At what age do a horse's feet quit maturing? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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At what age do a horse's feet quit maturing?

My question of the day. If you have a young horse, at what age do their feet quit growing size-wise? Or I guess I should say, at what age are they the largest/widest they are likely to get?

For instance, my 22 month old has what I would consider to be small feet for his size. Will they continue to get larger or at about 2 years of age, is what you see what you get?

I'm kind of stumped as to why he would have small feet as his mom (Fox Trotter) has good sized feet and so did his sire (QH). What do you guys think? Right now he is about 15.1, 1100 lbs and his feet are 5 inches wide. I'm not sure what that is in horseshoe size but I am guessing my youngster has size "0" feet. Will he be stuck with that size?
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 12:31 AM
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I'm guessing around 5, along with their bodies. But I am not really sure.

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post #3 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 12:42 AM
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Ohhhh, very good question.

I am thinking its older then 2. We've got all our horses young and if i remember correctly, it was around 4 i didnt notice a change anymore. I have lots of pictures from the younger years that i look at and they always look proportionate...?
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Do you think my guy look proportionate (or not)?

I really don't consider him fine boned in person, but I do admit looking at that photo he also looks a bit fine boned.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 12:54 AM
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Well he isn't stocky, but he's not a teacup either. I think he looks fine :)

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post #6 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 01:57 AM
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Oh, yeah, those feet will keep growing for a long time. My farrier brother was talking about his horse Snuffy the other day while he was trimming mine. He said that when Snuff was 2, he wore a size 00 shoe. By the time he was 5, he had to be moved up to an 0. Then, a couple of years later, he had to go up to a 1.

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post #7 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 02:00 AM
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It depends on environment & lifestyle as well as pure growth & genetics as to how/when a horse's feet develop. Eg. he may be narrow in the hooves due to contraction. Horses don't tend to *begin* developing the fibrocartilage in their caudal foot until age 4yo, according to Dr Bowker, and many domestic horses may never develop the back of their feet.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 07:35 AM
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First of all, let me say that I think your boy is lovely.

And, though at this point I am unqualified to provide you with an "experienced horseperson" answer your question, I still wanted to post simply to say, NO, I do not think he looks out of proportion, or ill-proportioned. I believe the eye of even a novice horseperson has an ability to see glaring strangenesses in conformation, etc... THUS, his feet do not (to me) appear even at his present age to be too small, or "too" anything.

Hope that offers a sliver of help?!

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 08:37 AM
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He looks quite normal to me.

His feet will not be mature until his body is done maturing. Definitely 5 maybe even 6
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone!

Thanks Smrobs for the good case study! I'm happy to hear that.

Loosie, I'm sure he's not contracted as I feel pretty comfortable managing my horse's hooves and his feet are nice and round, just small compared to his mom and my other horse. I plan to keep him barefoot (as I ride my other horses barefoot) and only do boots as-needed once I start riding him in another year. I'm hoping he will get nice, sound, healthy feet. I am happy with their shape, they are just a tad small. I really want to keep him barefoot if at all possible because I do think it's healthier in the long run.

I have never grown a horse "from scratch" before so that's why I don't know how long their feet will widen out. What confused me even more is my vet declared him done growing when he came out to do vaccines this year. He asked me if I had been riding him yet. I had to remind him that he is not even two until July. But size-wise he looks like a mature horse. The string test puts him at 16.1 and he is 15.1 right now. So we'll see. If he never gets an inch taller that is okay with me! But I would like for him to have healthy bones and feet if at all possible.

Of course I can't change what I can't change. But I would like to set him up for success if I can.
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Last edited by trailhorserider; 05-14-2012 at 08:35 PM.
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