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View Full Version : BREEDING A SMALL PONY TO A WB OR TB STALLION



poniesforlife
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:25 PM
<<<THIS THREAD IS NOW CLOSED>>>
Thank you everyone for your replies. I have defiantly come to the conclusion that my first instinct was correct and it can be very dangerous. My mares me the world to me and I give them more credit for their foals then the stallion. If anything happened to one of them because of a bad decision, I would be absolutely devastated! I have not bred some mare in the past because I felt they would not be happy as a mother, so I do have the mares’ best interest in mind. I don’t think I would ever have the heart to breed my mare to that 15.1 hand stallion, but did want other opinions and information. Thank you again everyone. :)

Tiki
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:43 PM
How small is she and what are you trying to get out of the breeding? Have people done it? yes. Can it be dangerous? YES, you can lose the mare and the foal. There are probably a number of Welsh/TB stallions around. Try to find something a little closer to her size and type.

DownYonder
Mar. 20, 2008, 01:56 PM
Interesting that you posted this. I know someone who just bred a small (13.2h) Welsh mare to a 16.2h WB stallion. And yes, I think she is crazy. I guess we'll see.

Mia412
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:05 PM
We always crossed a larger mare with a small pony stallion. I know vets say the mare determines the size of a foal, but we always tried to cross mares with a stallion close to their size or smaller.

I do know of some backyard-breeder neighbors that had a 16 h stallion get in with a shetland mare. She safely produced a foal from that cross, but the whole idea scares me!

jherold
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:42 PM
I worry more about what the end result might look like! What if you get pony legs and the warmblood body! I remember a school pony that looked like some one crossed a draft on a pony. He was so ugly, he was cute, but I doubt he was worth much money.

VirginiaBred
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:54 PM
What everyone should worry about is the safety of the mare.


Period.

Windswept Stable
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:17 PM
I have noticed more and more farms breeding small ponies to thoroughbred and warmblood stallions. Does anyone have and input or experience with this cross. I have a small pony mare that I have thought of breeding to a TB stallion but it just seems dangerous.

Go with your gut feeling here-- it IS dangerous. I would not do it.
There are enough things that can go wrong with a well-thought out pregnancy/birth. Why increase the risks? Not worth it. If you are set on a bigger foal--then get a different mare to breed.

How big is your pony? There are a number of large pony crossbred & 14.3 size stallions that can upsize your mare for you. Your thread on Favorite pony hunter stallions should give you a great starting place. There are a lot of nice replies. If it were me, first foal--I would go with a medium size stallion.

chrissymack
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:08 PM
I know of someone's "accident" of a 16h TB stallion and a small welsh pony mare who got turned out together & came in foal as a result

In this particular case, wound up being a 14.1 large pony with the narrow, TBy but short pony-sized pony and a HUGE head. Not about to win any model classes, but super talented...jumps a 12!!

I wouldn't recommend it; I don't think you can count on the results being a happy medium, nor can you be sure it will be without complication for a smaller mare.

Fairview Horse Center
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:23 PM
One of my breeders bred her small Welsh pony mare to Nevada (Dutch/TB) who is barely 16h. The baby is super, and an incredible jumper, but unfortunately was 14.3 as a barely 3 year old. Luckily still growing. <grow, baby grow!>

Sugarbrook
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:26 PM
Listen to Vets horror stories of foals being cut out of their mothers because they could not be born and you would never attempt such a thing.

Why EVER take a chance??

rideagoldenpony
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:43 PM
I value the lives of my mares too much to EVER put them in that kind of jeopardy. Foaling is scary enough as it is, without adding something like that to the mix.

shea'smom
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:18 PM
I bred a 13.2 pony to a 15.2 Friesian and she just delivered a healthy foal with no problems. I have heard the rule of thumb is no more than 2 hands difference.

MagicRoseFarm
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:25 PM
There was a study done about the mare controlling the size of the offspring, ( at Colorado State or Texas A & M I think) using pony mares bred to Draft stallions. The study proved that the mares does control the size of the foal... but I could never in good conscience breed up in a big way , as I know of foals too big out of full horse mares bred to smaller horse stallions..

In the case of Miniature horses there is a much higher rate of foals too large than in regular ponies or horses..

shawneeAcres
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:40 PM
People get all freaky about breeding a pony to a horse, but a lot of folks are perfectly happy to breed their 15 hand mare to a 17.2 stallion. Not much difference than breeding a 14 hand to 16.2, or a 13 hand to 16 etc. I have known of very few breedings like this that ended up with any problems, and feel the risk is no more than the risk associated with any breeding. Now would I breed a SMALL pony to a 17+ hand WB or TB? Well no cause I'd probably get a hony! But to a reasonable size (16 hand or less) probably wouldn't bother me.

Fairview Horse Center
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:21 PM
The only "size type" dystocias I have ever had were when the mare and stallion were within a hand, but the stallion was VERY heavy boned and wide, and when the mare was the same size as the stallion, and similar type. The rest were position problems.

Rainbow Farm Unltd.
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:08 PM
Way simpler, cheaper and less risky to buy a nice yearling that'll be the size you want...

poniesforlife
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:28 PM
I worry more about what the end result might look like! What if you get pony legs and the warmblood body! I remember a school pony that looked like some one crossed a draft on a pony. He was so ugly, he was cute, but I doubt he was worth much money.

There are many large ponies in the hunter ring who are WB or TB Welsh crosses. However most are from TB or WB mares by smaller stallions.

LittleTyke
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:44 PM
I worry more about what the end result might look like! What if you get pony legs and the warmblood body! I remember a school pony that looked like some one crossed a draft on a pony. He was so ugly, he was cute, but I doubt he was worth much money.

Crossing two breeds doesn't always mean you get the average of the two animals. I've seen the product of a draft x pony. The poor thing had the body (including height/weight) of the mare and the head (including size) of the draft. It was a hideous looking pony who's head was probably at least 1/5 of his body weight. Hard to imagine him staying sound or having a good life.

poniesforlife
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:53 PM
Thank you everyone for your replies! She will be bred to a 14.2 hand stallion this year. The TB stallion I was looking to breed her to, is 15.1, so not a huge difference in the stallions sizes. I breed larger mares to small stallions so I really haven’t had much experience with upsizing! She is 12 years and has had quite a few foals in the past. I hope this answers some of your questions. I do LOVE her dearly this is why I have not yet listened to the people who told me it will be fine and why I posted this thread.

Tiki
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:59 AM
Glad to hear you're going with a large pony stallion. The problem with even a 15.1h stallion is - what's in his background? What size foal does HE produce? It's not always the size of the stallion himself, but what's in the background and what he produces. A 15.1h stallion MAY produce small, but he may also produce very large foals that don't grow too tall, or he may produce reasonably sized foals that grow tall. You need to ask a lot of questions when it's the mare that is the small one.

poniesforlife
Mar. 21, 2008, 10:26 AM
Glad to hear you're going with a large pony stallion. The problem with even a 15.1h stallion is - what's in his background? What size foal does HE produce? It's not always the size of the stallion himself, but what's in the background and what he produces. A 15.1h stallion MAY produce small, but he may also produce very large foals that don't grow too tall, or he may produce reasonably sized foals that grow tall. You need to ask a lot of questions when it's the mare that is the small one.

The TB stallion was bred for breeding to ponies. He has produced very small for his size even when bred to horse mares. I do see your point though and is a very good one.

VirginiaBred
Mar. 21, 2008, 10:31 AM
This discussion continues to surface year after year. It's just plain common sense NOT to jeopardise the safety of a small mare by breeding her to a large stallion. If the crossing is "that" important, then do the right thing and do an embro transfer.

poniesforlife
Mar. 21, 2008, 06:56 PM
This discussion continues to surface year after year. It's just plain common sense NOT to jeopardise the safety of a small mare by breeding her to a large stallion. If the crossing is "that" important, then do the right thing and do an embro transfer.

I actually have been looking into an embryo transfer for this mare.

Donella
Mar. 21, 2008, 07:15 PM
When I was thinking of breeding Stedinger (who is known to throw horses who are about 18 hh on average) to my 16.1 hano mare I had one well known breeder tell me that the size disparity really worried him. But I have asked FOUR well known repro vets, one who used to teach at a good vet uni up here about this. All of them said the same thing..a foal will only be born so large and will make up for the growing after birth. Seems to be more of an old wives tale than anything else...


I just think to breed something 3 or 4 hands in size difference is choose two TOTALLY different types and that goes against my breeding philosophy of type to type.

TouchstoneAcres
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:58 PM
Are you looking for a hunter or a dressage type? There are small dressage stallions around. Think Lipizzan, Iberian, Connemara, Arabians--plenty under 15,2h. If your mare is really small stick with Welsh, Connemara etc. Even a small TB or WB may harbor big genes. Go with something purebred that is more predictable in size. And I'd rather buy a bigger horse than risk a small pony mare's life.

ise@ssl
Mar. 22, 2008, 11:26 AM
Donalla - I'm not sure who your vets are but this is not a 100% reliable prediction. Having faced a horrible distocia with a very large filly out of a maiden mare, 2 Vets and my husband using a calf-puller to get this dead filly out and praying we would not lose a fabulous mare - I can tell you MARES CAN PRODUCE FOALS THAT ARE TOO LARGE FOR THEM TO BIRTH. It's a horror to face and we have been cautious ever since with respect to size - SPECIFICALLY looking at the size of the grand parents and great grandparents.

VirginiaBred
Mar. 22, 2008, 12:40 PM
Donalla - I can tell you MARES CAN PRODUCE FOALS THAT ARE TOO LARGE FOR THEM TO BIRTH. It's a horror to face and we have been cautious ever since with respect to size - SPECIFICALLY looking at the size of the grand parents and great grandparents.

Of course they can. And foolishly, there are many that quote from a "study" that says a mare will only deliver what she can safely carry. That is Bull Sh*t. That study is an antique and not worth quoting (though so many love to).

It's not worth the gamble at any cost.

The extremely famous and fabulous Chantilly was foolishly bred to a horse and she died trying to foal the baby.

I wish this could be imprinted on every breeders brain.

Do. Not. Risk. Your. Mare.

Donella
Mar. 22, 2008, 12:55 PM
Donalla - I'm not sure who your vets are but this is not a 100% reliable prediction. Having faced a horrible distocia with a very large filly out of a maiden mare, 2 Vets and my husband using a calf-puller to get this dead filly out and praying we would not lose a fabulous mare - I can tell you MARES CAN PRODUCE FOALS THAT ARE TOO LARGE FOR THEM TO BIRTH. It's a horror to face and we have been cautious ever since with respect to size - SPECIFICALLY looking at the size of the grand parents and great grandparents

Oh I dont doubt this at all. But I think it can happen just as easily with two normal sized parents. I have seen huge foals born to mares who were bred to stallions their size.

Fairview Horse Center
Mar. 22, 2008, 01:29 PM
I think it is more important to not breed, especially a maiden mare, to a stallion with a large, massive shoulder. The worst dystocia I had was a 16.1h TB mare (not a maiden) bred to a 17h old D-line Hanoverian. The stalllion was a very big bodied boy with massive bone, and a huge shoulder. That stallion was so heavy boned, that when he had surgery, the EMC said they had to put garbage bags on his feet, rather then the sleeves they ususally used.

The 2nd worst one I had though was a mare bred to a similar sized stallion who is also a bit lighter than she was. That mare was also not a maiden mare.

Both of those foalings ended up ok, but if a maiden, they could have been disasters.

The mares we have bred to stallions several hands taller have all been easy.

ALL breeding risks mares.

Dystocias DO happen, but I have not seen them happen more often, or more seriously than when a mare is bred to same size or even smaller. Pay attention to body type in both of the horses, and back to the grandparents.

Reality is, if you don't want to put your mare at risk, don't BREED her, period.

hluing
Mar. 22, 2008, 03:19 PM
[B]Donalla
Oh I dont doubt this at all. But I think it can happen just as easily with two normal sized parents. I have seen huge foals born to mares who were bred to stallions their size.


Yep, our heartbreaking dystocia last year was a 15hh BIG bodied mare bred to a 14.1 refined stallion. Huge foal-lost both mare and foal. Heartbreaking...

Hocus Focus
Mar. 23, 2008, 01:41 PM
Risks are not worth increasing. This creates an added risk.

If it has been done, or it is something that happened and you cannot undo it, feed with quailty hay and plenty of water till foal is born. No grain. Grain WILL increase foal size in final trimester. Prefer to deal with a smaller thin foal and weaknesses related than the oversize issues. Once born you can feed more, return gradually to regular feed program and increase until foal and mare are at a normal healthy state a lot of which are decisions made by instinct and eye, being attentive to growth related issues that may arise, ephipicitis and more. Use common sense.

That is how I would approach it if I were in this situation.

However, honestly, I do not recommend it as a conscious decision. Other unplanned situations such as a stallion who hopped a fence to visit so and so may require desparate measures.

Agree with what has also been said about large mares bred to similar sized stallions can have problems of this nature too, but willing to bet that "most" of these were overfeeding issues during pregnancy. Always exceptions of course.

Everyone wants to produce their best possible but packing away excess feed during critical growth period are gambles I would not be willing to take in this type of situation. I am sure some may disagree but at the very worst, feed cutback will help decrease risk.

Why take the chance? Is it worth losing a horse or foal, or wose yet, both, over?

.

Fairview Horse Center
Mar. 23, 2008, 01:49 PM
Agree with what has also been said about large mares bred to similar sized stallions having problems of this nature too, but willing to bet that "most" of these were overfeeding issues during pregnancy..

Definitely not with my dystocias. I was taught by my wonderful old vet to not get a mare too fat in pregnancy. He said fatter mares make delivery much more difficult as the fat will get all around the birth canal. My mares foal out just a bit on the thin side, and I get them back to a normal weight within a month or so.

Hocus Focus
Mar. 23, 2008, 09:05 PM
Definitely not with my dystocias. I was taught by my wonderful old vet to not get a mare too fat in pregnancy. He said fatter mares make delivery much more difficult as the fat will get all around the birth canal. My mares foal out just a bit on the thin side, and I get them back to a normal weight within a month or so.

Sorry about your misfortune. I tried to cover my butt in my statement with the word "most". Exceptions occur and there are few "for sures" in breeding. For this reason, best to not add to the chance of disaster. If you operate in numbers, misfortune has a way of finding you eventually.

Donella
Mar. 23, 2008, 09:27 PM
Ok...so I am really curious though..is there any PROOF that breedin a so and so sized stallion to a small mare increases your risk during birth? Someone earlier mentioned a study done with pony and draft horses..what were the results?

I know it easy to think that this is a disaster waiting to happen, but we need to base our decisions on fact not emotion or old wives tales. I am not saying that anyone here is wrong, I would just love to know if any kind of reasearch has been done on it.

Equine Reproduction
Mar. 23, 2008, 10:51 PM
This topic, as someone else noted, comes up regularly and annually - during breeding season. As has been noted time and time again, the mare's uterus "does' determine the size of the fetus. And, believe it or not, it's not the size disparity that is exactly the issue, it's the breadth of the chest and hips that are considerably more of a concern. For example, I could breed an 18 hand TB mare to a 16 hand draft stallion and end up with MAJOR problems! Flip side of that is I could breed a 14 hand Haflinger mare to a 16 hand TB stallion with absolutely no issues. When deciding what to cross mares with, it is vastly more important to look at the actual structure of the stallion to determine that he's not going to produce a foal that is just going to be to "wide" to make it through the birth canal.

I think probably the bigger concern would be not having a "blend" of the parents, but a real mixed parts foal - Really short legs, HUGE body, short neck, huge head, etc. Unfortunately, there just is no way to know what you'd end up with.

With regards to miniatures and the "oversized foal" - miniatures have a REALLY high incidence of dystocias - up to 30% it is estimated. Part of the problem is that when the breed was in it's "formative" years, the use of dwarfs was relatively common. So, it's not unusual for the occasional "dwarf" foal to be born. Those foals usually have an overlarge head and tend to be short and "squat" in stature. With a short neck, stocky body and short legs, if the head gets "tucked" between the two front legs, it can be close to impossible to straighten things out sufficiently for a normal delivery.

Hope the above helps to clarify the who, what, where and why of breeding small mares to larger stallions. It can be done quite successfully, one just has to put some forethought into what would be an appropriate cross.

Kathy St.Martin
Equine Reproduction Short Courses
http://www.equine-reproduction.com

Donella
Mar. 24, 2008, 12:49 AM
Kathy,
thanks for that!!
I was quite sure this was the case . If someone is breeding a huge boned, broad stallion to a tiny refined mare they are missing the cardinal breeding rule of type to type in the first place!