What Does Double Bred Mean? (Horse Breeding Breakdown)

Horse breeding is quite common and profitable occupation. This is intended to improve or change the horse’s breed, to create new qualities or to multiply existing ones.

double breeding

What is the purpose of double breeding? The double bred horse is a horse in whose pedigree the same ancestor occurs twice. This type of breeding is used to create a horse as close as possible to the original and enhance its qualities. This process of breeding horses is quite complicated, but nonetheless very interesting.

Double bred understanding

In order to understand more deeply the essence of this process, let us try to give a concrete example. And so what we have. We have a male horse with exceptional qualities that we would like to preserve and exaggerate in future generations. We cross him with a mare, as a result of which a female foal appears, upon reaching the age of maturity, we cross this foal with the aforementioned male. Thus, a foal born as a result will be considered double bred. In his pedigree, the same ancestor is present twice. The second generation will have 25%, and the third generation will have 12.5%. Thus, in our case, in the end, 75% of the blood of its ancestor will be present in the horse. In this way, the horse is created as close as possible to its ancestor, both in appearance and in physical characteristics.

Why such breeding have a place to be, you can ask. The main goal is to preserve any qualities inherent in the horse, both physical strength, dexterity, and appearance, color, it makes the horse more valuable, both for competitions and just for fans of exceptional horses. As a result, they will have a strong stallion.

Are such crossings dangerous?

Of course, such a cross is not an easy one. You should carefully study the entire pedigree of horses, check the genetic features, and weigh all the pros and cons of such a cross. After all, according to the result, not only the positive aspects of the ancestor are transferred to the final stallion, but also the negative, for example, propensity to diseases. Therefore, this process should be conducted under the direction of genetics to avoid unpleasant situations. Так же стоит учитывать, что подобное размножение может привести к уменьшению продолжительности жизни, а так же к плодовитости лошадей.

In how many generations should we have the same ancestor twice to consider the horse double bred?

Usually, such processes occur in 4 generations. There is also such a thing as triple bred horse, when in its pedigree over the past four generations one ancestor is present 3 times. Such horses are quite rare, since the process of such breeding is quite complicated and dangerous.

What other ways of breeding horses exist?

Nowadays, the main methods of breeding horses is purebred and interbreeding. Purebred means by crossing only representatives of the same breed. A subspecies of such a crossing can be considered as a linear crossing, the essence of which lies in the fact that its participants are descended from one ancestor, often with outstanding qualities. It is also the case of closely related crossbreeding, in which close relatives participate in the crossbreeding process.


The double bred horse is a result of breeding when in a pedigree, one ancestor occurs twice. This is a very popular way to preserve the outstanding qualities of a horse and in fact to create as close as possible to the original. With such a cross, one should be careful and take into account the genetic characteristics of horses so that the process does not lead to problems.



I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

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