain. Feet: The feet should be of correct size to carry the weight of the body. Too small a foot does not provide enough weight-bearing surface. Front feet and hind feet should be matching pairs. The front feet should slope at an angle of 45 to 50 degrees from the ground. The hind feet should have slightly more slope and should be longer and narrower than the front feet. The hoof wall should continue at the same angle as the pastern. All feet should point straight forward. Any deviation from this is caused either by poor conformation or by incorrect trimming.