Thursday, August 03, 2006

Related much?

Above is the appropriately named Gracenote, and below is the stallion Diomede.

Gracenote is not only graceful, but she was the smaller twin who survived.
I've always loved this pose, but it can be hard to get the horse in question to cooperate. (Gracenote again.)


Suisan said...

For all of you on bloglines, etc., sorry for all the publishing, but couldn't get the lines of text to cooperate.

CindyS said...

Uh oh. Do I want to know what happened to Diomede? (is it pronounced die-o-mead?) Gracenote is very pretty but she looks old because of the indents in her cheeks.

CindyS (you know, because I can tell the age of a horse *snort*)

Suisan said...

Diomede was born in 1979 and Gracenote was born in 1993, so he's substantially older than she is--if I were to show you a body shot you'd see how ragged he looks all over.

The indents on the cheeks are a feature of this sub-group--the edge of the cheekbone is very prominent from the front. But yes, her face is much "drier" than his is. (Dry means that there's not much facial fat--you can see the bones and veins.) Diomede is actually quite dry, but he also has Cushing's Disease which present itself in horses as long wavy hair all over which never sheds properly.

Pictures from a few years ago show him as being drier than he looks now, because the fluffy hair is filling in the low spots.

At least there's a ready source of names for Diomede's offspring!

Mailyn said...

OMG they are soooo perty!!! lol twin horsies, never heard that before. :-)

CindyS said...

Okay, I got confused and thought that Diomede was Gracenote's twin but he is her sire?


Suisan said...

No, um, Diomede's not Gracenote's sire nor her twin. Gracenote had a twin, but she died very young.

They are very related though. Let's see if I can get this right. I don't think there's a term for how they're realted in human breeding.

Diomede's mother is Decibel. Diomede's Father is Prince Hal, one of a group of full sisters and brothers who were bred to each other in various combinations. Actually, Decibel's grandmother is one of the full siblings to Prince Hal too.

OK, so take two of the full siblings to Prince Hal, breed them together, and get a stallion. Breed that horse to Decibel and get a mare named Most Fair. Now breed Most Fair back to a different full brother to Prince Hal, and you get Gracenote. (Of the six full siblings, four are in Gracenote's pedigree, all withing four generations.)

I guess the easiest thing to say is that they are sired by two different full brothers and that one has Decibel as a mother, and the other has Decibel as a grandmother.

Let's just call them kissing cousins.

And also, let's just say that I would never attempt this level of concentrated linebreeding willy-nilly.

CW said...

Pretty! Horsies!

Wait, I missed something...why they were interbred so heavily?

Suisan said...

Why were they interbred so heavily?

Limited stock available.

They all go back to only 13 individuals, but there are about 700 living at this time. Break the 700 into smaller breeding groups in order to maintain genetic diversity within the genepool, you can get very, very inbred horses. (Optimally, you'd like to have closed groups in order to maintain the option for an outcross, but still have all lines go back to the original 13.)

Achieving a high coefficient of inbreeding is not a good plan in general just for the sake of doing so, but these horses were Sooooo inbred in the desert that it's probably OK.

But maybe it isn't.

What we do know is that most of the breeding groups in England and in America which descend in ALL lines from desert stock do pretty well in a highly interbed/inbred/linebred population. But you can't just pick a group of, say, Morgans and start agressively inbreeding them. Mostly you get lots of infections and birth stresses, if not just ugly horses.

But then you have to be reeeely careful that you're not just inbreeding these guys because you can.

It's something of a dance.

(The group of full siblings are the most inbred group there are within the larger 700. Most of the 700 may only have one of the siblings show up three or four generations back. But there was an effort in the early 1980s to develop the full-sibling group into its own stable breeding group--each of the six siblings leaves a very different stamp on its offspring. But then two siblings died, and then my aunt died, and then another sibling died. It's probably a lost cause at this point.)

But their realtives are still very sweet. And lovely. (And some of them even perform in the circus.)

Pat Kirby said...

Very pretty. They never cooperate for photos, do they? Nik won't leave my side, making it hard to get anything but a shot of his head.

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