Monday, November 22, 2010

Seeing Spots

Someday I would love to breed Jetta. I believe that she has pretty correct conformation with no serious faults and hopefully this summer I will take her to some sport horse breed shows to show in-hand and get some feedback on her conformation. If the feedback is good, I would love to get her approved in one or more warmblood registries as a broodmare.

So, naturally, I've been looking at stallions that I would like to breed Jetta to. This probably won't be soon and might never take place but I love to look and make lists of stallions that I like and balance well with Jetta. The reasons that I want to breed Jetta is that I would love the chance to raise a baby from birth to under saddle training as well as breeding a baby would be less expensive than buying a young prospect even with all of the vet fees and the stud fee taken into account.

Since I would be breeding my own baby I would want certain traits - one of them being color. I could care less if the foal is a filly or colt. Why not have a horse that not only has talent and conformation but color too? The color breeds that I love are Appaloosas and Knabstruppers.

Here is what I have learned about Appaloosa coloring so far. There are two genes that control markings: the Lp/lp gene and the PATN-1 and -2 gene. If a horse is LpLp then they are homozygous for passing on color markings to all of their offspring. This gene manifests itself in either a fewspot (also known as white born) pattern or a snowcap pattern. The PATN gene affects the distribution of spots, whether it's isolated to one area (like a blanket) or it's spread all over the body (like a leopard). This means that I need to find a fewspot or snowcap stallion with traits that I like.

A few of the traits I am looking for in a stallion that has good jumping and/or dressage abilities that has a strong back and loin, a large, balanced hip, good strong feet, small chiseled head, good performance record and, of course, color!

These are some of the stallions that I came up with and I liked the best:

Nobody's Harlequin

Hussar of Independence


Butterwap Confetti
The first three stallions are Knabstruppers. I like Nobody's Harlequin because he looks as if he has fantastic bone and very correct conformation (though in this picture he appears back at the knee), but I would like a prettier, more refined head. Hussar I also love because he's got all of the conformation traits that I am looking for, but he is located in Germany, I think, so I'm not sure how the whole shipping semen deal would work out. Ravaldi is a little lacking in the conformation department for what I'm looking for, but man can he jump! I also like Butterwap Confetti who combines the two sporthorse Appaloosa lines of Wap Spotted and Choklate Confetti, but as of yet I have not heard of any competition records...

I also ran across Spotted Holsteiners. I am not really sure about how it works, but it seems to me that these stallions can pass on the color gene (to solid mares?) with only about 4% of Appaloosa blood. I would be interested to find out more about Spotted Holsteiners but so far my internet searches were inconclusive.

Just to show you what my dream foal would look like out of one of these stallions, here is Cita Norfolk by Ravaldi. She is just stunning! I love her color and her conformation and her movement. If I could afford her, I would buy her in a second! Presuming she was for sale of course.

Here are some links about coloring and the above horses:
Ravaldi and his offspring
Hussar of Independence
Nobody's Harlequin
Butterwap Confetti
Spotted Holsteiners
Equine Color Genetics
The Appaloosa Project

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