Small mare, bigger stallion....yes or no?

Enfys

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I am sure you lovely people will give me an answer to this.

My friend has a 12.2h maybe 13h (I have only seen her from a distance so can't be sure) QH x maiden mare that she wants to breed to my boy, he's QH 15h. They are both pretty chunky.

Is he too big?

No lectures about backyard breeding please, she is going to breed this mare regardless, I just wanted a consensus of opinion before I got back to her with a yay or nay.

Thankyou.
 

CrazyMare

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I put my 13.1h to a 14.2h and got a nice sized foal at birth, not too big or small. My worry was too big and difficulties.

I'm debating on the next stallion - theres one I like who is 15h, but a chunky lad so I think I will go for the 14.1h stallion I like, and possibly use the 15h on the filly when she is older.

Having said that, I saw a foal from a 12.2h mare by a 16h stallion. Not something I would choose to do but I am a big worrier.

ETA - I'm not sure how much my ramblings help or hinder but there we go!
 

BallyshanHorses

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i wouldnt have a problem with it.pony mares only tend to have foals that they can give birth to.meaning that nature itself will not let a pony have a horse.it may grow faster and fulfill its genetic potential only after it has been born therefore may end up being taller than its dam.a study undertaken in the U.S saw pony mares (12-14h) ai'd with stallions 16-17.2h and the resulting foals were pony sized foals relative to the size of the dam at birth.
 

emilyandnessa

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I would not worry about the birth or size of the foal only that the mare can hold the weight of the stallion upon covering and not meaning to be crude but that your boys “bits” are not to huge as they could tear her internally/externally; as it’s the mares who dictate the size of the foal upon birth even if the foal’s genetics means it out grows its mother significantly when matured trouble foaling IMHO is not a significant factor when opting for a larger stallion.
 

madmare22

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depends on how big really, and it a myth that the mare limits the size of the foal, yes the uterus may be limiting but it is the size of the birth canal that is important. If the mare limits the size of the foal she can produce i would not have had the problem that i had earlier in the year which resulted in a dead mare and dead foal, the foal got stuck. The mare was a hefty 16.2hh that had bred many foals, the stallion was sandro hit who i think is 17hh but the foal got too big.
 

Amelia27

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[ QUOTE ]
i dont see this as a big problem as the others say the foal will on grow to the space the mare has available

[/ QUOTE ]


I don't agree with this - I have known far too many mares die giving birth because the foals were too big.

It's believed that height doesn't matter as much as build so as long as the stallion isn't a vast amount heavier set than the mare then it could be OK. However for a maiden mare I would always choose a stallion of a similar size and build to her to try and make the first foaling as easy as possible.

My mare is 14.1 and I put her to a 15.3 who is known to throw very large foals (I didn't know that when I chose him, funnily enough the owner didn't indulge me with that info!) and my foal got stuck, thank god I was there to help him out otherwise i could have lost them both. He was a huge foal and is already nearly a hand bigger than mum at 2 yrs old.

just my humble opinion though
blush.gif
 

AndyPandy

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In 1938 Walton and Hammond studied the size of the offspring (at birth) which were the product of crosses between Shetlands and Shires.

There is approximately a fourfold difference in mass between the Shetland and Shire mares. When the Shetland/Shire crosses were produced using AI, the embryos were all genetically extremely similar.

The hybrid foals born to the Shetland mares were found to be comparable in size to purebred Shetlands, while the foals born to the Shire mothers were considerably larger, approaching but not quite equaling the mass of newborn purebred Shires. Both types of foal were of normal proportions and were the same size after a few months: the foals born to the Shire mares having grown more slowly than the foals born to the Shetland mares. Similar results have been obtained in cattle and in sheep.

In humans there is also a tendency for small (short) mothers to have small babies, and large (tall) women to have large babies, irrespective of the size of the father and consequent foetal genotype.

Hope that helps.
 

JanetGeorge

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[ QUOTE ]
depends on how big really, and it a myth that the mare limits the size of the foal, yes the uterus may be limiting but it is the size of the birth canal that is important. If the mare limits the size of the foal she can produce i would not have had the problem that i had earlier in the year which resulted in a dead mare and dead foal, the foal got stuck. The mare was a hefty 16.2hh that had bred many foals, the stallion was sandro hit who i think is 17hh but the foal got too big.

[/ QUOTE ]

Ditto, ditto, ditto!! I was lucky in that I didn't lose one mare and foal due to foal getting FAR too big (mare was on a strict diet too!) BUT the mare may never breed again - she bled into the broad ligament, was lucky not to bleed out - ran up a £700 vet bill and now has a large haematoma in the birth canal which may or may NOT ever reduce sufficiently for her to be bred from! And she was a big 16.3 RID mare, not a maiden, in foal to a 17 hh RID of similar proportion!

The mare can 'limit' the foal by foaling early - one of mine foaled a big foal in the field at 318 days - thankfully they were both fine. Or she can prolapse and rupture. Or she can have the foal removed in pieces if the birth canal isn't big enough. IF mares could limit the size of the foal EFFECTIVELY, there would be virtually no foaling difficulties and equine vets would have a quiet old time in the foaling season.

And of course, the weight of a large stallion on a small mare can damage her - as can large male 'item' when inserted with considerable force into much smaller female 'item'!!

Yes, some people get away with it - others don't. The ones that don't generally don't talk about it.
 

S_N

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Also, nevermind the size of foal at birth - not that I am disregarding this issue, having known too many TB's struggle with BIG foals. What about the potential growth problems for the resulting offspring once born? It's all very well saying that the genetics of the offspring will determine the size it grows to, but what of OCD/DOD and whole miriad of problems that could affect the horse?

Enfys, all I will say further is - you remember Topper? You remember his problems? His dam was a 15.1hh TB and his sire and 18.1hh Shire, he was 17.1hh and was PTS at 15 years young....
 

Kallibear

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Echo what others have said about oversized foals. Mare and foal can and do die from the foal being too big. Sure, there those that don't, but is it worth the risk? Presumably she loves her horse and doesn't want to loose her - breeding is risky enough as it is so why make it more so?!

I'd be even more careful with a QH, who are renound for having very well developed quarters - the chance of hiplock is high (mum's overly muscled quarters being small on the inside with baby's overly developed quarters trying to get out). It's similar to double muscled Belgium Blues etc.

I'd be saying not to her. It's not a risk worth taking and you'd feel awful if something did go wrong.
 

alleycat

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There is apparently evidence that the sire does influence birth size/ weight (NOT just eventual size) in humans and in sheep; I think also in cattle. See the ref. to the human study below; there is an interaction with the factors from the mother; her size, nutritional factors & whether she has had children before; but the father does play a part. I see no reason why this shouldn't also be true of horses.

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=2246490

I also believe some sires routinely get big foals relative to the mothers size; the sires aren't necessarily big themselves and their foals don't necessarily grow up to be big. I wonder whether some factor of timing is involved; whether the foals sneak a bit longer in the womb, or grow faster earlier- I don't know. For example I knew a smallish TB who seemed to get big foals on TB mares; whilst on an ID mare, bigger than himself, the foal he produced was massive- even for an ID. The adult height of these offspring was fair but not exceptional.

So I think lots of factors are at work, and the apparent simplicity of the Shetland / Shire thing frightens me a bit; I don't think we know it all yet.
 

neonzebras

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I am doing a undergraduate research study on this exact topic and am in the process of searching for resources and am wondering if you know where I could find the study you referred to in your post. Thanks!
 

the watcher

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I am no expert. Apart from the potential birth difficulties that have been alluded to, there is the question of what the two of them might eventually produce. Is the breeding of the mare known? Is she the result of a cross of two smaller animals or typical of sire or dam?

2 hands (at that size) is quite a difference and makes it very hard to predict the likely outcome. Your friend might be safer with a finer 14hh stallion if she wants to have any hand in the outcome
 

Enfys

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Thankyou all, some interesting information and experiences to mull over.

I said that I didn't feel comfortable about the pairing (and besides that, I don't think the foal will do my stallion any favours)

She has now decided on an even BIGGER QH stallion. Nowt to do.
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