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warmblood & arab crosses - good idea or bad? (warning LONG!)

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  • #41
    Originally posted by tri
    This topic has come up on some previous threads and I'll repeat what I said then; the arab blood used in warmblood breeding in europe is used as a stepping stone. Meaning that it is not the 1/2 arab/wb that is the desired outcome. It is the F3,F4, etc crossing back into the warmblood lines that is the desired outcome. The europeans use arab blood, general rule of thumb, once every 6 generations. They do NOT want a barn full of 1/2 arab crosses, just one here and there for use in BREEDING as a stepping stone to the subsequent generations. Arab blood has historically been used to add bone, just as TB blood historically was used to add size. Of course that has changed with the refinement trends.

    There was a poster on this forum that bred a lot of arab crosses, had them approved with high scores with the Oldna and couldn't sell them AT ALL. Absolutely no market.

    I am in the hunter jumper markets and I can't think of ANYONE who would want one. And that goes for Traks too. You can argue all you want but it won't change it. There are a couple of Traks that are the exception - abdullah lines mostly but it is few and far between.

    Isn't it kind of funny that warmblood breeders complain so much about hunter and jumper people not caring about bloodlines but then, when discussing these arab crosses, some of the same people say you shouldn't discount the horse because of the bloodlines!!!!!

    Also, the barb or arab question - DNA has proved that the barb was the foundation for the Tb much more than the arab so the "old" arguement has a lot of "new" meaning with today's technology.
    You still need to do the F1 cross first so that you can, in the coming offspring/grandget have the arab blood farther away.

    Re: arab crosses approved with Old/NA. Well, one problem, no matter how nice a horse is, people still have to know it exists. I have known breeders who wonder why they can't sell anything - but they don't show the horses, and/or they don't advertise. Also more than possible that this breeder you're referring to just was not marketing the horse to the right audience. I think WB/arab cross breeders would benefit by marketing these horses to people who already have arabs/half arabs, rather than warmblood people. There is certainly a ready market for them - now whether the person in question exploited this market or not is an entirely different question.

    Hunters and Jumpers that are arabian - while I agree that they are simply not the breed of choice, once again, I suggest marketing the horses to the arab market rather than the hunter/jumper folks. There are a few high quality hunters and jumpers in the arabian shows, but not nearly enough. And the high tail will never be in style in the hunter world (some of the arab stereotype of being poor jumpers can be overcome with the right horse - but once again - they have not been bred for decades to be good jumpers as most warmbloods have).

    About the Arab and Barb - I would be interested in your source, for this. I've never heard that before and would be interested in reading the article.

    Re: show horses. In any breed, there will be good horses and there will be bad horses. There will be nutcases and there will be quiet packers. That is an inescapable fact. Even the 'wild' halter horse frequently goes onto be a wonderful performance horse and are perfectly easy to handle around the barn. I would venture to say that of any breed that has halter, arabians have the most that go into performance. I can think of about 75+ horses off the top of my head that were successful in halter at the regional or national level then went on to also be successful in performance. I do think that the PERCEPTION of arabians is that they are crazy and stupid from halter classes. And the 'pose' doesn't help, either, although at least people are working on changing both of these things. Although I guess I find it kind of funny that someone remembers the 10 or 12 halter classes at the average A show more than the hundred or two hundred performance classes (with about a fourth of those being youth classes! ). Oh well.


    • #42
      I like to see Matcho in a stallion's pedigree. So sad that a close relative of his, the AA stallion Upan de Jarthe (sp, sorry) was put down in Westphalia for an inadequate number of breedings.

      I agree with the poster who said that the Europeans do not breed a barn full of half-Arabians.

      It would be interesting to hear from someone in Germany who incorporates Arabian blood from time to time and when they decide this is the time. Then again, warmbloods have become lighter and more elegant just in the time frame I have been interested and observant. This might be to the detriment to the book of the lighter blood stallion.


      • #43
        The thing is, once you have these F1 crosses you have to keep them in a breeding program in order to get the F2, F3, etc. If once you breed these crosses you are marketing them to lower level owners, they aren't likely going to start a breeding program with them and the resulting F2, F3's will never be born.


        • #44
          Actually, we do plan a few generations ahead and do plan to keep them in our program. We breed horses for fun though so we're not trying to move x number each year. If Ancientoaks' baby was a filly, I'd be knocking on her door.


          • #45
            here's one
            A History of the Horse
            Volume I

            by Paulo Gaviao Gonzaga

            This book traces the origin of the horse in Europe, Asia and North Africa, and in particular on the Iberian peninsula. The author deals with the confusion about types and breeds of horse. He presents archeological evidence and draws on a number of theories about the ancestral types which formed the basis for modern breeds.

            The influence of the Iberian horse in Africa and its relationship with Barb and Arab horses is discussed. The book ends with an overview of the circulation of horses on the Iberian peninsula, during the early historic period.

            This well researched work draws widely on ancient and contemporary texts and guides the reader through the often misleading and sometimes erroneous accounts of prehistory of the Eurasian and in particular the Iberian horse.

            This link will help with understanding the confusion between the two:

            as will this:


            Here is a cut and paste discussing the differences in the DNA markers: Genetic blood markers in Arabian, Barb and Arab-Barb horses in Morocco.

            Ouragh L, Meriaux JC, Braun JP.

            Departement de Pathologie Medicale et Chirurgicale, Institut Agronomique et Veterinaire Hassan II, Rabat-Instituts, Morocco.

            Gene frequencies at 16 blood group and protein polymorphism loci (A, C, D, K, P, Q, U, Al, Gc, Es, A1B, Tf, PGD, PGM, GPI and Pi) are given for three horse breeds in Morocco (Arabian, Arab-Barb and Barb). These data are used to calculate average heterozygosity (h), Nei's standard genetic distance (DN) and probability of exclusion (PE). Variability expressed as the average heterozygosity was lower in the Arabian (0.330 +/- 0.066), while it was higher and almost the same in the Arab-Barb (0.413 +/- 0.071) and the Barb (0.414 +/- 0.070). The shortest genetic distance was found between Barb and Arab-Barb. The 16 loci used are at least 95% effective for recognizing incorrect paternity in these breeds. The Barb and Arab-Barb genetic profiles obtained showed the rare variants interesting perhaps in the context of European and American breeds: notably Dcfgkm, Ddekl, Es-N, Tf-A and Pi-W.

            Otherwise, you have to get the historical books and read. Hope it helps.


            • #46
              Thanks Tri...I love those links.
              Last edited by Ridge Runner; Aug. 10, 2006, 10:22 PM.


              • #47
                Originally posted by tri

                I am in the hunter jumper markets and I can't think of ANYONE who would want one. You can argue all you want but it won't change it.

                Really? Then why have the last three H/J trainers I have schooled under (Ocala, FL area) ALL want my anglo arabian gelding in their barn? And yes, they did know his breeding. A good horse is a good horse. To say a good hunter can not be arab bred, or to avoid buying half arabs, is a good way to not have the best horses in your barn.
                The Inverted Y
                Thoroughbred and Anglo Arabian Sporthorses
                2005 and 2007 USEF Breeder of the Year.


                • #48
                  Originally posted by Lafeyarabian

                  This is interesting to me because I'm seeing more and more pure blood arabs closer to 16H and could list a number of sporthorse type arab stallions that are 16H. .

                  Who are they? I have been looking for such a stallion and can't find any.
                  The Inverted Y
                  Thoroughbred and Anglo Arabian Sporthorses
                  2005 and 2007 USEF Breeder of the Year.


                  • #49
                    Just thought I would add this general comment - my broodmare was a Han-Arab cross. Her sire was an imported Hanoverian by Pik Bube II, and her dam was a purebred Arabian of mostly Crabbet breeding (with a bit of Bask several generations back). She was a typical F1 in phenotype - in her case, she had a deep WB body but was a bit short-legged (she was 15.2h). She did get a beautiful chiseled head and gorgeous throatlatch from her Arabian ancestors, as well as clean, dry-textured legs and dense bone, but she was quite refined and very elegant, with that quality the Arab breeders call "breediness." She was also very intelligent and a quick learner, and was very sensitive and intuitive under saddle. When you were in the groove with her, you could ride her with your mind. She was a wee bit spooky in her early years and could be a bit flighty at times - esp. if there was a big storm brewing - but she was one of the best trail horses I have ever had (would go anywhere and wasn't fazed by deer, skunks, wild turkeys, etc.). She showed to First Level with my trainer before I retired her for breeding.

                    I am now riding her 5 y/o daughter by Feiner Stern, and she has many of her dam's excellent Arabian qualities. She is very refined and elegant, with a lovely head and throatlatch, is longer-legged (although could still use a bit more), has that nice dry-textured look, is a bigger, smoother, more powerful ride but is still intelligent, sensitive, and forward. She has been easy under saddle since day 1 - loves to work and tries very hard to please (she is currently teaching me how to ride again). She is just over 16.0h - a really good size for most ladies.

                    Here is a funny thing - there is a new horse at the barn with the same Hanoverian grandsire as my 5 y/o mare. He is a Han-Percheron cross though, and looks nothing like my mare. He is a honking big guy with lots of bone, big head, etc., and his owner says she has to really push him around sometimes (he isn't very forward). His Perch ancestry really shows on him, while my mare's Arabian ancestry really shows on her. As they say - "blood tells."

                    Here is a pic of my mare taken earlier this year, when she had just gone back to work after a 2- month layoff.
                    Last edited by DownYonder; Aug. 28, 2012, 04:56 PM.


                    • Original Poster

                      Love to hear of the PERSONAL experiences with long time frames behind them.

                      Downyonder, your mare is exactly what we breed for, and more often than not, succeed...thank you for sharing your experience..

                      I am curious to know how many of the negative posters re arabian blood 'up close' have actually had a long term EXPERIENCE with any, or is it opinions mostly generated from 'I am at an arab show barn' or a 'friend had an arab that was crazy' or 'I saw some arabs in the last ten years at hunter shows and they all were terrible' , or "I have never seen one that I would ride(how many would someone like that actually have ever seen to be able to make that statement????)" the like...

                      If they REALLY had worked with, trained and showed a significant number of arabians (as they have the other 'traditional' breeds' and THEN made a statement about their negative impressions, it would be alot more credible..

                      and I agree, and said before, to discount ANY horse purely on pedigree is narrow minded, rather silly, and in the long run, can certainly eliminate some very nice horses from one's barn (not to mention one's life experience!).

                      and as for the statement 'bred to jump'....TB's dominated the hunter world for decades, and they are bred to run......

                      and no one on the 'other side' has yet answered my question of just exactly what do they think arabs WERE bred to do?

                      interesting links on the genetic stuff..don't think I am bright enough to absorb it all right away.....

                      here is a candid photo of our then 3 wk old black Dutch/arab filly (Art Deco dau dam, our arab stallion sire) she is in 'turtle neck ' mode here, but can move rather well (her mom, tho bred out the gazoo, needed improvement there) The stallion put a screaming lovely head on her (mom is quite heavy and homely, a resistive), a sensitive, willing mind, and mom put some chunk and substance into her frame/loins and topline..this is the second cross, both were at the same time different, yet very similar (minds, willingness, gorgeous heads , necks were all similar..... color, compactness vs angular, size of bone, etc...were different)


                      She will be substantially smaller (perfect for someone older and easy to break like me!) than the warmblood sire arab dam crosses we have had so far..so haven't seen yet that it matters ..suppose it could if one looked at three four or five generations down the road...I really don't know..I have seen arabian mares in warmblood pedigrees and arabian stallions, so go figure...
                      'who's on top'...again, we really look at the individual first to make our breeding decisions.


                      • #51
                        I have only bred one half Arab. I had a WBx mare that had a beautiful chiseled head I wanted to keep, short strong back and good hind end. She moved flat and shoulder needed imrovement. I decided I wanted to breed to a nice dressage type Arab to keep the head and improve the front end. I was not an Arab Person but I did look at TONS of stallions in magazine and online ads. I came up with a short list of 3 I considered nice dressage types.......so I don't think I was swamped with choices. Of course the nice ones might not be advertising much...but not much I can do to find them that way!! I would have kept the foal if it was a filly, but HE was a colt so was sold. He is doing really well showing in hand on the west coast and is still intact as far as I know. He was last year at 2 anyway. In general the ones I liked were from either endurance lines (good strong butts) or the one halter line that several of my finalists all hailed from were Beau Bey lines. I understand they end up doing a lot of western stuff with Beau Bey lines too.
                        Providence Farm


                        • #52

                          you know , the more I get thinking about this , the more I realize that for me it comes down to the fact that I have this nice arab mare sitting in the feild from our past arab showing/breeding days. I think she has alot of nice qualities , but the nicest is her movement. While most arabs have that kind of shorter stride, hers is very big. I wouldn't mind having something that could be a bit competative at dressage and breeding her purebred won't give me much of a chance, so the smartest thing to do would be to breed her to a breed that dominates dressage...right?? I am not saying it is realistic to think I will breed an olympic horse, but just something that MAY be able to hold it's own in competition.
                          Someone made the comment that warmblood people may not like the idea of crossbreeding, but really with the exception of trakhener(and yes they are a warmblood breed), most of the german registries have very open books. With our friesians, god help us all if we ever crossbred. Even to breed a dutch registered friesian to a german registered would have us banned from the registry. If the german warmblood breeds were like that, I could see people making a stink out of it, but they welcome arab blood on a regular basis, they see it as a horse that ADD's to the breed. Obviously, because with the exception of tb blood, there is no other non sporthorse breed allowed in any of the registries that I know of.
                          I am in general, not a huge fan of crossbreeding, but arabs have shaped all of the breeds we know today in some way. They have more to offer(in terms of crossbreeding) than other breeds OBVIOUSLY or they wouldn't have been as influential as they are. Maybe it's the consistancy due to such sure breeding for so long. I am not sure, but I do know that of all the crossbreeds I see, most of the ones that look "right" are arab crossed with something else.

                          Now, if I had a warmblood mare that I was wanting to use as a breeding horse, I wouldn't chose an arab stallion simply because I would have a better chance of producing a dressage horse if I breed her to a top sport horse stallion. With an arab mare, it's different.


                          • #53
                            and no one on the 'other side' has yet answered my question of just exactly what do they think arabs WERE bred to do.

                            I don't think I am on any "side" although I do like a good arab. But regardless, arabs were not selected for sport like the traditional warmblood breeds were. Arabs were bred to go the distance in the heat. And they excell at that above all other breeds. We all know this. I am not saying they can't do dressage, but it will be harder for most at the higher levels than it would for a horse that was bred specifically for that task. I think their biggest limiting factor is their movement(and in alot of cases, their temperment). While it isn't poor, it isn't big either. I recently watched a region show here after about five years away from the arab thing. Wow...horses I used to think were great movers I am no longer impressed with at all. They just don't usually have that big reach that many of the traditional dressage breeds have, and again, that goes back to what they were bred for. The way an arab moves is prime for covering distances to the max without excess or unwanted energy expenditure.


                            • #54
                              I understand they end up doing a lot of western stuff with Beau Bey lines too.
                              That's interesting to me again. The breeder of my stallion has had several stallions doing working cowhorse stuff as well as one in training for Tevis.

                              My stallion's 1/2 sister (yes, same dam!) was bred to Manhattan at least once and the foal did quite well at Inspections as well as the mare. I lost track of them, but I think she was bred back to him, not sure if she foaled before passing away.

                              Nothing more to add really... but I just found it interesting. The APHA sire I found for this year's foal is cutting/reining bred and performing... and the foal is just amazing; from a 16h 1/2 Arab (Polish x Swedish) mare, who's pedigree includes some Trak approved Sires, he is mistaken for a WB by everyone who sees him--including the vet who owns a Hanno stallion and breeds Hannos! Sorry... somewhat tangential... but the western/working lines got me thinking. I *do* like the 1/4 Arabs very, very much too.
                              InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                              Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                              • #55
                                Coming to this thread late.
                                So what would you breed a arab-warmblood cross to? Take this question as both sides- first- as a stallion with this cross then a mare with this cross.


                                • #56
                                  I agree with Camohn that many good sporthorse type arabs are doing endurance or western disciplines. I won't usually even look at an English pleasure horse.

                                  Allanglos- you wanted to know about 16H arab stallions. I have personally bred to a stallion named Sanskrit. He's 16H barefoot, was used for endurance, and has the most amazing gaits. I have a stunning yearling colt by him. The colt is huge for an arab, has amazing gaits, and is beautiful too. As for other stallions, these are the names of some other horses whose ads I've pulled as possible breeding canidates KF King of KIngs, Politiciann, Kharbon Khopi, and Dervatiw Gwyddion. They are all 16H, and except for the 1st one who was only 2 when I pulled his ad, they are all doing dressage. There are others that I've seen ads for in my arab magazines, but since I've been breeding to wb's I haven't pulled any ads in a while.


                                  • #57
                                    Actually my aunt is an arabian judge and goes all over the world. Her daughter (my cousin) is also an arabian judge. Their farm is 20 minutes from my farm and they have about 30 or so arabs - breeding, showing, & training. They constantly try to get me to change over to arabs.

                                    I went with them on one of those farm tours. You know, one of those events they have where you go from arab farm to arab farm and they have demonstrations, show off their stallions, sale horses, etc. The farms were spectacular. The horses had many show wins, championships, etc. The stallions were groomed to gleaming perfection with every muscle and vein popping. Every horse, almost without exception, in the lush, beautifully fences pastures wore cribbing straps. The ones in the barns as we walked through, weaved, stall walked or banged. Thanks but no thanks.

                                    This whole arguement reminds me and can be applied towards the quarter horse market. There are those qhs that have small horrible feet, looked puffed up like a hog with little stick legs and there are those qhs that can work cattle and cart the little kids around without a worry. There are qhs that can run, there are some that can jump and there are some that just aren't worth a damn.

                                    Also, many Thoroughbreds were bred to run AND JUMP. Think steeplechase - more popular in europe but we have about three big steeplechase races here in my neck of the woods and I'd take any of those Tbs.


                                    • #58
                                      I find it ironic that Arab people are so adamant that there horses are the best dressage horses out there. If they are, prove it. Take an Arab to the Olympics and win and do it more than once on more than one horse. Why would you breed unproven horses when you can breed to something with 6 generations of proven Olympic quality bloodlines for around the same cost. I would never enter my warmblood in an endurance race simply because he is not the best horse for the job, not because he couldn't do it.

                                      To answer your question: Yes I have ridden Arabs. While I admire a good one it would still not be my choice of horse. I don't like the choppy stride of a shorter horse, I find they lack the throughness of warmbloods, the tendancy to curl the neck is very annoying (good dressage breeding requires them to break at the pole not several vertabrae back and using the under muscle to push up is a no no), there is too much focus on breeding a flashy front end with no motor in back and they are more sensitive (which would be a positive if spooky didn't accompany it).

                                      Don't get me wrong, I have seen good crosses. My friend has an Anglo that has been very successful in the 4 foot hunters and has a 6 figure price tag on him. They do exist. I just think it is more an exception than a norm. I have also seen a wonderful gelding out of a Starman mare by an Arab stallion that is showing potential to be very competitve. If you want to prove that Arab crosses are exceptional don't whine about it on a BB. Get out there and prove it in the show ring. JMO.


                                      • #59
                                        As a Long Time Breeder, who has raised , trained, and shown "both Breeds," I will tell you from my own standpoint, that this crossing, CAN work out quite well. I have seen some Exceptional Individuals from this crossing.
                                        UNFORTUNATELY..... Due to some "typecasting folk", most of the ones we bred, that went on to "A" showing.....had trainers, throw away their Registration Papers, and provide them with another name, on Hunter Passports. (So that others would not refer to them as A-rabs.) VERY DISCOURAGING TO THE BREEDERS........

                                        HOWEVER....."Be very selective with your Mare Base", when breeding to larger Stallions. "My personal preference" is a mare with some height, along with a lot of substance, in order to even carry the foal from the larger Warmblood Stallion. ( The Arabian Sires we used were 15.3, and 16 H. when we crossed the other way.....but MOST folk at the time did not use their Warmblood Mares, breeding this way to other than Warmblood Sires.)

                                        The movement of these resulting crosses are usually on the Plus side, with the only thing which is frowned on in Dressage, is (I usually pray for a "low tail carriage," and not one that carries it's tail over it's back.)
                                        (ARABIANS have been used for Centuries...to Improve and Inhance other breedings!)

                                        I purchased a lovely Arabian X Warmblood Filly last year by a 16.3 H Stallion, in hopes she would cross well with our Stallion. However....although, a very classy youngster, she just never attained any height, and we are now considering using her for a Sport Pony Program instead. Just goes to show, like in "any Breed", the result can swing in any direction......BUT.... A GOOD ANIMAL IS A GOOD ANIMAL IN ANY BREED!

                                        We presently have just purchased a youngster from our Stallion, "which will probably be retained for our Breeding Program".. His Dam is a Beautiful Trak. mare, whose pedigree contains one of the loveliest ARAB Stallions, I have ever seen, called FAGIR. ( Imported to Canada, and a TRUE 16 H) This Colt will most likely exceed his Sire for Height, and moves like a dream!

                                        Have also....(this morning) bred a lovely (Khemosabi lineage) mare, that I have seen some "Outstanding Individuals", produced from her Dam.
                                        UNFORTUNATELY........Others purchasing the offspring from this Dam, also deemed it fit ....to discard the Arab Papers, and show with Hunter Passports.

                                        HOPEFULLY......Folk have matured enough to stand up and give recognition to what is actually in the pedigrees of their Arabian Crossbreds.

                                        END OF RANT.......Hope this helps your decission somewhat.
                                        Proudly Standing Imported Dutch Warmblood Stallion Pacific Star STV, Approved for Breeding with Canadian Warmblood, and Canadian Sporthorse.


                                        • #60
                                          uh, Rival? Where did that come from?

                                          I certainly don't see it anywhere on this thread.

                                          What this has been about is a really interesting discussion on how/when/why to infuse Arab blood or cross w/ WB.

                                          Afterall, where does the F4 or F6 come from if there wasn't an F1?

                                          I truly don't think most of us involved in this thread are breeding for the Olympics either. Not that one doesn't always have that secret glimmer of hope that someday one of their horses might go... I think most of us would like to leave the Sporthorse world a little bit nicer for our bloodlines... in some of our cases, that's Arab crosses for Amateurs.
                                          InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                                          Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)