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Re: Evaluating Yearling-2yo for potential cannon size at full growth

Jerry & Susan,

With my vast experience of observing 2 horses grow (both Arabs, related), I
observed that the forehand on a 2 yr old is very immature.  Chest box is not
as wide as it will be in adulthood, viewed from the side, the forehand looked
about 2 sizes smaller than the hindquarter.  The hindquarter is often 2 inches
or more higher than the forehand (they seem to get rump high, grow & catch up,
& then the rump grows again).  In other words, if the forehand & hindquarter
are well balanced in a 2 yr old, it will probably have an inadequate
hindquarter as an adult.
I had read, & it appeared to be true in my horses, that the bones closest to
the ground grow the most quickly.  The cannon bone reaches its adult height at
6 months, the forearm reaches its adult length at 18 months.  The rest of the
growth in height comes as the bones up in the body continue to grow. 
I noticed that the necks, especially in the throatlatch area were the last
areas to stop growing (age5-6), and the withers come in at age 5-6.
The angles of the pelvis and shoulder are not supposed to change as the horse
grows.  I also noticed that the basic shape of the neck was apparent, altho it
did get longer as the horse got older.
The back will get longer as the horse grows.  So again, if the back is in
proportion on a 2 yr old, it will probably be long backed as an adult.
My farrier pointed out that at 2-2 1/2 the front legs can appear to toe out, &
he advised strongly against trimming to make the horses hooves point straight
forward as the toeing out was because the whole front leg toed out slightly.
As the chest box widened, the whole legs came round & the horse's front legs
once again faced correctly forward.  (The horses front legs were correct when
very young, but went thru this slight turning out at about age 2).  
Youngsters are very limber and can stand around the barn with their legs,
especially the hind ones, going every which way.  However, the horses always
tracked straight from day one.  I've found a video camera very handy as you
can then observe the horse in slow motion at home.  If you notice any funny
winging or paddling in the movement, then you can check closer for
conformational irregularities.  Also, at 2 you can see how they move (if they
have a long, low stride or a park type trot), and how well they can get their
hindend under themselves.
My mare was about 13 hands when I bought her as a coming 2 yr old; she's 14.3
barefoot.  Her son seemed to gain height much faster as he was 14 h at 2, he's
15.1h barefoot. 
Good luck with your search!


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