at what age do horses stop growing, and does it vary by breed?
Is there a rule of thumb for when a horse stops growing, and a way to estimate their future size?
There is a paso filly here, she is 2 years old and she is 14 hands. Just wondering how much more growing she will do. I am sure if we knew the size of her sire and dam it would help, but I don't have access to that info.
Just curious, I have been asked this question before and I have no idea, so I am finally trying to find out!
Arabs can grow untill 7-8 depending on how they were fed when they were younger. I know feeding has alot to do with growning rate and when they stop growning.
I believe around eight years old is when the last bones of the spine are set.
The rate of (skeletal) growth does not vary by breed. A horse is a horse, of course, of course. They all grow at the same rate regardless of breed, despite popular myths regarding "quick maturing" saddle horses.
thank you both for the replies. Is there a site that explains feeding to encourage growth? Or is that the basic idea behind any feeding program...I mean, does anyone feed a certain way to keep a horse small? Probably not, LOL.
So when you say a horse can continue growing until 7 or 8...we are talking mere inches, right? A 14 hand horse at age 2 can maybe grow to be 15 hands max by age 8? Or more?
It varies by breed definitely. Arabs, for example, take much longer to mature both physically and mentally. Their intellect and physical maturity is often equal to human years, which makes starting them too early very detrimental. Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, however, have been bred for sturdiness over the years and, after time, can sustain harder work earlier much better. However, the growth plates at the joints and the spine do not solidify completely until after 6 years old, so before then you risk damage to the horse, but they can be started earlier with no negative effects if done right. I have a Paso, and he was started at 2-3, we bought him green at 3. Pasos are generally small horses, so your guy probably won't max out at more than 15hh, if that.
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