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Horse Growth Rate


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#1 WildCherryBlossom

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 02:24 AM

I read that horses do 90% of their growing in the first year, I know they grow very quickly when they are young but that sounded like a little bit much. Does this sound right to any of you?
I've never really watched a horse as it grew so... :questionicon: Just wondering I guess...

#2 Wild Rose

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:17 AM

Well, yeah, it makes sense. Look at how a foal gets bigger in that first year....from a bitty little thing to almost full size. If a foal kept that rate of growth up all his life, he'd be a giant.

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#3 RideFast

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:35 AM

I've heard 80% by 1 year and 90% at 2, don't know for sure though. I have a colt that is about to turn 1 and I know he has more than 10% growth left in him! I guess it also depends on the breed...


#4 Nikki-HorseCityAdmin

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:14 AM

I do think it depends on the breed and from what I've read from Kentucky Equine Research (based on thoroughbred youngsters) they show significant change in tendons, cartilage and soft tissue in the 2 yr old year. What we "see" on the outside may not be what is happening on the inside.

My current horse was 16.2 as a late 2 yr old (he's a TB/Belgian cross) and now as an early 7 yr old he's almost 18 hands. To me, that is significant "late growth" as well. Likewise, my Arab mare never grew after her 3 yr old year - she topped out at 14.3.

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#5 CoolRabbit

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:17 AM

I read that horses do 90% of their growing in the first year, I know they grow very quickly when they are young but that sounded like a little bit much. Does this sound right to any of you?
I've never really watched a horse as it grew so... :questionicon: Just wondering I guess...


I would guess it's fairly true if by saying first year you mean their measurement as actual yearlings. I know my 17 hand horse was around 15'1" or 15'2" when she turned a year old (90% of height would be a little over 15 hands). However, i feel she was more of a fast grower - she reached her full height by the middle of her 3yo year, and most of my other horses didn't reach their mature height until age 4 or 5.
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#6 WildCherryBlossom

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:21 AM

Reading your comments and the more I think about it I guess that does sound about right... Just seemed like a lot at first for some reason but I guess it's not really.

#7 Alaskandraft

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:20 AM

Oh my gosh! Belgians seem like they never stop growing!:twitch: Even our Belgian cross grew like a weed her first year.. She was 15.1 by the time she was a yearling..She is going on 7 and is now 16.3..yup she grew another inch this past year. They blossom late. I have known some Quarter horses that do this too.. growth spurt late going on 6..might gain another 1/2 hand. Its more common for them to reach mature height by 4 in most breeds, then they start to fill out more..
Like Rabbit said.. I think the taller horses have a tendency to grow just a bit more past the average..

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