Monday, October 18, 2010

Can You Determine A Horse's Height?

I have a 2 year old horse that will be 3 on July 20 and I got her when she just turned two and she was 13.2 hands tall, I got her March of 2009. I just measured her the other day 2-20-2010 and she has only grown an inch making her 13.3 hands. I gave her all the hay/grass salt minerals, vaccines since I have had her so she’s very healthy. but I already have a horse that is 13.3 hands and was hoping she would be bigger. Her mother a registered quarter horse is 15.00 hands tall and her dad which is a Tennessee/cross is 14.2 hands tall, (so she's a crossbred horse) both of her parents are well built horses that are why I thought she would get bigger. my question is when do horses mature and do you think there are any ways I will be able to tell haw tall she will be when matured?

Hello Lesli, horses mature at different times according to their heredity, feed, care, and general condition. Just think of the Thoroughbred race horse. It is often quite tall at an early age. You see them at race tracks, often dwarfing their handlers and, especially, jockeys. This is perhaps unfortunate for the breed in general, as often they are ANATOMICALLY not mature. The breakdown rate is horrific.

Warmbloods and Draft breed tend to mature at a much later age in height and bone. Often people do not start the training and serious riding of a Warmblood breed (Hanovarian, Holsteiner)until they are four and sometimes five.

That said, the height of the immediate dam and sire are not always the determining factors. Genetic influence in physical traits goes back many generations. You have certainly been doing the right thing with feed and care of your horse. Quarter horses are sometimes ridden long before they have developed sufficient strength and height. Your horse is not yet three. I would think there would definitely be more growth. Are her withers higher than her croup or vice versa? This is a sign that the horse is still growing. They often look a bit unbalanced-either wither high or croup high.

There is a method people used for young horses to try to determine height....they would take a string and measure to the horse's knee, and then from the knee to the floor, and this was supposed to determine the height. I have seen it result in too high, too low, and just right as an estimate!

I will do some research and send you more information. In the meantime, you are correct in what you are doing. Do not rush your horse in her training. Groundwork is all you want to do now. That would not include small circles at speed (longeing in a small diameter circle at more than a trot), or round penning at this time if it results in tight turns or cantering.

Good luck.

Mitzi Summers

No comments:

Post a Comment