That’s a confusing question, isn’t it? Well, yes, it is, but there is no proven or used method to determine the age at which horses stop growing. It just depends on a few factors that need to be closely monitored to guess at what age they would stop growing.
So at what age do horses stop growing? The factors that determine that the horse has grown completely they are skeletal maturity and psychological maturity. Although the age of the big horse can be guessed by factors such as genes, breed i nutrition. Some horses grow fully up to 4-5 years old and some heavy breed horses are not fully grown until 7-8 years old.
Let’s look at all of these factors to determine how old your horse is likely to stop growing:
At what age does the skeleton of the horse stop growing
Body height and weight tell you many things about the maturity of the horse’s age. Although different breeds of horses can grow taking a separate time. The skeleton of a horse plays a crucial role in turning it into a fully grown horse, and until the skeletal system of the horse is stable, it is not safe to ride. There are growth plates present under all the bones of the horse’s body that gradually melt as they grow. Of course, there is no present under the skull. These growth plates are of three types: femurs, socks, and tibias. These plates are made of cartilage, which means they can be damaged if a high weight is placed on them. The estimated age of the horse should be about 6 years until its skeletal plates have fused to form part of the bone and when the horse is safe to ride. But beware! This is not the case for all horses, as skeleton plates in some breeds take even longer to melt, perhaps 7 or 8 years.
At what age does the mental age of a horse stop growing?
Not only skeletally, but horses also grow mentally, and until they reach that mature mental level, they are unsafe to ride or train because they would not have the understanding and could do wrong things that could physically harm them. Other than that, horses with a sufficient level of brain maturity will be confused with the commands you give them and they may feel frustrated by this and ignore your commands or show anger that can also be dangerous for the horse and for to you. The age at which horses reach full psychological maturity can range from 5 to 7 years, but pay close attention to your horse and his habits are to determine if he is fully grown or not, in fact, give him a a little longer until it is comfortable. enough to start training and riding to avoid any consequences.
Genes determine the size of a horse
The breed and genes of horses play an important part in determining at what age the horse will stop growing. Some breeds, such as the thoroughbred, have a genetics of being taller than the Quarter Horse. If you want to get an idea of the size your horse will be when fully grown, look for the final weight and height of this breed and it will be a bit similar to your horse. Although horses take the height of genes inherited from the breed type, it is not certain that they would reach this height at the age given in their genes due to some factors affecting the growth process. Therefore, it is not possible to determine exactly how old your horse will be when it grows completely by genetics, unless other factors that are also involved in its determination are taken into account. Accidents such as bone fracture or malnutrition can slow a horse’s growth and make it age slower than other types of breeds.
Nutrition can affect the growth rate
The feeding or forage given to horses during the younger days can give you an idea of the age at which they would fully mature. The better the horse’s diet during his younger days, the better his health would be and he would grow more efficiently according to his genetics. If the horse had been fed less or poorly to the point of becoming unhealthy, this would inversely affect the horse’s growth and could grow later than its genes say about its height. Not only the quantity but the quality of their feed should be good to give them good nutrients to grow according to their age. Overfeeding your horse will not make it grow faster, in fact, overfeeding can cause serious damage to your body and therefore slow down your growth process. Some people feed their horses too much to make them look older for their age to show or ride them, which is very dangerous and risky with your horse and you should refrain.