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  1. #1
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    Question What discipline is hardest to breed for?

    As I was looking at my colt today cantering around the arena, I was thinking about what made me come to the decision to breed my mare and if I got what I wanted out of the cross I chose.

    Do you think one discipline is harder to breed for then another?

    It seems that a lot of disciplines mingle together and what one person breeds for, may end up being more suitable for a different discipline?

    So just curious if anyone thinks that say a good dressage horse is harder to breed for then a good jumper.

    I think I had beginners luck and I also took a little chance. I have a hunter tb mare that has a very good eventing/jumper father (offspring have shown at rolex)
    I bred her to a jumper stallion thats father is a grand prix dressage stallion!

    And I bred for a hunter!! Little backwards, yes it seems, but, the resulting baby is certainly in the making to become a great hunter!!! Who knows, with his background, jumpers might suit him better, but he does have the movement so far to be a hunter type.

    Whats funny is that at the inspection, they loved my mare, for a dressage type! (which I never in a million years figured her to be a dressage type) Now I never thought of that and here I go and breed her to a stallion whos father is Idocus. I very well could have got a dressage type baby, and then what the heck do I do?

    I would love to hear your stories and how breedings and disciplines have intermingled for you!

    It just seems that even though you have a plan to produce a great hunter or jumper, maybe it ends up as a dressage horse, or an eventer!!

    Food for thought!



  2. #2
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    Smile

    Hmmm, an interesting question. I suppose it all boils down to genetics - and some of that will be a roll of the dice which body type and mental aptitude and individual characteristics come through for any given cross. No experience with breeding myself, but I know a woman who competed (dressage) on a tremendous mare who was injured and then retired to breeding. she was bred first to a noted dressage champion and the first mating turned out a very nice looking mare who looked like a dressage type body-wise but mentally this horse could not focus on this discipline - too erratic and skittish. It was a huge disappointment! she was sold as a 5 year old and no idea where she ended up. The second breeding has once again produced a very nice dressage-type foal and the owner has renewed hope that this breeding will turn out differently - but who knows!



  3. #3
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    I think breeding itself is inherently difficult no matter the discipline, but the hunters to me seem the most difficult because there are so many necessary qualities and variables. They need to be pretty, correct, quiet, careful, stylish round jumpers, good movers, with at least a 13 ft stride, and basically between 15.3 and 17 hands. It's at least the only discipline I think where you can have an otherwise talented horse who won't make it to the top because he was born with an ugly head...
    But on the other hand Europeans "accidentally" breed hunters all the time.



  4. #4
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    I agree with Chanda. I just happened to see an extraordinary youngish hunter yesterday - bought for a song, he is a Trakehner/Holsteiner cross. The sire is pure dressage but the mare has Silver Lining as a sire. A hunter trainer happened to see him - scabby and thin - and said, yes, I will take him!
    Well this horse is unbelievable - not only scopey, but points his toes at the walk, much less the trot and has a canter to die for....Did the breeder think for one nanosecond she was breeding a hunter? NO! Would you have guessed this cross would have made a hunter? NO! There is a full sib apparently not anywhere near as fancy. So go figure!
    "Her life was okay. Sometimes she wished she were sleeping with the right man instead of with her dog, but she never felt she was sleeping with the wrong dog."



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  5. #5
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Some of the same things I was thinking.

    while obviously to be the top of any discipline is hard to breed for, hunters seem the have the most "criteria" to get to the top.

    Not only do they have to be pretty, that have to be very quiet. But while they need to be quiet, they need to sort of "explode" over the top of the jumps. Movement is also a huge key.

    It just seems like there are so many "accidental" hunters and jumpers out there!

    It seems like being a hunter breeder would be pretty darn tough!

    Like you Chanda, for instance. I know you have bred Rox Dene a few times and I would assume they were to hunter type stallions. Did you ever get a baby that is the hunter you wanted or thought you would get from the cross? Did the babies end up being jumpers, hunters? Maybe even dressage?

    I have a friend that has a really nice A/A hunter. He was by a hunter stallion and his mom was an appendix QH. He has a full sister and I guess she can't even jump! He is a phenomenal jumper and with the right rider would win any hunter class in the country! It is just crazy that the same bloodlines can produce something so different!!


    I really didn't know what to expect from my mare at all. I just told myself that whatever the baby turned out to be I would be happy.

    And when you figure out how to breed a beautiful head, let me in on the secret.



  6. #6
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    Default On the contrary.

    The hardest to breed for is the new Short Format Eventing.

    All in a TB we need:
    the 6 digit GP dressage horse that has warmblood movement and is willing to be ridable.

    then we need the 6 digit hunter that is quiet and scopey. Also yanks his kneed to his chin and jumps around flawlessly.

    And last we need the speed, endurance, and "I can do it myself" attitude of the old school XC horse.

    And we need this one horse to go from ride-able, waiting for us to tell him what to do without anticipation, and flashy with major suspension in the dressage, to running and jumping and making it's own decisions and not wasting aire over jumps in the XC, to SJ where still has plenty of contained energy in order to jump around clean and rhytmic with room to spare.

    That, ladies and gentleman is a fearsome equine to behold and is worth a million. (hehe, from Pride and Prejudice)
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  7. #7
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    well yes, it seems to me that that horse might be hard to breed

    Unless you could clone 3 to look the same and train them all in the appropriate environment.



  8. #8
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    In general, new things are harder to breed for so I'm going to go with hunters & eventers as being the hardest to breed for.

    I'd say endurance & race-horses tend to be the easiest because of the sheer number of years they have been being bred. Jumpers & dressage horses fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Anytime a sport is evolving faster than its equine partner its going to be an uphill endeavour for the breeder



  9. #9
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    Like you Chanda, for instance. I know you have bred Rox Dene a few times and I would assume they were to hunter type stallions. Did you ever get a baby that is the hunter you wanted or thought you would get from the cross? Did the babies end up being jumpers, hunters? Maybe even dressage?
    The first two are hunters, but not the whole package that Rox Dene is. They definitely wouldn't make jumpers or dressage horses though (I actually wouldn't know a dressage horse if it bit me in the @ss, but as both were quite small I'm going out on a limb and saying they were less than ideal as dressage horses), they just aren't the same quality of hunter she was. Their jump resembled the other offspring I've seen from Loyal Pal more than it resembled Rox Dene's. (Wouldn't it be nice if you could pick which trait you get from which parent?)
    The last one is just coming four, and got some of the things from Rox Dene that we lost in the TB crosses, namely her size and type and a couple degrees of movement. I'm hoping she got all the rest of it too, but it's too early to tell really. Again though, I wouldn't think her suitable for another discipline, it's just going to be a matter of level.



  10. #10

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    I think hunters also. I've never bred for eventing but that does seem difficult. I think with hunters like Chandra said it's hard to get the whole package. We breed for so many things. I think it's super hard to get a freakish mover and keep a really good jump, even full siblings often don't have the same movement. Sometimes keeping the right look is hard.
    www.grayfoxfarms.com Home of Redwine, Aloha, Federalist, Romantic Star and Rated R.



  11. #11
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    How tall is Rox Dene?

    I remember seeing her as a kid, but don't recall how big she was. She had a phenomenal jump, if you could get close you would have a good hunter!

    See my hunter mare is 15.3, but as petite as they come. She wears a 00 shoe! I am lucky that she crossed well with the stallion I chose. But he was also 1/4 TB, so my colt has more TB then WB (which I prefer) Her first foal is already 15 hands at 13 months, so she obviously has large genes somewhere in her family! He will be much close to his father size. (17 hands)

    I think as long as you get a horse that can be useful, you are successful on some level. If you get what you bred for then that is an added bonus.

    I will let you know in 3 years whether or not my guy is a hunter!

    I bred mine in hopes of having a hunter derby horse. So far he seems to be promising. Let you know in 5 years if he makes it to the derby! (thats if they still have the derby in 5 years!) Thats also if he doesn't kill himself first.

    Chanda, I would love to see a video of poppy! We have a lot of Popeye K offspring here in the west. It will be fun to see them all grow up!!!

    Its fun watching the HB babies grow up. Sadly you don't see too many make it to the big times. But thats another discussion altogether!



  12. #12
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    Depends upon what level of performance you are looking for in a specific discipline.

    Lots of horses can do a lot of things quite well, at a basic level. Getting them to the top is not only physical, but a a mental challenge as well.



  13. #13
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    I would have to agree with Chanda and others regarding hunters. Very difficult to get the whole package. Can't think of any off the top of my head, but surely there have been some fantastic hunters with a terrible head though?



  14. #14
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    no, not really. that is what made them good instead of fantastic. it is pretty ridiculous that a head could make that difference!!!



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplnurpl View Post
    The hardest to breed for is the new Short Format Eventing.

    All in a TB we need:
    the 6 digit GP dressage horse that has warmblood movement and is willing to be ridable.

    then we need the 6 digit hunter that is quiet and scopey. Also yanks his kneed to his chin and jumps around flawlessly.

    And last we need the speed, endurance, and "I can do it myself" attitude of the old school XC horse.

    And we need this one horse to go from ride-able, waiting for us to tell him what to do without anticipation, and flashy with major suspension in the dressage, to running and jumping and making it's own decisions and not wasting aire over jumps in the XC, to SJ where still has plenty of contained energy in order to jump around clean and rhytmic with room to spare.

    That, ladies and gentleman is a fearsome equine to behold and is worth a million. (hehe, from Pride and Prejudice)
    I am breeding for a combined driving horse, and need to have many similar traits to the eventing horse. Throw in the needed attribute of being able to pull a carriage while doing all three phases! Oh, and one that DOES NOT want to jump the stuff that is in front of it!

    I am breeding my Flemmingh x Rubinstein mare to a Harness Horse stallion in hopes of getting just what I want. Pretty would be a bonus but doesn't really matter a lick!
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samotis View Post
    How tall is Rox Dene?
    I remember seeing her as a kid, but don't recall how big she was. She had a phenomenal jump, if you could get close you would have a good hunter!
    Chanda, I would love to see a video of poppy! We have a lot of Popeye K offspring here in the west. It will be fun to see them all grow up!!!
    Rox Dene is 16.1 1/2, but has a lot of girth and bone to her. Her first two babies were much finer than her, and on just on a smaller scale overall. The gelding ended up at barely 15.3. The filly I sold as a 3 year old, so I am not sure how big she ended up being, but I would be surprised if she finished even that tall. Apparently Rox Dene's mother was a small tb mare, and when we added more tb in there (afraid of bulking her up at all) the foals reverted back.
    Poppy I think is going to be about the same height as her mother, and is very close to her general type. I'll let you know when I have some video that's publicly presentable .



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samotis View Post
    How tall is Rox Dene?

    I remember seeing her as a kid, but don't recall how big she was. She had a phenomenal jump, if you could get close you would have a good hunter!
    So lucky that you got to see Rox Dene in person.



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