Here, Ringo had just been diagnosed with a major bowed tendon, explaining months of strange and frustrating behavior and signaling the beginning of a loooooong rehab process. He had already been on stall rest for just over a month when I took this photo, but didn't look too bad all things considered. His weight is a little low and his neck topline is almost nonexistent (in fact, it looks like it's been put on completely upside down), but it could be much worse.
This time around, Ringo was just emerging from rehab and had come back into full work less than six weeks previously. We were gearing up for our first show back: First Level at GMHA Dressage Days. The biggest change here was his weight. He looks a lot rounder through his entire body, and his neck looks much more substantial (though that might also be partially the picture, given whatever he's straining his neck over to look at!). His hindquarters are also significantly bigger than in the 2010 picture, a result both of being a little fatter and having just come through a long, slow rehab process with lots of hill work.
I think Ringo's shape has changed pretty significantly here compared to the previous two photos. He gives much more of an uphill impression even just standing on flat ground: the entire area at the base of his neck and withers have filled out enough that they change the entire balance of his body. Weight-wise, he's somewhere between 2010 and 2011, which is probably for the best as he was a stitch thin in 2010 and a stitch fat in 2011. His neck, while certainly not big and cresty (pretty sure that's just not in his DNA!), looks so much more substantial than in did in 2010, and the musculature looks way more correct than it did in 2011.
Here's a side by side comparison:
It's a subtle change, but I'd like to think that the hard work is paying off. I'm excited to see what 2013 brings!