Responsible Breeders : LUSENET : ASD : One Thread

A few weeks ago, I would have agreed with the people who sent yesterday's post to Annette. Upon learning of ASD, I thought no ASD horse should be bred and questioned the breeding of carriers (Aa horses). But largely through this forum, I have come to a better understanding. Yesterday's post was heart breaking in that it no doubt reflects what is going on in the minds of other Mountain horse owners and breeders who have not had access to much discussion about the problem, and have in fact been hit between the eyes with it.

In breeding our horses we need to remember that the horses carrying the genetic defect for ASD also not only carry the silver dapple gene, but they carry the genes for the gait and temperament of this breed. We cannot immediately do without this genetic pool if the breed is to continue. We must plan to breed responsibly the AA and Aa horses to eliminate as soon as possible the AA horse in future generations. But don't throw the baby out with the bath water. The stallions and mares that have been winning in the show ring are most likely Aa or AA. Can we afford to eliminate these horses from the small gene pool that already exists? Also, the color of these horses has drawn people to this breed We can continue to have chocolates; we just can't guarantee them.

Those of us who have had access to this Forum and to these many Email postings owe it to the breed to make sure the people we know who lack this access can learn as we have. We need to stop panic and spread reason. Please try to keep your non web linked friends informed of the alternatives open to them in breeding their horses.

-- Becky Gage (, January 17, 1998

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