Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Growth Patterns & Prediction of Young Horses

Anyone who has followed this blog for long knows by now that I'm borderline obsessed with how tall Chrome will end up.  I guess I have height insecurities because growing up I was 5'9" by the time I was fourteen and 5'11 by the time I was eighteen . . . and I was riding a fourteen hand Appaloosa pony all over town LOL (four thirteen years!)!  I was a bit self conscious I guess.  So I wanted my next horse to be tall!  I have friends who like fat horses because they make them look thin, well I like tall horses because they make me look.... less tall (since being realistic they don't make me look short lol). 

Chrome's sire is 16.2hh and his dam is 14.3hh so I always hoped he would end up at least sixteen hands....  I have no idea if he will make it, but I still have my fingers crossed.  :)

One of the things that I found so fun with raising a weanling was watching and tracking his growth so I religiously measured him every month.  Since I didn't have a stick (the ones they use to measure horses, forgot what they are called lol) I was improvising with a 1 by 4, a level and a measuring tape, so it wasn't always totally accurate, but here is what I ended up with (and the final totals of each year):

10-19-09 - 5 Months - 12.2hh
11-19-09 - 6 Months - 12.3hh - Height Gain:  ½ inch
12-19-09 - 7 Months - 12.3½hh - Height Gain:  ½ inch
1-19-10 - 8 Months - 13¼hh - Height Gain:  ¾ inch
2-19-10 - 9 Months - 13.1½hh - Height Gain:  1¼ inch
3-19-10 - 10 Months - 13.2½hh - Height Gain:  1 inch
4-19-10 - 11 Months - 13.3hh - Height Gain:  ½ inch
5-19-10 - 1 Year - 13.3½hh - Height Gain:  7/16th of an inch

Total growth from five months to one year:  5.5 Inches

6-19-10 - 1 Year 1 Month - 14hh - Height Gain:  ½ inch
7-19-10 - 1 Year 2 Months - 14¾hh - Height Gain: ¾ inch
8-19-10 - 1 Year 3 Months - 14.1½hh - Height Gain: ¾ inch
9-19-10 - 1 Year 4 Months - 14.2hh - Height Gain: ½ inch
10-19-10 - 1 Year 5 Months - 14.3hh - Height Gain: 1 inch
11-19-10 - 1 Year 6 Months - 14.3hh - Height Gain: Approx. 3/8 of an inch
12-19-10 - 1 Year 7 Months - 14.3½hh - Height Gain: ½ inch
1-19-11 - 1 Year 8 Months - 14.3¾hh - Height Gain: ¼ inch
2-19-11 - 1 Year 9 Months - 15¼hh - Height Gain: ½ inch
3-19-11 - 1 Year 10 Months - 15¼hh - Height Gain: None
4-19-11 - 1 Year 11 Months - 15¾hh - Height Gain: ½ inch
5-19-11 - 2 Years - 15.1hh - Height Gain: ¼ inch

Total growth from one year to two years:  5.5 Inches

6-19-11 - 2 Years 1 Month - 15.1hh - Height Gain: None
7-19-11 - 2 Years 2 Months - 15.1hh - Height Gain: None
8-19-11 - 2 Years 3 Months - 15.1hh - Height Gain: None
9-19-11 - 2 Years 4 Months - 15.1hh - Height Gain: None
10-19-11 - 2 Years 5 Months - 15.1hh - Height Gain: None
11-19-11 - 2 Years 6 Months - 15.1½hh - Height Gain: ½ inch
12-19-11 - 2 Years 7 Months - 15.1½hh - Height Gain: None
1-19-12 - 2 Years 8 Months - 15.1½hh - Height Gain: None
2-19-12 - 2 Years 9 Months - 15.1½hh - Height Gain: None
3-19-12 - 2 Years 10 Months - 15.1½hh - Height Gain: None
4-19-12 - 2 Years 11 Months - 15.1¾hh - Height Gain: ¼ inch
5-19-12 - 3 Years - 15.1¾hh - Height Gain: ¼ inch

Total growth from two years to three years:  ¾ Inch

6-19-12 - 3 Years 1 Month - 15.2hh - Height Gain: ¼ inch
7-19-12 - 3 Years 2 Months - 15.2hh - Height Gain: None
8-19-12 - 3 Years 3 Months - 15.2hh - Height Gain: None

Total growth from three years to four years:  N/A 

See the one I highlighted in yellow?  Between two and three years old he only grew 3/4 of an inch.... is that normal??  Do you think he will make it to 16hh?  Anyone want to make bets?  My guess is that if he grows an inch a year over the next couple of years that he should (hopefully) make it to 16hh by the time he's five.  What do you think?  16hh by four, five, six?  Won't make 16hh?  Will have a sudden growth spurt and will reach a monstrous 18hh by the time he's four?  LOL!  Only joking, of course.  

And to wrap up this post a picture of his cuteness as a baby:


  1. That's always a tough one - remember the Friesian side of him will want to still grow and develop until he hits about 7. Height wise, he may be done but I think he will continue to fill out and become more subsantial.

    I understand you wanting a taller horse. My good go-to mare is only 14.1, and I'm 5'7". I know when I take her out I'm going to get teased!


  2. I too have been obsessed with Dickie's height. I am a totally average height (5'6") so I have no logical reason for wanting a giant horse but I do. I'm hoping for at least 16.2. My BFF is 6'2" and once he's under saddle seriously he will be a joint horse so I tell myself that's why I want him big. In reality I just want a giant. I feel safer over fences for some reason. I found some greAt info on how to estimate height. Illl have to look for the websites to tonight. Bre gained about a half inch after 3 and filled out. You can hardly recognize her. If he is still see sawing with his butt and shoulders he will probably pick up some more hieght.

  3. I like the conversation in this linkhttp://www.horseadvice.com/horse/messages/3/5218.html

    It runs through how to actually calculate expected growth. At three years he should be between 98 and 100% of his height. He's 62 inches so he should finish at between 62 (15.2) and 63.3" (15.3 3/4). In my book it looks like 16h (or close enough) within reach!!

  4. Given that he is a cross between two slow to mature breeds I'd say it's possible he could hit 16hh. I think it's so neat how you've tracked his development like this. Wish I'd done the same when I had a young one.

  5. Two inches won't make much of a difference if you love him :) My guess is he will grow at least an inch. He has a great mind and that is the most important thing. If you ride english, you can look a little smaller as the stirrups are raised a bit :) ha

  6. I think making your own dressage pads is a great idea if you have amazing patters. I know the kind I like wick the sweat away... can you find material like that? You would love the bareback pad I have - look into it!

    And I hope you didn't take offense regarding my remarks to his mane. I just hate pulling as it really makes it thinner and I hate how it grows back in. Look into the scissors I told you about. They really work if used sparingly.

    I do agree, he is still adorable. :)

  7. I hear you on the obsession. I bought Irish as a 3 year old and he was 15'2. He's now a solid 16hh.

    Steele at not yet two is 15hh in front and 15'1 behind.

  8. Teresa, that is awesome to know about Irish! Chrome is 15.2hh at three so now I have hope that he can do like Irish and reach 16hh. :D Yay!

    How tall are you hoping Steele will get? How tall were his parents?


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