Line Breeding

 

Line Breeding

Horse line breeding: Outside the fourth generation.

 
Lusitano-055Line breeding takes us a couple of steps down the line.   Horse line breeding requires the presence of a common ancestor outside the fourth generation.   Line breeding horses is the process of mating half-brothers with half-sisters, half-cousins, cousin with cousin, grandfather with granddaughter and grandson with granddaughter.   The possibility of line breeding to avoid some of the problems caused by excessive inbreeding of horses uses the stallion as a base.   This requires a stallion which is outstanding in what it does and has all the characteristics required by its breed.   The stallion must also have a proven and easily identified ancestry to establish his legitimate lineage right within the breed stud books.
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Lusitano-042Horse line breeding is usually done by breeders who own the stud and some of its descendants.   This is especially true for line breeding between grandfather and granddaughters which is the farthest relationship considered line breeding.   This is probably the strongest line breeding combination that can be made.   The others depend very much of the other half which does not belong to the stallion’s family.
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Lusitano-044Horse line breeding in all its possibilities helps to reduce the amount of inbreeding within the herd.   The use of half-brothers and half-sisters, cousins and other not so close relatives also allows for the introduction of new genes to the herd’s gene pool.   These new genes come from the other parent of the mare.   Many specialists believe that line breeding must be done in several steps which include the crossing of the best daughter the stallion has produced with another exceptional male so that their offspring can be line bred with her grandfather.   Thus preserving the grandfather’s genes and also adding the positive characteristics and trait of the stallion from which the granddaughter came.
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Lusitano-026Horse line breeding has two major purposes:   The first is to strengthen and re-establish the positive traits and characteristics present in the original stallion through its DNA.   The second is to unite as many of the ancestors DNA parts as possible the stallion and mare, each contribute with half of the DNA chains in the off spring so by bringing.   For example, the grandfather and granddaughter together, the mother has her father’s DNA which she passes to her own daughter.   So when the granddaughter and the grandfather come together half of the genes she contributes come from him so they connect and form strong ties which will continue to be transmitted through the generations.
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Lusitano-011Line Breeding and Inbreeding are two breeding methods considered by some experts one and the same.   Others believe there are well established differences.   The first being that in horse line breeding there has to be a common ancestor outside the fourth generation.   Horse inbreeding includes the breeding of close relatives like father and daughter and mother and son.   Horse inbreeding does not bring new DNA into the family’s gene pool.   Line breeding does bring in new DNA which comes from the mare’s other parent.   The possibilities of developing and setting negative traits and characteristics with inbreeding methods are greater than when using line breeding procedures.   Intensive horse inbreeding may also produce weak offsprings.   Line breeding will not.   Inbreeding protects and assures the transmission of very specific traits and characteristics from one generation to another.   Line breeding does basically the same but leaves a margin for error and improvement through the addition of new DNA.
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