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Discuss Draft horse growth rate question at the Horse Breeding forum - Horse Breeding Forums.

...I have no idea where to stick this question, but it sounded kind of breeding ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member+ foureyed_dragon's Avatar
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    Draft horse growth rate question

    ...I have no idea where to stick this question, but it sounded kind of breeding related...

    I went to see a 4 year old Belgian Draft/Appaloosa cross mare tonight. I really like her, however her withers are about 16 hands and her butt is closer to 16.2 or 16.3, owner says that her butt just shot up again this year. Will her withers catch up to her butt as a 4 year old? I was kind of under the impression that both drafts and appaloosas are fast maturing breeds and were done growing early in life?
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    My 4yr old has continued to grow both upwards of at least 2" and outwards as of this year. She won't "officially" be 5 until the end of this month. She is finally coming into her mare body this year.

    My just turned 3yr old on the other hand is still growing hard. I think she'll outgrow the 4yr old in height. That is the one I can't wait to see all filled out, or whether I just truly own a gangly plug headed giraffe.
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    I've never heard anyone say a Draft is a fast-maturing breed LOL

    In general, the bigger the finished size, the longer it takes to get there.

    If this horse is 3" downhill at 4, it's unlikely she'll finish even, but likely she'll finish more even than she is now. Yes, there are still 2-3 years where she could EASILY put on more height.
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    Senior Member+ foureyed_dragon's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure it was my grandfather that told me they were fast maturing, he farmed with Percherons before I was born and is to blame for my love of all things draft.
    Sydney
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    Maybe he means in terms of the rate in which they grow, particularly in the first year. Those with hitch horses have yearlings easily 16hh. When in comparison to my girls who as yearlings were around 14-15hh.

    Like JB.. I would not consider them fast growing, and especially because of their size I am a little more cautious about them doing any work at a young age. I know some of the old drafters wouldn't bat a eyelash at putting them in harness as early as yearlings, and definitely by 2. By show standards my 12yr old mare is considered "old". I'm proud to say she is still sound all the way around and I hope to enjoy her for many many more years.

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    Drafts are very slow at maturing. Their joints also fuse at a later age than most breeds.
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    Senior Member+ foureyed_dragon's Avatar
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    So should I be worried about a 4 year old that is pretty well started under saddle, including started over cross rails? She done a lot of trail riding too. She's not currently cantering but I don't blame the owner when she is rather downhill right now.
    Sydney
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    Depends on how many cross rails they are putting her over and how often. If it was once or twice here or there.. and I know plenty of people who do just that and claim the horse "goes over fences". But as I was saying.. if it wasn't very often, then truthfully I wouldn't be that concerned. Is she just doing trail riding? Sounds very easy going especially if they aren't even cantering her.

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    Senior Member+ foureyed_dragon's Avatar
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    Yeah, I didn't think to ask "how often have you jumped her?" My trainer has me in the mentality that you only jump once a week if that to save the wear and tear. According to her ad she has been ridden over ground poles and low cross rails. She did say that she enjoyed the challenge of the cross rails as she is a "thinker" and likes to stay busy.

    She is only being used as a trail horse right now. She's been to all the major trail riding areas around here, and according to the owner has only offered to canter on her own a couple of times going up steep hills.
    Sydney
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    She still sounds lightly used. Just ask them next time you get a chance. If they are little peasley poles she probably isn't even putting any effort over them. She'll probably be just fine, and if she fits all the rest of your requirements then she sounds like a nice mare.

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