How to Get Your Horse DNA Tested
In order to get your horse's DNA tested you will first need to write down what you want to test your horse for. This will vary from horse to horse and breed to breed.
Are you more interested in colour? The tests you need in that case will depend on what colour your horse is. If your horse is grulla, for example, you don't need to test for Agouti (because your horse is aa) but you may want to test for black and dun to find out if she is homozygous for either.
Are you confused about what all these terms mean? It can be daunting. Talk with your vet if you are worried about a medical issue. If you are trying to figure out what colour tests to run, call the lab and ask or send them a picture of your horse and see what they say.
How DNA Tests for Horses Work
A DNA test done for horses compares samples in a lab. The sample is most often hair from the horse's mane. The DNA profiles of the mother, foal, and potential father are all analyzed carefully to determine true parenthood. It offers insight into the characteristics of a horse potentially passed down by one or both of its parents.
How Accurate are DNA Tests for Horses?
DNA tests for horses, just like DNA tests for people, are 100% accurate. Many laboratories that now conduct these tests offer a 99.9% accuracy thanks to upgraded technology and the abundance of information regarding DNA and genetic profiles of various horse breeds.
It does, however, seem to be more difficult to pinpoint the results for a mixed breed than it does for a purebred horse. These tests are typically more precise than the DNA tests for a dog because the horse family does not have as many breeds as the dog family does.
Is DNA Testing Right for Your Horse?
When asking yourself if DNA testing is right for your horse, you need to determine how detailed you are in your record keeping.
If you keep detailed records of your herd and are certain which foal belongs to which parents, you may decide against taking the time for a DNA test. If, however, you have any uncertainty about your horses, a DNA test may give you peace of mind.
It also provides you with insight into your herd when obtaining the DNA profile of each horse you own. Consider the decision carefully before determining if the process is right for you and your horse or horses.