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Latika

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Hi everyone


As I dont have very much experience with miniature foals I am not confident of my own judgement of conformation - give me a mature age, or a big horse, and I am right!

I was just wondering at what age generally would you judge their conformation? from birth, a week, or wait until they are older?
 

EAD Minis

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For me I prefer to judge horses as three year olds or older just because it gives them a chance to mature and fill out so we can see what they are really going to look like. But that said I do also judge foals and weanlings all the time
but It is very hard because again they havnt matured yet.
 
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Jill

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I think the more foals you see, the easier it gets
One thing to remember is that all foals are cute. I like the leggier, finer boned type horses and if you've looked at a lot of foals, you eventually get a better idea of the type that will remain refined and those that will thicken up.
 

JWC sr.

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I agree with the post that says it takes a lot of experience to see thru the hair and also the cute of a baby.


There are some things that no matter what you can't overlook and expect to get better, but most things do have a way of fixing themselves with proper husbandry and care.


Cindy is really good at seeing potencial in a baby even when I do not. But with that said as general rule we are keeping a lot of our babies till they are yearlings in order to give them a chance to mature and grow into the potencial they have. It makes it a lot easier and there are less mistakes of selling one out before it gets a chance.


This year we held back about 60 - 70% of the babies to give them more time. A few in that group ended up getting sold to new owners that wanted them as show prospects, but the majority will stay at least till next year.


At least that is what works for us anyway. Good question and good luck with yours,
 

Latika

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Thanks everyone, I have experience with large foals (not minis) and am fairly confident of what they can grow out of and what will never improve, but with the little ones I feel like its a whole new territory!

I dont have any of my own foals at this stage, my breeding program starts this season (finally lol).

I was told that alot of mini's are born with an over/underbite and I was wondering if that is something that changes as they grow? - and it if does change, how long does it take?

also, i've noticed alot of newborn foals with turned out front legs and was wondering if they too straighten with time, and how long would you expect to wait?
 

lyn_j

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If you are confident with large horse foals, then looks at your mini foals in the same light. Conformation is conformation..... big or little. What would make you like a big horse should also make you like the mini. A horse is a horse weather it is a 16 hand horse or an 8 hand horse. I have had horses for 44 years and minis for almost 30.

Lyn
 

disneyhorse

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There are some things you can tell with a foal, that they will carry conformationally their entire life... but generally it takes a way more experienced eye. Remember that the biggest thing I see with the minis is to realize that they are going to mature a LOT thicker/coarser than they look as a foal. Short necks on a stallion will make a short thick neck on a stallion that will always need sweating. A heavy body will be a body that will need a lot of conditioning to look trim in the halter ring. All mini foals appear to have a "small dishy head" but many times as the head matures by age two or three the tooth bumps and maturity will make a dramatic difference.

If you are used to seeing foals of quality, you can start to pick things out.

If you are buying a breeding or show animal that you want GUARANTEED to be of decent conformation and of a body that is easy to condition for show, go with a mature animal that is at least three years old. They don't change too much after that conformationally. They just get harder to bring back into shape the older they get


Andrea
 

EAD Minis

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Everyone has said some great things so far!!

I'm learning about the foals, the best thing is I find is to browse through foals that are for sale and try to judge what you think will turn out well, look at the bloodlines and all that. I find thats good practice. But again as everyone has said experience is the best thing. Slowly but surely one day ill get there
 

Latika

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Thanks for everyone's input


I do look at the foals I see the same as big ones, but I noticed that big horses legs are straighter when born, and underbites/overbites were never an issue with the big horses we bred.

I am more interested in newborns, I bought my other minis as 6month olds and from that age on I am pretty confident


This is a photo of a colt, taken at less than 24hrs - I was wondering if his legs would straighten as he grows and his hooves harden? I do realise that corrective trimming etc will help if not, I am just wondering if they really are that turned out or if its from him bring in utero?

 
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JWC sr.

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Give him a few weeks and then evaluate him. Get his hoofs trimmed, let him settle in and then you can see what you have. Right now he is too cute to make any decisions on.


If he has a mouth problem get him to a equine denist/vet as soon as you after that to see if it can be helped. You will be surprised at how much can be done with just one visit with someone that knows what they are doing with mini's.


good luck and let us know if we can help,
 

EquestraDreams

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Please don't let people tell you it's "normal" for miniature foals to have all of these problems. A miniature, just like a full size horse should have a proper "bite" when born - major under or overbites are not normal - though it may change slightly as they grow, and straight legs, though a little trimming may be necessary to get them just perfect and some foals may straighten up as they gain strength. Colts should also be dropped at birth or soon after, but some people think it is "normal" for them to take 3 years!
 

Latika

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Thanks ED for that information.

Although even big horses take 3-12months to drop their "bits" so I would never expect them to drop at birth... The person who bred the colt I posted is not a breeder, and has no intention of keeping him as a stallion, but she may sell him and I have told her it would be best if she sold hiim as a gelding
 

Sue_C.

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Although even big horses take 3-12months to drop their "bits" so I would never expect them to drop at birth...
Large horses to miniatures, all colts should have the testicles down at birth. Many times they pop back up a bit, but if there at birth they will not go past the "ring" again, so should still be able to be felt if one knows where and how to find them. That they are there at birth, is the # 1 thing I have always checked in my colts at birth, both large and small breeds, and so far (knock on wood) they have always been there.
 

Latika

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Thats is interesting Sue C, you may be right, but by "dropped" I mean enough for a gelding procedure, which even vets will not do until they are down, unless via major surgery which is generally only done if one or both testicles are retained, if that is the case the Vets here will wait until the horse is atleast 12 months old before making that decision - which tells me that if they all dropped at birth this wouldnt be necessary?
 

Michelle@wescofarms

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Bad bites - never acceptable. The gums should line up but make sure if you're checking that you're not pulling the jaws out of position which can bring hte bottom forward/back giving an incorrect bite.

As for the legs - they should be straight at birth, but I've seen some wobbly long legged foals correct quickly especially if the dam was selenium deficient. Wobbly and long toes at birth though are different from cow hocked/crooked/over or under at the knees, etc.

Good conformation is good conformation no matter the size.
 

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