Thoroughbred mare and stallion
Mare is 16.3
Stallion is 17.0
Colt was born premature and was given Seramune. Also had entropion which corrected itself with saline (I think that's what it was) injected to "poof" out the lower lid. After the somewhat rocky start, he has done fine -- perhaps a little bit quieter/more subdued than one would expect, but only if I am TRYING to find something unusual.
He will be 2 in April. He is not 14 hands yet (just shy of it). He has been prone to having a big belly (independent of worming schedule -- he is not wormy) but again I am SEARCHING for unusual things to report so I'm giving the whole picture. A lot of the time his belly looks perfectly normal, and I've sure seen other young'uns get that ugly potbelly appearance in their first couple of years.
So, questions. Why would he be so short? Is there any chance he is a late bloomer and will grow to anything LIKE his parents' heights? And just on a whim -- if his owner were to breed him, would he be passing along "big" genes and have foals like his own parents? Or shorties like him? Or no way of knowing...?
Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf
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For size issues you can't limit yourself to the height of parents. You need to look at their parents and grand parents and see what size horses they were. If he was compromised as a foal he may have had a lot of stress on the adrenal gland.
You didn't indicate if he's gelded or not. If you geld him he will have more growth in the long bones as opposed to keeping him as a colt.
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And define "premature". Remember anything born between 320 and 370 days is considered a normal gestational length. You have to sometimes look at the foal to define if it was truly done cookin'. You can have a 340 day foal be dysmature and a 310 day (I've HAD one of those) that defied logic and was just fine!
FWIW, I have had a 15 hand mare bred to a 16:2 hand stallion and the resulting foal matured to a whoppin' 14:1 <sigh>. Height is multi-gene determined. So,if a bunch of recessive short genes line up...guess what? You've got yourself a pony . Your foal is still young however and some just take longer to mature! Good luck!
Commonly, the big belly can also indicate a lack of proper nutrition. I would start first with consulting a nutritionist who is well versed in warmbloods and verify that he is being fed appropriately for the hay/pasture that he is on. It may be that he has ulcers or some other medical condition that is preventing him from getting the necessary nutrition from his feed.
Originally Posted by JoZ
He will be 2 in April. He is not 14 hands yet (just shy of it). He has been prone to having a big belly (independent of worming schedule -- he is not wormy) but again I am SEARCHING for unusual things to report so I'm giving the whole picture. A lot of the time his belly looks perfectly normal, and I've sure seen other young'uns get that ugly potbelly appearance in their first couple of years. he is a late bloomer and will grow to anything LIKE his parents' heights?
Agree with Kathy, my Contucci-Tantris colt, who was born April 2010, was born at day 312 of gestation, and is now 14.3. Everyone who sees him comments on how well-developed he is!
My point is, that he was born before the normal range of gestation, so one may have considered him a preemie, but he was definitely mature enough as he was around 200 pounds at birth, stood right away and had no breathing or sucking issues.
Edited to add: I had a filly born at like day 370 in 2009, and she was tiny, had low birth weight, and could not stand up on her own. She was premature, despite being born so late. The umbilical cord had multiple twists in it, so I'm assuming that's why. Anyhow, she has been small for her age until recently. I think she's finally caught up to the others that are coming two.
What is your colt's breeding?
Last edited by Callaway; Jan. 11, 2011 at 03:22 PM.
As Kathy says, a normal gestation can range from 320 to 370 days. To me a foal shouldn't be called premature unless it actually shows signs of prematurity. I had a colt born at well less than 320 days who showed no signs of prematurity, required no special intervention and is now about 16.2 hands at 36 months of age (he was a January foal). On the other hand, I have seen foals that were over 320 days gestation who showed the classic signs of dysmaturity - silky coat, folded ears. So, it really depends on a number of factors.
another question, is what are the bloodlines like? there are some that are known to mature later than others, for no other reason than 'just because'. there's so many factors here, you'd be hard pressed to figure out exactly why he's still on the smaller side.
I'll echo what everyone else has said.....genetics are important going further back than sire/dam, could be a late bloomer, pot belly can definitely be nutrition related (as opposed to wormy), and I've also seen babies that go through their growth spurts by picking up a pot belly right before they grow (though it's usually an overall chunky look, not just the belly).
But I'll also say that sometimes that's just the way it goes. I have a 15.3h Oldenburg mare who was out of a 17h mare and by a 16.3h stallion. IIRC she was the mare's first baby and a "test baby" to test the stallion's frozen semen. All of her dam's other babies ended up much taller. I've always wondered what she would be more likely to throw if bred.....a big horse as dictated by genetics going quite a ways back or a smaller size like herself, but obviously there's no way to know without actually breeding her to find out. I also had a 15.1h mare who was out of a 16.3h mare and by a 16.2h stallion (also good size on both sides going a ways back). She's tiny but perfectly porportioned, and certainly isn't impeded by her size in any way in the jumper ring. Her full brother who's a couple of years younger is the opposite in that he's a massive, tall, wide horse, but built almost exactly like my mare in build...just looks like someone blew her up to make him.
But as a coming 2-yo, I would be hard pressed to say anything. In the very few number of babies I've owned (relative to many others here) I've seen a huge variance in size and maturity ranging from a 2yo who looked like a full grown horse to a DWB gelding who didn't look like an adult until age 9.