Draft Horses Choice of Horse and Mare for Breeding

Draft Horses Choice of Horse and Mare for Breeding

Draft Horses Choice of Horse and Mare for Breeding from the resemblance that offspring bear to their parents results the necessity for choice in the selection of animals for breeding purposes, an important consideration too frequently neglected by the breeders of draught horses.

Both mare and stallion should possess qualities desired to be obtained in the progeny if one parent only possesses those qualities, it should be by the one most likely to transmit them; both also should be free from deformity, defects of temper, or predisposition to disease.

Whilst it is essential for good reproductions to possess equal and •well-proportioned exteriors, indicative of well-developed organs and regions, which contribute to the production of physical force, it is not equally necessary that they should present that full and graceful contour so pleasing to the eye.

Primary attention must be given to the capacity of chest, full development in this respect being usually associated with a wide lower jaw, massive forehead, and capacious nostrils.

The ribs should be well rounded and deep, withers thick and strong,* shoulders massive, and well thrown outwards to afford ample space for the collar ; eyes large, clear, full, and expressive of docility and intelligence ; ears well-formed and mobile ; the loins short, wide,, and level with the croup, which should be long ; the thighs well let down, and furnished, like the reins and buttocks, with large and firm muscular developments; the fore-arm and second thighs constituted of distinct and very tense muscle; the knees and hocks large, well defined, and possessing great mobility; tendons and ligaments thick, and equal throughout their length; pasterns broad and strong, but of greater length and more obliquely placed than is usual amongst the prize animals of the present day; the feet strong, hard, neither too flat nor too upright, and in size proportionate to the bulk of the animal; canons, fore and hind, short, measuring not less than 11 inches in circumference immediately below the knee, and garnished with a plentiful growth of silky hair.

Regarding position, the limbs should be placed so that each extremity and each bone thereof supports its due proportion of weight.

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