Websites that discuss/gives advice of horse breeding. Theory. Horse pedigree lines etc

I am a hobby breeder. I have used mostly instinct so far in my breeding choices with decent results. I am becoming more and more intrigued by theories employed by breeders in choices they make, I suppose Tesio is the first to have had a system that he devised.

Are there any websites out there on FB or where ever that are dedicated to this kind of discussion?

Thanks

What breeds? Breed and performance standards vary so much between breeds that you can’t generalize.

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I posted it under Sport Horse breeding so all those breeds. I am interested in TB influence in performance but more generally in how people decide how and what to combine in breeding. The more I read the more I realise that for all the chatter it really is a form of genetic lotto

Jumper or dressage? Or hunter? Or eventer?

How familiar are you with the warm blood registries and how the different European registries in particular approve TB into the breeding programs? Finding out about that would be a good overview, then finding out about the current WB “lines.” The same lines can turn up in different registries depending on where the horse lives.

The European WB breeders operating within fairly precise controls are currently producing most of the top sport horses in the world. And while obviously not all their horses are top contenders, in general even their lower quality horses are very very nice and sought after by amateurs.

Since the WB sport horse was created within the past 80 years or so by careful crossing of cavalry and carriage horses primarily with TB, studying them would be a good way to see what TB adds to a deliberate breeding program.

A lot of WB basically look like a very good TB but with more bone, more height, a higher set neck (in dressage lines especially) and a bigger step. I don’t think at this point European WB breeders are playing genetic lotto when they introduce an approved TB into a breeding program already based on TB blood for speed, athleticism, and rideability.

On the other hand, yes, if you are breeding a random OTTB mare to a very different breed stallion, say a Percheron or Andalusian or Welsh pony, it’s a bit more of a lotto on size and general appearance. But I’m not sure there’s too much theorizing going on in regard to these one off backyard crosses, some of which are lovely.

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Horse Magazine’s website has a section called ‘Breeders Club’ that has lots of interesting articles on breeding for dressage and show jumping. I’ve found the Great Stallions segment very helpful when trying to learn about lines and specific stallions. It usually goes through the stallion’s biography, famous ancestors, successful offspring, and breeder’s opinions of the stallion throughout their life (ie sometimes people were on the fence until they saw how the offspring did in competition, or they were a good broodmare sire, etc). Sometimes they go into conformation, temperament, and what mares the stallion crosses well with too.

Horse Magazine’s ‘Great Stallions’ article list

I agree with Scribbler that specifying Eventing, Dressage, Jumping (or another discipline) would get you more answers. Even when they’re all warmbloods, there are big differences in breeding goals and the lines that are considered desirable - you’ll rarely see Totilas in a jumper’s pedigree, and you’d be hard-pressed to find Galoubet in a dressage horse’s pedigree. Most resources reflect that and focus on one discipline when discussing breeding.

Yes, there is an aspect of chance when it comes to breeding. Sometimes genetics are weird - consider how Big Ben’s dam was only 15 hands, and he grew to 17.3 hh! I’m guessing his breeders weren’t expecting that. That being said, the consistently successful breeders are using quality mares, quality stallions, and the pairings are very carefully considered. They aren’t just putting a ‘nice’ mare and a ‘great’ stallion together and hoping the cross works out without looking at the conformation, movement, performance record, temperament, pedigree, and what the stallion and/or mare tend to sire/throw.

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Since I did some breeding and have approved foals with two WB registries I get some interesting reads. Sign on to their email list admin@sporthorse-data.com. I’ll look for some more.

Books and theories are a good resource. I love pouring over pedigrees, photos, videos and notes about stallions, mares and bloodlines. It really comes down to personal taste and experience. Get out to as many inspections as you can get to and you can learn a great deal from the breeders and what they bring and the inspector’s comments. I don’t always agree with the inspector, but there again - it’s a personal opinion based on education. The best inspector I ever presented to by far was Brad Krebs when he was doing the Trakehners inspections. What a wealth of knowledge and a way of sharing it and commenting on a particular horse accompanied by his “demonstrations” of what he means. Such a nice man who I learned so much from! It is a journey of years to really become knowledgeable and then it continues on forever. It’s a joy if you love it and can be encouraging and discouraging. The best thing any breeder can do is get the very best mare possible and choose a mate wisely.

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Thanks. You understood my question. I have managed to locate a few sources but at the end of the day when all the chatter dies down there is a huge amount of luck involved. Many of the greatest horses came out of left field…yes they have good pedigrees but that extra thing we are looking for cannot be planned most of the time. Clones on the other hand are adding a dimension to breeding that is a truly new frontier.