Are knees always closed by age 3?

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Are knees always closed by age 3?

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  • Horse knees not closed
  • How to tell if a horse's knees are closed

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  • 3 Post By albertaeventer

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    07-16-2013, 07:55 PM
Green Broke
Are knees always closed by age 3?

Hey guys,

It's my understanding that a horse's knees close around age 2- 2 1/2. My gelding JUST turned 3. A couple days ago in fact. Will a horse's knees almost certainly be closed by that age?

I'm not increasing his workload or anything. As a matter of fact, it is more the fact that his knees look a bit lumpy and I am wondering if that is just the way his knees will always be, or if they are still trying to close.

If I feel them, they still have a bit of a hollow or crease in the center. Not as much as when he was a baby, but more than my 20 yr old horses whose knees are nice and flat.

So I guess I am just wondering if the knees he has now are the final product?

Here is a picture of the whole horse since I don't have one of just his knees. See the little dip in the center of his knees? Is that just the way they are or should I expect them to fill in? (He's sound by the way.)
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File Type: jpg Zane confo3.jpg (98.4 KB, 67 views)
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    07-16-2013, 10:12 PM
No! My gelding I got a few years ago was a reining horse and could not be shown till he was 4-5 because his knees were not closed, and even when he was showing they were not closed all the way! I would suggest having a vet come out to tell you when they are closed! I would rather be safe than sorry!
    07-16-2013, 10:53 PM
Super Moderator
I fond this on Facebook, might be helpful?
Though I totally second getting a professional opinion. I've never been around young horses in my life! Haha

It's a little small, but according to it, the knee "bones" close at 1.5 to 2.5 years.

Also, your boy is looking better and better everytime I see pictures of hm! Well done. :)
    07-17-2013, 10:51 AM
It's not really the knees you need to worry about. When people talk about the knees or other bones "closing" they're referring to when the cartilage turns to bone and it happens at different times throughout the horses body, with the back and neck being the last to "close". This article is extremely interesting and informative, and may give you a whole new perspective on starting young horses. I know it sure changed the way I think about the timeline of training!

The first part of the article talks about racehorses, the really interesting stuff starts on page 5 with " A General Look At Ranger."
Wallaby, verona1016 and Chevaux like this.
    07-17-2013, 12:16 PM
Nupe! Dani was almost 3 1/2 - 4 before her knees closed. She's not a very tall horse either nor seemed to really grow after she hit 2 or 3.
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    07-17-2013, 12:32 PM
Green Broke
Good article, Albertaeventer.
    07-17-2013, 12:36 PM
Green Broke
Thanks for sharing that article, albertaeventer! I found it very informative.
    07-17-2013, 01:27 PM
Glad you guys enjoyed it!! It brings up some very interesting points for sure!

Even back when I was younger and an old cowboy one time was showing me how to "check if the knees were closed" by jamming your finger in around the front of the knee, I was kind of confused wondering how he could supposedly guess such a thing from just poking around randomly, and not knowing or understanding what was going on on the inside, haha.

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