Growth rate in foals/maturity hieght

Mswiggi

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Hi,

I currently own a 9 month old pinto filly who came from a nurse mare farm, she was weaned at 3.5 months old. I really have no background on this filly or her parents, though I was told she would mature around 14.3 hh. As this is my first foal I'm not really sure if she will meet that mark. Right now she's 12 hh and wieghs 400 lbs. I was wondering if she will reach 14.3 or if not how tall she may mature at.

Thanks~!
Ashley
 

iloveshearer

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weve got a filly in our field at the moment whos only 5 months old and shes already around 14hh, so i dont think theres anyway of telling???? shes not weaned though either and yours is could that be anything to do with it???? ours really should be weaned shouldnt she......
 

CMR

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Foals are usually weaned at four months, I don't think two weeks would make a difference in the growth of the horse. Can you post a picture of her?
 

Skyhuntress

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Haha, the best advice I got was "at one year old, add 2 hands, at 2 years old, add 1 hand"

It's actually pretty accurate to within 1-2 inches for most breeds

And foals can actually successfully be weaned as early as 3 months. That's what 90% of the farms in Germany do, I did the same with mine (and he's 15.3hh at 18 months) and there are no bad effects.

I'd really guess she'll probably mature to be about 14.1hh or so
 

Jaimee

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I had heard 90% of their height at 12months. I checked my girl who is supposed to mature 16hh. She was 14.2hh spot on 90%. Now shes two years old and it looks like she is on track for 16hh (at a guess). I think it was 95% at two years and I also think it was Chev who mentioned this on another thread from memory. I should go check my girl again then ....
 

love4horses

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Mar 14, 2005
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I've been wondering the same thing about my colt. He's 12.2hh and 400lbs at six months old and I was worried that he isn't going to get taller than his momma, who is 14.3hh. I was hoping he'd at least make it to 15hh but more so that I can ride him (I'm 6 foot so that'd be a whole lot of growing). I have heard the theory of measuring in inches from the ground to the middle of their knee and however many inches that is, that's how tall they will be. When I did this to Rusty, I got about 15 and 3/4 inches which means 15.3hh.
 

love4horses

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Sorry, I need to make a few corrections. Just went down to the barn and Rusty is 13hh. The measurments should be from the ground to the bottom of the knee. His measures 16hh. I measured Mystery's too, she's fully grown and is 16hh and that is exactly how many inches the measurement said, 16in.
 

horsecrazychick

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Sorry, don't mean to steal your board, but I've been wondering about something on the same topic...

If the horse's parents are both about the same height(15.1 and 15.2) is it certain that the foal will be 15.1 or 15.2, or is it still quite possible he could be taller/shorter?
 

Skyhuntress

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love4horses said:
Sorry, I need to make a few corrections. Just went down to the barn and Rusty is 13hh. The measurments should be from the ground to the bottom of the knee. His measures 16hh. I measured Mystery's too, she's fully grown and is 16hh and that is exactly how many inches the measurement said, 16in.
That's not completely accurate as a lot of horses have really long cannon bones, while others have short ones (which is ideal for jumpers btw). Like I measured my 17.2hh horse and his cannon bones were 16.3hh...my long yearling has 15.3hh cannon bones, but as he's already that height and like 3 inches higher on the bum, I doubt that'll be his final height ;)

And horsecrazychick, genetics play a big part of it, but keep in mind that there might be throwbacks. Maybe the dam's side had an 18hh sire or something like that, and your foal could very well be taller/smaller then the parents. It's just a guideline because it seems to be what the majority of foals follow, but we had a hanno filly out of a 15.2hh mare and a 16.1hh stallion who ended up at 17.3hh!!! :eek:
 

Fizz

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horsecrazychick said:
Sorry, don't mean to steal your board, but I've been wondering about something on the same topic...

If the horse's parents are both about the same height(15.1 and 15.2) is it certain that the foal will be 15.1 or 15.2, or is it still quite possible he could be taller/shorter?
nope
i had a mare whos parents were both 15hh,she was 16.2hh at 5 years old & 16.3hh at 8 years old
parents are really a rough guide as you can get throwback foals that mature at grandparents/ggp height :)
my mare is to make 13.1hh,she is 3 in june 2006 & is around 12.1/2hh now:)
 

chev

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Foals achieve around 90% of their adult height by twelve months, on average. Bear in mind that these grpwth charts have been based heavily on TB derived horses; natives, drafts and cobs tend to gain more height later while QH types often reach mature height slightly earlier, so it's not a hard and fast rule.

Weaning at 3.5 months is not ideal at all. Yes it can be done, and yes, in parts of Europe it's standard in some places to wean at 4 months, but that does not make it the best thing to do. Foals can suffer growth retardation if they're not carefully fed when weaned early and it can affect mature height.

By far the most serious implications however are the results of several independant studies that have shown without doubt that early weaning (before the age of 5.5 to 6 months old) significantly increases the risks of the development of gastric ulcers in foals, and of 'vices' like windsucking and cribbing in adult horses.

Remember that a foal left to wean in a feral herd would usually be weaned when his mother drove him away, any time between 8 and 12 months old. Often the youngster wouldn't be weaned until the birth of his mother's next foal was iminent. Now in domesticated situations that's neither neccessary nor truly desirable; but when you consider the enormous stress that weaning causes (whether visible to us or not) it is a shame that so many people are in such a hurry to wean so early.

One independant study of foals artificially weaned at 3 - 4 months old showed that 90% suffered gastric ulcers post weaning, as opposed to less than 10% of foals weaned at six months old. None of these foals would have been diagnosed or treated for ulcers under normal circumstances; the ulcers were noted as a result of the studies. I find that really worrying.
 

iloveshearer

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so does that mean that our fillys mother will just start to turn her away soon then.??? the filly is 5 month old, and at the moment we have no where to separate them, so they will be in together. the mare is pregnant again though.(we think)
 

chev

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And another interesting thing about height... early gelding can also have an effect on mature height in colts. Testosterone causes growth plates to close slightly earlier, so colts left entire for longer do on average mature slightly smaller than colts gelded early. Those cut early, deprived of the same levels of testosterone, then continue to gain height longer before growth plates close. The result is that stallions and late-cut colts tend to be shorter but stockier, while those gelded earlier sometimes tend to be bigger, rangier horses.
 

KarinUS

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iloveshearer,

From chev's post it sounds like it depends on what you consider soon? It's probably at least another 6 months until the new foal is born, right?