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Alrighty then. Talk to me about youngster height again?

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  • Alrighty then. Talk to me about youngster height again?

    I bought a filly last March. She's a March 2010 foal, so turned two days after she arrived here. She sticked at 15.3 1/2" then.

    She STILL sticks at 15.3 1/2". I expected her to ... you know ... grow a little bit this summer? She's had good nutrition, lots of exercise with friends (lives out with a herd on acreage) and has not been really worked at all--just basics like manners, trailer loading, stuff like that. I plan on starting her lightly under saddle next fall, then into real work the spring of her four year old year. She's for me, so I really have no hurry.

    There's nothing wrong with her, and just shy of 16 hands is honestly a perfectly fine height for me, but it's just not what I expected to happen this year. I figured she'd finish at or near 17 hands and grow an inch or two this summer.

    So what do you all think? I know horses don't always grow steadily, and will often go in spurts. But she's rising three now...how much growth should I expect? Various string tests in the spring all pretty much said 17 hands or close. Think there's still a shot there, or no?

    She is full TB, by Even the Score (16.2 1/2 h) and out of a Wekiva Springs (16.2 h) mare. Here's her full pedigree. And some pictures--taken when she arrived, so just two there.

  • #2
    Can't help you with the height question, but wanted to say she's very cute! We have a 2 1/2 year old filly who's been 14.3 since she was a yearling. She's out of a 16 hand mare, by a 16.1 hand stallion, but we are slowly giving up hope. At this point, we'll be thrilled if she makes 15 hands. Same as your filly--great nutrition, lots of exercise.



    • #3
      She looks very balanced and shorter legged. She should grow a few inches but I don't think she will hit 17h. She's only a long 2 yr old and she could very well grow until she is 5... so she still has plenty of time. I bet she goes through a growth spurt just before spring. She's cute and either way, she's a good size and has a good body on her so I bet she appears larger in person than she actually sticks at.

      Edit- you don't mention how tall her dam is. Mare's tend to determine height, especially in TBs - so even though the sire and dam sire are bigger, if the dam is only 16h, the filly will likely be closer to her dam's height.


      • #4
        The WB colt I bred has 2 16.2 parents. He was a big foal. Grew at a nice slow but steady rate. The day he turned 2 he sticked at 15.2" I thought he was right on track to be his parents' size. At 2 1/2 years he was 15.3 and maxed out there; he's now 10. He was very mature (physically, not mentally ) and proportionate even at 2 - could'v easily passed as an adult horse. If you're girl has any baby awkwardness to her, then you have a very good chance of getting more height. And if she's lovely adult horse looking, she may be about at her mature height. They're all different.


        • #5
          FWIW, my first two homebreds stalled between 2 and 3 yrs. The first, a filly, was exactly 15 hh on her 2 yr old birthday and exactly 15.1hh on her 3 yr old birthday, so only 1 inch in 12 months. She eventually gained 2 more inches, finishing at 15.3hh.

          The second, a gelding, was 15.2 and 1/2 at 2 yrs and 15.3hh at 3 yrs, so only grew a half inch that entire year. He is now 4.5 yrs old and sticks a solid 16.1hh, and his withers is still flat so I expect him to gain another half inch to an inch when they "pop up". He's almost done height-wise but he hasn't filled out yet. I expect him to fill out quite a bit in his 5 yr old year.


          • Original Poster

            Ah, no crystal balls out there?

            Thanks for the input, all. If anything, she looks MORE immature now than in March, so perhaps she's still got a couple inches in her. Her parts are changing, but not the height just yet.

            If she finished at 16.1/16.2, that would be ideal for me. I just really expected her to put on some height this summer. I suppose they always like to keep us guessing, huh?


            • #7
              fwiw the only mare I have had or knew of that shot up late was a full TB I was given as a 2 year old. She was about 15.2 as a long 2 year old and still only about 15.3-16hh when I sold her as a 4 year old. When I saw her at a show as a 6 year old she was HUGE compared to how she was at 4. She ended up all of 16.2 and big bodied.

              That said, my other mares didn't grow at all in height past 3 years old.

              So, you really do never know.
              On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


              • #8
                I'd think she's got another inch or two in her. If she's still babyish in front, toes out, gaping elbows, narrow chest, no real withers, usually there's a fair amount of growing left to do.

                The mares that I breed are very slow to develop. One grew 2 inches between 5 and 6. My current 6YO was a bit butt high a couple of months ago, so she's not quite done. One was born tiny, and like Chestnut Run's filly, is 14.2hh or 14.3hh despite having horse-sized parents. She never grew much at all.

                One of my OTTBs, who is now subk's OTTB, was just about 16hh at the end of his 2YO year and is now about 16.3hh at 4. But he's a much more mature type than my mares. My new OTTB 4YO is 16.1hh but also not so mature, still narrow and gangly. This was a surprise to us as the vet who did the PPE said he was 'about 15.1', and we were expecting another small one.


                • Original Poster

                  She's really just gotten baby-er looking JER. Here's a shot from June or so. Nothing recent, as it's COLD here now. I hate the cold :P

                  We're due for some new shots, though, so perhaps I'll try to get the camera out to the barn this weekend...

                  (Interestingly, if you do the elbow to ground, elbow up string test on that photo, she still looks like she's due another four inches or so. Baby girl has some legs.)


                  • #10
                    Isn't it elbow to fetlock? And try middle of the knee to the top of the cornet band, follow the contour of the leg. Their legs stop growing from the bottom up so more accurate on a younger horse.


                    • #11
                      POA, in an attempt to keep breeders from producing big foals that won all the baby classes but matured over the height limit, has a great height chart. Weanlings must be < 46", yearlings < 51 1/2", 2yo < 54", 3yo< 55", 4yo< 55 1/2", maturing under 56".

                      Obviously you aren't interested in these measurements, but I think it's informative as it shows how much they reasonably expect a pony that will finish at 14hh to grow every year, and how much in each year. I think you could extrapolate a fairly decent horse growth chart from this one.
                      Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian


                      • #12
                        My friend has a WB mare that didn't grow more than an inch between 2-3. Now she's a late three and is still 14'2" out of normal sized horse parents. Her full siblings are closer to 16 hands. It is all very weird. I will say she always had a heck of a wither on her (friend bought her as a two year old). She sold her as a dressage prosepct in about a week this month with lots of interest--lots of demand for smaller ones again I think.

                        My 2010 seems to grow the most the month after her birthday (random observation). Last time I sticked her (May) her wither was 15'3.5 and her butt was 16'. She looks smaller though. She is still doing the teeter totter thing (butt grows, then shoulder). Looks like a yearling, imo. I would rather have a 15'3" broad horse than a 16'2" slab sidded one. How filled out is yours? Is she butt high at all?
                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                        • #13
                          I'm an artist, and I can tell you that she should grow several, approximately 4 inches more, over time. If you go look at photos everywhere of mature (7 and up years) horses, the distance from the fetlock (bottom of the fetlock where the ergot is) to the point of the elbow is equal to the distance from the point of the elbow to the top of the withers. If you do that measurement on the picture of your filly in June, you will see how much taller she will be at the wither.


                          • #14
                            With her genetics she should easily hit 16.1-16.2 and maybe more. Don't worry about it. Some just grow more slowly than others.
                            "Horsemanship is not merely a matter of bodily skills, but is based on scholarship and, therefore, is a matter of the mind and intellect." Charles de Kunffy



                            • #15
                              Most of my experience with young horses have been TBs and if she were mine I woild have no worries. One of my many TBs actually grew a hand between four and five. Dinky was 15.1 at two AND three and ended up 16.2+
                              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                Ah, no crystal balls out there?

                                Thanks for the input, all. If anything, she looks MORE immature now than in March, so perhaps she's still got a couple inches in her. Her parts are changing, but not the height just yet.

                                If she finished at 16.1/16.2, that would be ideal for me. I just really expected her to put on some height this summer. I suppose they always like to keep us guessing, huh?
                                They certainly do. Still, I bet she makes 16.1 easy. She is lovely.
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                                • Original Poster

                                  Just as a postscript to this thread:

                                  I stood next to Seven yesterday and I would put her at 16.2 now. I'm not sure just WHEN she grew, as last time I looked (not that long ago!) I still thought that 16 hands even was a stretch. She's turned into a BIG horse that really looks more like a warmblood than a TB. Here she is back in October, and she was about 16 hands then.

                                  So there's hope for all those shrimps out there Now I just hope that Piggy, the three year old I picked up this summer, grows a couple inches too.