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Thread: Breeding, how do you know what will be passed on?

  1. #1

    Default Breeding, how do you know what will be passed on?

    Conformation wise I mean? I've been thinking about this alot lately, about if I ever win the lottery how I would try and breed my ideal foal

    People often talk about finding a stallion to compliment the mare, as in have good points where the mare is poor. My question is, how likely is it that the foal will pick up the good points? Is it possible that no matter how hard you try, the foal could take on the mostly the bad points of mother and father and come out a conformational train wreck?

    What I mean is, does the good conformation always win through? Or is it just a gamble you take, (albeit an educated gamble, picking the right stallion and therefore maximising the chance that the foal will come out how you hoped?)

  2. #2
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    Well ideally you wouldnt really breed from a mare with any particularly bad confo faults... More like you chose a stallion with a nice head if your mare has a coarse head, for example. In a rush, lots of others will answer i'm sure!!
    Native pony addict!

  3. #3

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    Generally speaking the mare is just as, if not more important, than the stallion when it comes to breeding.

    If the mare is poor conformation, although a good conformation stallion will go some way to helping rectify this in any foal, it can only do so much. You are always better to breed from a mare that has at least reasonably good conformation.

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    You don't know what traits are going to come through. Not only that you don't know what undesireable things you might get from grandparents. It's a bit of a lotery where all you can do is to know as much as you can not only about the horses you are breeding from but also their bloodlines so you can limit risk and try to increase the chances of a good outcome.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the answers. I didn't mean breed a terrible mare to a good stallion, I just meant even if the mother and father had good points, is there any way of working out which bit will win over? Joy that's what I was thinking, you can increase the chances by getting the match as good as you can, but it's still a bit of pot luck isn't it?

    Like Red said, picking a stallion with a good head, will you always get that good head? Or does it depend on how strong the stallions genes are? I'm just rambling as I know nothing about breeding I've just always wondered.

  6. #6
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    Fools breed horses for wise men to buy!

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    We buy what we like, and try to buy things that have been shown and are winners in the ring. So it's not just us looking through rose tinted specs. Someone else likes them!

    Our stallion has a massive amount of bone, is fairly short coupled and a very old fashioned example of the breed, which I like a lot. He has a really good deep jaw, the most beautiful eyes and most important a temperament to die for. He passes his temperament on every time. The mares of his build tend to throw similar old fashioned style ponies. However the mares that we bought to go with him and give a bit of height have done just that. They have given the offspring the height and a bit more elegance for a riding pony, but as yet nothing to compare with him build and conformation wise. Excellent work ponies, but nothing like him. No clones of him yet.

  8. #8
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    A horse I'm looking at atm has a short neck, her mum has pretty short neck too but is a chunky girl and can pull it off quite well. She was bred to an Arab with a long, fine neck to see if that would balance it. It didn't and the product of the mating has come out as a lightweight, hippy version of her mum and even at rising four, I'm not sure the end result is going to be pretty, though she is extremely sweet and has a brilliant mind. Her breeder has already decided that mare won't be bred to that type of stallion again, possibly not bred at all since she's had such an overpowering influence over the stallion's genes when all his other progeny are instantly recognisable, which means she's really 'un-improvable' in a sense.

    http://pheme.posterous.com/ >>>> stalk me if you want, it's not terribly interesting though!

  9. #9

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    Hmm, so I suppose some horses just have stronger genes that take over... I suppose its a case of looking at the progeny of each, if they have any, and seeing what seems to be consistently passed on. Never thought of that, bit of a duh moment!

  10. #10
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    The importance of a good mare was shown to me from my yard over the last few years.
    We have 2 babies (A & B) born the same year, different mums but same stallion.
    We then have a baby, C, born the year after same mum as B, but very different (and IMO a much nicer) stallion.

    One of the mares used is a beautifully put together, graded TB. She's about 16hh and neat. She is mum to B & C. Both B & C have her head, B is very dinky, whilst C is bigger (C is from a MUCH larger stallion). But B & C proportionally are VERY similar. They both have their mums confirmation (both stallions VERY different confirmationally). B doesn't have a lot of movement, but neither does his mum, the stallion used had *some* movement which hasn't come through. C's stallion is much larger moving, and C is showing signs of being larger moving in the field, however she's still not *huge* moving.

    A on the other hand is bred from a big, floaty moving ISH. A chunky mare, then same stallion as B. A is big moving (whereas B has no movement, and the stallion only had a little, so it has come from the mum). A clearly gets her confirmation from her mum, she looks the spit of her! She is stockier and chunkier than B.

    Couldn't tell you much about personality, as both our mares have fab behaviours, and the stallions are all good natured. I can't help with confirmational faults winning out, as we weren't using stallions to "improve" any aspects of the mare. My RI just wanted things that would gel nicely.
    Only when things do not interest one, can one give a really unbiased opinion; no doubt the reason why an unbiased opinion is absolutely valueless.

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