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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2007
    Posts
    347

    Default Ways to determine finished height of young horse?

    Three years ago a horse show on RFD interviewed a cowboy and the question was asked how to determine the finished height of a two year old horse. His answer was: take a tape measure and place the start at the ergot on a front leg and measure up to the point of elbow. Then, while holding the tape measure at the point of elbow you swing the other end up straight. It will be above the horses current height and will show you the finished height. I did this with my mule to discover he would finish up at 17 hands. Gosh darn, that cowboy was RIGHT! This is amazing because his mom was 15 h and dad was 14h. Hybrid vigor I guess.

    Anyway, I've heard there are other ways to determine this measurement. In fact I tried one and it too was correct. But, I've forgotten the formula. Does anyone have any secrets to share?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2007
    Location
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    From the hair line at coronary band to break in the knee - in inches and quarters works out to hands.

    15 - 1/4" would be 15.1 hands.

    Seems to be a fairly reproducible rule of thumb. One client told me about it years ago, so we measured her weanling and wrote it on the wall in the barn. 18 1/4" - She was originally skeptical as I was, because Lil Rascal was a draft/paint cross. Momma mare was the draft, and she was only 17h. Paint Stud was only 15.1h.

    Six years later and the 18 1/4" is still 18 1/4" and Lil Rascal is now 18.1 hands. He towers over momma mare, but momma mare is 600 lbs heavier and much wider.

    Seems to work on any horse at any age. Likely because the long bones in the legs don't really get any "longer" after birth.

    Easy to confirm. Measure from hair line to break in the knee on any adult horse, then compare to measurement from floor to withers . . . I haven't found one yet that wasn't darned close.

    I've only checked 3 or 4 weanlings and yearlings and kept track. Have no idea where this "rule of thumb" was discovered.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
    Posts
    13,787

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
    From the hair line at coronary band to break in the knee - in inches and quarters works out to hands.

    15 - 1/4" would be 15.1 hands.

    Seems to be a fairly reproducible rule of thumb. One client told me about it years ago, so we measured her weanling and wrote it on the wall in the barn. 18 1/4" - She was originally skeptical as I was, because Lil Rascal was a draft/paint cross. Momma mare was the draft, and she was only 17h. Paint Stud was only 15.1h.

    Six years later and the 18 1/4" is still 18 1/4" and Lil Rascal is now 18.1 hands. He towers over momma mare, but momma mare is 600 lbs heavier and much wider.

    Seems to work on any horse at any age. Likely because the long bones in the legs don't really get any "longer" after birth.

    Easy to confirm. Measure from hair line to break in the knee on any adult horse, then compare to measurement from floor to withers . . . I haven't found one yet that wasn't darned close.

    I've only checked 3 or 4 weanlings and yearlings and kept track. Have no idea where this "rule of thumb" was discovered.
    I had used that measurement with Sweets when she was a yearling and she was supposed to be about 15.3. She turned out to be 15. That's the only one I've tried this on, but it didn't work out in her case. She's almost 8 years old so I can't imagine she'll grow another 3 inches at this point in her life.



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