November 6, 2011

Physical Maturity in Cobs and Contender

Compared to many other breeds, Welsh Cobs are generally a little slower to fully mature.  They typically reach their final height at about the same time as other breeds, but, at least in the case of the only Cobs I've ever known, which are Lisa's, they don't finish filling out until their fifth or sixth year.  It's not uncommon to see a Cob look like a long-legged, thin-barreled little thing one month, and a stout-bodied full-fledged Welsh Cob the next.  The ideal Welsh Cob is as deep through the barrel as his legs are long, and the young ones will often look quite leggy until they finish maturing.

Contender, being five and a half with a birthday in early May, is right in the thick of these body changes.  Consider the way he looked at the WPCSA show in August, and how he looked today when I stopped by Lisa's farm to say hi to her (and him!):

This is the most similar angle to the August photo, and it's easy to see here that it looks like there's less distance between his barrel and the ground.

He's on a grass-only diet, can you believe that?  He's got a very healthy layer of fat over his ribs.

His hindquarter is also maturing and developing rapidly.  Can't wait to see what it looks like when he's in training!
(Sorry for the terrible camera phone photos, my DSLR is broken...)

The winter coat coming in does make him look thicker also, but it's apparent that he's going through that change as well.  I'm excited to be getting him at this point in his life, as I can only imagine that him being in his final, mature form will make training easier.

Looks like he won't be getting delivered until the week of the 14th...not sure I can make it that long!

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