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Looking for Outside Perspective

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  • Looking for Outside Perspective

    Warning - long post.

    I wanted to get some perspective on whether to breed one of our mares. I’ll start out by saying is that my inclination is to not breed her, but as you will see from the description below, there are some factors that suggest that we may be missing an opportunity if we don’t.

    Some background. We are breeding for eventing. We have the ability to raise and train in-house, and have some connections to other disciplines, so if a foal shows promise in some other direction, that’s not a problem. While selling foals and weanlings would be nice, we expect to keep them until their started and going before selling them. We live in an area where there are several top-level eventers and we have connections to many of them.

    The filly in question is a homebred, coming four in May of 2012. She is a warmblood-arabian cross. I own/rode/know her dam, who is a registered half-Arab and very much a sporthorse type. I knew/saw/handled the dam’s full Arabian sire. My filly’s dam’s dam, however, is an unknown. She was most likely a Thoroughbred/Arabian cross, but was bought at auction without papers. The dam is 15.2 with good bone – good sized for what is likely a ¾ Arabian.

    I know my filly’s sire well; he’s owned by a friend and I have shown or handled more than a dozen of his get. He is a DeNiro (by Donnerhall) son out of a Weltmeyer grand-daughter -- heavy dressage breeding there -- but is also a good jumper (as some Weltmeyers can be). He is about 16 hands himself, but is not particularly prepotent for size (something that will be important in the analysis, as you will see below).

    My filly’s full sister (same sire/dam) who is 4 coming 5 is working very well under saddle, jumping well, cross-country schooling, and doing her first shows this winter.

    In short, I know a lot about the first couple of generations in her pedigree. All of those horses are good eggs – very sensible, amateur friendly, trainable, and talented. A full sibling is going very well under saddle; we are in the process backing the filly being discussed here and believe she’ll be much like her sister – willing, sane, and showing promise.

    The filly in question has, in my view, a terrific “working” conformation -- one of the best conformed horses for soundness I’ve ever seen. If I had to nitpick, she’d have a little bit more neck, but it is a small quibble. She’s proportional, has great feet, straight legs, and is a plus mover. Her farrier once commented that “she’s damn near perfect.” Never a health problem in her life. Pretty, confident, in-your-pocket sweet, and some free-jumping at age 3 has shown promise in that direction. She was the reserve champion of her warmblood inspection as a weanling --only a mature stallion scored higher.

    Here’s the rub – she’s 14.2. Her full sister is 14.3. I think we know what this particular dam-sire combination produces . Despite their quality, there is a smaller group of people who are interested in honys like this, and I want to avoid producing another one. It would be okay if we did (we’d handle it just like we’ve handled these girls and try to match them with younger/smaller riders, or someone who is not size-conscious), but that is not my goal.

    If you haven’t noticed it yet, I love this filly. The animal in front of me is terrific and size aside, of breeding quality. The negatives are her size, and the fact that her dam’s dam is an unknown and a wildcard in the pedigree.

    If we were to breed her, we would want to use a Thoroughbred stallion that is prepotent for size so as to increase the blood and the height – a stallion like AFR or Salute the Truth who is known for throwing sane individuals so as to keep that aspect of my filly’s (and her ancestors’) personality.

    To get what we want, breeding like-to-like will be somewhat difficult, given her size and her warmblood/Arabian ancestry. Because her breeding is already somewhat diverse, adding a third type of bloodline could work, or it might not. I have rejected the notion of breeding her (if at all) to an A/A like Bonaparte N for fear that the smallish-Arabian blood would continue to push through. If it worked, the TB-sired offspring would essentially be a Trakehner – TB, Arab, and warmblood (joke, of course), if not, we could get pieces-parts.

    What would you do?

  • #2
    I like your choice of Bonaparte AA. Have very little idea about the actual "look" of your filly. But I can fill in that from what I have seen so far, Bonaparte AA has very little "Arabian" in his foals (the typical neck, top line, croup is missing). The Arab blood in him is Shagya, so made for classical riding and especially successful in eventing and show jumping.
    Friends have one out of a 50% TB, 50% Trakehner mother, resulting filly is all legs and will be at least as tall as mom (16.1h). That doesn't mean that a 14.2h will end up 16h (unlikely in fact), but I think you can expect at least leg, and a grand personality with very good movement (surprise here too). If you'd like to see a video of that Bon-daughter, it's here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2F9g35KAqk
    www.trakehners-international.com
    www.fontana-syndikat.de

    Comment


    • #3
      What about Baladin D'oc -- Anglo arab with more arab blood.

      Lots of pics of progeny on website.

      http://www.equine.vt.edu/stallions/baladindoc.html

      Eeps -- sorry -- just realized he passed last year.
      Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.

      Comment


      • #4
        Why not do ET into a larger mare? Studies show you can increase adult size by 10% this way.

        At her height I think it's unlikely that you'll get the height you want even with a taller TB. Also, I think you'd be likely to sacrifice overall quality by making height one of your most important criteria for the stallion.

        Comment


        • #5
          I dunno if I'd go back to TB just IMO there are so many options of horses with blood in WB land.

          There are plenty of stallions with blood that are throwing height even on smaller mares.

          Id be expecting not much bigger than 15.2 to be on the safe side but thats up to you if you'd risk that size.

          I would, but I love me a great mover in the 15hand range just as much as above
          ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
          http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            I know I'm going to get flamed for this, since there's such a large group of AFR lovers on this board, but the temperament he throws, despite what some on this board believe, can be unpredictable. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this stallion and have considered him for my mare, but several I have had exposure to are very difficult (among them, Selena O'Hanlon's A First Romance, who was NOT an easy young horse). Another I know of, a tremendous athlete who evented Prelim with several pros in the US and Canada, is being sold by his amateur owner because he is too much horse for her and has had a history of taking off with her on course. I know there are some lovely even-tempered ammy friendly AFR babies around, and for this reason I assume it is probably the mares that have contributed to the more difficult individuals' temperaments. My point, however, is that I've seen a few AFR's that are talented but tough rides, and for this reason I would not rely heavily on AFR if you are trying to produce an easy temperament and are worried about what the mare might contribute in this department.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, you have already asked and answered most of the important questions. I think as long as you are prepared to deal with what you don't want...another hony...I would not worry about size of the foal and instead think about giving her a fair easy first foal. Don't try to make a big height difference in her first foal. You don't know her yet...she may throw big foals that reflect her ancestry not her own size. When I am breeding for a first foal in any case I use stallions who have a history of producing nice babies who are easy to foal. Looking at small to medium size stallions perhaps. I would consider horses at around 16 hands if I knew they didn't have a history of throwing much bigger than they are. In this filly's case I would think of her as a type not a breed and select to confirm her type which you like as opposed to making big changes. Breed is irrelevant to producing an eventer from her. Breed might be more relevant for market. If she has half Arabian papers you would have some nice warmbloods and TBs from the http://shnpayback.org/stallions.xml there are numerous posts asking about suggestions for small and medium warmbloods stallions here. I would definately stay with lines that have success in eventing like Escudo I and II.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by *Tradewind* View Post
                I know I'm going to get flamed for this, since there's such a large group of AFR lovers on this board, but...
                Expect a deluge of deranged PMs, mostly from people who don't breed horses and have no direct experience with the stallion or his offspring.

                Been there myself. It was mildly entertaining and I don't look at some BB members quite the same way anymore.

                COTH is a discussion board about horses, not sacred cows. We come here to discuss and share opinions.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by *Tradewind* View Post
                  I know I'm going to get flamed for this, since there's such a large group of AFR lovers on this board, but the temperament he throws, despite what some on this board believe, can be unpredictable.
                  I hope you don't get flamed. I mean he IS a TB stallion. I admit, I have only heard of him siring horses with pretty good temperaments, but I don't think I would ever think of breeding a mare with a difficult temperament to any TB expecting him to fix it

                  I for one appreciate anyone who feels like they can speak up, no one should be fearful of the truth.
                  On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What about breeding to Windfall? You'd still be focused on eventing, but haven't the Trakehners and Arabs traditionally meshed well?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Maren View Post
                      I like your choice of Bonaparte AA. Have very little idea about the actual "look" of your filly. But I can fill in that from what I have seen so far, Bonaparte AA has very little "Arabian" in his foals (the typical neck, top line, croup is missing). The Arab blood in him is Shagya, so made for classical riding and especially successful in eventing and show jumping.
                      She said: "I have rejected the notion of breeding her (if at all) to an A/A like Bonaparte N for fear that the smallish-Arabian blood would continue to push through."

                      I don't think anyone has actually answered her main question...should she breed this mare? I will weigh in with the disclaimer that I am not an eventer!
                      Since you like everything about the mare and her only flaw is height, why not give it at least one test run? Some horses will surprise you. I have two mares that both have thrown much larger than I would have expected (though to be fair, they do have size close up in their pedigree). Some things tend to skip a generation (I'm not saying this is one, I really don't know with any certainty) so you might be pleasantly surprised that her sire's influence is felt a little farther down the line.
                      www.trinitysporthorses.com

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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Everyone is allowed to have opinions and if you know the offspring then share. I'm in Ireland where Cruising is a god.I personally do not want any of them, am not a fan, but have appreciation for him.

                        I like AFR's type and what his kids have done and of course his owner. But I have no first hand knowledge of his children. I would love to have a AFR. I'm not gonna slate anyone who says something different. NO stallion fits every mare and temperament is subject to a wide interpretation.

                        OP, I don't see why you wouldn't breed her. You've put an awful lot of thought into the process and have covered all bases. I don't have any stallion input for you as just not as familiar with American stallions. Good luck and can't wait to see 2013 foal pics!

                        Terri
                        COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                        "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Edelweiss de Bonce may be a good choice...I have been looking at him for a Han/AA/TB mare.
                          He is jumper bred, competed GP dressage. 17H and close AA relatives all appear to be in the 16.2 range.

                          2011 Rolex winner and Burghley 3rd place mare King's Temptress is TB sireline over AA/Han with a TB tail female line:
                          http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/kings+temptress
                          http://www.selahwaysporthorses.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JER View Post
                            Why not do ET into a larger mare? Studies show you can increase adult size by 10% this way.

                            .
                            Would love to hear more about these studies!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks for the Input

                              Originally posted by columbus View Post
                              I would not worry about size of the foal and instead think about giving her a fair easy first foal.
                              This is, of course, absolutely correct. Despite all of the detail in my original post , I did not mention that as a worry of mine, but it has been on my mind from the beginning. JER's suggestion of a recip mare is something I had not thought about, but it is a good idea and perhaps I can find a Clydesdale to use

                              Also, I think you'd be likely to sacrifice overall quality by making height one of your most important criteria for the stallion.
                              That is valid and I recognize this also; getting a lot of additional height quickly is a desire mostly born of impatience, I think; that is why I posted to begin with -- to have folks point things like that out to me. I'm not size-ist when it comes to horses -- my horse partner of the last 8 years is about 15.2 and I am 6'1" -- but these are ultimately sales horses (or, if female, suitable, and improvements of their dams, part of our breeding program), and the market for the honys is tough, at least until they are well going at age 6-8 and showing everyone that size, in fact, does not matter. Sorry for all the emoticons, that is usually not like me.

                              To follow up on something in my original post, her full sister just completed her first-ever schooling show at Poplar Place today -- 2nd place at BN; 37 dressage score with nice comments from the judge.

                              Ok, let's veer this off in a different direction -- Unfortunately I don't have any good current photos (and she's sporting a very fuzzy winter coat right now), but here is a link to some photos of her as a weanling -- a little butt-high at that stage, which caused her to be a little out behind, but she's grown out of that. Imagine her as basically the same filly, but larger and a little stockier now, and more uphill.

                              So, with the description above and the photos, if you were to breed her, who would you use, in light of the following criteria:

                              1. Eventing focus; goal would be to produce something Prelim+;
                              2. More height (is 15.2 too much to ask?)
                              3. Preferably high blood quotient (my personal conviction is that this is necessary/advisable for upper level performance).

                              My natural inclination is to look at TBs, Trakehners, and A/As for her (subject to my caveat above that I'm concerned that adding more Arab blood will defeat my size objective), but I'm open to any suggestions. Remember, however, that she's more or less half-Hanoverian from dressage lines, principally, so I wouldn't want anything that could produce a heavier offspring.

                              Thanks for the comments; they are most helpful and appreciated.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by *Tradewind* View Post
                                I know I'm going to get flamed for this, since there's such a large group of AFR lovers on this board, but the temperament he throws, despite what some on this board believe, can be unpredictable. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this stallion and have considered him for my mare, but several I have had exposure to are very difficult (among them, Selena O'Hanlon's A First Romance, who was NOT an easy young horse). Another I know of, a tremendous athlete who evented Prelim with several pros in the US and Canada, is being sold by his amateur owner because he is too much horse for her and has had a history of taking off with her on course. I know there are some lovely even-tempered ammy friendly AFR babies around, and for this reason I assume it is probably the mares that have contributed to the more difficult individuals' temperaments. My point, however, is that I've seen a few AFR's that are talented but tough rides, and for this reason I would not rely heavily on AFR if you are trying to produce an easy temperament and are worried about what the mare might contribute in this department.
                                Ugh. Nothing ever smells of roses that rises out of mud.

                                ETA: I am not sure I think a TB is the ideal candidate for Babydaddy. What about a sizeable Shagya or a WB with a good Furioso - Inschallah lineage?
                                Last edited by Robby Johnson; Dec. 17, 2011, 07:30 PM. Reason: I had more to offer OP
                                When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Given her size, and it being a first foal, I would not breed to Edelweiss - he is a big horse. I would avoid Windfall P*g for her (temperament), but have a look at Tradition P*b.

                                  Although if she were mine, I'd breed to a Connemara, or better, a Connemara x TB
                                  www.juniperridgeranch.us
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                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Robby Johnson View Post
                                    Ugh. Nothing ever smells of roses that rises out of mud.
                                    Come on Robby. We all know you have a history with AFR.
                                    Even great stallions do not always produce great offspring. The mare, the training, the rider all contribute.

                                    It's not a home run everytime. I've seen several AFR offspring. Most I've liked very much. But I saw one at the IHF regionals that I for certain did not like. It had a great rider but while attractive, it had a poor jump. It did not do well at all.

                                    Does that mean I don't like AFR? No, it just means that I simply can not support blanket statements that EVERY offspring is perfect. Doesn't work that way.

                                    Robby, why do you feel you need to go after anybody who has a different opinion? This is supposed to be an open sharing of information isn't it?
                                    Fan of Sea Accounts

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Would you say something negative about someone's child, in front of them and a group of their friends, at a party or social gathering, and expect that to be appropriate and/or neutrally received? Doubtful. It has nothing to do with the stallion, it has everything to do with common respect and human decency. But please, don't let that stop anyone from being a bitch. That's so much easier, isn't it?
                                      When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Robby Johnson View Post
                                        Would you say something negative about someone's child, in front of them and a group of their friends, at a party or social gathering, and expect that to be appropriate and/or neutrally received? Doubtful. It has nothing to do with the stallion, it has everything to do with common respect and human decency. But please, don't let that stop anyone from being a bitch. That's so much easier, isn't it?
                                        This situation, a posting on a breeding forum on a public BB has absolutely no relation whatsoever to the scenario you are putting forth. I actually think it's dangerous and inappropriate to blow smoke up people's butts and kiss ass just because a owner or stallion owner happens to participate on the BB. I often see far too much "fan club" behavior on here as apposed to honest, frank dialog.

                                        This is not a party, and no one is talking about anyone's children, it's supposed to be people talking openly and honestly about breeding and business decisions.
                                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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