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My AQHA filly by Its a Southern Thing is currently about 2.5 yr old. She strings to ~15.3-16.1; however, she's barely 14.2 right now. She's bred well for the pleasure/all-around. Moonpie x an Investment Asset daughter. Dad's 16hh and mom's 15.3hh. My show mare is 15.3, and we were hoping for something the same size or bigger.

Do we think she even has a chance to hit 15.3? What are your experiences with this?
 

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My APHA/Arab filly was barely 14 hands when we brought her home and she had just turned 3. She's 5 now and really grew up last winter but it was mainly filling out/not looking so gangly. She is 14.2-14.3 now and I don't imagine she will grow much more.

We also bought my Missouri Fox Trotter mare when she had just turned 3. She's now 6 and I really don't think she grew at all, maybe an inch.
 

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By 3 they have 98 to 100% of skeletal growth complete then it is filling out and muscling up which can add an inch or two.

For her to reach 16 hands she should already be 15.2ish.

I'd say closer to 15 hands when done.
 

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I can only speak to my Arab/Saddlebred and my Walking Horses that I bought young.

My Arab/Saddlebred was unexpected, born on my parents farm the spring after I bought the mare. He ended up being taller than both his sire and dam but I can’t remember when he stopped growing.

One of my Walking Horses grew thru his fifth year, almost into his sixth, reaching 16.1H

One of them topped at 14.3H which was about what he was as a coming three year old; his sire was close to 17H.

One of them was at 15H as a coming four year old, when I lost him to a freak pasture accident on a rainy day. He was a bit shorter than his sire at that time.

I know someone who rescued a TWH foal at auction - stripped away from its dam by some witch who only wanted the mare and didn’t care what happened to the foal.

We were all sure it’s growth would be stunted. One day, three years later, I saw this big beautiful chestnut in their pasture. I called to ask when they got the new horse. The man laughed and said that was the foal he rescued three years ago:)

My point to all that is, the gene pool of both parents plays a huge part as to how tall a foal will grow, as well as a good diet:):)
 
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I've had ranges from not at all to about a hand. Don't give up hope, the one that grew the most did so the winter between 3 and 4 years old.
 

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My black Arabian stallion was only 14.1 and his sire and dam were over 16.1 or 2. The lady bred long legged, long necked big Arabians because Americans are (usually) big people who don't like their feet below the horse's belly while in saddle. He never bred a mare so I don't know what he would have thrown. I just liked him as a gentle, kind and beautiful stallion because he was perfect with all his parts as God made him.

Job 39:19-25 King James Version (KJV). 19 Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? 20 Canst thou make him leap like a locust? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. 21 He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. 22 He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.
 

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By 3 they have 98 to 100% of skeletal growth complete then it is filling out and muscling up which can add an inch or two.

For her to reach 16 hands she should already be 15.2ish.

I'd say closer to 15 hands when done.
I sort of figured. My show mare only grew about an inch between 5 and 6 and nothing after. But she strings to exactly her height, as does just about every other horse I've measured. Why might she be so... stunted when she strings to so much taller?

I've had ranges from not at all to about a hand. Don't give up hope, the one that grew the most did so the winter between 3 and 4 years old.
This makes me feel a little better. She's just so dang small. She's still technically two, and she's currently but high, but it just drives me nuts that she strings to so big, and yet is so small.
 

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Don't give up hope just yet. The first foal I raised who's parents were 14.3 and 15.1 was only 14 at 2 years (his half sister, same dad (15.1), and 14.1 mom, ended up topping out at 14 (she was 13.3 at 2 years)), I figured he'd always be a little guy, but then by the time he was 4 he'd shot up to 15.2. I had two more foals out of that mare and all were slow to mature. On the other hand I had one out of 15.1 and 16.1 parents, and he only made 14 hands. So you can't always tell, BUT if you're talking about the string test I am thinking of I've so far found it to be very accurate, so I bet she'll grow, she may just be a slow one.
 
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