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Do horses get growing pains?

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  • Do horses get growing pains?

    I have a four-year-old TB that is still growing and growing and growing. I've never had a horse this young before so I've never had experience with a horse that was continually changing height, shape, abilities, etc. I was told that the hind ends gets taller, then the front end catches up. Is that how most horses mature at the final stages? And do they have growing pains from the growth spurts? Could a growth spurt cause a general NQR feeling under saddle?

  • #2
    When my TB was growing he went through some stages of NQR that I attributed to growth spurts since no other reason could be found. Now that he's over the age of 6 those spells of NQR don't seem to happen anymore. I don't know if that's really what it was or just coincidental.

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    • #3
      I don't know if it's growing pains, but they definately go through periods where certain work gets difficult. My mare (as a 3 & 4 yo) would get really butt high and not be able to canter. Seriously, beautiful canter one day, then for about a week, this floundering crap. I got to where I didn't ask for much during the first week or so of a big change. Even though the growth stage lasts longer than that, she seemed able to figure out where her parts were within a week. I've brought along a lot of babies and she definately has shown the most obvious problems with growth-but she's quite big. Now as a 6 yo and still growing, but slower, I just notice her looking a little downhill from time to time, but she can keep it together.
      Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kahjul View Post
        I don't know if it's growing pains, but they definately go through periods where certain work gets difficult. My mare (as a 3 & 4 yo) would get really butt high and not be able to canter. Seriously, beautiful canter one day, then for about a week, this floundering crap. I got to where I didn't ask for much during the first week or so of a big change. Even though the growth stage lasts longer than that, she seemed able to figure out where her parts were within a week. I've brought along a lot of babies and she definately has shown the most obvious problems with growth-but she's quite big. Now as a 6 yo and still growing, but slower, I just notice her looking a little downhill from time to time, but she can keep it together.
        What breed is your mare? and how big is she currently? just curious.
        If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

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        • #5
          I have an appendix gelding just like this.

          he was weaned VERY VERY early, as they were trying to keep mom from absorbing twins as her next pregnancy. didn't work, still lost the twins (and why they donated the mare to our charity), but i digress....

          The family donated him to us as a late 4 year old who was a lost soul mentally and physically. Despite him being going on 5, my entire herd still treated him like a weanling, even my overaggressive geldings.... he still had most of his baby teeth in his mouth and was built like your average race weanling....we finally had to pull his baby teeth and have other extensive dental work done to help his mouth settle into its grownup configuration.

          In the last 2 years, he has grown significantly -- about 5" in height, nearly 3 of which came on this summer. You have to know his mother has buckets of natural dressage talent and carriage. Him? the biggest teenage clutz you've ever seen. We finally just turned him out and let him be a hosre, with no effort to work him in any manner except normal handling twice per day.

          About 60 days ago, suddenly, he was a horse. he'd filled out and broadened into his chest; he's no longer bolting feed and is actually at or above an ideal weight. occasionally, at play in the pasture, you see momma's grace peaking through in a stride or two...

          Its fall now. The last half the summer, i've been working him in the round pen, at liberty, on long lines and occasionally side reins. lots of transitions, lots of work to develop a top line. This week i rode him for the first time in months. the horse beneath me was ilght years from the youngster I rode in March. He has a top line, he knows how to carry his own weight properly and was looking for answers of how to adjust to my weight as well. He is periodically 'airy' up front (ok, for him at least), and, when working at liberty in the indoor round pen, his momma's natural crossing over and overstep are gradually becoming less and less shy.

          So, don't give up hope. My boy is simply a very late bloomer -- likely in part due to his weaning -- and i'm confident that, by spring, he will be ready to go on to a new home as a balanced, well built, capable dressage or hunter prospect. I'm so proud! His growth was, undoubtedly, hip then shoulder then ribs....

          (Did I mention we own his momma? she's an adoptable here who is likely a lifer due to her age and some health issues....so its a joy to see her carriage shining through in her last
          son...)
          AnnMarie Cross, Pres, Crosswinds Equine Rescue, cwer.org
          Sidell IL (near Champ./UofI/Danville IL/IN state border)

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            I'd swear my guy's butt is taller today. Perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me! I measured his withers and he's a quarter to half an inch taller than he was two months ago. I should start measuring his butt to compare.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BestHorses View Post
              I have a four-year-old TB that is still growing and growing and growing. I've never had a horse this young before so I've never had experience with a horse that was continually changing height, shape, abilities, etc. I was told that the hind ends gets taller, then the front end catches up. Is that how most horses mature at the final stages? And do they have growing pains from the growth spurts? Could a growth spurt cause a general NQR feeling under saddle?
              YES!
              When my grey horse would hit a growth spurt he literally could not canter.
              This was a guy would would score in the 20s one week and then the next week not be able to canter. It was quite funny actually.

              He also had the majority of his 5th year off (from showing) due to tooth issues and such other growing pains.
              http://kaboomeventing.com/
              http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
              Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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