How accurate is the "string test"? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 32 Old 07-15-2010, 01:11 PM
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It's not quite correct about reaching almost full height at 2. As I said mine was 13 hands. Now 14'3. So it was ~87% only. :) But mine didn't get proper feed, care + qh was almost 24/7 in stall for 6 months before I got her. I'm positive your horses have the best care/feed, so say 15'1 at 15 months + 10% more will give you ~17 hands. Which I'd think to be reasonable for the breed.

BTW, it was interesting to read about their metabolism. I never thought they eat about the same amount of hay!
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post #12 of 32 Old 07-15-2010, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, Fiona has certainly had best of care and never gone hungry, but Finn probably did have some issues related, Freyja, the dam, was extremely thin and malnourished when I got her, and had probably been so for her entire pregnancy carrying Finn. Finn was 2 months old at the time, and based on how much larger Fiona is at the same age, I would expect Finn had some stunted growth from lack of proper care.

And yes, a lot of people don't realize that about drafts, and even if you do know it, you don't always think it though! I actually used far less hay over last winter than I had even counted on, I was left this spring with 400 bales still sitting in my loft. And when I purchased my hay last summer, based on my calculations I was worried I wouldn't have enough to make it through. It was surprising! My horses, at the height of winter, at the time there was the 4 of them, including Finn, Freyja (who was pregnant), Claymore and Misty the pony, and if I gave them more than 2.5 bales a day in the dead of winter they wasted it. Right now all my horses are on full pasture 24/7, I have 6 acres of pasture and 7 horses on it, including fellow HFer Amarea's Stiffler. I haven't fed a bite of hay since April, and right now Monty is the only one getting grained, because he's the only one not fat! I'm actually going to need to invest in a grazing muzzle for Misty.



Last edited by Indyhorse; 07-15-2010 at 01:37 PM.
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post #13 of 32 Old 07-15-2010, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by danastark View Post
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.

Dana, somehow I missed your post at the bottom of the last page. I was hoping you'd weigh in because I knew you had a big guy you had gotten a hold of quite young.

So it IS possible for them to grow taller than their tallest parent. I would not have thought that! It's a rarity in the dog world. Well, you know, I correct myself, it is rare in purebreds, but not unusual in mixed breeds. In the farm collie community I am associated with, a lot of people are intentionally crossing Rough Collies like mine (generally around 55-60 lb dogs) with English Shepherds (generally around 65-70 lb dogs) and the resulting pups are often maturing at over 100 lbs. The breeders are claiming "hybrid vigor" which I think is a lot of hogwash when you are talking two breeds within the same species, but there definitely is some genetic "play" when crossing breeds. I don't know why I wouldn't have assumed the same could be true for horses.

I had always grown up hearing that you should string test a horse at 6 months, because at that age the cannon bone stops growing and has reached adult length. But I've heard on these boards a lot of people mention it used from birth on, so I just thought it was worth a try with Fiona. I don't even want to think what it's going to come out as once her cannon DOES stop growing!


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post #14 of 32 Old 07-15-2010, 04:15 PM
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Indy- genetics are a funny thing, and they are strongly effected by the environment in which they act (ie the nutrients they had while foals were in utero and once on the ground, etc). The only way you'll know where your foals end up is when they get there, but somewhere between the dam and sire is a good guess. Not impossible for them to end up taller, but unlikely.
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post #15 of 32 Old 07-15-2010, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tealamutt View Post
Indy- genetics are a funny thing, and they are strongly effected by the environment in which they act (ie the nutrients they had while foals were in utero and once on the ground, etc). The only way you'll know where your foals end up is when they get there, but somewhere between the dam and sire is a good guess. Not impossible for them to end up taller, but unlikely.

Haha, that would be VASTLY preferable to me!! I am tall, but I would still struggle greatly lifting my foot to 5'2" JUST to reach the stirrup! Thanks!


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post #16 of 32 Old 07-15-2010, 04:30 PM
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Haha, that would be VASTLY preferable to me!! I am tall, but I would still struggle greatly lifting my foot to 5'2" JUST to reach the stirrup! Thanks!
You can invest into the ladder! You know - those sold in Home Depot!
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post #17 of 32 Old 07-15-2010, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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You can invest into the ladder! You know - those sold in Home Depot!
*lol* I told my friends I need someone to invent a rope ladder that attaches to the saddle horn!


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post #18 of 32 Old 07-15-2010, 04:38 PM
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well maybe Their Sire's sire and dam were even bigger? and thats whats causing it? i've never heard of a string test being wrong! and if you want i'll gladly take a drafty off your hands ;) i've always wanted an 18+ horse lol


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post #19 of 32 Old 07-15-2010, 06:54 PM
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I don't know how accurate the string test is, I will be able to tell better in a couple of years after Rafe is grown but I can attest that a foal can grow to be much bigger than either of their parents. When my Dad was showing in the Appy world, there was a stud/mare combo that was bred several times. Out of 5 foals, 4 of them were approx the same height as parents (slightly over 14 hands) and then suddenly, came Devilweed, who matured to almost 16 hands. LOL, talk about a shocker. I am hoping that the string test can be wrong and measure way taller than they actually mature to. Though I am not expecting such a monster as you are, 17 hands is still too tall for my taste.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #20 of 32 Old 07-15-2010, 07:06 PM
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And here I am hoping and praying for 14.2 LMAO
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