FRIENDLY Debate. Inbreeding vs. Line Breeding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 05-30-2009, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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FRIENDLY Debate. Inbreeding vs. Line Breeding

Before I post my opinion and beliefs on the subject, I would just kinda like to hear some other opinions on the differences or similarities that you see between a line bred horse and an inbred horse. Also share what you believe the definition of each to be. :)

And lets remember to keep this friendly, I am not wanting to start a fight.
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post #2 of 26 Old 05-30-2009, 08:22 AM
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line breeding is inbreeding. just not as close .sometimes breeding cousins will give worse results than brother and sister. in order to keep traits that are desirable, inbreeding and then line breeding are used. you create a family. by line breeding within that family you lock up traits that you want. by strict culling and keeping only the off spring that show what you want you develop type. then by out crossing to a family that has the things you want, you get hybrid vigor and bigger, stronger, individuals.
you will lose size and create problems by inbreeding close and often. line breeding is family breeding and won't break down as quickly. both will go south in a hurry, if you don't cull. don't start with animals that have bad traits. only use animals that have good traits. by line breeding you can keep traits you want over a long period of time. over time outside blood(genes) will need to be added to a family to keep it from getting too weak. an out cross will be the end product and will not produce as good as itself.
with horses, i think grandparents to grand kids is the best way to go. that's up to the breeder to say for themselves. it's always been that the quality of a breeders animals are directly related to his/her harshness in culling.
close inbreeding will show traits within a line that are there but unseen. recessives. they can be eliminated by line breeding those individuals who don't have them. genes are many times tied together and hard to separate. a family breeding program should be a long term process and only the best animals used. if you see things going bad. change something in the formula.
there is a book called how to breed dogs. i think that's right. by a vet whose name i can't recall. it is a treasure trove of info on the subject.
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post #3 of 26 Old 05-30-2009, 10:02 AM
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A extremely well thought out, careful decision made by advanced, well informed breeders. Linebreeding should only be done with the absolute best of the best, and even then only after some extremely careful consideration.


Oops! My mare accidently ended up with her ungelded brother/dad/uncle/cousin. AWWW DA BBY GUNNA BE SU COOT! COOT BBY!

I was browsing the website of an Straight Egyptian Arabian breeder. They had one linebred (full sister to full brother) horse. I forget if it was a mare or stallion, but wow. Talk about flawless.

Wait! I'll fix it....
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post #4 of 26 Old 05-30-2009, 11:31 AM
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Here is a very good article that really explains the purpose of linebreeding

Inbreeding Linebreeding and Outcrossing

The pedigree of the arabian mare that I had would be a good example
of linebreeding on the sires side.

the dams side was not as close but does contain lines that are linked to her sires side.

Since I don't own this mare anymore, I don't think I should post her pedigree.

I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within. Douglas MacArthur

Last edited by RegalCharm; 05-30-2009 at 11:39 AM.
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post #5 of 26 Old 05-30-2009, 11:45 AM
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Not a very well kept secret , but thoroughbred breeding in the UK has got to a point where thousands of foals are born every year with genetic faults .
The jockey club and wetherbys stud book are so set in their ways that they do not allow any new blood - even if it was carefully managed .
Sadly racehorse breeding is all about money and has very little to do with horses or horse welfare.
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post #6 of 26 Old 05-30-2009, 12:32 PM
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strawboss gave a great explanation!

the way it was explained to me in a funny way: if it works it's line breeding, if it doesn't it's inbreeding LOL

This is very common in bucking stock(cattle). It is rare, but sometimes you will see a daughter bred back to the father. Normally they will let it go a generation or 2 to dilute it a bit then bring it back. It is how they try to keep a "pure" line going. I am not sure how different bucking stock and horses are in terms of line breeding, but I don't think it effects cattle very much in terms of deformities, etc.
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post #7 of 26 Old 05-30-2009, 01:00 PM
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To me, its not a matter of linebreeding=acceptable/good, inbreeding=unacceptable/bad-- Both can work, or either can be a disaster-- depending on the stock chosen, the skill of the breeder, and sometimes plain old luck.

I would call any mating between half or full siblings or sire/daughter mother/son inbreeding. Cousin to cousin, uncle to niece or aunt to nephew, grandget back to grandparent would be close linebreeding, while horses sharing more distant relatives crossed together is also linebreeding, but not as close.

>>>>> I was browsing the website of an Straight Egyptian Arabian breeder. They had one linebred (full sister to full brother) horse. I forget if it was a mare or stallion, but wow. Talk about flawless.

See, to me, full sister/brother IS definitely inbreeding. In this case, sounds like it was successful inbreeding.

Laura Lyon
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post #8 of 26 Old 05-30-2009, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Shawneen View Post
the way it was explained to me in a funny way: if it works it's line breeding, if it doesn't it's inbreeding LOL
Realistically, I think that's the best "simple" explanation I've ever heard. I'm not sure myself where I really stand on the whole issue. I would personally say that it's blatantly obvious we're breeding much weaker animals with much worse genetic defects, not just horses but all animals, so in my opinion, whatever we think we've done obviously didn't work. But that's just my opinion.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #9 of 26 Old 05-30-2009, 01:37 PM
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It's inbreeding when it doesn't work out well, lol.

Seriously though, inbreeding IMO is when a horse has the same sire or dam 2 or more time within 3 generations, or 5 or more times within 4 generation.

Linebreeding is when you have two similarly bred horses top and bottom, like two halter horses that both go back to Skipper W once or twice through different sons/daughters of Skipper W.


Inbred horse (I owned this one, never bred her): Dark Dancer Paint
She goes back to Skipper W 11 times in 7 generations. OUCH!

Another inbred horse, same kind of lines:
Skips Ego Improver
Has TWELVE (12) crosses to Skipper W in 7 generations
Has THIRTY (30) crosses to Nick (24 through Skipper W and 6 more from others)

He was bred to this mare:
Shawnee Sandy Quarter Horse
Has three (s) Crosses to Skipper W in 5 generations
Has THIRTEEN (13) crosses to Nick in 7 generations (6 from Skipper W, 7 from others)

So the resulting filly/mare has SEVENTEEN (17) crosses to Skipper W in 8 generations and FOURTY-THREE (43) crosses to Nick... Whoa. This mare only has 4 unrelated lines/horses out of 16 (at the great-great line)... Both of her parents were heavily related. That means 12 of her great-great relatives were very closely related. Scary indeed. It would make a great Springer show, lol.

The first mare listed has a Sire that IMO is line bred:
Skipa Sonny Paint
He has Skipper W once on top and three times on the bottom, far enough back to not be inbred IMO. There are also some related lines to Skipper W, though pretty far back.
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post #10 of 26 Old 05-30-2009, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979 View Post
It's inbreeding when it doesn't work out well, lol.
So true :P basically though, linebreeding IS inbreeding. Just done with a plan ;)

Linebreeding is frequently seen in horses; particularily quarter horses, thoroughbreds and warmbloods. the reasoning is that if you know you have a superior sire, why not up the ante on the resulting foal being as superior? Careful and selective linebreeding has produced some of the absolute best horses in the world, both english and western disiplines.

For example, my 4 year old Costa is linebred to Cor de la Bryere, you can see that he's his great grandsire on both sides of his pedigree. It was done deliberately by his breeder because she wanted to be able to up the chances that he would be a fantastic jumper and inherit more of the qualities that Cord tended to pass along to his C-line offspring.

But that being said, I don't think you'll see it as frequently as you once did; there's so much genetic diversity available thanks to AI that you can find a comparable stallion that doesn't share the same bloodlines

Last edited by Skyhuntress; 05-30-2009 at 02:55 PM.
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