So I think I have a pretty nice group of weanling race prospects, and am pretty proud of the way they look..... That is until I see the babies that a friend has. They are huge monsters. I am feeding a good 14 % feed, top dressing it with Gro N Win and rice bran, good free choice hay at all times, and grass pasture. What am I missing? I would eventually one day like to be able to sell something at one of the sales, but am to chicken at this point. Any suggestions? Please?
the two things that I stress the most with my babies is free choice quality hay, 24/7 turn out except for extreme weather and a religious deworming schedule, every 4-6 weeks until they are 18 months depending on how they look, after that if I still have them they get dewormed every eight weeks.
My guess is the only "mistake" you are making is not breeding mares that were early bloomers to stallions that throw early bloomers. Not all of them mature at the same rate, some of that is diet and steroids but a lot of it is genetics. Horses that sell well at the sales are the ones that mature early. They aren't necessarily the ones that end up running the best but they look like they can do the job sooner.
What Laurie said. What's pretty at the sale is not always what runs well at the track. As long as you're breeding sound to sound, it sounds like you're doing things right. It's not always bad to be a late bloomer.
Are they actually sales prepping their youngsters? If so, they are probably exceercising them and grooming the heck out of them too . It can also be decieving to not see yours side by side with theirs - everyone's babies always look bigger than mine to me until I measure them or see them side by side (not always possible). They COULD be using steroids, but that's a big assumption - more likely they are early babies out of big sires & dams. Size is, unfortunately, still a selling point at the sales. I sure wish that would change - I think way too small or way too big should be the only "red flags" at a sale.
Anyway, sounds like your program is a good one (assuming you are worming regularly and the babies get plenty of excercise). I have 2 nice 4 moth old fillies here that I think are a good size, but I'm sure I would think they look small if I looked at a sales prepped baby.
I am not looking to sale prep a baby. But, I would certainly appreciate if you TB people would tell me more about what norm is.
I have a 4 month old that is 12.3H. And I am worried about her growth. I did NOTHING purposely to try and make her get big. In fact, I hoped she would top out kind of small.
But she keeps on growing those legs, despite my being cautious about feed.