I hope there are some Friesian owners/trainers/breeders on here who have experience with these late bloomers. Long story-sorry- I have a 5yr old stallion, Teade/Thomas, who I brought home at around 10mos. old. I thought he was small. Transporter said she didn’t think he was small at all and that he was bigger than a couple 2 yr olds she’s hauled for Medieval Times, and also that many Anton-lined colts were late growers and didn’t reach 16hh sometimes. I wasn’t worried about it- he is purely for pleasure and companionship. Breeder had him on Grow Colt (he recommended I keep him on that for at least a year) and a small amount of Strategy. Breeder is a vet. I continued that diet, as breeder suggested, giving him less and less Strategy as time wore on, supplementing him lightly with area-appropriate vitamin supplements (based on what our hay was lacking). He was always outside, free access to barn 24/7, on pasture (average- not great pasture grass or anything) and mostly grass hay with a touch of alfalfa in the winter blends.
I kept him at home with me until he was 2yrs old when let’s just say, life turned totally upside down- combination of serious illness and several other really-bad-luck family circumstances. My best friend took him home with him (out of state) so I wouldn’t have to sell him. He was 14.2 when he left. Not only did I not have the money to board him locally, but I wanted him monitored by someone I trusted and I didn’t want him stalled-no one would board a stallion in the manner he was used to living.
For the last 2.5 years, I have only seen him 3 times. It’s a 10 hour drive each way. I just saw him 2 weeks ago and was thinking he should be taller. I started analyzing how he was being kept, and now I’m really nervous that we’ve screwed him up royally. He is in a nice-sized dirt lot by himself, access to the barn to come and go as he pleases, so he gets lots of human attention, but he can’t get to the other horses (friend has 2 mares).
He’s fat (not too fat) and shiny and is being fed whole, high quality oats, and very good quality grass hay, all he can eat. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so much wasted hay…he is not kept hungry. However, seeing him short still (he’s barely 15hh!) made me analyze what he could be lacking and I’m scared that he’s missed out on protein, calcium, ph., lysine, etc. from not being fed a complete feed, not being on pasture, and only eating grass hay and oats. I know they can grow late…but he’s 5! And he was 14.2 when he left at 2.5yrs old! That, to me (admittedly inexperienced in horse growth) says something is lacking.
I did a lot of research and just ordered a bag of Buckeye Gro n Win and paid stupid money to have it shipped down there. Is there something else I can do/should be doing to squeeze whatever growth he may have left out of him? For those not familiar with those particular bloodlines, they’re not huge- he’s not expected to be 16.3 or 17hh. His dam was 15.2 and Teade is 16.1. I know he’d be taller if I’d gelded him very young. But shouldn’t he be his dam’s height at least? Have we really hurt him?! I feel terrible that my personal issues may have inadvertently hurt him in any way. My friend is very experienced, but not with Friesians. He was past the age when Quarter horse folks worry that much about growing colt nutrition, apparently.
Sorry so long but I’m hoping I’ll get some reassurance that it’s not the end of the world, he may grow yet given the chance, or someone will be able to tell me a success story and how they did it. Sorry for the length. :sadsmile: