Hidden Ponds Ponies and Gypsy Horses
Calculating the Growth Rate of the Gypsy Foal
I frequently get people asking me how tall a foal will mature. The truth is, that it is very difficult to know for sure because these horses are still being defined as a purebred, and have both draft and pony breeding close-up in their backgrounds. So knowing parent's height is not an indicator at all, nor is height at birth. For example, in 2020 I had a colt born out of a 14 hand mare and by a 13.1 hand stallion (GFR Silver Spirit) who will mature into the 16 hand range (by 10 months old he was already two inches taller than his dam). Likewise, Spirit has had several very tall foals and his height has not seemed to have any affect on the adult height of his offspring (St Brendan's Cream was the same way when he was owned by Hidden Ponds).
Assuming that a foal maintains an optimum environment for growth, one can estimate how tall a gypsy foal will grow based on general guidelines of draft horse growth rates. Note that foals born out of mares younger than 7 years old or over 14 years old and foals out of maiden mares tend to mature to smaller heights than mares with foals between those ages. Likewise, geldings that were gelded before the age of maturity will continue to grow for a longer period of time and will grow taller than had they not been gelded.
Please note, this is only an estimation.
(Note: 1 Hand = 4 inches, the portion after the decimal represents the remainder less than the next hand size in inches = 1 or 2 or 3 inches. There is no such thing as 12.4 hands - that would be 13 Hands.)
To perform the calculation of height:
1. Measure your horse in inches. To convert Hands to Inches, take the total number of hands and multiply by 4. For example: a 14 hand horse is 14 x 4 = 56 inches. A horse who is 14.3 hand is 14 x 4 + 3 = 59 inches.
2. Divide the number of inches by the percentage for the foal's age. For example, an 18 month old foal who is currently 13 hands would be 52 inches tall. 52/0.93 = approx 56 inches mature height on the high end, and 52/0.88 = approx 55 inches on the low end.
3. Convert inches back to hands by dividing your total by 4. In the example above, your foal who is currently 13 hands and has a mature height estimated to be 56/4 = 14 hands on the high end and 55/4 = 13.75 (13.3 hands) on the low end.