String test says my colt will surpass his parents? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 01-24-2011, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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String test says my colt will surpass his parents?

Hi all!

I wasn't sure where to put this, but I figured since this was the genetics section, it might be a good place.

I just did the "string test" on my 6 month old colt. The one where you measure mid-knee to coronet band. He measured 16.2!

Now the interesting thing is, his mom is a Foxtrotter and she measures 15.1 (a friend with an actual measuring stick measured her for me, so I know that's pretty accurate). When I did the string test on her, she came out 15.2. I also measured my Mustang, whom measures 14.3, and according to the string test is just under 15 hands.

So, if I am measuring just a little on the large side, my foal should still mature to around 16.1 according to the string test.

I've met his sire, a QH, and while I don't know exactly how tall he is, he is pretty average and not very tall. I'm guessing he's also around 15.1.

So would it be unusual for my colt to come out 16.1 when both his parents are around 15.1, (a Quarter Horse and a Foxtrotter)? I know the string test thing may not be 100% accurate, and my measurements may not be 100% accurate, but any way I look at it, the colt's cannon bone is a good inch longer than his moms. So does that sound about right?

It would be cool to have a big horse for a change.
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post #2 of 26 Old 01-24-2011, 12:29 AM
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Trailhorserider - I have the same thing with both my youngsters. I don't think the string test is really accurate - it might be in some cases, but I seriously doubt it will be in mine.

String test on Finn puts him at 18.2 hh at maturity. His dam, Freyja, is only 15.3 hh. His sire is 18.2 hh. He is currently 16.1 hh and 21 months old. I honestly expect him to mature around the 17.2 hh range.

String test on Fiona, Finn's full sibling, puts her at 19.1 hh at maturity . I think this is out of the question. She is currently 14.3 at 9 months old. 3 inches taller than Finn was at this age, and she is certainly built more heavily than he is, but I still don't think she will get taller than her tallest parent by 3 inches. I just don't think it's at all likely, she will get much greater than 17.2 herself, either.

I know there have been cases of foals growing larger than either parent, but I don't believe it's the norm. I've always heard the tend to fall right in the middle in between the two parents, if there is a height difference.

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post #3 of 26 Old 01-24-2011, 01:10 AM
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Same with my colt. Then I read somewhere on google your supposed to do the string test when there 1 year old otherwise its not acurrate. Not sure but My colt is 8 months so I guess I'll try it again when he's a year. He is about 12.3H now. How big is your colt? Isn't he also 8 months?
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post #4 of 26 Old 01-24-2011, 03:09 AM
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I was told to measure at 1 year of age by the stallion owner. He swears by it. I have to wait till June 6th!
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post #5 of 26 Old 01-24-2011, 09:02 AM
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Interesting enough my strings tests were exact (which was a big relief because my yearlings were very undersized and I was afraid they will never make the height the string was showing). However string was giving me 14'3 on my qh as a yearling when she was 13'2 at her best (and she's 14'3 straight at 7 yo) and 15'2 on my paint (she's right in between 15'1 and 15'2 at 6 yo). BTW my paint's parents and another sibling were just 14'3, so she definitely overgrew them all.
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post #6 of 26 Old 01-24-2011, 11:00 AM
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my boy will be a year on march 9th so i'll measure him and see how big he will get as well.

Baby, Sparta, Carmen, Henry, Hooch, Mercedes, Butterscotch
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post #7 of 26 Old 01-24-2011, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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I think the theory behind it is that the cannon bones stop growing in length by 6 months. That is why it doesn't matter if it is 6 months or a year. In this string test, you are only measuring from mid-knee to cornet band.

I think there is a string test where you measure from elbow down, and then swing it up over their withers, but I can see how in that one you would need to wait until they are a year, because the upper arm bone (I don't remember what it's called) doesn't close until later. But I have heard that test isn't as accurate as the knee-down one.

So I don't know if it is right, but I thought it was kind of exciting. If he never gets past 15.1 that is cool too, it will make him easier to mount.

But I am kind of thinking he will be taller than that, because his knee to cornet measurement is about an inch longer than his moms. So at the very least, he should be an inch taller than his mom I would think.

All of this really isn't important, I just think it's kind of fun to speculate. And I wrote his measurements down, so maybe a couple years from now I can see how he measures up!

I wish I knew how tall he was now. I don't have a proper measuring stick, which I think is the best method. I have a weight tape with "hands" on the off side. I will get a guesstimate with that, but I have a hard time eye-balling it that way.

I would love to get a proper measuring device, but they are kind of expensive and they want to charge you oversized shipping too.

It makes me wonder how many people really know how tall their horse is, and how many just guess.

Cloudkisser, my colt is 6 months old now. I'm going to try the off-side of the weight tape to get a guess at his current height. The weight tape says he weighs 565 right now.
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post #8 of 26 Old 01-24-2011, 12:41 PM
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I think your test could be correct. My mare is 14.3 and the sire I used was 15.3. String tested a bit early but it put my baby right at 15.3. He's 5 this year and just a little over 16hh.

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post #9 of 26 Old 01-24-2011, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Indyhorse, have you tried the string test on Freyja? I know you said she is 15.3, but it would be interesting to see if you measured her from mid-knee to coronet, if you also came up with 15.3? It did seem to work on my adult horses, at least within an inch or so. For instance, Isabelle is 15.1 and the string test put her at 15.2.

Part of the inaccuracy might be the difficulty of determining exactly where mid-knee is, which is why I was out there doing and it and re-doing it, to get a consensus.

It is method #2 on this website:
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post #10 of 26 Old 01-24-2011, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by farmpony84 View Post
I think your test could be correct. My mare is 14.3 and the sire I used was 15.3. String tested a bit early but it put my baby right at 15.3. He's 5 this year and just a little over 16hh.
Well that's good to hear Farmpony!

Height does not mean anything really, as long as he is "average." I am only 5'6", so I don't need a super tall horse. As long as he is built solid because I am heavy. BUT, I admit it would be cool to have a tall horse for once! If he makes 16 hands, he will be the tallest horse I have owned.
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