Hypothetical breeding logistics question - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 6 Old 07-30-2014, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Hypothetical breeding logistics question

This is just for my own education as I snoozed through the breeding logistics class.
So let’s say you want to breed a Moriesian (MorganxFriesian). Morgans are smaller than Friesians. So can a Morgan mare carry a Friesian foal or would the mare have to be Friesian and the stud Morgan?
In other words can a mare carry a foal from a significantly larger stallion?
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-30-2014, 02:39 PM
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Yes, a mare can be the smaller of the two. In general the foal won't be bigger than the mare can carry. At one of my old barns, a large Shetland bred a small miniature and the mini had no problems, for example. Drafts can breed to regular sized mares to get a draft cross, etc etc.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-30-2014, 02:44 PM
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Small mares can and do carry foals from much larger stallions - but there is always the chance that there could be foaling problems, I've often noticed that the mature offspring from a small mare to a large stallion tend to favour the size of the mare and you get a larger mature horse from say a Friesian mare put to a morgan stallion than the other way around - but I'm sure that's not always the case
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-30-2014, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
but there is always the chance that there could be foaling problems
this seems logical, but I haven't found any statistics to support it. I've even seen a 14hh arab bred by an 18hh percheron and foal with no problems. The one I saw have major issues with a too large foal was a large mare bred to a narrower stud of the same height.

I think foals in general stick to the mares height more than the stallions, and I've heard that said by many an old horseman, so their must be some truth to it. That said, the percheron/arab foal mentioned above matured to 17hh, my foal this year, out of my barely 15hh arab, is over 12hh at 3 months, nearly the same size as his 4 month old half sister out of a 16hh mare. I knew one mare that consistently threw taller, wider offspring, regardless of the stud she was bred to.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-30-2014, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting. Our barn manager recently rescued a pregnant pony and she gave birth a week ago. The foal is almost as tall as the mother so we are thinking the stallion had to be significantly bigger.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-30-2014, 06:23 PM
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Generally speaking, like others have said, the mare will only carry as big as she can handle. I bred my 15 hh mare to a stallion who was 16.1 hh and she foaled with no problems. That foal is just over 3 mos old and is 12.2 hh at the withers, 12.3 at the hindquarters and has string tested to be 15.3 at full-grown height. My mare's dam was 14.2 hh and her sire 14.1 and she matured to 15 hh.

I think it's a combination of genes and nutrition and even so, you can breed 2 tall horses, feed the resulting foal well and still wind up with something barely over 14 hh.
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