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What age can you tell movement?

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  • What age can you tell movement?

    What age in a foal can you get a good idea how it will move? I've heard that at 3 mos you should get a good feel for the body type, but at this age would one be able to tell if the foal would be a flat knee mover?


  • #2
    I've found that young ones tend to have a little more knee action than when they mature. Honestly, I'm not happy with any of my baby's movement until they are at least a yearling. Then one day I see them trot across the field and go; holy cow, we have a Hunter! As far as stride, that is much easier to tell early on. I have yet to see an average mover turn into a super-star as they grew older.


    • #3
      I think you can tell much more about the canter then the trot at a young age. After spending so much time at the breeding farm this week, I have to say, most tend to canter around anyways! Only the little Fresian baby trots everywhere


      • #4
        We can often tell their movement within a few days of birth. Sometimes is takes longer. If it is there, it will stay, but if not there, it does not mean the horse will not have the gaits later. A couple of mine were almost 4 when I finally saw their really WOW stuff. One was as a 3 1/2 year old at her pre-purchase exam. I thought she was nice, but then out came the really fancy stuff.


        • Original Poster

          I have a friend who is looking at 2 month old hunter hopeful baby, so I am trying to help her out. The youngest horse I've ever bought was a yearling(which is easier). I would think that at 2 months old there is not a whole lot one could see. I have not seen the baby myself, but I have heard that it does have some knee action but points it's toes and tracks up from the hind. Also, I have heard that the baby is quite large for a 2 month old.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
            We can often tell their movement within a few days of birth. Sometimes is takes longer. If it is there, it will stay, but if not there, it does not mean the horse will not have the gaits later. A couple of mine were almost 4 when I finally saw their really WOW stuff. One was as a 3 1/2 year old at her pre-purchase exam. I thought she was nice, but then out came the really fancy stuff.
            I have to agree to this in a certain way: it is either there or not and that right from the beginning. (At least the hindleg action). Some foals just do not want to trot a longer period, but honestly if you watch them closely or look at videos of them, you will see that it is there. It is just two steps here or three steps there. You just need to have enough experience to see that immediately. The front end can be improved by riding, but if a horse/foal does not show at least a bit of hindleg action it will never be there.
            I am not responsible for spelling misstacks - just my PC
            2017: March: Filly by Lissaro - SPS Don Frederico - SPS Prince Thatch
            May: Finnigan - Sandro Hit - SPS Rouletto


            • #7
              After more than two decades of breeding quality warmbloods I can honestly say the we can tell the first time we see them outside, trotting along beside momma. We've had great success at producing outstanding movers and so we are quite used to seeing our babies travel uphill, stepping under from behind.

              There isn't a lot you can do with the walk and the canter but the trot can certainly be improved. That's why I think it's funny that it is the one gait everyone tends to judge a horse by.

              Nonetheless if you've looked at enough babies with an educated eye you can tell a lot about how they will move as an adult.
              Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

              PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages


              • #8
                Most foals you can tell early on before they hit the uglies as butt high weanlings. The one exception I had was a super tall/leggy colt. He had such long stilts he was just a total klutz for months unitl he hit the weanling uglies (followed by yearling and 2 YO growth spurt uglies) and he never looked good until he was 3. He was an exception though.
                Providence Farm


                • #9
                  Good movement should be easily predicted with the selection of stallion to mare.
                  That being said, good movement is seen within the first few days with the walk.
                  Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


                  • #10
                    I think you can tell a lot about a horse's movement early on but I have to say I have seen some horses that were spectacular as foals turn ho-hum by age 3 and under saddle. They did not become bad movers, but they weren't world beaters and lacked the suspension they had earlier displayed.
                    Roseknoll Sporthorses


                    • #11
                      We can tell relatively quickly what the basic mechanics of the gaits are going to look like... and we find they typically have less and less knee as they mature. Their legs are so long proportionately to their body, they HAVE to have knee action just to get them out of the way and move around! Like walking on stills, a lot of movement is needed!

                      We have found that sometimes they get even better as they mature. Our Donatelli filly in 06 developed this freakish lift to her front end at about a year (must have been hind end development), and was even more spectacular, but it did take that long for it to come out - she was very fancy but then suddenly had this unreal reach and extension at about a year.

                      I am with VirginiaBred on the predication too. You should be able to tell a lot about how the baby is going to move by how the mare moves. The stallion's influence may change it just a little but the basic mechanics will favor the mare, in all our experience. You typically won't get a hack winner from a bad moving mare. Our best moving mare produces the best moving foal every year, second best mare = second best foal, and so forth.
                      Signature Sporthorses


                      • #12
                        I don't have ALOT of experience watching young wb foals move but I have seen some look very flat (though you could see the super hind leg early) turn into spectacular movers as two/three year olds.

                        Seems like all my foals from this year have HUGE walks...but isn't this the case with all foals?

                        "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


                        • #13
                          If the baby horse belongs to me and I want to sell it there are two different speaches. If it moves well when the customer is looking at it I explain how it will always move that way. If it does not move well I explain how it will change into a great mover.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by facinated View Post
                            If it moves well when the customer is looking at it I explain how it will always move that way. If it does not move well I explain how it will change into a great mover.


                            • #15
                              Mine move welll until they get within 100 yards of a camera.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
                                Mine move welll until they get within 100 yards of a camera.
                                There is a chapter on that in the Foal Manual. I caught mine reading it.
                                Roseknoll Sporthorses


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
                                  There is a chapter on that in the Foal Manual. I caught mine reading it.
                                  That is like the fact that horsepeople know to never mention a show date in front of their horse, because if never lame before, he will be soon there after.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
                                    That is like the fact that horsepeople know to never mention a show date in front of their horse, because if never lame before, he will be soon there after.
                                    Also, never mention plans to send them away to a really great trainer for training. You will find them holding thermometers up to the lightbulbs.
                                    Roseknoll Sporthorses


                                    • #19
                                      In my experience, you see the canter almost immediately and the trot -- especially the amount of suspension the horse has in the trot -- around three weeks. The walk takes longer, as many with a good walk are a bit lateral as foals, especially if they happen to be quite leggy. But there are always exceptions, and some foals just prefer one gait over another and won't show their other gaits very willingly. It takes a real sleuth to see what they've got!

                                      Oh and the advice about the proximity of cameras, shows, and trainer dates is ABSOLUTELY true!!!
                                      Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
                                      Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
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                                      • #20
                                        A great moving foal will show its stuff in all three gaits within the first week.
                                        (Forty years and hundreds of foals in my experience). Flying changes in close sequence, great canter and pirouettes by three weeks.
                                        "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist