Yes, I did seriously consider using ET. But, I've done ET's before, and I felt in the end that letting the mare carry was the lesser of the two risks. I'm sure there are plenty of people that will disagree with that. I did an ET a few years ago and the mare double ovulated and flushed two embryos - great odds for getting at least one of the recips to settle - neither of the two recips settled!
Congrats, Foxcreek! Hope the foals are everything you hope for!
And, regarding the "size" issue - I was told some years back by a German GRP breeder that it is much safer to use a horse stallion for a purebred pony mare (e.g., Welsh), than to use a horse stallion for a crossbred pony such as most GRPs. In the first case, the Welsh mare's entire genetic make-up is for producing small fetuses, whereas in the second case, the mare carries genes for producing larger fetuses and very well may grow a foal too large to be safely delivered.
This breeder also said it was generally not a problem to use a smaller warmblood stallion with a larger GRP mare, and there are a few warmblood stallions on the Weser-Ems stallion roster. Examples include the Strahlmann, 155cm (Oldenburg by Sandro Hit / Weltmeyer / Busoni xx); Quader, 160cm (Oldenburg by Quaterback / Glöckner / Adamo I); the pinto stallion Showtime AS, 158 cm (Oldenburg by Sevillano xx / Uniek / Ico); Quatman, 153cm (Holsteiner by Quintero / Caretino);
Edited to add that the breeder also said that foals from these types of breedings might very likely go over Deustches Reitpony size (138cm-148cm), but they may still finish in the Kleines Deustches Reitford category (149-158cm). And since they are registered as foals, the inspectors make a judgement call based on pedigree and size of the foal when they see it as to which category it will fall in. Both categories are under the Weser-Ems umbrella, so the distinction really only affects which "book" a mare or stallion goes into when inspected for studbook placement.
Last edited by DownYonder; May. 5, 2013 at 08:51 AM.
Down yonder, very interesting post and information! Another small warmblood stallion is Ridley and Welcome Sympatico. In speaking with the German GRP breeders there are quite differing opinions on the use of Warmbloods in GRP breeding. Some, like Mr. Ellers who owned Constantin in the Weser-Ems region bred 1/2 Welsh 1/2 warmblood all the time. Others are adamantly against it because the result is an end product and not a reliable producer of future ponies (size issues). My own opinion lies somewhere in the middle of these two views. But I think it's all very interesting.
JB the reason to breed the mares to the warmblood and not to a GRP is to weave some of a particular warmblood line into the GRP. Caramel is another good example of warmblood in GRP blood. And my mare, Aphrodite S has one line of Hanoverian, and Trakehner has been used quite a bit in GRP breeding also, it can be seen crossed on Eckely and others. But, if breeding for ponies the offspring size does become more unpredictable and difficult.
JB, I don't know an answer to the proportions question, but the very successful French show jumper pony, Jimmerdor de Florys is another example of a small mare: 12.3 hands that was bred to Nimmerdor: 1.68 m - Totilas is 1.70 m. Nimmerdor is the grand-sire of Lominka. Also, interestingly the dam of Gribaldi was only 1.54 m.
Wow. I can honestly say I'd never do this for any reason. #1 of course is the safety of the mare. Too many times there have been horrid complications. The other huge reason is the end result, which in numerous breedings I've known about the proportions are off. Too short of leg, long of back, etc.
I worry for the mares. Good luck to them.
Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver, Equine Insurance Specialist
I think there is a huge difference between being a naysayer and expressing concern for your mare's safety. Breeding is enough of a crap shoot, it seems to me that you are tipping the odds even more on the dangerous side. Not a risk I would take but obviously it is your decision.
Well, I think the pony x horse is a very popular cross as i can think of numerous people doing this (including me! - mine is due this month) if the result ends up too big for pony people there is a ever growing market for fancy dressage honies.
I cant wait to see the results and see how infusing Totilas into GRPs will affect what is available.
and if the results are not breeding worthy i am sure they will be able to be sold very easily as dressage ponies
So people that have safety concerns.
Is it personal experience with many cases?
I am wondering because all the information and studies that I have ever read says that the breeding should not be that much more of a high risk delivery than any other delivery. I have seen several horror stories but they were oversized foals from two comparable in size horses. PMU barns used draft stallions for the mares (better meat prices) and some of the mares were small Qh type mares. This was done in large numbers (1000's) and the barn owners did not see a difference in the foaling issues much more than normal.
It seems there is as much knowledge to say that the breeding would not be that much more of a risk than a regular breeding.
PS any maiden breeding is a risk and if you did the stats, it may be as risky as pony/horse cross.
But, for those of us who are concerned for the mare's safety, it's about an almost 5h difference in height - 12h pony mare to 16.3h stallion who is not that light of a horse to begin with.
If the mare (and she's not pictured on the page I found) is a wee thing, narrow through the hips for example, then it IS a real concern that while the foal may overall be "small enough", it's quite feasible shoulders will be too large.
That's where the concern lies.
For the 13.2h mare, it's less of a concern.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
Congrats Foxcreek, and fingers crossed for you that the second mare is in foal, and that both have uneventful pregnancies and foaling. I'm doubly impressed that you bred them yourself! I know you run a top notch facility, and have weighed the pros and cons; your mares will receive the best care possible.
I found your input on breeding a warmblood stallion to a Welsh mare versus a GRP mare very interesting, you've obviously done your homework! I can't wait to see the resulting foals!
PS Has Circe been confirmed in foal to Dexter yet??
Most of the bad births related to size seem to be from the WIDTH of the foal, not the HEIGHT of the foal, assuming the foal isn't in a bad position to start with. The shoulders and/or hips get hung up on the pelvis and that's when things get hideous. Usually you have to help mama with these, sometimes the baby just.won't.fit.
People get worried about height but you've got to think where that height is coming from. Legs? Legs fold up. Big bodies, big heads, big hips, big shoulders. Those take up room.
If the pony mares in question aren't very narrow/willowy, have been known to exert some size control on their foals and have an adequate pelvis, I wouldn't be overly concerned.
"The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings
I'm not giving an opinion on whether these types of breedings *should* be done, but from a scientific standpoint there is no evidence that horse-in-pony breedings cause any greater risk than any other type of breeding combination. As has been quoted the classic study was done on this long ago; draft horse in pony mares. Since then size of breeding combinations has been studied off-and-on and there is no evidence that there is a statistically higher rate of dystocia in these types of pairings vs. pony-in-pony and horse-in-horse.
First of all, I would like to assure everyone that I did not make the decision to do this lightly. And I am not making light of anyone's concerns regarding the potential for problems with the foaling. And, I also assure everyone that I am not doing this with callous disregard for my mares' safety. As I mentioned earlier, I have in fact witnessed a horrific foaling in which the foal became hip-locked on the mare's pelvis. It took two grown men, the university vet & my husband, twisting & pulling to get that colt free, the colt died in my arms and all three of us were covered in blood. The mare initially survived but had damaged the nerve that runs through the pelvic girdle, a situation that is fairly common in cattle but very rare in horses. We spent several thousand dollars trying to save her life. The university had her in a padded ICU stall in a harness to lift her up and down. She would become panicked because she couldn't get up on her own. 1 week after the foaling she panicked and was thrashing around, and broke her neck. This breeding was a normal sized warmblood mare with 7 previous uneventful & successful foalings who was bred to a normal sized warmblood stallion.
So I know full well what heartbreaking, horrific foalings are like, and its not something I ever want to experience. So, I do not do this lightly with no knowledge of how awful foalings can become. And after witnessing that horrific mess I knew right then and there that if I couldn't handle that kind of thing I didn't belong in the breeding business.
I LOVE, LOVE my mares. I can guarantee that these will NOT be unattended foalings. I live literally 5 minutes down the road from the university veterinary hospital and am friends with the clinicians and residents and they will all be on high alert! I will be watching my mares carefully throughout their entire pregnancy. But I don't feel that what I'm doing is terribly cruel and unusual and unheard of. As I said before, everything I've personally experienced, read about, heard about convinces me that its not significantly more dangerous than any other foaling.
It is very possible that I won't get what I'm hoping for, and as VirginaBred said it could well turn out to have all the wrong pieces and parts and be quite fugly. It could just as easily turn out to be quite nice. But I think that can be said for any cross breeding, and actually that could also be said for ANY breeding, although obviously the potential is higher with cross breedings. However, as I stated earlier, one German breeder, Mr. Ellers, has been doing this for years with Constantin and if he had consistently gotten weird looking hony's with short legs and big ugly heads or something I think he would have stopped doing it.
I'm often asked, "How did you get started breeding the GRP's?" Well, what I discovered was that I had more FUN working with the smaller horses and ponies. I had more FUN!!! It was WORK handling those big 16.2-17 hand horses and it wasn't FUN!!! Well, that's why I love my horses they are fun and awesome, and make me laugh and smile, and take my breath away with their beauty and athleticism. But why should all the big horse peeps get to have all the excitement!! When I saw Totilas with Edward Gal I was just like everyone else: blown away with chills down my back and goose bumps on my arms!!!! Was it training? Breeding? Unnatural freakish talent never to be duplicated? I don't know - but I do know I only live one life and I'll be damned but I'd sure like to try to get that awesomeness in a small package!!!!! Wooooo, dang I get chills just thinkin about it!!! Might work, might not - but I'd sure like to give it a try.
I haven't tried breeding Circe yet this spring, but I have been watching her very closely and she's just now starting to come out of being transitional. But, Jack Sparrow was 3' Jumper Champion this weekend at Prince George's Equestrian Center in Maryland!!!!! YAY!!!