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  Predicting the Mature Height of Your Foal

There are several methods that horse breeders and buyers use to predict the mature height of a horse from the time they are very young. None of these methods are 100% accurate, but they do give you some idea and have been used by horse lovers for centuries.

Mature Miniature Horses are measured differently than their bigger versions. The measurement is not to the withers, but to the last lowest mane hair (which can be fudged with creative clipping). Hoof length can also effect the height measurement a surprising amount. I will list the 3 ways below, but none of them are 100%. Foals have different growth patterns with some almost ceasing to grow after 1.5 years. Others grow steadily until they are 3.5 years. Nutrition also plays a big role in how fast and how much they will grow.

Nutrition does come into play when speaking of growth, as do hormones. The age of gelding can affect final size with horses gelded at a younger age getting a bit taller. Likewise,  height is affected by nutrition both during pregnancy and after birth.

There are 4 ways we have found to predict mature height:

Cannon Bone Formula

Mature Height of Miniature Horse = Length of cannon x 4  + 2

The first method can be used on a new foal. Give them a couple of days to 'unfold' and then take a "cannon bone" measurement from the dent in the knee to the coronary band (the top hairline of the hoof. Multiply this measurement by 4, add 2, and you will get adult height for a miniature horse. For a big horse, use the measurement and translate it directly into Hands. (for example, 16" means 16HH). Measure in a straight line (don't follow the front contour of the leg, in other words). This should give you a good 'ballpark' figure.

There is a fun saying I have heard from more than one miniature horse owner that states your miniature is done growing when the tail hits the ground.

Height Consideration / Verification for Miniature Horses
Projected Mature Height
 

28"

 

29" 30" 31" 32" 33" 34" 36"
Cannon Bone Length 6.5"  
6.75"
 
7"
 
7.25"
 
7.5"
 
7.75"
 
8"
 
8.5"
 
Birth
 
18.20"
 
18.85"
 
19.50"
 
20.15"
 
20.80"
 
21.45"
 
21.95"
 
23.40"
 
One Month
 
19.60"
 
20.30"
 
21.00"
 
21.70"
 
22.40"
 
23.10"
 
23.80"
 
25.20"
 
Two Months
 
21.56"
 
22.33"
 
23.10"
 
23.87"
 
24.64"
 
25.41"
 
26.18"
 
27.72"
 
Three Months
 
22.40"
 
23.20"
 
24.00"
 
24.80"
 
25.60"
 
26.40"
 
27.20"
 
28.80"
 
Four Months
 
22.96"
 
23.78"
 
24.60"
 
25.42"
 
26.24"
 
27.06"
 
27.88"
 
29.52"
 
Five Months
 
23.52"
 
24.36"
 
25.20"
 
26.04"
 
26.88"
 
27.72"
 
28.56"
 
30.24"
 
Six Months
 
23.80"
 
24.65"
 
25.50"
 
26.35"
 
27.20"
 
28.05"
 
28.90"
 
30.60"
 
Seven Months
 
24.08"
 
24.94"
 
25.80"
 
26.66"
 
27.52"
 
28.38"
 
29.24"
 
30.96"
 
Eight Months
 
24.36"
 
25.23"
 
26.10"
 
26.97"
 
27.84"
 
28.71"
 
29.58"
 
31.32"
 
Nine Months
 
24.64"
 
25.52"
 
26.40"
 
27.28"
 
28.16"
 
29.04"
 
29.92"
 
31.68"
 
1 Year
 
25.20"
 
26.10"
 
27.00"
 
27.90"
 
28.80"
 
29.70"
 
30.60"
 
32.40"
 
Fifteen Months
 
25.76"
 
26.68"
 
27.60"
 
28.52"
 
29.44"
 
30.36"
 
31.29"
 
33.12"
 
Eighteen Months
 
26.32"
 
27.26"
 
28.20"
 
29.14"
 
30.08"
 
31.02"
 
31.96"
 
33.84"
 
Twenty-one Months
 
26.74"
 
27.70"
 
28.65"
 
29.61"
 
30.56"
 
31.52"
 
32.47"
 
34.38"
 
2 Years
 
27.16"
 
28.13"
 
29.10"
 
30.07"
 
31.04"
 
32.07"
 
32.98"
 
34.82"
 
Thirty Months
 
27.58"
 
28.57"
 
29.55"
 
30.54"
 
31.52"
 
32.51"
 
33.49"
 
35.46"
 
Thirty-Six Months
 
28.00"
 
29.00"
 
30.00"
 
31.00"
 
32.00"
 
33.00"
 
34.00"
 
36.00"
Chart is 90% accurate within 1/2" + or -
Reproduced and printed from the November 95 Miniature Horse Association of Arizona Newsletter. Submitted by Norm Mahler

 

Miniature Horse Growth Chart

Age in Months 

Proportion of Mature Height

 

 

 

Current height Proportion of mature height = Mature height + .5"

Example:

I have a 5 month old who is 28.5" tall.  I take the current height 28.5" and divide it by .84 (proportion given by the chart) and the estimated mature height is 33.9" give or take .5"

 

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

12

15

18

21

24

30

36

.65

.70

.77

.80

.82

.84

.85

.86

.87

.88

.90

.92

.94

.955

.97

.985

1.00

Ground to Elbow Measurement

Another method that horse folks use is to measure from the ground to the elbow. Take this measurement and double it. That number is your final height at the withers.

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