View Full Version : Breeding - difference in heights\si

30-03-04, 01:49 AM
I have an Australian Pony mare who I wish to put in foal this spring. She has already had 3 foals, she is 16 years and in good health.
She is 12.3hh and of solid build. I would like to bred her to a larger stallion & am not sure what is too large ? Obviously common sense tells me that I would put her to a warmblood !! I was thinking of a Stock Horse who is 15.1hh....he most of his progeny has been between 14.2 - 15.2hh. Would this been likely to cause any trouble?
Thanks in advance for your advice.

30-03-04, 05:49 AM

I also have a pony mare who is right on 14hh. I would love to put her to a TB stallion who is 16.1hh next season, but obviously I don't want her hurt. I have spoken to numerous vets, breeders and studs and have so much conflicting info that I really don't know what to do.

I guess your mare has almost exactly the same height difference as my mare.

Some vets have said that she would be fine and that the mare determines the size of the foal on delivery. One said look at arabian warmbloods and said that most pure arabs are around the 14.2hh mark (with some exceptions), and they are sucessfully crossed with 17hh solid warmbloods. Another said that I would be asking for trouble. Most have said that as my mare is solid and the stallion is a fairly typical TB (light build) that it should be fine...

I am also confused and would love some feedback from other readers.

06-04-04, 09:46 AM
First, I would think about the "product" you want to breed. It doesn't make sense just to go for height without considering what breed it will be and in which classes it can be entered at breeding events, what traits will be inherited, how the different breeds fit together (colder tempered horses with hot tempered ones), what future that little one will have.

It is enormously important to plan a future for a foal. You never know what will come up in life for you, so you may have to sell it reluctantly and then it will be of utmost importance to have a foal that is desirable to other people, otherwise it will end at the slaughterhouse.

Check out the breeding and the breeds your horse has. Think about what you like about the breed and what you would want to enforce, what you would like to improve.

Is there a market for a horse that is a mixture between three or four different breeds? What happens if it has the rump of the TB, the legs of the pony and the tail carriage of the Arabian?

Find something in common with the stallion. Are there genetical connections? If the mare is 3/4 Arabian and 1/4 Welsh, then it makes sense to either go to an Arabian, a Welsh or a riding pony sire who has some of the breeding in him. Look out for a sire that has the weak points of your mares as strong points.

Difference in sizes nowadays are not so much of a problem anymore due to AI. The mare doesn't need to endure the mating with a large stallion, but vets sometimes warn that there can be problems with foaling when the foal is too big. Often the foal fits the mare when born, but there are exceptions. I have bred an 11.2hh Welshie mare to a 14.2hh riding pony sire and the foaling was ok. The resulting two foals from this connection were stunning, but the sizes were different. The first foal was a dainty 12hh, the second one a strong 13.2hh. You never know what genes will be stronger.

I personally would not go too far apart. With smaller ponies it's all right to stay within the pony range. Welshie for example are very versatile, but don't mix too many breeds togehter. Always remember: a lot of pony breeds are coming originally from the colder temperaments, like New Forest, Welsh. If you mix this with an Arabian or a TB, you add this hot temperament to the colder temperament and automatically the whole genes will be a huge range. Sometimes undesirable temperaments appear with these connections. We all know examples of "crazy" small ponies, beautiful, but hard to handle. Those ponies are often a product of these mixtures.

Breeding shouldn't be by chance. Always remember you're playing with a life here. Make sure you make the right decisions.

Lisa Wright
10-04-04, 01:22 PM
I hope you can breed the horse that you are after. The height thing is just rubbish. Most horse people would not know what they are talking about. Breed on dear if you would like to call me at
Dick Wright BVSC MVetClinStud MACVSc Equine Surgery FACVSc Equine Medicine Equine Speacialist
I will help you I am breeding warmblood ponies how sweet they will be
We dont talk bull just facts
55337155 in buss hours or my mobile at anytime Please call
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11-04-04, 06:08 AM
Hi Ally
In the early days of Arabian pony breeding shetland mares were frequently bred to Arabian stallions - this was before the days of AI.
Breeding bars were used to prevent the very large stallions penetrating the mares too deeply but apart from that there was no other intervention. As the mares were often only 9 hands they usually only produced foals up to about 11 or 12hh dispite the stallions often being 15hh+. The mares had no more problems than mares bred to stallions their own size.
Today welsh mountain ponies of 11hh are often bred to big arab stallions and again no probs.
These height differences are bigger than the one you are suggesting and I would not have a problem breeding our 12.3 girls to our 15hh purebred.
However even though your mare is a big bodied girl you cannot guarrentee that she will produce height no matter how big the stallion.
We have a 12.3hh mare who when bred to a 10.2 stallion produces over 13hh but I seriously doubt she could breed 14.2hh+ even to a really big boy.
If your reason for choice of stallion is primarily to get a 14.2 - 15.2 bub I would think of using another mare. If you really like this boy for other reasons and he compliments your girl ( and you will not be dissapointed if the resulting foal stays pony height ) go for it - genetics is a gamble and you could and up with anything from pony to galloway - hey who knows maybe even small hack ( stranger things have happened )
Good luck and Happy Breeding

12-04-04, 07:33 AM
I have a pony who is from a 12.1hh Welsh/Aussie mare and by a 15hh Arabian stallion. This pony has grown to be 13.3hh, he is now 4 1/2yo and I am having loads of fun with him.

I think that an Australian Pony/ Stock Horse cross is a good idea, and in theory you could get an all-Australian galloway, or at least large pony.

Even breeding two horses of the same height is no guarantee of what height the foal will be. You never know until they stop growing what you will end up with in the height department.

Now Heike, I will have to disagree with your comment that crossing pony breeds like the New Forest and Welsh with Arabians or TBs produces 'crazy' small ponies. If the Arabian or TB parent has a good temperament, and many, many hotbloods are lovely individuals, then crossing it with a Mountain and Moorland breed will probably give you a useful, middle-sized animal. M&M/TB crosses are highly sought-after as mounts for pleasure, PC and lower level competition, and some are competitive at higher levels. They do not have the soundness problems that you find in a lot of TBs and they are more economical to keep. But they are still wonderful athletes and I am yet to meet one that has a dodgy temperament.
New Forest Ponies in particular seem to 'nick' very well with TBs, possibly because the TB was used to 'improve' the NF ponies several generations ago.

13-04-04, 11:56 PM
i have a friend who has a 15 hand crabet stallion running with a mixed batch of ponies ranging in height between 9 and 11 hands.
there have been 3 seasons of foals around 30 in total and there has been no fatalities.
i just bought a lttle colt his father was the crabet,and his mother was the 9 hand minature type.he is currently around 20 months old and is currently 12 hands.

14-04-04, 05:14 AM
My current pony was by a 15.2hh stallion and the mare was 11.2hh. He is 12.3hh.

His half brother was by a 16hh stallion out of the same mare. Neither births caused any trouble.


14-05-04, 08:31 AM
if u want 2 breed in height but dont want to hurt her, what about artificial insemination. im kinda in the same boat. i have a 15.2 hand mare that i want 2 breed but i want at least a 16.3hh result. also shes a very hot mare and i was wanting 2 cool her down. one of my horses is half stockhorse and hes lovely...its a good breed, particually if it comes from the stallions side.

14-05-04, 08:45 AM
I think rather than the stallion being the issue, it's the size of the foal here which could hurt the mare.

Kiwi Lou
17-05-04, 04:49 AM
If height differences are extreme then AI is the best option.

It is widely recognised in breeding/veterinary circles that it is the mare that determines the BIRTH size of the foal and genetics will determine the mature size of the foal. Sure, there are horror stories about huge foals born when much larger stallions have covered smaller mares but I can assure you that this is more a case of bad luck than management.

Tests have been conducted in which shetland pony mares have been inseminated with the semen of Shire Horse stallions and have foaled their offspring with no trouble. The foals of course grew up to be much bigger than their mums! I have never had any problems when covering any of my mares with taller/bigger stallions.

If the stallion is a good match for your mare and you have a market for the resulting foal (or you intend to keep it) then I would say by all means try the cross.

26-05-04, 03:56 AM
Why not find an Australian Stallion and put her to that, aussies are very versitile and can do anything a welshie can do, you would have a pure bred, and if you put her to a bigger stallion, you would proberly end up with a bigger foal

27-05-04, 08:21 AM
Hi Ally

I have a friend that has a Percheron who is know 18.1hh. He was an Embryo Transfer (ET), and his Recipient mother was a quarter horse, if you are going to a big stallion AI would be the go.