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Thoughts on unusual crosses & crossbreeding

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  • Thoughts on unusual crosses & crossbreeding

    Obviously specific breeds exist for a reason but I was wondering if anyone has heard of a Quarab x Irish sport horse cross or Georgian Grande x Morgan or Connemara x Welsh pony or a Standardbred cross or any other unusual crosses? This is purely hypothetical and just out of curiosity no need to be rude.

    (note- Georgian Grande= Staddlebred x draft; Quarab= Quarter horse x Arabian)

  • #2
    I knew a Clydesdale/Standardbred cross, but he was an oops breeding. Ended up being a great trail horse for a larger man.

    There's a series of photos going around Facebook right now with a horse getting rescued from a hayloft, and the horse is listed as Percheron/Welsh cross which I thought was an odd one.

    I don't have a problem with crossbreeding if there's a logical reason why that cross was selected, but some combinations are known to work out way better than others. If you cross two very different types, sometimes you end up with Frankenhorse made of spare parts and not good for much of anything.
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    • #3
      Sure. One of the oldest consistant crosses is Cleveland Bay on a TB mare. In the UK they have been using this cross over 100 years. They get a pretty consistant result, useful for all kinds of riding and driving. Taking the crossbred mare back to a Cleveland Bay stallion, the resulting 3/4 CB x 1/4 TB horses were highly desirable for cavalry mounts, hunters and coaching horses. They were very close in type, movement, athletic, easy to match, more speedy than the straight Clevelands. They actually had their own Yorkshire Coach Horse Studbook until automobiles took over for driving horses.

      Cleveland Bays really stamp their get, being so close in body type, no out crossing in the Purebred book for years. It is a bloodline Heritage Breed, rather than being changabile like the Warmblood Registries. Stallions must be inspected against the breed standard, approved for breeding to get his foals registered. They will register Partbreds down to 1/8th CB in the book for tracking purposes.

      We have all CB partbreds, love them for their athletic ability, kindly minds, willing to do whatever we ask of them. They ride, they drive, do it well, easy to live with at home. A reliable result from the CB x TB breeding cross. You can usually spot a CB, part or purebred by their large ears! Proportional to their head and body size, but it is certainly part of the CB look, along with big bone and good size hooves under the large body. These Partbred CBs in competition are consIstantly misidentified using other breed or Warmblood names. No one expects the Cleveland Bay! Ha ha We have had to go to the Announcer to correct the breeding when our horses are called for ribbons.

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      • #4
        I don't think I'd consider Connemara x Welsh unusual. They're fairly common, as both are excellent show breeds.

        I had a friend in high school who had a Tennesse Walker / Percheron cross (I have no idea which was the dam and which was the sire). He was an accident. Thankfully he wasn't gaited, he came out as basically a Percheron - big tank, solid black with just a small star, some feathers.

        "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

        http://www.mmeqcenter.com/sale.html

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        • #5
          I met a stunning Belgian X Tennessee Walker once. Not sure what niche he would fill other than what he was doing—the mount of an announcer/emcee at a Ren Faire jousting tournament. He just had a terrific, flamboyant, presence, but clearly very calm about everything.

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          • #6
            Theodore O’Connor was TB x Arab X Shetland. If that’s not an odd cross for a 4* eventer I don’t know what is.

            RIP Teddy....

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            • #7
              I've seen a couple of very nice saddlebred x Quarter horse, and also a couple of Friesian x Quarter horse. The Friesian x are more typey, but the saddlebred x were more athletic. Both came out better than I'd expect. For whatever reason the saddlebred x were both black like the Friesian x.

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              • #8
                I knew someone who had a WB x Shetland (Rio Grande x shetland pony mare). She was quite the unusual cross, ended up a large pony and competed in the hunters on the A circuit until she was retired as a broodmare. She had quite a few nice crosses with a pure welsh section B and a British Riding Pony.

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                • #9
                  I bought a PMU draft-cross 15 years ago: Clydesdale/Standardbred. As you can see, colored/built like a Clyde but only 15.2 and she MOVED like a Standardbred. Amazing trot. Would love to find me another of that cross.

                  Also have another PMU draft cross: Percheron/QH - That was the most "popular" cross for the Canadian PMU breeders. She finished at 16.2, 1600 pounds.


                  I'd love to have a Suffolk Punch/Cleveland Bay cross. Hubba hubba!
                  <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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                  • #10
                    I've seen some odd cross turn out fantastically and some turn out WTH is that?? A friend has a TB/Arab/Standardbred that is gorgeous and I've seen a few Arab/TWH in endurance. Morally though I don't know if I'd specifically bred one myself- so many horses end up in kill pens etc already.
                    "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
                      I've seen some odd cross turn out fantastically and some turn out WTH is that?? A friend has a TB/Arab/Standardbred that is gorgeous and I've seen a few Arab/TWH in endurance. Morally though I don't know if I'd specifically bred one myself- so many horses end up in kill pens etc already.
                      This ^^^. I think people cross breeds hoping to get the best of both. I've been told to be prepared for the worst possible combination of genes if making the decision to breed.
                      "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

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                      • #12
                        I had a welsh section C x percheron cross as a kid. It was an oops breeding (one of the first welsh section C's brought to this country). The result was a fantastic all rounder. I've seen many Morgan crosses that were useful animals as well including a Morgan x TWH cross who took many riders to their bronze medal. My position is that it's best to breed for an animal that is sound of mind and body but also eligible for papers and awards to maximize its chances of being well cared for until it's 'natural' end of days. While I'm the first to be the one to judge the animal in front of me based on its attributes and not the 'papers', as a breeder, I have found bloodlines and proven niches to be MY best bet to get what I want. I crossbreed but even in those cases I know the bloodlines (welsh x tb, welsh x morgan).
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                          This ^^^. I think people cross breeds hoping to get the best of both. I've been told to be prepared for the worst possible combination of genes if making the decision to breed.
                          This is the Dark Side of crossbreeding. Those who have done any extensive breeding know that you can cross the best with the best in accordance with the standard evaluation of the lines involved and still come out with a failure. That's the nature of breeding. When you are willy-nilly crossing Old Clomper on Grade Maresy you have NO idea what you are going to get. This is not a criticism of proven crosses, such as is seen with the Cleveland Bay or some warmblood lines. It's about the silly backyarders who don't know the rules, don't care about the rules, and just carry on stupidly.

                          The killpens are full of the results of these "experiments."

                          G.
                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                          • #14
                            I rode a Haflinger/QH for a few years. He was a great jumper, won some A circuit hunters.
                            Blugal

                            You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                              This ^^^. I think people cross breeds hoping to get the best of both. I've been told to be prepared for the worst possible combination of genes if making the decision to breed.
                              This is why I avoid draft crosses for eventing. Everyone always says “but this one I had went advanced!” Yet they fail to recall all the rest who can’t jump, are slower than molasses in January, and have cart horse gaits.

                              We we had a friesian x TB bought when looking for a tall beginner safe horse for DH. He had all the difficult to fit TB withers and was a very hard keeper. He also was described as clinically clumsy by the vet, impossible to get fit, and had the Friesian somewhat block headed nature. Great trail horse in the end tho.

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                              • #16
                                On the other hand I am always surprised how many poor tb/qh crosses I see. Appendix is a thing and is meant to add some hotter blood. I have seen tb/qh get size plus muscle, handiness plus jump, buck plus spook rear and bolt, all in one package.

                                But I've also seen tb feet on a qh body, downhill skinny short necks with big heads, etc. I am sure it has to do with the quality of the parents.

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                                • #17
                                  I have a TB x Hungarian WB x Appaloosa. I don't know why that specific cross (he was bred to be a fox hunter) but he wins the hack in the low adults at nearly every rated show. Looks like a TB and moves like a WB.

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                                  • #18
                                    I bred my Mustang mare several years ago. She was my heart horse, and I wanted to try it just once. Fully ready (and wanting) to keep the result for life. But of course, with Mustang, God only knew what all was actually in there. I picked an Arab stallion based on the theory that Arab crosses well on almost anything. Researched around Arabs in the state and found one who was a senior and had been crossed on almost anything for years, many, many pictures provided. He seemed to stamp his get very well from whatever the mare.

                                    Got exactly what I wanted. My Arab-Mustang looks like an Arab and has been mistaken for one from Arab people. He is a dead ringer for his sire. But temperamentally, I can see some of his dam in him, although he also is much more friendly and outgoing than she was. She was of the aloof type of Mustang. Really had to get to know you before trusting you, and she took her people one at a time.

                                    Lost her years ago, but I'm glad to have her son, even though I'm still not sure exactly what all is in there.
                                    Now available in Kindle as well as print: C-Sharp Minor: My Mother's Seventeen-Year Journey through Dementia. 5% of my proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association.

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                                    • #19
                                      I think it's similar to breeding within a breed - as long as the breeder is looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the two horses and weighs how they might improve one another but also what risks they are running then cross-breed away. I do think that that evaluation gets much harder because the level of variation on what might come out increases dramatically when crossing very different horses. So to that end I think cross-breeding should only be done in quite calculated situations.

                                      Unfortunately most backyard breeders don't evaluate based on the horses in front of them but instead on emotional baggage or on what sounds cool/might look cool/seems trendy. But again, I don't think that's limited only to cross-breeding but to any backyard breeding. There's a whole lot of terrible [insert breed here] horses out there as a result.

                                      Combination of backyard breeder + cross-breeder just exacerbates the whole situation.

                                      Can cross-breeds result in phenomenal horses? Yup! Do they create phenomenal horses as a rule? Not in the slightest!

                                      Best approach - don't put too much stock in bloodlines and evaluate the specific horse in front of you regardless of ancestry. One of my favorite mares was an 'oops' baby of ISH x Trakehner -- fortunately she inherited the work ethic and movement of the Trak, the brain and hardiness of the ID, and the stamina and agility of the TB. However it could have gone terribly terrible wrong!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by EventingMaff View Post
                                        I think it's similar to breeding within a breed - as long as the breeder is looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the two horses and weighs how they might improve one another but also what risks they are running then cross-breed away. I do think that that evaluation gets much harder because the level of variation on what might come out increases dramatically when crossing very different horses. So to that end I think cross-breeding should only be done in quite calculated situations.

                                        Unfortunately most backyard breeders don't evaluate based on the horses in front of them but instead on emotional baggage or on what sounds cool/might look cool/seems trendy. But again, I don't think that's limited only to cross-breeding but to any backyard breeding. There's a whole lot of terrible [insert breed here] horses out there as a result.

                                        Combination of backyard breeder + cross-breeder just exacerbates the whole situation.

                                        Can cross-breeds result in phenomenal horses? Yup! Do they create phenomenal horses as a rule? Not in the slightest!

                                        Best approach - don't put too much stock in bloodlines and evaluate the specific horse in front of you regardless of ancestry. One of my favorite mares was an 'oops' baby of ISH x Trakehner -- fortunately she inherited the work ethic and movement of the Trak, the brain and hardiness of the ID, and the stamina and agility of the TB. However it could have gone terribly terrible wrong!
                                        There is a major difference and that is that within a breed you can research not only the horses in front of you but also others within the line. You can see not just what one individual produces but what the LINE produces.

                                        G.
                                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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