Closing AMHA Registry

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manelyminis

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So once we know the genetics, as long as we breed a horse we know is positive for it to a horse we know is negative for it, wouldn't that solve the problem of no longer producing dwarfs?
Even if this is proven to be true...to breed a positive to a negative still gives that small chance for the gene to be passed on to the other generation. This is true of other genetic mutations such as HYPP, so I would think it possible with dwarfism.
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The way I see it, two positives give a 50% chance of a dwarf foal, but a positive bred to a negative would still have a 25% chance of passing the gene on. Even if that resultant foal is tested, (and they all should be if a positive parent is involved) and people know it too is a carrier...how can we erradicate this gene if we continue to breed it at all?

Oh I see now. Thanks for that information Sue. I thought the only way you get a dwarf is by BOTH parents having the gene. I didn't realize there was still a chance if only one had the gene. And I never thought about it being passed on to the foal. Makes sense.
 

Songcatcher

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So once we know the genetics, as long as we breed a horse we know is positive for it to a horse we know is negative for it, wouldn't that solve the problem of no longer producing dwarfs?
Even if this is proven to be true...to breed a positive to a negative still gives that small chance for the gene to be passed on to the other generation. This is true of other genetic mutations such as HYPP, so I would think it possible with dwarfism.
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The way I see it, two positives give a 50% chance of a dwarf foal, but a positive bred to a negative would still have a 25% chance of passing the gene on. Even if that resultant foal is tested, (and they all should be if a positive parent is involved) and people know it too is a carrier...how can we erradicate this gene if we continue to breed it at all?

Oh I see now. Thanks for that information Sue. I thought the only way you get a dwarf is by BOTH parents having the gene. I didn't realize there was still a chance if only one had the gene. And I never thought about it being passed on to the foal. Makes sense.
Actually, there is no proof as of yet as to what causes dwarfism, or if it can result from one parent or if both must carry the gene, or even if it is caused by non-heriditary factors. It is still theory at this point.

However, if it is a recessive gene, that requires both parents to have the gene for a foal to be a dwarf (i.e. homozygous for the dwarf gene) the mathematics would be the same as with any other gene. For example, both parents carriers (Dn X Dn) your percentages would be 25% DD (homozygous for dwarf gene and visually a dwarf), 50% Dn (carrier, like the parents, but not visually a dwarf) and 25% nn (non-dwarf).
 

Tony

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I want to add another thought here. Aside from the dwarfism issue, is the issue of height. A number of years ago, when AMHA was young, it had a division for Foundation Oversize horses. Because of the rarity of under 34" horses, those over that height could be registered and their offspring were eligible for registration as well. Initially, this was good for AMHA. But over time, with the numbers of under 34" horses increasing, AMHA voted to close the division for over size horses. Was that a bad thing for AMHA? I don't think so.
Not to be argumentative, but that is really not true. When the registry was closed, except for hardship, in order to keep the membership from rebelling because there were many with large numbers of oversized horse because there were so few under 34" available. Anyone who had an oversized horse with AMHA papers had the opportunity to turn in the papers and have them marked with their actual height and stamped with Foundation Oversize. This was done in order to hopefully bring validity to the registry, keep people from losing money on horses that they had invested in since it was fairly early in the life of the registry. Knowing that the larger horses would eventually die off and if people were honest in the future only under 34" horses would remain in the future. It was not really a division, but a stop gap to make closing the registry less painful and to gain support for the closure. The horse had to be over five and the owner had a certain amount of time to make the horse "honest" by turning in the papers to be marked. If that was not done, the horse was to lose the papers if it was measured over 34" at any time in the future. It was an attempt to legislate honesty, which seems futile in reflection.
 
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loveminis

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Just some thoughts ....

I know breeders who keep breeding their AMHA mares that go over 34". That is cheating and they keep adding foals that may go over.

I hope the AMHA stays with 34" and under horses only ! It is important to keep the "miniature" a miniature.

Quit breeding tall to tall and expect them to stay under.

As far as closing the registry - no opinion yet.
 

susanne

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...I hope the AMHA stays with 34" and under horses only ! It is important to keep the "miniature" a miniature...
Sorry to be a nitpicker, but over 34 inches is still a mini -- just not AMHA. It can be up to 38 inches and be AMHR (although, granted, not via hardship).

IMO, the demand to close both miniature horse registries comes from a quest for legitimacy in the eyes of the rest of the horse world. It will do nothing toward that particular end, but WILL hurt the miniature horse in the long run.
 

JMS Miniatures

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I agree with what John has said in his points. I think they are very good and you should bring it up to the board.

I think AMHA should close but they also have to find another way to get that good chunk of change back once they close it down. Like John has said perhaps let the AMHR horses in or something? But yet maybe perhaps AMHA wants to stay away from R and in a way I can understand.

Also I really think you have to welcome in the oversized AMHA minis. I don't think people will start not carring to try and not produce 34" and under horses cause now its ok, I think people will and should still produce 34" and under horses. Sometimes you get a freak horse that gets taller then its parents. I met a horse in person that had a AMHA pedigreed papers (altho no longer had them) and she grew to be 42" tall.

As far as reducing hardshipping fees I think besides the geldings they need to stay the same. I think its great and hopefully will still continue reducing the hardship fee on geldings, but I don't see why we need to do it for the mares and stallions. If your horses are so nice you will find every way possible to pay for that horse to be registered.
 

JWC sr.

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Just for informations sake in talking with the powers that be, there is now a genetic test for 2 of the 3 identified types of dwarfism. And yes from a genetic standpoint both parents have to have the gene in order for the offspring to be a dwarf.
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If both parents are "carriers" then it is only a statistical chance of it being a dwarf. But if a parent is a carrier there is a chance of the offspring being a "carrier" from that single set of genes from the one "carrier" parent, but not express it visually also. In layman's terms it is what is called a heterozygous trait.
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In any case, Tony I agree with you that was a lot of political wrangling done to make this rule change more palatable to the people at the annual meeting with additions, time frame extensions etc. being added and subtracted as needed in order to gain passage. Which in my opinion is a poor way to do business, when the litmus test should always be "What is in the best interest of the registry and it members long term".
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There is a proposed rule change on the agenda according to a director I talked to that would revoke this rule change that will be voted on at the upcoming annual meeting. So I guess we will have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully those that vote on this will use common sense and the litmus test I alluded to above to make that decision this time around.
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In my opinion we do not want to negate or forget about the fact that an AMHA horse is supposed to be under 34" and as such is special in a lot of peoples eyes. There are a lot of folks that have spent a lot of time and money to produce quality littler horses, which is important to remember so as not to alienate them in any way. With allowances even in a breeding only scenario made for taller AMHA produced horses.
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I am personally not sure what the answers are, which is why I threw this out on the forum. In order to get as many people thinking about these situations as we can. the old saying on 200 heads (LOL)is better than one applies in my opinion. Hopefully then the powers that be can get some input form all of us and do what is best for the registry.
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targetsmom

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Just for informations sake in talking with the powers that be, there is now a genetic test for 2 of the 3 identified types of dwarfism. And yes from a genetic standpoint both parents have to have the gene in order for the offspring to be a dwarf.
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If both parents are "carriers" then it is only a statistical chance of it being a dwarf. But if a parent is a carrier there is a chance of the offspring being a "carrier" from that single set of genes from the one "carrier" parent, but not express it visually also. In layman's terms it is what is called a heterozygous trait.
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Wow that is really exciting if there are now tests for 2 of the 3 types of dwarfism. Does that mean they might be commercially available soon?

I know this is not a perfect comparison, but if you think of the genetics of dwarfism (if it is a simple recessive gene) as comparable to lethal white (LWO, another simple recessive gene), then you are right that you would never COMPLETELY remove the gene with selective breeding. There would likely always be carriers. But as long as the CARRIERS have no health issues and strict testing is followed so as not to breed carrier to carrier, it should be possible to eliminate the homozygous recessives - either lethal white foals or dwarfs. This could happen as soon as a year or so after testing is available!
 
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loveminis

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...I hope the AMHA stays with 34" and under horses only ! It is important to keep the "miniature" a miniature...
Sorry to be a nitpicker, but over 34 inches is still a mini -- just not AMHA. It can be up to 38 inches and be AMHR (although, granted, not via hardship).
Hi Susanne, I am only talking about the AMHA, not AMHR. I dont want to see the AMHA letting oversize mares have their foals registered A. JMO
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Sue_C.

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If both parents are "carriers" then it is only a statistical chance of it being a dwarf. But if a parent is a carrier there is a chance of the offspring being a "carrier" from that single set of genes from the one "carrier" parent, but not express it visually also. In layman's terms it is what is called a heterozygous trait.
Exactly what I think as well
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Even if this is proven to be true...to breed a positive to a negative still gives that small chance for the gene to be passed on to the other generation. This is true of other genetic mutations such as HYPP, so I would think it possible with dwarfism... The way I see it, two positives give a 50% chance of a dwarf foal, but a positive bred to a negative would still have a 25% chance of passing the gene on. Even if that resultant foal is tested, (and they all should be if a positive parent is involved) and people know it too is a carrier...how can we erradicate this gene if we continue to breed it at all?

Actually, there is no proof as of yet as to what causes dwarfism, or if it can result from one parent or if both must carry the gene, or even if it is caused by non-heriditary factors. It is still theory at this point.However, if it is a recessive gene, that requires both parents to have the gene for a foal to be a dwarf (i.e. homozygous for the dwarf gene) the mathematics would be the same as with any other gene. For example, both parents carriers (Dn X Dn) your percentages would be 25% DD (homozygous for dwarf gene and visually a dwarf), 50% Dn (carrier, like the parents, but not visually a dwarf) and 25% nn (non-dwarf).
That is why I say, "Even if this is proven"; but the chances of passing it on by ONE positive carrier would still be 25% wouldn't it? To me...that is just too much of a chance for something I KNOW my horse carries.

IMHO, if we still breed the carriers...it is all fine and good for the reputable breeders who have the tests done, who keep the papers correctly marked, and inform the potential buyers...but what do we do with the not so reputable breeders? The gene is still going to be there because it is not being culled; so what is to stop these breeders from breeding indiscriminately as they do now...and just sell unregistered stock?

I KNOW it would happen.
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I know of two stallion owners myself who continued to breed thier HYPP stallions to grade mares, and you can bet your booties that those mare owners were never informed. There are greedy $%#@!*&'s out there who just do-not-care...
 

targetsmom

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If both parents are "carriers" then it is only a statistical chance of it being a dwarf. But if a parent is a carrier there is a chance of the offspring being a "carrier" from that single set of genes from the one "carrier" parent, but not express it visually also. In layman's terms it is what is called a heterozygous trait.

Even if this is proven to be true...to breed a positive to a negative still gives that small chance for the gene to be passed on to the other generation. This is true of other genetic mutations such as HYPP, so I would think it possible with dwarfism... The way I see it, two positives give a 50% chance of a dwarf foal, but a positive bred to a negative would still have a 25% chance of passing the gene on. Even if that resultant foal is tested, (and they all should be if a positive parent is involved) and people know it too is a carrier...how can we erradicate this gene if we continue to breed it at all?

I am not sure where all these quotes came from as I thought I was following this thread, so let me clarify to the best of MY knowledge. IF (a big IF) dwarfism is a normal recessive gene you would need TWO carriers to produce a dwarf. YES, a carrier bred to a non-carrier could pass on the gene and produce another carrier, but they could not produce a dwarf. I believe this is what JWC Sr was saying that he just got on good authority!

And yes, I agree that there will still be uncaring or unscrupulous breeders so there would still likely be dwarfs but for those who would test and breed selectively dwarfism could be virtually eliminated (unless there are mutations/environmental factors, etc).

I think of it this way - I have a lethal white (LWO)+ mare and although I could be crazy and breed her to just any stallion and risk a lethal white foal that would be dead in 3 days, I test any stallion I breed her to so I DO NOT WORRY AT ALL about that happening.
 

Sue_C.

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I am not sure where all these quotes came from as I thought I was following this thread,
They are from this thread.
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I think of it this way - I have a lethal white (LWO)+ mare and although I could be crazy and breed her to just any stallion and risk a lethal white foal that would be dead in 3 days, I test any stallion I breed her to so I DO NOT WORRY AT ALL about that happening.
But as long as she is bred to a non LWO+ stallion, that gene will never be passed on to future generations, isn't that right?

The problem I am afraid of with breeding a known dwarf-gene carrier, is that it CAN pass that gene on to the resultant foals. 25%, doesn't sound like much, until you think of it being a minimum of 2.5 foals out of every 10 foals you have born to that pair alone.
 

Songcatcher

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If both parents are "carriers" then it is only a statistical chance of it being a dwarf. But if a parent is a carrier there is a chance of the offspring being a "carrier" from that single set of genes from the one "carrier" parent, but not express it visually also. In layman's terms it is what is called a heterozygous trait.
Exactly what I think as well
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Even if this is proven to be true...to breed a positive to a negative still gives that small chance for the gene to be passed on to the other generation. This is true of other genetic mutations such as HYPP, so I would think it possible with dwarfism... The way I see it, two positives give a 50% chance of a dwarf foal, but a positive bred to a negative would still have a 25% chance of passing the gene on. Even if that resultant foal is tested, (and they all should be if a positive parent is involved) and people know it too is a carrier...how can we erradicate this gene if we continue to breed it at all?

Actually, there is no proof as of yet as to what causes dwarfism, or if it can result from one parent or if both must carry the gene, or even if it is caused by non-heriditary factors. It is still theory at this point.However, if it is a recessive gene, that requires both parents to have the gene for a foal to be a dwarf (i.e. homozygous for the dwarf gene) the mathematics would be the same as with any other gene. For example, both parents carriers (Dn X Dn) your percentages would be 25% DD (homozygous for dwarf gene and visually a dwarf), 50% Dn (carrier, like the parents, but not visually a dwarf) and 25% nn (non-dwarf).
That is why I say, "Even if this is proven"; but the chances of passing it on by ONE positive carrier would still be 25% wouldn't it? To me...that is just too much of a chance for something I KNOW my horse carries.

IMHO, if we still breed the carriers...it is all fine and good for the reputable breeders who have the tests done, who keep the papers correctly marked, and inform the potential buyers...but what do we do with the not so reputable breeders? The gene is still going to be there because it is not being culled; so what is to stop these breeders from breeding indiscriminately as they do now...and just sell unregistered stock?

I KNOW it would happen.
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I know of two stallion owners myself who continued to breed thier HYPP stallions to grade mares, and you can bet your booties that those mare owners were never informed. There are greedy $%#@!*&'s out there who just do-not-care...
I'm not trying to be snippy, but let me correct the math. If it is genetic as all this thread is assuming, and only one parent is a carrier, there is a 50% chance of the foal being a carrier (like the parent) not 25%. If both parents are carriers, there is a 25% chance of the foal being a dwarf and 50% of being a carrier, and 25% of being a non carrier.

But as long as she is bred to a non LWO+ stallion, that gene will never be passed on to future generations, isn't that right?
Again, your math in inaccurate. One LWO+ parent has a 50% chance of producing an LWO+ (Frame Overo) foal. Two LWO+ parents have a 25% chance of producing a Lethal White foal (homozygous for LWO), 50% chance LWO+ and 25% chance of LWO- (non-Frame).
 

Sue_C.

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I'm not trying to be snippy, but let me correct the math. If it is genetic as all this thread is assuming, and only one parent is a carrier, there is a 50% chance of the foal being a carrier (like the parent) not 25%. If both parents are carriers, there is a 25% chance of the foal being a dwarf and 50% of being a carrier, and 25% of being a non carrier.
Snip away...I am no mathmatician, and cannot pretend to be...but you just made my point even more important. Instead of a 25% chance of the foal being a carrier...it is up to 50%...which is a he77 of a lot scarier, when we know there are people breeding known carriers now, with no test for the horses they are breeding them to. Is there any WONDER we have a problem with dwarfism?
 

JWC sr.

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This is one of the reasons, I have been in favor of having a spot on the registration papers that the breeder could mark as not for breeding. The horse would retain its papers, be able to show etc etc. But not be used for breeding. It has worked well for AKC and I think would be a great deal for our industry also. We can geld colts, but the problem with the fillies is there is no ecomomical way to remove them from the breeding pool.
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JMS Miniatures

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Thats what I have been wanting to do with AMHR is to have non-breeding papers, you can still show, just not in the halter classes. I had a filly that was competely normal from the outside but she has a really bad off bite. Still to this day have no clue where it came from. But that bad of a bite she would not beable to breed. But she could make a wonderful show mare, unfortuantlly I didn't have the money to spay her so I treated her like one of the geldings. Also people felt it the same way as the studs, some people just can't afford to geld them. I had good responses and emailed and had asked my director about having non-breeding stamp on papers but never got a response
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Unfortuantly you can never stop the breeding. BUT if your horse has a fault that should not be passed down but you still want him/her to have the papers you can atleast put a stop to it with registered stock. I think you have to have a reason and the vet must sign for it why this animal should not be used for breeding and request they should have a non-breeding stamp. This horse could still show but not in halter. Once the stamp is on the papers, its on their for life.
 

wpsellwood

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Im posting for Ed Sisk ~

My Thoughts on Dwarfism,

It would be interesting to take a poll of all of the amha members and see how many farms have produced dwarf foals on a yearly basis. I have talked to many big breeders along with smaller farms about this subject. It is amazing that in the large number of foals born every year, a very small number are dwarfs. I have been breeding amha horses for 20+ years and have produced 20-25 foals a year and have had 1 dwarf. In fact a lot of people would not have defined it as a dwarf but it had a few characteristics that in my mind qualified it for the AAD (almost a dwarf) division.

One fact that people are leaving out is that there are breeders out there that are what they say is line breeding. There is a fine line between line breeding and inbreeding. If it works, it is line breeding, when it doesn't, it is inbreeding. When we look at a set of papers and the pedigree goes back to the same stallion 3 or 4 times, you are looking for trouble. When you breed a 26" mare to a 26" stallion, you are taking the chance of having a problem. Not saying that every time you do this that you are going to produce a dwarf, but you have increased the odds that you will.

In my opinion, I do not believe that dwarfism is a major problem in the amha. I do think that there are those out there that either have or like the bigger type horse. You have options available, either register them with amhr or start a new registry of your own. The amha was founded on 34" and under and it was designed to set it apart from other registries that allowed miniatures to be recognized up to 38". That is what is so nice about having the amha and amhr. It gives people options to do what ever they want to do. Why do we have to change the whole thing to satisfy those that want bigger horses when you have a place to go and fulfill your needs. In a perfect world, I would vote for every amha horse to be measured and only the true 34" and under horses be allowed to keep their papers. It is a fact that the market price of all breeds of horses is dictated by supply and demand. When the supply over runs the demand, the price goes down, and then throw in a bad economy and we are all in trouble.

I believe that we are trying to use this dwarfism topic to justify bringing in bigger horses in the amha. I believe that the pool is large enough, we just need to be smarter about breeding what we have. If you have a stallion or a mare that is producing dwarfs, geld it and stop breeding them and we can eliminate the problem from within. Think with our heads and not our pocketbooks. Its always greed and selfishness that brings down even the mighty.

Thank you

Ed Sisk
 

Annabellarose

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When we look at a set of papers and the pedigree goes back to the same stallion 3 or 4 times, you are looking for trouble. When you breed a 26" mare to a 26" stallion, you are taking the chance of having a problem. Not saying that every time you do this that you are going to produce a dwarf, but you have increased the odds that you will.
Just because a horse has "the same stallion 3 or 4 times" in a pedigree that does not mean that raises the chance of it producing a dwarf, unless that same stallion is found to be a carrier, then, yes, it probably does. Also, they may prove a link between the 26" and under horse and dwarfism, but, correct me if I am wrong, they haven't yet (at least nothing that I have read up to this point has suggested this even as a theory). I would venture a guess that a Miniature Horse's height is not a valid link to it being a carrier or not.
 
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targetsmom

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Responding to Ed Sisk's comments:

I know it wasn't very scientific, but about 2 years ago I conducted an anonymous poll on this forum asking how many breeders had had a dwarf foal or fetus produced on their farms. As I recall, the percentage was about 40% of the over 100 that replied. As a new breeder I was quite surprised at the result, but several members commented that they were not surprised at all. I have also offered to help AMHA conduct a scientific poll/survey, which is an area where I have some experience. I do think that responses - even if anonymous - might be an issue among AMHA members. I got no response from the registry.
 

Arion Mgmt

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I am in the lab doing tests for two of the dwarf mutations on my population samples today, but I thought I needed to reply to some blatant incorrect and flawed information.

"It would be interesting to take a poll of all of the amha members and see how many farms have produced dwarf foals on a yearly basis. I have talked to many big breeders along with smaller farms about this subject. It is amazing that in the large number of foals born every year, a very small number are dwarfs."

The only poll taken of any large number of people by anyone, or any entity, was by this forum online...... and it was an anonymous poll. Which obviously is scientifically flawed in numerous ways but needless to say was somewhat informative and interesting.

How many people are really going to tell a well known trainer about how many dwarfs they have produced??

And how many dwarfs are aborted early in gestation and no one knows those numbers?

"One fact that people are leaving out is that there are breeders out there that are what they say is line breeding. There is a fine line between line breeding and inbreeding. If it works, it is line breeding, when it doesn't, it is inbreeding."

Definition of line breeding -- form of inbreeding: the deliberate mating of closely related individuals in order to retain characteristics of a common ancestor. OR--- The producing of desired characteristics in animals by inbreeding through several successive generations. also -- Selective inbreeding to perpetuate certain desired qualities or characteristics in a strain of livestock

Definition inbreeding -- breeding within small group: the mating of closely related members of a species, especially over many generations. It may be used to enhance desired traits in animals or plants but is avoided in humans as it increases the risk of unwanted inherited characteristics. -- OR --- the mating of closely related individuals, as cousins, sire-daughter, brother-sister, or self-fertilized plants, which tends to increase the number of individuals that are homozygous for a trait and therefore increases the appearance of recessive traits.

In one way shape or form a breed of animal IS FROM INBREEDING. Therefore IF you all want to call yourself a true breed, you have to breed true to a common type over successive generations. So all of us are inbreeding good, bad or ugly one way or another..

"When you breed a 26" mare to a 26" stallion, you are taking the chance of having a problem. Not saying that every time you do this that you are going to produce a dwarf, but you have increased the odds that you will."

This comment alone tells me you think larger horses bring to our gene pool a decrease in chance of dwarfism and is better for the breed.

Irregardless, your comment is unfounded, some of my samples that are "clean" for types 3 and 4 are UNDER 28". Only when a large portion of the whole breed is tested for any of the dwarfisms will the numbers be able to show if any of the mutations are more common in smaller minis than larger ones (ie that a mutation would have expressivity over the dominant normal gene), that I am not doing yet. I dont know all of the causes yet of all the types.

"In my opinion, I do not believe that dwarfism is a major problem in the amha."

HMMM well as far as I am concerned ANY genetic abnormality that is inherited whether rare or common IS A PROBLEM with any breed or registry of animals. Especially when it is being perpetuated by our own hands whether knowingly or unknowingly.

In Feb at the AMHA National convention I will show you the percentage of carriers of the 2 RARE types of dwarfism (3 and 4) in the population -- I can safely say right now its over 20% of the entire population has these two mutations. This doesnt consider the two MORE common types 1 and 2. That scientific fact alone might way heavy on your opinion.

I will also give you calculations to show how -- due to breeding and/or reporting (non-reporting) practices the "known numbers of dwarfs" is not what you should base how severe a problem is, it is the numbers with the mutation of cause that tells you how severe it is in the population.

Most Respectfully,

John Eberth
 

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