Smaller Mare, Larger Stallion?
I have an Arab mare (around 14.2hh) that I would like to breed to my Belgian stallion (about 15hh right now), but I'm not certain about it.
She's not your delicate, refined Arab - more like the "Americanized" version - chunky and thick, but beautiful all the same. She is a maiden mare and that's why I ask.
Half of the research I've done says you shouldn't breed a larger stallion to a smaller mare for her first foal; and the other half says a larger stallion could breed a smaller mare in the wild, so it doesn't matter.
Has anyone had experience with this? I've bred horses before, but they have all been about the same size. I'd hate to lose my mare because of ignorance, so I ask. ;)
My goal would be to get a foal from her that would be a little more stocky than the "average" horse and be able to carry some weight and still have decent endurance. You know, like a sporthorse, but...not one. (Yeah..that made sense)
Anyway... anyone have any ideas on this?
I don't think an ArabxBelgian cross would be a good match AT ALL. I think you would have much better luck breeding her to a big boned QH and getting a Quarab. I think you'd have a greater chance for getting a more structurally correct baby.
Could there be complications breeding a petite Arab to a Belgian? Could be. There's always dangers in breeding. When you breed your mare, you are putting her life on the line every single time, no matter who you breed to or how many precautions you take. So you need to go into this knowing that you could potentially lose your mare. Would this breeding be worth it?
It's always hard to say. The foal will not grow too big for the mare to handle but you are always taking a risk no matter what you breed.
As for the cross, though no opinion was asked, i agree that arab draft crosses don't always work out as desired.
I don't mind opinions...that's why I ask these questions. It's too early for me to breed her anyway - I wouldn't want an April baby with the way the weather is out here. It would likely be too cold. :/
Anyway... thank you for your input. I really appreciate it!
All I am going go say is that isn't too bad in sizes. My 14h mare was bred to my 15.1-2h stallion and foaled without problems. The foal only gets as big as she can carry.
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I've seen a 14.2ish Arab bred to a 18+ hand Cyldesdale stallion. Foaled no problem, and the foal actually turned out to be quite the stunner. Size generally isn't a big issue, but just like anything you can have problems surface no matter which precautions you take.
Size most likely wont be an issue, however, their type doesn't compare at all and I'd be concerned about 'frankenhorse'. What will happen if the foal is born disproportional?
It isn't really the height difference that causes the problems. It's the build. Such as you shouldn't breed a narrow mare to a wide stallion. Wider shoulders on the foal will be less likely to fit through the birth canal. Yes the mare's uterus controls how big the foal gets, but that doesn't mean squat when the build of the foal is still to large to fit. This is why they say breed type to type.
As mentioned, my mare isn't a "typical" Arab. She's wider throughout; shoulders, hips...the only Arab-ish features she has are a very refined head and neck.
My Belgian is your "average" Belgian (Brabant)... he's stocky and thick throughout. His confirmation is stunning, and hers is awesome as well...that's why I was thinking of breeding them. I just don't want to have any "issues" later, and I realize that not all issues can be forseen....but that's why I've asked - to see who has experience with this, and your outcomes. As mentioned, I don't want to lose my mare, so this breeding isn't something I'm taking lightly.
I honestly wouldn't even try it. The general rule of thumb for crossing drafts to light horses is "blood over bone". If you go the other way as you want, I think you may have a higher chance of a baby with a huge body and head with a little neck and teeny legs. Not a chance I would want to take. Arabia's can improve on many breeds, but I do not think a belgian/Arabian would make a nice cross, at all. A thicker TB/Belgian would turn out much nicer, IMO.
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