|Foal proportion versus Adult Proportions|
|Foals are a remarkable product of nature. They are born quite "mature", meaning they can stand, run, and eat almost immediately after birth. Unlike a human baby, who cannot move itself along, or puppies or kittens, the foal will stand within only minutes of birth, and be ready to run with the herd.
To this effect, foals are born with long legs, nearly as long as their dam's. This means that a foals legs at birth are very close to the same as their adult length. Their bodies (ribcage/torso) are tiny in comparion, the neck short, and head small. These will change as the colt (foal) matures, but the leg length grows far less than the rest of the body. Although they may reach 90-95% of their adult height by age three, many equines continue to "fill out" (neck lengthen, body rounding, musculature development) for several more years, even up to 7 or 8 years old in some cases.
As they grow, foals often go through what is called a "gawky" stage - none of their parts seem to fit together properly, they are rump-high, long-legged, skinny, awkward. As long as this changes as the parts catch up to each other (promptly to repeat, in many cases) being rump-high in a young animal is not an immediate case for alarm.
|This young Shire horse should mature to about the same build as the adult draft horse. Note that in proper scale, the legs are nearly the same length, but the torso is neither as long nor as thick, the neck and head are shorter/smaller as well.|
|This is one instance in which photo angle is very important. The first animal's photo was taken side-on. The second was taken slightly from behind, which makes the hind legs look significantly longer, and the head look smaller. Nonetheless, differences in the build and head shapes of Mammoths can clearly be seen. The drafty-mini is also not a good side view, which does make the head look a little larger. This animal may have some issues with a long back and big head, but NOT to the extent that most dwarf animals do.|
|A half-bred Poitou Donkey, Poitou foal, and heavy-boned Mammoth jack.
Again, the foal (weanling) is nearly as long-legged as either adult animal, but the body has a lot of filling out to do. The neck will lengthen, and the head elongate considerably over the next two years.
|This Mammoth foal is in proportion to the Mammoth adult (Who is rump-high, a fault in an adult animal). Compare again all the body parts, narrower/shallow torso, shorter neck, smaller head.|
|Both of these animals share in conformational problems (long underline, extreme dip in the back and high rumps) but looking past the conformation, see that the proportions of leg to body to head are similar in horses to donkeys.|
|If we line up all four large babies, we see that the draft horse foal has a larger head and more bone that the Paint forl, the mammoth has a head closer in proportion to the drafter, and the Poitou has a short, heavy-jawed head, but no longer than the Mammoth foal's. Below, all are in scale to each other....|
|Newborn mini Newborn Mini Newborn mini 3 month old mini 3 month old mini 4 month old mini
The second and third foals will probably be heavier boned animals that the first or fourth, both of which are very light for a type that is supposed to be drafty. Numbers five and six are what the Registry considers to be dwarfs.
|It would be expected that foals like the first and third animals will grow up to look like the second and fourth ones. ADMS does have file photos of some animals that appeared to be dwarfs as young animals, and mature photos of the same animals. These are typical results. We leave it to you to decide if these are dwarfs, and if you should use them as breeding animals.|
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