- Is Welsh/TB a popular cross for a large pony or (perhaps) a smaller-sized horse? My preference would be for a pony but one has to consider the possibilities!
- Is a maiden mare likely to have a smaller foal? Permanently smaller, or just smaller pre/at birth? And a related question -- for a maiden mare might it be kinder to start her with a breeding to something small... to prime the works, as it were?
- What kind of gamble would you do with a 13.2 pony stallion? If I wanted the foal to stay a pony, I'd probably want the mare to be no more than 15.2, right? And even so, I'm sure she could have a foal that ended up 14.3... or 15.2... or 16.3!
I *realize* it is inexact, would just like to get general thoughts.
Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf
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I can't help you with the part about what's popular and such, but I can give my 2cents on the maiden thing.
I have bred 6 maidens and have not found them to have smaller foals. Some people will disagree with this and some won't. If it is smaller, that isn't likely to mean it will grow up to be small. The mare's uterus controls the foal's size, so once it's out it can "catch up" so to speak.
There is no need to choose a small stallion to "ease" a maiden into carrying a foal. Her body will handle that as I mentioned above. I have seen many times people breed a 16+ hand stallion to a small or a smallish medium to get a large pony and those little mares handle it just fine.
As for the rest of your questions, someone else will have to help you there as I'm not very educated on that stuff. I do know you will need to look at the sire and dam's parents/grandparents to help determine how large or small of a foal they might give you. Good luck!
It seems we get a lot of mediums, regardless of what we breed. lol Our 16h TB mares, bread to smalls and mediums have mostly had mediums. My larges breed to mediums had mediums. We are more likely to get a large when both sides has some horse in the mix, even if they both measure pony.
I will say I've never seen any correlation with the maiden mare's foal being smaller, occasionally smaller at birth but they catch up. I would never "count" on that. If your breeding TB's to ponies, especially if you've got a "small" TB, watch the background pedigree. I would be extremely wary of gambling a 13.2 hand pony on a 15.2 hand TB, given that one would assume some sort of size in the pedigree of the TB. If your okay with it going over size, then obviously not a problem
In my expereince, my maidens do sometimes produce smaller offspring that mature smaller. Like most things in breeding, it is not all that predictable. Also, many of my crosses have turned out smaller than I predicted. I bred a 15.2Warmblood mare to a 13.1 welsh stallion and the foals are both going to stay large ponies.
As long time pony breeders (my mother started breeding ponies in 1972), we have found the crossing of a TB mare (no larger than 15.2) to a smaller Section B welsh to be perfect for creating a large pony. Another good size cross is the 13 hand mare to a small hunter stallion (not exceeding 15.3) to work well also.
There are many opinions out there on the maiden mare theory, but as breeders for 41 years, we've found overwhelming statistics that point to the first foal being the smallest.
Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist