Breeding My Arabian This Spring?
I have always wanted to breed my horse, to watch and learn as her pregnancy progresses and later train the foal as it grows from baby to yearling to 3-year old and onward. It's always been my dream.
And now it looks like it's going to happen. :) Destiny is 8 years old, and she has allergies. We changed her feed because she was allergic to it, and she stopped coughing for a while, but it started up again as fall came. So we think she must have some sort of seasonal allergies, and her former owner agreed that she seems to. We believe this may cut her time as a riding horse short, and it would be best to breed her young for the first time, at least.
Yes, I understand it would cheaper to buy a foal from someone else than to breed one. Yes, I know there are a lot of horses that can't find homes, and it would be better (and cheaper) to buy one of these. But this is for sentimental reasons; I want to carry on Destiny's line, and I want to always have a part of her with me. I plan on keeping her foal, and Destiny is a purebred Arabian with good bloodlines. :P
My plan is to breed her to a homozygous tobiano Paint stallion, ensuring a tobiano foal. Not only do I love the color, but I love the Paint's quiet temperament, and I'm hoping the foal will take that kind of temperament because I'm hoping to train it myself and I'm not going to be the first one on the back of a spooky horse. I'm not quite that confident as a rider yet, lol. I've never trained one myself before. :P
I've found a couple of stallions that I like. One (bay tobiano) is a bit stockier, but he has more white on him (which I like, but in researching this it appears that this does not necessarily mean the foal will have more white). If both he and Destiny are red carriers (Ee), the foal could be chestnut tobiano (my favourite, but since Destiny is bay there will be little chance of that anyway). In order of most probable to least probable (assuming both horses are red carriers), the foal could be bay tobiano, black tobiano, or chestnut tobiano.
The second is a grullo tobiano. He is Ee (red carrier) and Dd (has the dun gene--50% chance of producing some type of dun tobiano). If Destiny is also a red carrier (she's never been genetically tested, as far as I know), they could produce a foal of the following colours, from most probable to least probable: bay tobiano, bay dun tobiano, black tobiano, grullo (black dun) tobiano, chestnut tobiano, or red dun tobiano.
So, anyway, I'm excited! I was considering posting this in the Horse Genetics forum, but I'm also talking about breeding just in general, so I decided to just post it here...I really hope this works out! :)
While I understand your excitement, epecially with breeding an Arab mare to a Paint, because I am thinking of MAYBE doing the same thing, I am about to poor cold water all over you.
Breeding a mare with allergies, why would you? Think about the logic, you have a mare whose riding career is cut short by anything illness wise or conformational lameness wise, WHY would you want to breed from her.
So sorry if I am not jumping up and down and sharing your obvious enjoyment.
I am afraid that I agree with Golden horse on this one. I wouldn't breed that mare, not now, not ever. Why pass on a genetic predisposition to something like that? Not to mention the risk to the mare. Breathing can be made a bit more difficult by the weight of pregnancy, then add to it allergies that might impact her as well. Sorry but I wouldn't do it.
I too understand your excitement as I have a male Rottweiler that is very very nice. He is beautiful, put together so well and has the best temperament. I have had dozens of offers to use him as a stud but I won't ever breed him, not even once as he has had a seizure and I wouldn't consider chancing that he might pass it one.
I have to agree with Golden and Inga. As someone who has been stuffed up and have had a hard time breathing through my whole entire pregnancy it's a terrible thing to burden your mare with. The fact is her breathing will get worse while pregnant. And if you live in a hotter damp climate factor that times 3.
Chances she will.pass this condition on are at about 50%... it is not fair to the foal. And let. me ask you a question that you should answer before you ever breed anything. Are you willing to lose both your mare and the foal? Cause it happens... and if the answer is no, then don't breed.
Training a young horse is a lot of work. A lot, if you have never done anything like this before I strongly discourage you from breeding your mare as your first project.
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Another agreement here. I'm usually pretty laid back about people breeding for their own wants (as opposed to breeding to sell) - much moreso than a majority of the forum. That being said I do not think someone should breed a horse with health problems or genetic problems they're likely to pass on. It's absolutely not fair to the foal to inherit these issues and have the same struggles because an owner wants to keep a piece of her horse. Which, by the way, can backfire HORRIBLY - there was just recently a thread on here where someone lost both foal and mare in a pretty traumatic manner. It happens, and a mare with breathing problems an allergies is going to have a strike right off the bat - it WILL get worse with the pregnancy and added stress to her system.
I agree with the others. I'd never breed a mare that already shows any signs of genetic/physical flaw. And Respritory/Allergy issues are high up on the list.
Not only that...Lets face it, your breeding for color. You should be breeding for QUALITY. And passing on allergies is not a quality trait.
Take our advice, Don't breed this mare.
By the way, I have had several APHA's, and 75% of the ones I've owned have been a PITA. (And it's not me...) Including the sorrel in my avatar.
Has vet confirmed the cause of this cough?
That would be the first thing you need to do before breeding that mare. Then you will know if it is genetic or not and can base your decision on fact not a guess.
Remember also just because you breed to a loud paint doesnt mean that is what you will get. Especially from a solid mare.
As claporte said find a stallion that will compliment your mare then worry about the colour. There are homozygous tobiano half arabians that might be a better cross. Shalom
I would get advice from your vet about the possibilities of passing allergies to her foal. Then go from there. Can you post some photos of your mare?
Yes, I understand some things can be passed on to the foal, and I understand that her allergies could affect her when she's pregnant. That is why I want to breed her now, rather than later. Maybe I exaggerated, but her allergies are not that bad. She was allergic to her feed (oats, soy, and I think wheat?) so we changed it and she was fine for a while, but she started coughing a bit again just recently. It's not that bad, and she doesn't have breathing problems. There are a few occasions when she'll put her head down and cough for a few seconds, but she doesn't have any breathing issues.
And then, allergies are allergies... they might not necessarily be passed on to a foal. If it were a genetic issue, would not some of Destiny's ancestors have the same kind of allergies? I was actually thinking about that before, but I do not see why worrying about a foal inheriting allergies should prevent one from breeding. Allergies can often be controlled, and they are not *that* bad as compared to other issues that are able to be genetically passed on. We have yet to see how bad Destiny's allergies will get as she gets older -- maybe they won't even be that bad. She MAY be rideable until 30 or older; it just depends.
And don't worry about a hot climate. I live in Canada. The worst thing would be the cold. :P
And yes, if it came to it, I would be prepared to lose both mare and foal. Of course, I would be devastated, as I love Destiny more than anything else in the world, but there is a very low chance of that happening and IF it did, I would have to deal with it. And I could.
And just for the record, I am not some idiot who has no idea what she's doing (well, okay, I don't know exactly what I'm doing, but I'm a lot closer than a lot of people!). I am NOT breeding just for colour. I like stockier horses, and Paints tend to have that, as well as colour. I wouldn't breed to a horse with extreme conformational issues just because he's homozygous for tobiano -- don't worry! The grullo tobiano I mentioned before has a more refined-Quarter Horse conformation with no major flaws. He'd be a good match for Destiny because he is a tad less stocky than most Paints out there, and I'm sure a foal from him and Destiny would be absolutely beautiful both in colour and in conformation.
And lastly, I know training a foal is a lot of work. Why is this not the best way to learn? I have someone to help me, and I will be able to work with and establish a bond with this foal from the very start, making the whole process a whole lot easier. I know training isn't easy, and IF, say, I wasn't up for it, I would send said foal to a trainer. Training is not an issue. Maybe I've never done it, but everyone had a first time, and maybe this is mine. :)
I have not spoken to our vet about the most recent allergy problems, but I'm sure I will soon.
Basically what I'm trying to say is, yes, my mare has allergies, but they are not really bad (as in, no breathing issues). A lot of horses have allergies of some sort -- so do people. My mom is allergic to horses. As far as I can tell, I am not allergic to anything.
Pictures available below (if it works...I don't know how to post pictures in this forum, lol) :
I would post some that are more side-on (her hind end looks sooo small in the first one and the second is a *very* weird angle o.o) and show her better, without me on her, but facebook is being stupid. Just give me a second and I'll see if I can find some.-_-
This is a bit better...
Her neck looks awful in this next one but anyway...
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