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Harry Whitney in Tennessee
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kindredspirit
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 Posted: Tue May 19th, 2015 03:52 pm
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Hi everyone,

Harry is in TN for the next 6 weeks. You can check his website for dates, or MendinFencesFarm.com . During his intensive week going on now (Harry rides 5 horses for 4 days then the owners ride them for 2), a 2 yr old "Marsh Tacky" was measured for mature height. The question that came up and was discussed was when can the cannon bone (middle of knee to coronary band) be accurately measured for mature height? From birth? From 6 months? Harry said this would be a good question for Dr. Deb.

Thanks,
Kathy

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed May 20th, 2015 02:14 am
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Kathy, all the "folk methods" for estimating mature withers height in horses, such as by measuring the cannon bone or measuring the forearm and then multiplying up, are accurate to within only a couple of inches at best. In other words, they are very inaccurate.

What you want to do instead is look at the sire and dam. If they are of the same breed, it's likely that the foal will take after one or the other of them. If they are of the same breed and within an inch of the same height, that's where the foal will likely wind up too.

If they are of the same breed but it's an inbreeding or incestuous type of mating, i.e. closely related such as sire on granddaughter, sire on sire's mother's sister, or simply bloodlines with a lot of ancestors in common, there's a good chance that the foal will be smaller than either parent. This is quite common, indeed a problem, in many purebred Arabian and also Quarter Horse foals today.

If on the other hand the parents are of very different breeds, i.e. draft horse X TB or WB X Arabian or Arabian X Andalusian, the foal will, once again, likely take after one or the other of the parents. However, in the case of wide outcrosses like these, there is also a chance that the foal will be larger than either parent.

The bottom line in all cases is for the breeder to know as much as possible about the sire's family as well as the dam's. The breeder should endeavor to obtain photos, height and weight information, and health history from all full sisters or brothers to their own foal, and from all full sisters and brothers to both sire and dam. This will give the foal's owner the best basis for predicting not only height but many qualities about their animal. -- Dr. Deb

 

 

DarlingLil
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 Posted: Thu Jun 4th, 2015 03:18 am
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Hello Kathy. I am planning to go to the Harry clinic to audit. I've had some bad luck with my car, though, and I'm hoping the new engine gets put in by the week I'm going. Really looking forward to it, even if I have to come in a loaner car! I want to audit at least 3 days and stay in the bunkhouse. Hope to see you there.

kindredspirit
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 Posted: Thu Jun 4th, 2015 03:44 am
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Awesome! Look forward to it.
Kathy

DarlingLil
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 Posted: Thu Jun 18th, 2015 03:47 pm
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I audited 4 days at theclinic. It was great. Nice to see the changes in horsesand get a lot of pointers. I'm getting a nicer back up. And I'm better at seeing my hhorses thoughts. Lots ti work on for me. I'm going again next year.

kindredspirit
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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2015 04:06 am
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Last week starts Monday and there is room for auditors!

Brenton Ross Matthews
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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2015 06:31 am
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Hello Dr Deb,
On the subject of how tall a horse will grow. That bay gelding of mine ,Lucre that you have ridden, had smaller parents . His sire was 15.1 and his mother is 15 hh.
When we went on the rode travelling for a long time with our horses I gelded Lucre when only a few months old as I did not want a colt running with my other horse when he got a bit older. He grew out to 16.3 hh.[ I owned both his parents so the was no doubt about his breeding]
When discussing this with some other "informed " horse people they told me of a stud in USA where they bred 200 colts and gelded 100 of them at a very early age and the rest at about 2 years old .They all were running together with no variation in feeding ETC and those gelded early grew taller than those at a more "traditional " older time.
Have you heard this or is it a myth and a coincidence?
Brenton

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Jun 20th, 2015 06:23 am
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No, Brenton, it's absolutely true. This is a factor I had neglected to mention. It's true of cattle, too, although the result doesn't come out as greater height at the withers but rather as greater width of horn -- all "longhorns" are steers; the bull that was their sire had fairly long, but not extraordinarily long, horns.

Whether cattle or horses, what governs this is "energy" -- all the energy that either the stallion or the bull would put into watching over females, gathering more females, fighting with other males for access to females, vigilantly guarding his pregnant mares and their offspring which are his -- all that energy and effort that would have gone into "reproductive effort" in its broadest sense, once the animal is castrated, goes into growth instead.

Good to hear from you in the Forum, Benton -- I hope China and Lucre are doing great again this year, and that you're getting in a few rides "out". Cheers -- Dr. Deb


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