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When do draft crosses GROW?

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  • When do draft crosses GROW?

    Our two and a half year old Shire/TB is currently 15.2hh. I was hoping for at least 16.2hh for her final height, but am getting nervous that she won't make that now, since our WB colt is already 15.2hh as a yearling!

    We are hoping that this filly will become a good horse for my 6' tall husband eventually... is there hope?

    I have heard that draft crosses often take longer to grow, but I figured they would have most of their height by 3-4, then would just continue to fill out after that. How much height do you think we could still get beyond what she is now - at 2.5 years?
    Work - feed - ride - shovel poop - repeat.

  • #2
    Drafts can grow in height until 5-7 years of age. I wouldn't worry about it and certainly don't try to encourage more growth with excess nutrition. It's better for the horse's joints if he grows more slowly and can build the musculature to support it as he goes. With height comes weight but without the muscles you are looking at possible problems. I worry about what the legs do to support the height/weight without the muscle (splaying in front, hocks being close behind).

    Have you done a string test on him and, if so, what did you come up with?
    Altamont Sport Horses
    Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
    Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
    Birmingham, AL

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    • #3
      Typically they grow until they are 7 years old - my gelding grew an inch between 6 and 7 in height. Finished at 17hh Our mares tend to stop growing a bit earlier then the geldings. My mares were all done at 6

      Will be really interesting to see how big our colt gets because at 18 months he is 16.3hh. I also have a coming 3 yr old filly that is 16.3.

      Comment


      • #4
        Mine (TB/Clyde cross) grew an inch between 6 and 7, and then filled out a lot between 7 and 8.

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        • #5
          Mine [3/4 TB, 1/4 Belgian] grew 3 inches AND filled out between 4 years old and 6 years old. I can't comment on the 7/8 year old years, tho, as he had to be put to sleep less than 3 weeks after that 2nd picture was taken.

          4 year old:

          6 year old:

          I've been riding a PerchX for the past three years and he has grown from 15.3 to 16.3 from a two year old til now [coming 5]. He, too has filled out. I don't take as many conf. shots of him, since he's not mine...but a few to show his development are below.

          First show, 2 weeks into working with him, as a just turned 3 year old:

          As a late 3 year old [ab. 16.1]:

          Coming 5:
          CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
          Serving North GA with high quality clips.
          --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
          --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred

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          • #6
            TwoDreamRides I love that big grey boy.
            7-Mile Ranch Paint Sport Horses
            HTTP://www.paintsporthorse.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Live2Jump View Post
              Our two and a half year old Shire/TB is currently 15.2hh. I was hoping for at least 16.2hh for her final height, but am getting nervous that she won't make that now, since our WB colt is already 15.2hh as a yearling!
              They grow forever.

              She may not make 16.2, you can't guarantee something like that. But my guy grew a lot during his 5 year old year. And even after turning six he popped up a little. He's 16.1 now (a real 16.1, instead of an "almost" 16.1, LOL), and was about 15.1 at two and a half, if I remember right.
              "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

              My CANTER blog.

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              • #8
                Our Irish Draught/American TB was 15.1 when we bought him at age 2 1/2. He is now, at age 6 1/2, 16.3h. He string tested at age 2 to end up at 16.1.

                We looked at a second IDSH from the same breeder, but did not buy because he was much bigger than our horse, and a few months younger. He string tested to 16.3, but at age 6 1/2 is 15.3 or maybe barely 16h.

                I am not sure if you can predict eventual height very accurately.

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                • #9
                  I went out and measured my Irish Draught x Anglo-Trakehner gelding last night due to this thread. http://www.altamontsporthorses.com/phoenix.html At almost 2 1/2 years he is 15.1 1/2" hh. I measured him earlier at 24 months and he was 15hh so he has grown about 1 1/2 inches in the last 6 months. His dam is only 15.2hh and his sire is 16hh...maybe a tad more according to someone who saw him in person. Based on a string test that I did before 12 months I was expecting him to mature at 15.3 1/2 to 16hh. The dam was a maiden with him so I didn't expect him to get much taller than her but I think he will make 16hh at this rate. The dam has had another ID cross foal who is good size and may exceed the sire's height of 16.2hh. She is about 15.1hh at 1 1/2 years of age.
                  Altamont Sport Horses
                  Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
                  Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
                  Birmingham, AL

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                  • #10
                    7up -- SO DO I!!!! I'm first on the waitlist to buy him, should he ever be for sale, with about 5 others behind me. Can you believe my trainer bought him to be a trail horse for her hubby? I bodyclipped him as a 2year old, and was like, "Uhm, Trainer dearest, I think you have something under all this fuzz! May I find out?" and she told me to have at it. He's basically been on free lease to me since then, but just got leased to a Junior in Sept once I got him consistent at 3'.

                    But he's never for sale.... ever, is what I'm told.
                    CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
                    Serving North GA with high quality clips.
                    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
                    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred

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                    • #11
                      Yep. 7 years seems to be the point when they fully mature, height wise and in filling out.

                      I bred Shire/TB crosses for years and that seems to be a pretty consisent timeline, thoug a few matured earlier.

                      For this reason, I'm glad I didn't even start them until they were 4 1/2, and even then, the level of work/riding was doled out sparingly to ensure physical and mental maturity that would keep them happy and sound into older age.

                      Some of my babies are now 16 and 17 years old, were used for dressage lessons in the mid-years and are still sound as a dollar.

                      Don't fret. These guys take a long time to mature. It's worth the wait though.
                      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                      Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

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                      • #12
                        Keep in mind too genetics going a generation back or more to see what heights came out and with what crosses. Sometimes it's just a guessing game as to their final height.

                        One of my Percheron/TB stallion's fillies is nearly 17 hands as a 2 1/2 year old, he has another one, they have different dams but both dams are the same height, and that filly is about 15.1ish. He has two full sons who are out of a 15.2 hand TB mare (so they are 3/4 TB 1/4 percheron too). The older one, who is about 1 1/2 years old and about 14.3, his full brother who is an June 08 foal and was at least 30% bigger at birth is already 13.3 and wears a 62 inch blanket-his older brother only takes a 68.

                        My stallion is 16.3 but I think come spring he may finish at 17 hands. He will be 7 in 2009.

                        I have some WB babies who at a year and one half got taller then their dams (who were in the 15 hand range) and at 2.5 years old are nearly 16.2 hands. Their sire, my Dutch stallion is 17.1 and has put foals on the ground (out of smaller mares then he) who have ended up taller than him by a few inches.

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                        • #13
                          So is there a difference in growth rate amongst the drafts? I would not be surprised to learn that shires finish slower than Clydes, but would Belgians be much different? My little guy, who is probably a belgian cross (with what??), is coming 2 and was around 14.2* when I got him last summer (*eyeballed). He's probably grown a good inch since. String tested to finish around 16. I had hoped he might make 16.2-16.3.
                          I've only ever owned TBs before him, so obviously not used to waiting very long for them to grow. I had planned to start him lightly this summer. Is that to soon?

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                          • #14
                            My coming 6 (actually not 'til May) clyde cross was 15.2 when I bought her as a coming 2 yo. She was stuck at 16.1 until about 2 months ago. She suddenly spurted an inch. She hasn't changed much body wise since turning 5. I'm really hoping she doesn't get any bigger, but as long as she stays proportioned...
                            Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              twodreamrides- I love the grey, too!

                              Originally posted by classicsporthorses View Post
                              One of my Percheron/TB stallion's fillies is nearly 17 hands as a 2 1/2 year old, he has another one, they have different dams but both dams are the same height, and that filly is about 15.1ish. He has two full sons who are out of a 15.2 hand TB mare (so they are 3/4 TB 1/4 percheron too). The older one, who is about 1 1/2 years old and about 14.3, his full brother who is an June 08 foal and was at least 30% bigger at birth is already 13.3 and wears a 62 inch blanket-his older brother only takes a 68.
                              So, do these guys that get super-tall-super-early usually end up taller in the end, or do the 'slow to grow' siblings sometimes catch up/or even outgrow them for final height? or, rephrased: does the early height always mean that they will be taller in the end, too, or do some horses that grow tall early slow down later, then end up about the same height as a later blooming sibling?


                              Originally posted by Digby View Post
                              So is there a difference in growth rate amongst the drafts? I would not be surprised to learn that shires finish slower than Clydes, but would Belgians be much different?
                              I am interested in this, too. Seems like my friend's young clyde/tb got his height much faster than our shire/tb filly - though I bet they will end up close to the same size once she's mature.


                              I'll have to string test her again, I think I tried it on her as a yearling and it said 16.3hh. I don't think she'll make that, but maybe I'll be wrong after hearing some of your stories! Her dam is 16.1hh and sire is 16.3hh. Her Shire grandsire was 18.1 and 2400lbs! : 0

                              One more q - is the reason that these guys seem to mature so late bc they have more mass to develop?
                              Work - feed - ride - shovel poop - repeat.

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                              • #16
                                My half-draft has been 15 hand for the past year. She is coming 6, so I'm not expecting any more height growth. She has broadened greatly in the past two years, but never got tall.
                                Looking for horse activity in the Twin Tiers? Follow my blog at http://thetwintiershorse.blogspot.com/

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                                • #17
                                  Up to 5 in height and up to 7 in terms of "filling out" and maturing.

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                                  • #18
                                    Kahjul-If by starting lightly you mean starting to understand longeing, but not seriously longeing, leading over ground poles, tacking up, have at it. If you are planning any serious work, hold on.

                                    Do a search for Deb Bennets work, (correct Name?), she has done extensive work on maturation rates.
                                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                                    • #19
                                      No horse, regardless of breed, is considered fully mature until they are 6yo, but geldings can grow forever. Genetics definitely play a roll in how they mature. As w/ most it's height before mass.

                                      My Percheron stallion is still growing and he's coming 8 in March, '09. He's 17.1hh, but tests to finish just shy of 18hh. (I'm hoping he stops!! I'm 5'2".) His sire was the same way and finished at 17.2hh. His oldest "kids" are in the 16.2hh range and are out of a 16.1hh and 15hh mare. They are both geldings and are coming 5, so they're not quite done growing either and may still gain more height. I know all of his foals out of smaller mares will finish taller than the dams and have more bone and a little more substance, but not HUGE drafty types, as he's not real drafty himself.

                                      I have a coming 3yo by him and out of the aforementioned 15hh mare and he's taller than she is and has been for awhile now. He's about 15.3hh or so. I use my 15.3hh AQHA gelding as a comparison since they're pastured together and hang out together. I figure he'll end up in that 16.2hh range, as well, but it may not happen until he's 5 or 6 or even later.

                                      So w/ her parents heights, I think she'll make it over 16hh, but it might take awhile.
                                      A Merrick N Dream Farm
                                      Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique

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                                      • #20
                                        depending

                                        on what kind of draft cross you have, the question is not "when do they grow?", but "when do they STOP growing?". My guy grew another 5 inches and filled out between his 5 and 6 year old season. He now wheres a 58 inch girth and is a shade over 17hands. You would be hard pressed to tell he is a draft cross, most think he's some sort of import. He is actually, he's from Canada.

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