I was just told by one of our vets that she would not advise breeding a 17hh stallion to my 15.2hh maiden mare. I've never heard this before. She says she would be concerned about her having a difficult delivery. (on a maiden mare) What are your experiences?
lol, this has covered SOOO many times on the board that I'm always surprised when it coems up again...
Don't worry, springer - the foal will only get as big as the uterus allows it, its future height will have no impact on in-utero size or size at birth. My first homebred was out of a petite 15.1hh mare by a 17hh stallion. She pushed that filly out in less than 10 minutes, no problems whatsoever.
Now, if your mare's "internal" conformation (narrow pelvis or something..) makes it difficult for her big foals to come out, then that's a different story - but you can't know that in advance and it has nothing to do with the height of the mare... the one mare I know about who has trouble with delivery is a 16.2hh stout TB mare...
In my opinion that is not a huge size descrepancy when it comes to breeding. Now I might think twice about a 13.2 hand mare to a 17 hand stallion, but not sure why you would want to do that anyways! But I have bred many mares in the 14.2 - 15 hand range to 16.2 - 17 hand horses and never had an issue with it.
Agree with most here. The uterus will decide the foal size not the size of the stallion. I know of several breeders who breed larger WB stallions (like 16h to 16.2) to small welsh ponies to make amazing medium and large ponies. None of those mares have had any trouble yet and the foals are beautiful. Of course they are done by AI!!!
Several of the ones I ahve bred were maidens. One as a 14 hand QH I bred to a 16.3 hand TB had a nice 15.3 hand (mature size obviosuly!) gelding. Another was a maiden 15 hand QH bred to a 17 hand stallion, had a lovely filly unortunstely after I sold her she sustained a bad injury. Have had many many others and no issues.
Well I'm going to say that I absolutely agree with your vet.
Sorry to sort of disagree with those who say the foal only grows to the size of the mother's uteris. Whilst that plays a part it's absolute that what also substantially determines the size is the genetics of both parents.
I've known too many difficult deliveries and deaths of VERY good mares owned by folks who are convinced that it's only uteris size that matters.
Look for my "heifer bull" threads here. There are stallions that routinely put large or small newborns on the ground. There is a local QH stallion here that has a reputation of HUGE newborns, after some terrible foaling stories with dead mares and foals...he is only used with mares that are known to have delivered his foals safely........and they are half grown when they get here. I would get a history of the size of his foals and how maidens handled his births before I tried it.
In the past I have bred a smaller framed 15.2hh maiden mare to a large 18HH Hanoverian stallion (with my vets o.k.) with no problems. Foal was born smaller but matured about 16.1-16.2HH. However, that being said the stallions offspring tended to only mature in the 16-17HH range so I don't think he was really genetically prepotent for his size.