Texas A&M DNA test & the fun results

Since Abbo’s breeding was a mystery and I was pretty sure she wasn’t solely a Quarter horse, I decided to do a DNA test from Texas A&M.

The results were such a fun surprise. Abbo actually has some Morgan (1) in her as well as Quarter horse (2) and Hanoverian (3). Who knew this little 13.3 dun mare was such interesting mix? Love she has some Morgan in her since my two retirees are Morgans.

I wish I knew the story of how this sweet, good minded little mare came to be. So glad she is in my field with Reba and Bosco (my two Morgans).

Has anyone else done the test? Here is a pic of Abbo.[ATTACH=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“full”,“title”:“20200815_215825.jpg”,“data-attachmentid”:10708813}[/ATTACH]



She is adorable. Glad you have this little gem. Makes you wonder what her original breeders were thinking, right?


Super cute! Imo I can see the morgan”‹”‹”‹”‹”‹! We recently got a horse that has 3 different brands, that all come off the reservation. He’s probably a QH but has a bigger head and roman nose. Pretty dark palomino. So neat that we have DNA testing

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I’ve heard those tests are more fun than accurate? A friend adopted a horse locally and was told it was Peruvian paso, criollo and some other really unlikely gaited breed that’s very uncommon here and which the horse doesn’t resemble at all.


What a cutie.

But a word of warning: I know of a registered Paint who tested as being of 3 warmblood registries and not a drop of stock blood. :lol:


Abbo is so cute!

Yes, I think more for fun. I bought a 14.2hh grulla out of a kill lot. I love this guy to death. I was told he was a QH, which he could be but he could also be a mix.
His test came back Hannoverian, Venezualan Criollo and Mangalarga. All of which are very unlikely. But looking at the chart Hannoverian is very close on the tree to QH.
I went back and got his mom out, a red dun. I should have her tested out of curiousity, I just haven’t gotten around to it.



I do feel that these tests are more for fun than they are for accuracy. Breeds are so interconnected genetically. Many books have only been closed for a short time in the grand scheme of things, and some still allow outcrosses. I just don’t think there are enough distinct genetic markers to pinpoint exact breeds in the makeup of one horse. I have had friends test obvious stock type horses and come back with Lipizzaner or Selle Francais or other very uncommon breeds in the makeup. Looking at that chart, it’s much more likely to be Arabian or Thoroughbred or QH in there.


Yes, the results are definitely fun to have. Regardless of how accurate they are, it is entertaining to have a possible glimpse of her breeding/genetics.

She is a lovely dun color with tiger striping on her legs and big dorsal stripe. Interesting thing…one of my vets thought she might have Arab and the other vet thought some Mustang.

At the end of the day, she is a curious, sensitive mare who will give 110% and has a funny streak. We are glad to have her and look forward to seeing what the future holds…



She’s lovely! FWIW, a lot of AQHA horses go back to some Morgans, so those two breeds showing up in her DNA would not surprise me at all.


Quarter horses were originally conceived of as a registry, not a breed in the 1940s? It was only when the inspections process quickly became overwhelming that the organization decided to close the book, except to tbs. So morgan, spanish, Tbs, anything and everything will show up in the genetics of aqha horses, because it was again, initially conceived of as a registry of type, not breed.


A friend just did a DNA test on a horse she bought that she as told is Percheron/Paint. He 100% looks like a percheron paint. The results came back Missouri fox trotter, Belgian and welsh pony. Highest on the fox trotter. Gotta be honest, I just don’t see it.

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Because these tests are nonsense.


Yep, more fun than anything. I asked my brother for a test for Christmas the other year for this horse

It came back

  1. American Saddlebred (yeah, nope)
  2. Selle Francais (???)
  3. Hanoverian (eh, maybe?)

Since I don’t know what he is supposed to be to even compare to, it was just for curiosity, but we were betting on something pony being in there!

The comments on this thread are reinforcing what I discovered with the DNA testing. That is, they are not accurate. My mare came from a feedlot. Her test results were Turkoman, Holsteiner, Missouri Fox Trotter, and Andalusian. Her body type and movement suggest Andalusian and I’ll bet there is TB in there. The Turkoman is the progenitor of most modern breeds, so that could mean anything. They also don’t exist in the US, but are closely related to Akhal Tekes and Caspian ponies. I guessed Hackney/Draft cross when I saw her sales video. She looks like a miniature Clydesdale and is a very fancy mover

I was so surprised by the results that I emailed the person at Texas A&M who runs the test lab. He was very confident the results were accurate. I’m still not buying it.

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A friend did DNA on her small pony. He’s palomino with chrome, very typey, and 12 hands. Tests came back Missouri fox frotter and Hanoverian. There’s just no way that’s accurate!


So The test is neither utter garbage-but you also should not assume the literal three breeds that result are “correct”. In the case above the paint horse was testing in the “Thoroughbred” breed family. These breeds are all very recently developed from heavy TB blood infusionsand it is extremely difficult to tell them apart at the breed level. You would expect any horses in this family to show up as other members of the family.

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For this fellow, you have to again think about the breed families-not the actual breeds you see. This fellow is showing markers from the “Thoroughbred breed family” so he could be paint, quarter, Trakenar or hanovarian-they all look the same at the genetic marker level. If he is in germany its a warmblood, but in san antonio its a quarter horse.

He is also showing markers that are in the fox trotter/walker family…so you have to think about the region of the country he is from and ask yourself if he has 1800s saddletype heritage of some sort that would explain it.

The A&M website says this when you place the order, but since it isnt reiterated, people just see a list of three breeds and forget what the actual site said.

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Ah, I recognize this pattern. albeit the results from A&M only show three breeds?

In mustangs, we see turkoman, capsian and teke very, very often-not because these horses are roaming the deserts of the western US. You have to dig at the reason WHY your horse might be carrying markers only seen in breeds in the midde east. For mustangs, it is because the were North African Barb type horses located in the seville region of Spain from 700AD to 1500 AD. They were the working type horse imported by columbus and early spanish colonists. Noways all the iberian-american breeds are actually more closely genetically related to the modern north african barb than they are the Spanish PRE (peer reviewed work on several hundred animals). So when we see those same genetic marlers in a mustang, its because the North African Barb is a member of the oriental family-just not in the A&M panel. So not “Pure BS” or “Garbage”, but a complex part of a complex puzzle.

You have to think about the results in the context of the history of the region and the history of your horse and its phenotype.

A very common mustang result will be an oreintal family (Turkoman), and one of more spanish members families (paso fino, crillio) or the Andalusian family. These make perfect sense, given the original imports are barb and spanish derived. We also see a lot who are in the fox trotter family-likely we are seeing the multitude of gaited type horses in the 1800s being brought to the west by waves of settlers.


The dna analysis being used in these tests is very precise and the exact same type of data used to verify parentage.

This is a really great article that describes how it works: https://vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/parentage

This is a NIST standard of what the information you see on the second page of the report “K, L” etc actually means: https://strbase.nist.gov/horseSTRs.htm

From here they feed the info to a computer and it tries to figure how what the most likely breed could be, based upon the markers it sees. This is where imprecision arises, given the overlaps across breeds like the Thoroughbred family. They explicitly say that you will see the breeds overlap in the families when you place the order but dont reiterate it on the results form and folks forget.

Our mustangs are like 100 different landraces since each HMA has its own local horses, so can be quite interesting. I created this summary page describing the “Families” and reasons why they may show up in a given mustang’s heritage here. https://farmymcfarmplace.weebly.com/dna-testing.html The idea is to use the test results, the BREED FAMILIES not individual breeds, think about your horse’s phenotype, think about the history of the horse’s HMA and build a story from all information that seems reasonable.


The site appears to tell you that not only do they not have paint and QH in their database since those are mixed in heritage, and also that the three breeds listed are not all included in your horse, represent historic possible inclusions in the breed, and may be very misleading:

”breeds within a group of related breeds will be given similar probabilities. Thus, the subject horse may be half Belgian draft and half Suffolk but the test results may show Percheron or even a pony breed. That is because these draft breeds are very similar at the level we can test and the true pony breeds are closely related to the heavy draft breeds. ”


As you say samhorse they don’t reiterate this when sending results, and this combined with the vague and frankly misleading results makes the tests as a consumer product worthless. People pay to find out what their horse is and at best end up with a guessing game of several historical contributors to a breed.

My friend will be telling everyone her horse is a Venezuelan criollo, Peruvian paso, Mangalarga cross until the end of time now. Come on.