Monday, December 17, 2007

Grow Rio Grow!

Rio a few weeks old.

My little girl is now 8 months old. I can hardly believe it! Time has just flown by. Rio is growing every day but to me she still looks like a little runt. When we attended the futurties back in September I knew she would probably be smaller than some of the other weanlings but now I worry that she is a lot smaller. Perhaps it is because I see her every day and I just don't notice the growth as much. The farrier was out this past week and he commented "My, she's growing". I suspect she will be the same height as her mother (and father). They are both around 15.3. I purposely bred Tia to an average sized stud as I didn't want her foal to be too big when it was born, especially with her being a maiden mare. So, I'm going to get what I bred for but there is a little part of me that secretly hopes she'll be taller than her mama. When Rio was born she certainly was all legs! It's funny the aspirations you have for your "children" and then when they grow and mature it's not anything you expected. At this point I want Rio to be happy and healthy so size really isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. I'm only 5' 1" so if Rio ends up being a small horse she should suit me fine!

Rio at a show in late summer.


At December 28, 2007 at 2:41:00 PM EST , Blogger Paula said...

I can tell I'm going to enjoy reading your blog. I will be a first time breeder/baby owner in late May, early June with my Morgan mare, Rose. I hope I can learn from your experience!


At January 2, 2008 at 12:12:00 PM EST , Blogger Michelle M. Smith said...

Thanks Paula. Be sure to view all the archive files. I take you from the very beginning to the end result, and all that entails:)

At January 4, 2008 at 9:28:00 AM EST , Blogger Juli Thorson said...

How often do you measure your filly, Michelle? I'm in the habit of measuring my weanlings on the first and 15th of each month. I write the results on the barn bulletin board. It's amazing to see when the big growth spurts occur and how fast. You also get to see how the back end tends to shoot up first, with the front end then taking its turn. From Nov. 1 to Dec. 1, this year's filly grew at a rate of almost half an inch per week! I use a good stick with a builit-in level, which makes it easy to get fairly accurate.

Tiffany just hit 13.3 in front, and is not quite 14.1 at the hip. That's been a fairly typical difference, front to back, at this age for my babies--although I did have one that was 4 inches taller behind for a while!

Juli T

At January 4, 2008 at 4:10:00 PM EST , Blogger Michelle M. Smith said...

I just started measuring Rio recently. I have a stick with a level as well. Last night she was 12.2 hands at the withers, I didn't measure her at the hip. I'll need to do that next time. I think I'll keep track and see how she progesses over the next few months. When was your filly born? Rio was born in mid-April. Wonder if she's growing at the normal rate? Guess time will tell.

At January 5, 2008 at 11:57:00 AM EST , Blogger Juli Thorson said...

My filly was born April 23.

Keep in mind that individuals hit their growth spurts at different times, though. I purchased a yearling filly last year that was barely 12 hands by the end of January. Had to get weanling-sized clothes for her because the yearling stuff just overwhelmed her.

From the end of February on, she grew like mad--sometimes half an inch a week. By June, she had grown 6 inches.

Have you string-tested Rio to calculate mature height? Here's how I do it: Take a cloth tape measure and place it at the coronet band at the front of a foreleg. Run it up to the midpoint of the knee. Convert each quarter-inch on the tape to an inch in height and each full inch to a hand--for example, 15 1/4 inches on the tape equals 15.1 in mature height.

At January 21, 2008 at 8:32:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, How is Rio doing? Still growing. What color is she right now. Did she get any darker or lighter. How is her Mother doing? Paying attention to her also I hope.

At January 22, 2008 at 8:17:00 PM EST , Blogger Michelle M. Smith said...

Rio is doing just fine. She's growing at a slow but steady rate. Her coat is a little darker than it was this past summer but she's a bit of a wooly bear right now. I'll need to keep her out of the noon day sun this summer to avoid any sun-bleaching. I have Tia on a coat supplement, "Black As Knight", during show season that keeps her coat in show ring shape. Rio's a little young right now for a coat supplement so we'll have to do our best to keep Mother Nature at bay. Don't worry, mama gets just as much attention as baby:)

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