First Time Yearling Owner - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-13-2015, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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First Time Yearling Owner

Title says it all I purchased my first yearling. Her name is Teagan and she's an appaloosa. She's 14 months old and just adorable. I am not a first time horse owner I am a first time yearling owner though and I've leased mares but only owned geldings so she's the first "mare" I've owned. I do have a few concerns for her though. She's a petite girl which is part of the reason I bought her because I didn't want some tall or bulky horse. But I didn't expect the vet to tell me she'd only put on two more inches. I just am now concerned about when it's time to break her in a year if she'll be able to handle my weight. I weigh 170lbs I am working on losing more but this is my current weight so I'm going worse case scenario and when I estimated her weight through measuring she was only about 700lbs. She's also about 13.2 hands I think I haven't measured how tall she is and I'm 5'8. I was told her sire was 15.2 and dam was 15.1 could she have some more height? My vet mainly works with TB's and I know they tend to grow a bit quicker so I was wondering if maybe if he's just used to TB's so the appaloosa throws him a bit? Here's pictures of her that's my 16.3 hand thoroughbred in the background and a picture of me taken a few months ago on a 14.3-15 hand quarter horse.

Also my next thing is what grains or supplements should I add to her diet to encourage healthy growth? She's a little vacuum cleaner pony I mean I only gave her two flakes of hay morning and night and her run would be picked clean and so I started giving her 3 flakes of hay morning and night for a total of 6 flakes a day which is even more than my TB is getting but she eats every last scrap, and then goes to picking at the weeds in her run I'm worried about over feeding though. She is a little skinny for my liking because you can just brush your hand down her an feel ribs I prefer having a bit of fat covering ribs so you have to gently push to feel ribs (my TB is fatter than I like so combine them and it's perfect) but I want weight added slowly and not but just endlessly throwing her food as I stated before. She begs my boy for grain and he feeds it to her by scooping a big mouth full and dropping it on her side of the panel. I want to give her grain eventually but I wanted to get her acclimated to her new home and hay first but apparently she's convinced my TB to feed it to her although he only gives her about two mouth fulls. I feed safe choice and was wondering if it's acceptable to feed to her when I finally do start feeding grain although like I said my TB is already starting to feed it to her so I'm kinda just lost at this whole new filly thing.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-13-2015, 05:35 AM
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For a yearling she is fat enough. I wouldn't push for growth, just feed her a healthy diet and she will grow to her potential in her own time. Over feeding a baby, in my opinion, is not a good idea. I'm sure giving her a handful of hard feed will not hurt her though. What kind of hay are you feeding? I wouldn't have my heart set on riding her at two either. Give her a chance to grow. My mare didn't totally stop growing until about six years old but every horse is different.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-13-2015, 09:45 AM
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She is a growing young horse and thus needs free choice good quailty forage-either pasture, hay, or hay and pasture
Yes, you do not want to over feed them energy (calories ), but you do have to feed them enough protein and the right amount of minerals , in balance, to support growth. You can't just feed them like a mature horse. The hay should be around 14% protein, as young horses don't have the gut size to process a lot of forage in order to meet daily requirements, plus proteins are the 'building blocks', supported by minerals
Why is she penned up? It is very important, esp for young growing horses to have turn out and lots of movement.
She is carrying enough weight, but not the right kind, being somewhat 'gutty' which can be a 'hay belly', and a bit hollow in the flanks and a bit ribby
She should grow quite a bit yet, as she is very down hill at the moment
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-13-2015, 09:59 AM
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I think your vet has made a good estimated guess based on what he is seeing now but every horse is different. Some grow in spurts or grow for a longer or shorter time. I have seen foals mature a full hand (or more) shorter or taller than either parent. The only thing you can do is feed her well which does not mean making here fat. It sounds like she is eating a lot of hay. I would make sure that it is the best quality and also fed more often. Four or at least three times a day is better than two. It has been many years since I have had young stock and there have been a lot of advancement in feeds and supplements since then, so I am not going to recommend anything in particular, but hay does not supply all a growing horse needs. I definitely feel that you should not think of breaking her at two but should start groundwork when she is closer to three. She is a nice filly BTW, good luck with her
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-13-2015, 10:16 AM
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Run a string from her coronet band to the gap in her knee on a front leg. Measure in inches, which convert directly to hands (12.75" = 12.3hh) that's her mature height. My gelding is 14.2hh at a year and a half and I'm confident he'll get to around 16hh. His half sister tests 14.3hh and she stands 13th right now. Your vet must not have much experience in this department.

As far as feed, good hay/pasture and free choice loose minerals are essential. My yearling is in big pastures where he runs all the time. He requires more feed to keep weight, so he gets beet pulp, oats and flax.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-13-2015, 11:27 AM
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When I became a first time yearling owner I learned a very important lesson:

No matter what you feed, how often. Even if it's the $100 a bag specialty feed that vets swear by and the filly or colt is on grass and it grazing....... they'll never be fat. They'll get pudgy and then that but will go high and they will lose it and be skinny again. It's a never ending battle......

I'd be surprised if she didn't grow more. Typically I don't count a horse as 'stopped' growing until their fourth or fifth year.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-13-2015, 12:22 PM
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In all honesty, her weight looks fine for a yearling. A young growing horse is never going to be the weight you want them at, they are constantly growing. Give her free forage.

As for the height, I'm a little confused - haven't had coffee yet so good chance I am reading wrong. Is your vet saying that by the time you start her in a year (just over 2 yrs old) that she will be full grown, or that by that time she will have gained 2"? Not once have I seen a horse done growing at 2, nor have I ever seen a TB (especially TBs actually) done growing or close to it by 2 years old, or even 3 for that matter. I've been around a lot of TBs, and currently own one that I have had for over 5 years now. She was 16.1h just off the meatruck at 4 yrs old, and just barely a 78" blanket. She is 9 now and pushing 17.3h and a size 86" blanket. I certainly didn't expect her to grow that much, but my point is that most horses are not done growing completely for some time, and definitely not by 2 years. The joints have not fused by that point - so I have no idea what your vet is thinking, especially in saying that TBs are done sooner. But regardless of breed, I don't agree with what he's saying. =/
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-13-2015, 12:39 PM
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Unless a stock horse is pushed for maximum growth/maturity, as in ah alter horse, they do not reach final growth until,age 5, which is fine, and better than being pushed, but there is a balance
A young growing horse needs enough protein, minerals and movement, in order to build strong bones, joints and well developed hooves
Weight alone means nothing. look at the general components that demonstrate a healthy horse, which includes how that weight is distributed, whether it consists of just fat or muscle, tendon , joint and bone health
Think of building a body, versus just a maintaining it.
One of the worst things you can do for a young growing horse, is to confine it, and not allow it to play and run with it';s peers in age
Dr Robert Bowker did extensive research on hoof health , with a great deal of focus on the back of the foot. Young horses that are confined, have lack of development of the back of the foot, with digital cushion being in a maturation arrest, along with under developed lateral cartilages. This in turn sets the stage for future problems like navicular syndrome
It is not so much the size and weight of that horse, compared to you, but rather how sound that structure is.
There are many examples of ponies, with basic good body structure and bones, carrying full sized adult riders without a problem. Iclantic horses are a good example
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-13-2015, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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She's only be in that pen for a couple of weeks while she adjust to her new surroundings. I plan on turning her out on 15 acres of land to roam and play. Right now I do get her out to do walking, trotting and groundwork I know it's not ideal but it's better then only leaving her in the pen. She was being kept in a round pen by the previous owner so I don't want to turn her lose on all you can eat grass until her gut adjusts to the new hay (grass with about 10% alfalfa) and grass. I have a mineral block in there for her and I am going to put her on grain after again she adjusts I'm not making any quick changes. She's also not turned out because her hooves are horrible the farrier comes Saturday to fix them but until he fixes them I don't want her getting hurt.

Also back to the grain thing does anyone have a brand they suggest because at this point I'll be putting her on safe choice mare and foal but if there is a better product I'd like to know.

As for riding her I'd love to be able to wait until she's at least 3 but that just isn't going to work right now so there's nothing I can do about that. I know they're not skeletally mature until about 5 so I'm not sure how my vet arrived at 2 more inches was it for her full grown size but I sincerely hope he's wrong.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-14-2015, 10:33 AM
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I like the safe choice. Free choice of hay, if you can. And do get her turned out to pasture. I think from what you have said that she will have a good bit of growing left to do. As stated about mesasure her leg. It will be a good guess. I see the spots on her rear. I have a half app that was much like her at that age. He did have a few more spots. He is not about 15hh and not a sorrel spot on him. The color may change a little or a lot. It has been awhile, but I started with light ground work and by the age of three with saddle. I never had to push one any earlier. Every horse is different, she may not be ready at two.
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