How accurate is the "string test"?
 
 

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How accurate is the "string test"?

This is a discussion on How accurate is the "string test"? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How do you string test a baby horse
  • How accurate are string tests on horses?

 
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    07-15-2010, 03:06 AM
  #1
Green Broke
How accurate is the "string test"?

I mean seriously. I just question how it could be correct in the case of my horses. My colt Finn is currently 15 months, and 15.1 hh. I string tested him at 6 months of age, and again today, with the exact same result - placing him at 18.2 HH maturity. I also measured and string tested Fiona today, she's enormous, 13.2 at 3 months!! Finn wasn't 13 hands until 7 months! I string tested her too, it put her at 19.1 HH at maturity. Her legs are actually longer than Finn's at only 3 months old!

I know I did the test correctly, before you ask *lol* I did it both ways - measuring from coronet band to the middle of the knee and converting inches to hands, and measuring length of fetlock to elbow and doubling it, with the results the same either way. But I have always been under the impression most foals mature somewhere in the range BETWEEN the height of the dam and height of the sire. Freyja, the dam of both (Finn and Fiona are full siblings) is only 15.2-15.3 ish HH. The sire of both is a Shire stallion standing at 18 HH even. I would expect, then, that both Finn and Fiona would mature in the 16-17 HH range max. Maybe they will, and just be exceptionally leggy? It just leaves me scratching my head as to how they could both be a fair bit taller than their already tall sire. It just seems like a case where this has to be terribly inaccurate.

Finn, 15.1, 15 months (note I'm 5'9"):


Fiona, 13.2, 3 months:
     
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    07-15-2010, 08:03 AM
  #2
Showing
Hmmm.... There are couple string tests I know of. Are you sure you done it correctly as 19+ sounds way too big to me?

I can tell only from my own experience. I measured both my horses when I got them as yearlings (and they were VERY undersized (because of lack of nutrition, turn-out, etc.). Jemma being 13 - 13'1 at 20 months showed 14'3 in string. I didn't believe she can catch up, but... She's 6 yo now and honest 14'3 she reached at 4 years old. Kiara was may be 13'2, string gave 15'1, she's little over 15'1 at almost 6 yo.
     
    07-15-2010, 10:10 AM
  #3
Green Broke
Oh I agree it sounds way too huge, that's why I am questioning the accuracy. I am certain I measured correctly. Finn is exactly 18 1/2 inches from the coronet band to the middle of his knee. Fiona is exactly 19 1/4 inches from coronet band to the middle of the knee. I also measured from elbow to ergot, folded the string up on itself, and measured that length. Fiona's was 77 inches. Finn's was 72 inches. I'm just guessing that this happens to be a case where the string test is not accurate, and was hoping a few of you might have experiences to share me where a string test was off (or way off!).
     
    07-15-2010, 10:47 AM
  #4
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyhorse    
Oh I agree it sounds way too huge, that's why I am questioning the accuracy. I am certain I measured correctly. Finn is exactly 18 1/2 inches from the coronet band to the middle of his knee. Fiona is exactly 19 1/4 inches from coronet band to the middle of the knee. I also measured from elbow to ergot, folded the string up on itself, and measured that length. Fiona's was 77 inches. Finn's was 72 inches. I'm just guessing that this happens to be a case where the string test is not accurate, and was hoping a few of you might have experiences to share me where a string test was off (or way off!).
Hmmm... May be it's not correct in your case. Or may be your horses will be GIANTS!

Here is a good discussion on height I found several years back... HorseAdvice.com Equine & Horse Advice: Predicting final height in growing youngster
     
    07-15-2010, 10:56 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Wow, thanks for the link! Sounds like they are all saying on the thread the "string test" is fairly inaccurate. So good to know!
     
    07-15-2010, 11:03 AM
  #6
Foal
I just shudder to imagine the amount of feed required for two horses that are that big.
     
    07-15-2010, 11:07 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katafran    
I just shudder to imagine the amount of feed required for two horses that are that big.

*lol* Usually (not always) drafts have a slow metabolism....so require LESS feed pound for pound than a lighter breed horse. Because they are so much bigger, it tends to even out in hay consumption - about the same as an average sized horse - and generally speaking drafts and drafts crosses don't need grained. My feed bills are probably cheaper than yours per horse, particularly your TB!
     
    07-15-2010, 11:20 AM
  #8
Foal
Very good point! My QH gets only grass and hay and is even a bit fat on that! The TB though, eats and eats and eats.

I didn't know that they had a slower metabolism, so I learned something new and interesting today!
     
    07-15-2010, 11:27 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Kitten_Val - OMG I used the "method" the vet recommends on that link you sent - doing the math based on the percentage of growth the horse should have achieved at current age......and that seriously cannot be right at all as it puts my colt several inches taller than the string test did, although it puts Fiona at roughly the same!

For example, Finn. The guy claims a 24 month old will have achieved 96% of total height. So Finn, at 15 months, lets knock it down to say 94% of total height.

The math he lists in Finn's case would be as follows:

74 x 100 / 94 = 78.723.....which puts Finn at over 19.2hh?

Fiona comes out roughly the same - a horse has 60 percent total height at birth so, say 68% at 3 months (being generously high with that percentage here)

53 x 100 / 68 = 77.941......which puts Fiona at just over 19.1hh?

Anyone want to check my math please *lol*
     
    07-15-2010, 12:07 PM
  #10
Yearling
I forget whether there is an optimum age to do the string tests or not. Seems like I recall doing it at 2 yrs. Of age. It did work for my gelding. He was 14.3 at 11 mos. I did the string test from knee to coronet and it had him at 18 hands. He is 6 now and 18 hds. Goodluck with yours if they truly end up so big. My guy did end up bigger than his sire, BTW. The sire was 17.2, don't know about his dam.
     

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