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How much does the mare contribute to offspring?

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  • How much does the mare contribute to offspring?

    Let me start by saying I have no experience with breeding. I usually hear about stallions and people asking which to pick. I'm wondering how much impact does the stud have and how much does the mare have. I'd love to hear about your experiences.

    Some specific questions....

    How much does the mare influence their offspring? The stud?

    size?
    temperament?
    ridability?
    conformation?
    athleticism?
    work ethic?


    All information is welcome! TIA

    n

  • #2
    Half.

    And most of the knee or lack of knee action at the trot.

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Depends on the mare and depends on the sire.

      Some sires stamp their offspring or consistently pass on some traits....some mares consistently stamp their offspring with some traits.

      There is no real general answer to your question. It is why from a breeders perspective, it is important to know what your mare (and her bloodlines) tend to pass on as well as what a particular stallion tends to pass on. Stallions often have more offspring on the ground than a particular mare so it can be a bit easier (although not always) to see what they "generally" pass on. And with both mares and stallions---it is why most breeders look at the entire family and their line....in the hopes of making as much of an educated guess as possible as to what type of foal will be produced.
      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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      • #4
        It depends.
        We had one stallion that, no matter the mare, all foals looked like him and acted like him.
        Good sized, good boned, born broke, wonderfully friendly to humans and other horses, easy going, anyone could start and ride them and some did very good performing.
        One filly was State Cutting Ch, another was a top heading horse, etc.

        Many even were his color, grey and, well, not very classy, refined, pretty horses, more coarse, other than they had regular to biggish but pretty heads.

        Then, we had another stallion that the foals took most of them after the mares, especially those mares that generally had foals looking like them.

        I think you have to take each cross as it is, not expect them to be more like one or another parent, but over time see what you are getting.

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        • #5
          Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were a comprehensive data base on ALL stallions standing for public breeding?? Like a listing/report of what they throw or stamp w/ detailed photos of offspring. That way we wouldn't have to beg for info on horse bulletin boards.

          Even in buying young ones, it's hard to get details on what to expect in the mature horse. It seems to be a total crap shoot for buyers.

          When I was shopping for a young one, many mare owners told me they thought the mare contributed 70-80% of traits in the foal.

          As an aside, I once met a recruiter for college sports teams who went around the country checking out potential super stars and we discussed the family genetics of these young athletes. I was stunned to find out he usually never met the fathers nor did he care to: he said mostly he just wanted to see the mamas cause they provided the genetics he was interested in.
          "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
            Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were a comprehensive data base on ALL stallions standing for public breeding?? Like a listing/report of what they throw or stamp w/ detailed photos of offspring. That way we wouldn't have to beg for info on horse bulletin boards.

            Even in buying young ones, it's hard to get details on what to expect in the mature horse. It seems to be a total crap shoot for buyers.

            When I was shopping for a young one, many mare owners told me they thought the mare contributed 70-80% of traits in the foal.

            As an aside, I once met a recruiter for college sports teams who went around the country checking out potential super stars and we discussed the family genetics of these young athletes. I was stunned to find out he usually never met the fathers nor did he care to: he said mostly he just wanted to see the mamas cause they provided the genetics he was interested in.
            KWPN has good reporting on foals. I wish everyone did it like they do.

            I was being flip, yet truthful (genetically) before, but you don't breed a mare unless you would be happy with a carbon copy of her, imo. In my own mare's case, however, she physically in both build, conformation and color, and in movement, and probably mentally too is much more like her father than her mother. The good news is jump is one of the strongest traits passed genetically, so hopefully she gets it from both sides.
            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Noodles View Post
              Let me start by saying I have no experience with breeding. I usually hear about stallions and people asking which to pick. I'm wondering how much impact does the stud have and how much does the mare have. I'd love to hear about your experiences.

              Some specific questions....

              How much does the mare influence their offspring? The stud?

              size?
              temperament?
              ridability?
              conformation?
              athleticism?
              work ethic?


              All information is welcome! TIA

              n

              Genetically speaking, each parent contributes 50% of their DNA to their offspring (I'm not including mitochondreal DNA passed on via the mother). It is, however, impossible to know exactly which 50% the offspring will get. Keep in mind that some animals are more prepotent than others so there is more reliability but it is definitely not an exact science. The mare does have more influence in contributing certain elements of her temperament and/or personality traits including any vices and/or "quirks" to the foal. If she has any fears or issues with people, it can have a larger influence since the foal is raised and nutured by the mare. This is nature since animals with good mothering ability are more successful at continuing on their bloodline. It is not to say we cannot "buffer" these behaviours in the foals and shape them to some extent.

              That said, IME, one should start out with a top mare and make sure you will be happy if she produces a carbon copy of herself. A top mare is key to any success and all the top mares I have seen have a certain degree of prepotency (from some generations of consolidation) so they should pass on their better traits. I think there is no way to isolate any particular characteristic as being a "mare" or "stallion" trait as both sire and dam must compliment each other in order to maximize the success of producing a good foal. The best mare in the world won't produce so well if she is not put to the right stallion.
              Last edited by Mistysmom; Feb. 20, 2013, 04:54 PM. Reason: spelling!!
              Westbrook Farm
              Facebook

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              • #8
                THIS:

                Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                Depends on the mare and depends on the sire.

                Some sires stamp their offspring or consistently pass on some traits....some mares consistently stamp their offspring with some traits.

                There is no real general answer to your question. It is why from a breeders perspective, it is important to know what your mare (and her bloodlines) tend to pass on as well as what a particular stallion tends to pass on. Stallions often have more offspring on the ground than a particular mare so it can be a bit easier (although not always) to see what they "generally" pass on. And with both mares and stallions---it is why most breeders look at the entire family and their line....in the hopes of making as much of an educated guess as possible as to what type of foal will be produced.
                I have one Polish Arab mare who produces babies who look like her in terms of size, color, body build, etc. Doesn't matter who I breed her to, they all come out looking like her.

                And then there are stallions (like Weltmeyer, for example) who tend to really stamp their get...you can spot them a mile away.

                Others are a nice blend. It really just depends...

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Holsteiners place a lot of value on the mareline. That said, I have L-line Holsteiners, and it sometimes surprises me how very like Landgraf each generation still is. When they say "Landgraf is absolutely prepotent for jump", they're right: my yearling filly jumps over the other yearlings at pasture on a regular basis -- and jumps over or off just about anything that's in her line of sight. Totally different from her mama, who was from solid dressage and driving lines.
                  Last edited by DancingFoalFarms; Feb. 20, 2013, 08:05 PM. Reason: typo
                  Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.
                  http://piaffegirl.wordpress.com/
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                  • #10
                    I see my mares traits come thru on their offspring quite strongly. I want to say that fillies take after the dam and colts take after the stallion but I have noticed the reverse quit often. I bred a filly that looks very much like her sire and I would have to say takes after her sires dam as well.

                    I also notice the grandparents shinning thru a lot. Thats why I always make sure I really like grandma and grandpa when selecting a stallion for my mares.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      50% genetically. However, as we were taught in animal breeding class & I heard again from an inspector this fall: mare's personality, mothering ability, health, etc all strongly influence foal, so in truth, really the mare is more important than the stallion. Inspector gave a % that I don't remember, but it was clear that it was his opinion that the mare was huge.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I usually figure the mare contributes about 60% to the foal not just in terms of genetics but personality and tractability. A mare's position in the herd and her attitude toward her handlers and surroundings definitely have an impact on the foal.
                        There are both stallions and mares that are prepotent to the point that you wonder if they haven't figured out the secrets to cloning all on there own. Most foals will have a combination of both parents. Figure out your mare's strong points, fins a stallion who is her equal in those points and that is even stronger where she is weak.
                        Cindy Bergmann
                        Canterbury Court
                        559-903-4814
                        www.canterbury-court.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                          Half.

                          And most of the knee or lack of knee action at the trot.

                          Meanie!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by skydy View Post
                            Meanie!
                            Hey, I came back and gave a nice answer too!
                            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In my experience, it really depends on the mare and the stallion. I have a couple of mares that truly stamp their offspring in a very definite way. The people who know my mares well can pick their foals out of a large group without any question. Other of my mares seem to reflect the stallion. I have come to really value my strong transmitting mares. To me, that is what I want in a mare - one that recreates her best traits time and again with a variety of stallions.
                              Mary Lou
                              http://www.homeagainfarm.com

                              https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

                              Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks for the replies!!!


                                Don't really plan on breeding but if I did I'd LOVE a carbon copy of my mare

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  This is *such* an interesting thread! I can only provide a sample size of two (including the mare I bred back in the late 70's; she had a colt who took after her in size and movement, and the sire in temperament--but was not as "special" in the looks dept. as either parent, though had a great brain and wound up being a good mover and jumper. My present filly (out of my maiden performance mare) seems to be a blend of both parents, though physically, she appears to be a carbon copy of the sire (he does tend to stamp them, though--at least the ones who are the same color he is.)

                                  I'm fascinated with little nuances of behavior I observe as I watch her mature and develop, work with her, and introduce her to new things--but it's hard to know what she'll eventually turn out to be like since she is still young (not quite 8 months.) She will no doubt change over time, though some of her characteristics are *clearly* inborn I keep looking for similarities to her dam, who I know SO very well, and I have observed a few of them. They are alike but different, which I guess is as it should be. OTOH, since mine was a maiden mare, I choose an older, proven stallion, so I could research his offspring and make sure that what he threw had the things that I would want in MY foal--and also that he would complement my mare, have a similar phenotype and size, and bring good things to the table, both from the conformation and athletic standpoint (there is not much wrong with my mare in the conformation dept., fortunately.)

                                  I would have been happy to have had a carbon copy of my mare, WITHOUT the gratuitous spooking. The filly is "sound sensitive" and will startle, but in place, and without histrionics. She is wicked smart (maybe, AHEM, too smart, like daddy), but is also sensible and less of a drama queen than mom, though already with *distinct* opinions (maybe even more than her mom. )

                                  I can't wait to see it all unfold!

                                  I'm hoping more people weigh in here, since I love to hear and read about everyone's experiences--both anecdotal, and "based on a HUGE sample", so possibly more scientific in nature. As though breeding can EVER be anything other than an inexact science, HA!
                                  "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                                  "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

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                                  • #18
                                    50/50 genetically, but I give the mares 65-75% of the equation.

                                    That being said, it can be quite a gamble when your mare (through her mother line) is "unproven".

                                    I always look at a stallion as an opportunity to "improve" the next generation, not "fix" the next generation.

                                    Start with a great mare, and you're odds of having a great foal are increased with less guessing involved.

                                    Cheers
                                    Hyperion Stud, LLC.
                                    Europe's Finest, Made in America
                                    WWW.HYPERIONSTUD.com
                                    Standing Elite and Approved Stallions

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                                      Hey, I came back and gave a nice answer too!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Genetics tells us the mare contributes 55% to the foal. The obvious answer would be 50% because the mare gives the egg, the stallion the spz, so 50:50. But actually it has been discovered some genetic material in the mitochondria present in the egg.

                                        Also, you need to consider how the uterine conditions will affect the development of the embryo. Another factor is also how the mare will raise the foal. Is her milk enough in quantity and quality? Does she try to protect the foal or does she ignore it? Does she set boundaries for him/her or does she let them do all they want?
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