I was wondering who has more influence on a horse's temperament, dam or sire, and what kind of variables come into play?


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Gee , that's a tough one Barbara!! It might be easier to measure a piece of string! lol. You know ,(pauses for thinking music) I think the greatest influence is the TRAINER\ OWNER\ RIDER !! What we do, or don't do, has the most berring on how the horse behaves. I look forward to seeing what others think of this. Cheers Geoffrey
Dam and owner/handler. A foal learns behaviour from it's dam. How it's dam reacts in certain situations is likely to influence how the foal will react in a similar situation. However you can have a flighty dam with a calm handler overcome the foal's wanting to mimic what mommy has to do.

However that being said, each individual will have it's own personality similar to humans raised by the same parents in similar environment.

I know my sister and I are almost polar opposites. We have 3 full siblings (same sire, same dam, same handlers and very similar environmental upbringing) and they have 3 different personalitlies - similar in how they react to some situations but different in others.

Variables can include - humans, physical environment, food, age or mare, .......
I am more inclined to think the sire has more influence. When you look back at the stallion testing that is performed with the warmblood registries, temperament is always rated.

My own personal experience was breeding my "hot" thoroughbred mare to a stallion with a wonderful termperament. Jazzy (foal) took on the temperament of the stallion, not her dam.

Owners have a huge impact also. If you are worried and nervous, the foal picks up on that.

The stallion I bred to happened to pass on more of his genes to the foals than the mares he was bred to. In other words, he has proven that he will pass on very long legs to his foals. Also, I have personally met 6 of his foals which were out of thoroughbred or arabian mares, and they were all very sweet and trusting from the onset of birth.

It may be that this sire just has very dominant genes, I don't know if that is typical or not.

I did know that there was no way I was going to breed my hot thoroughbred mare to a "hot" stallion as my main goal was to have a foal with a great temperament.

Case in point, she is 4.5 years old, still growing, approximately 16.2 hands and she outgrew my saddle I had last week. I took off the saddle as it was causing her pain and got on her bareback. I would not have done this with any other greenbroke horse but I trust her and she was awesome. She never showed any signs of wanting to spook, buck, bolt, or getting ticked off as I posted her trot and shut a door that was swinging into the arena while I was on her back.


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