Gothic Chests

A "gothic" chest or pecho gotico (in Spanish) refers to the shape of the pectoral muscles between the horse's front legs. A gothic chest appears to look like a "church steeple" with steep sides and a pointed roof! It is basically an arch shape. The opposite extreme is a flat and wide chest.

picture of gothic horse chest picture of gothic horse chest

Narrow gothic (left) and medium gothic (right) chests on Spanish horses.

  picture of gothic horse chest  picture of wide chest

Heavily muscled (left) and wide chest with little muscling (right)

The ideal chest of a Spanish horse will be broad, but not too broad, and in proportion with the size and height of the horse. The ideal chest will be muscled.

If the chest is too wide and muscled, the horse may appear to be too heavy and move with a dishing action. A chest can also be too narrow with the legs too close together. The gothic chest often occurs on a horse with a narrow chest.

How does a gothic chest affect movement?

Bulky breast muscles and legs set under the body decrease the efficiency of stride and swing of shoulders, thus hastening fatigue. It may interfere with the front legs, forcing them to move to the side rather than directly under horse. Causes a “rolling” gait that slows the horse’s speed, especially at the gallop. " from wikipedia.

However, the gothic chest "Should have little interfering in the spiriting sports that need rapid acceleration. The inverted V of the pectorals are important for quick turns, doges, and spins needed by stock horses."

In other words, a gothic chest is almost a breed standard for quarter horses. "This conformation quality is most useful in Quarter Horse racing, barrel racing, roping, and stock horse sports where a low front end crouches & the horse makes quick turns."

Since we don't want Spanish horses with a "low front end" - the gothic chest is considered a fault.

picture of normal chest picture of normal chest

A normal, strong, and wide chest (left) and a normal and slightly weaker chest (right).

Illustrations of Other Breeds

picture of gothic horse chest  picture of gothic horse chest

Narrow to medium gothic chests on quarter horses.

 picture of gothic horse chest

Wide gothic chest on a quarter horse.

picture of gothic chest

Narrow gothic chest on an Arabian horse.

picture of gothic horse chest picture of gothic horse chest

Gothic chest (left) and normal chest (right) in two thoroughbred racing horses.

Skyhorse Ranch - Andalusian horse breeder in Texas with Andalusian horses for sale. Breeders of PRE Pura Raza Espanola horses with cartas from Spain. Selling black, grey, and bay Andalusians. Recommend Andalusian stallions at stud. Pictures, history, facts, and info. Spanish Andalusian horse farm. Bloodlines from Spain in the USA.

Templates in Time