Sketelal Maturation, conformation, etc.
This reminds me very much of a TB that was raced as a yearling and then sold on - the 5th or so owner wanted to know why is reared up and tried to grab the rider off it's back with it's teeth (as in rather than blame the horse as a nut-job!) they had it xrayed and where the weight of the rider had pushed down on the undeveloped spine, it had pushed it in to the intestines - it was shot mercifully. That is why I like a horse's bones to have set before I work with it. ;)
Excellent article! I've bookmarked that so I can refer back to it. Thanks!
Yeah, everyone goes on about the knees being closed, and seem to forget (or never learned) that the growth plates close from "the bottom up", so to speak...and that the spine is the last set of growth plates to finish closing.
I haven't read the article yet, but I've always heard that the spine is ready around 5. I'll have to read....