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To Breed or Not To Breed...Confused

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  • To Breed or Not To Breed...Confused

    Please be warned this is a long post.

    I am a firm believer in, if you choose to breed, breeding your mare if and only if you would be happy with an identical foal. I have a young mare I would love to replicate, but I am concerned with recessive genes.

    I don't know if I will ever actually breed my mare, but she is everything I want. She is going to be a dressage horse. She has excellent bone and hooves, gorgeous gaits, and a great temperament. My mare is more on the old fashioned type side of Warmblood.
    So, here are the issues. My girl is out of a TB mare. Said mare is very lovely and approved Holsteiner, Selle Francais, Westfalen, and Dutch. Mare has 5 foals.

    Foal #1 is the full brother to my mare, but has zero resemblence to her. He is a hunter. Moves like a hunter, jumps like a hunter, and looks like a big boned TB.

    Foal #2 is a half sister to my mare. By a DWB. Could have done lower level dressage, but is more huntery. She is now a hunter. Very similar to foal #1.

    Foal #3 is a half sister to my mare & full sister to foal #2. This mare is very Thoroughbredy and the daintiest of the foals. She is a hunter. Won on the line.

    Foal #4 is my mare. Frank the tank. Could be Daddy's clone. Not a hint of mom anywhere. Sire is by Cor de la Bryere and out of a Landgraf mare. I have ridden several of this stallions progeny and he does not tend to stamp them the way he stamped my mare. Usually he just adds height.

    Foal #5 is by another DWB stallion. More substance than foals 1, 2 &3. Still not as "dressagy" as my mare.

    So, my concern here is as follows:
    Does my mare have recessive daintiness that might come out in the foal?

    How do I go about selecting a stallion? Do I select one known to stamp his get with the qualities I treasure in my mare?

    Because my mare's dam and sire were not a "breed like to like" breeding, could I end up with a tank body on matchstick legs?

    I know you never know what you are going to get, but is this mare a bad bet for breeding?

    What would you do? Is it too much of a risk? Thanks in advance. Off and on I think about breeding my mare, but I really want the opinions of experienced breeders. I do not mind the fact that she is half TB and I wouldn't mind if the resulting foal showed some of that TB heritage. I just don't want a mismash of wrong pieces in the wrong places!

  • #2
    I'd go for a stallion who is known to really stamp his kids.

    I had an Oldenburg filly by Coromino out of a nice TB mare. The filly got a GOV premium award.

    I would have loved to have the opportunity to breed her. I lost her to colic last summer.

    Coromino crosses really well with TB mares and I bet he'd do right by an F1 mare too.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Oakstable View Post
      I'd go for a stallion who is known to really stamp his kids.
      Exactly - that is what I would do.
      Roseknoll Sporthorses


      • #4
        The first baby I bred was in 1988. I bred to a Trakehner stallion, Schubert, by Virgil out of the Suchard line.

        He ALWAYS transmitted marvelous movement.

        Size would vary.

        I've gone up to someone at a show and asked about the parentage of a particular horse (looked familiar) and it was a Schubert. Even a grandchild.


        • Original Poster

          Thank you

          I really appreciate the advice. I'm not sure that I will breed my mare, but I want to know that I'm not crazy to do it. Obviously I am not a breeder, but this mare is so nice that she is worth replicating. The stallions who really stamp their babies is something I had thought of and I am glad to know it is indeed a good option.
          I'm going to drive myself nuts when the stallion issue comes out!


          • #6
            Here is another take on this.
            Even if your mare was not a cross there is always a certain element of randomness to breeding. The only way to know what a mare will throw is to breed her, several times.
            So if you get something else (besides your mare’s double) will you be happy? Will you be able to sell the foal? Do you want to spend the time and money (it seems that the first time breeder spends more of both just learning) to get the product that you might be able to buy for less? In other words what is the range of results (with the foal), and money you are ok spending that you will be happy with? If the range is narrow then there is a chance you will not be happy. But if you think the experience of having a foal is worth it, along with a range of what the foal might be like then go for it!
            I am not an experienced breeder, a first timer that can testify to it being way more time, money and work then I would have ever guessed to start with. However it was well worth it in my case as part of reason was just for the experience of breeding. I had a Tb cross too that I would have loved to replicate. She ended up having a colt that looks much more like the sire.
            I picked two horses that I really liked to start with, that were from horses that I really liked (going back a couple generations) so I figured that if I ended up with a foal that was like any of them I would still be happy, ended up being more then happy!


            • #7
              I believe the individual trumps the siblings in these cases. (ie while my daughter looks somewhat like my sister, she looks MORE like me!)
              Many of us are not blessed enough to see the siblings of the mares we are breeding- you have that opportunity. Maybe to your detriment in these cases.

              I think you mostly need to breed type to type which it sounds like you are going to do if you breed. But in the end the only way to know is to breed her several times.

              Good Luck


              • #8
                Whatever recessive genes your mare might have, they will only be expressed in her foal if the stallion also has those genes.
                So: breed her to a stallion that is very similar to her and does not have in his background (parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.) those traits you don't want.


                • #9
                  I agree that it takes several foals to understand how best to pick a stallion for a particular mare.

                  Long learning curve.


                  • #10
                    If you feel that the qualities you like came from the sire, then line breeding to the sires pedigree may give you a better chance of getting what you want.
                    Choose a stallion that has the qualities you want and nothing you don't want because with the line breeding you also have a higher chance of passing on the bad genes
                    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


                    • #11
                      I too had a Dutch/TB mare that was an old style girl but moved wonderfully and had the greastest temperament. I used to joke that the only thing TB about her might have been her left ear ;-) She was a carbon copy of her 17HH old style Dutch sire except she was 16.2HH! I have bred her (to Sagnol) and she has produced one foal so far. Her foal is almost a clone of her except a bit bigger (will be her grandsire's 17HH) and longer legged. Same substance and EXACT same personality which I love. This filly is really a clone of her mother!
                      However, saying all this the TB side was a large framed TB mare and she never did throw fine or dainty offspring. So this may be a different scenario than yours.
                      I too would pick a stallion that was very prepotent for the type you want.
                      Cindy's Warmbloods
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