Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stallion Management for Dummies...on second thought, just geld it!

I've commented before on this topic and it's long overdue for a serious blogging. This Craigslist ad provides the perfect intro to today's topic of stallion management...or lack thereof. My comments are in blue.

2yr old reg APHA solid black stud colt because there is such a demand to breed to solids that you should keep one a stallion!

Reply to:

Date: 2008-02-06, 7:41PM

I have a 2 yr old plus REGISTERED APHA solid stud colt that is getting a bit too "studdy" for my liking. I bought him with the hopes of raising a calm mellow stud for a mare I have so I could raise lil horses. Please tell me you're no older than seventeen. Please. I got him at 1 year old and halter broke him and he was relly mellow fellow. I even sat on his back, no problem. As a yearling. GREAT. He ran with the mare this summer AND YOU'RE WONDERING WHY HE FIGURED OUT HE IS A STUD? but this winter he is coming of age and has this desire to bite and is just relly obnoxious. Yeah, because you ran him out with a mare and didn't work with him or set boundaries. What did you THINK was going to happen, sunshine? I have got to the point I relly dont like him and dont want him arround. Now that I've created the monster, I want the monster gone! He would I am sure calm down and make a good gelding but I am not into geldings. My head hurts. He may work through this with a lot of one on one and alone time and a place to blow off energy because he sees me as a competitor for his mare. NO HE DOES NOT. OMG. Where did you even get THAT? Here's what he thinks - he's a baby stud and he wants to chew on shit and you've NEVER sent him a clear message that you're not another horse to be chewed on. DUH. I dont know. I have seen worse stallions, some pretty scary. And clearly you think that is normal. It's not. I have alot more than this into him. I adv him for $500 in locl paper and n-ads and cap press but only one bite who didnt keep the appointment so now hes lower price.He will be listed in the papers next week for this new $395 price. I will accept bids/offers in the event he does not sell. I would also be intrested in trading, maby for a gentle brood mare or mini or 9-10h stocky pony mare. So I can pursue my dream of breeding some "lil horses." Yes he is papered and they are transfereable. Father was a solid black so foals would prob have 50% chance of being black. I have pics of some of his bloodlines you can have also. You have pics of some of his bloodlines? I live 1 1/2 miles from Cathlamet, WA which is between Ranier and the coast next to puget island. Its 1.5 to 2 hrs from portland area 70-90 miles depending where you live. I will only hold long enough for you to get here, otherwise its first come basis. his name is ANOPE (reverse of epona, celt horse goddess) 895430 he came from linda smathers, napivine,wa and they DO have a website and pictures of at least the father, Linda, for real, stop selling ungelded colts to people like this. You have a responsibility as their breeder. Nip their nuts off! I am local to you and have a vet who will do it for $80 if you need a referral! You can see I am selling him for half their breeding fee (sigh). He is solid black with a white star/snip almost a blase he's blase? except if it would be joined. According to the previous owner he should mature a large horse. I have no idea about the bloodlines temperment. As I said he WAS relly gentle as a yearling but is now a handfull especially that he is penned up and has a lot of excess energy so get off your ass and longe him if you can't turn him out! plus he dose not like me playing with HIS mare. We're anthropomorphizing, yes, we are. He doesn't have thoughts that complicated, trust me. It sort of looks like he might have bread her as a yearling. NO SHIT, SHERLOCK! And "bread" is probably a good term for the future of that foal, as in breaded, fried and part of a sandwich in France. I can not find the only digitalized pic of him I own but that was of him as a foal with mama so he has changed. sire = henza denero skip- blk/solid 411645 siressire=jkl bo jangles- blk/ovo 205357 siresdam=dixons skip a star- blk/solid 240952 dam=smokeystwotonewindy- blk/ovo 329109 damssire=twotone impressive -blk/ovo 145295 damsdam=smokey del rio -(quarterhorse 2376005) I will not deliver, my horse trailer is full of hay which I am too lazy to unload. If you want him I suggest you act quickly as he wont be here much longer, one way or the other. The ad's gone, bet he went to meet his maker at the Woodburn Auction. I am generally available every day all day except sundays by appointmant only.

OK, now you're all going to get to hear about my opinions on stallion management. I know some of you will violently disagree with me on some of this but again, they are my opinions based upon what I have seen over the past thirty years and I'm sticking to them. You are, as always, free to post your comments!

1. ISOLATION IS BAD Nothing, but nothing, ruins stallions mentally more quickly than being isolated from other horses from weaning onward. There is absolutely no reason stallions can't be raised with other stallions or geldings, be turned out normally, and lead normal lives. Yes, they will "play hard" when they are young - rearing and playfighting and elbow-biting is normal. Yes, they may put a scrape or two on each other doing it. I understand that may be a crisis of immense proportions during the show season, but you do not show year round, so the rest of the time - throw him out and let him be a horse! A stallion who gets to play and socialize and burn off steam is going to be a lot more amenable to training the rest of the time.

I have personally seen a halter horse stallion who had always been stall kept and turned out individually go from being a snarly, snappy beast that I admit I was wary about handling to being a sweet, kind horse who leads quietly next to you without a chain, with a loop in the lead. It took about six months of turnout with other horses. At first, he hated it. He was scared of them. He didn't know how to interact. But he learned, and it improved his disposition a thousand percent. He is a happier horse. The almost palpable aura of stress and tension has left him. A horse is a herd animal, and there's no reason to deprive him of normal social interaction.

2. CONSISTENCY IS KEY From weanling age onward, enforce manners. Nipping is not okay. Kicking is not okay. Dragging you down the aisle, NOT OKAY. If you are too intimidated by these behaviors to consistently discipline, please believe me, you can't be a stallion owner. If you can't get respect and proper behavior out of your yearling or two year old stallion, you certainly will not get it out of him at adulthood and after he starts being used for breeding.

3. EVERY STALLION NEEDS A JOB THAT IS NOT JUST HAVING SEX I have seen people keep stallions in a box stall and the only time they are haltered is when it is time to breed. Then they wonder why they have a fire-breathing dragon on their hands. Well, duh. Your stallion needs a job. First of all, you shouldn't be breeding something that does not perform in some way, so figure out what his niche is, break him out, and get him out there competing/working. Secondly, stallions need exercise and a stallion you can take out and ride or drive is much more likely to get the exercise he needs. A properly trained stallion should have no problem being ridden with mares in the arena or on trails. Again, if you find yourself having trouble with this, or you're intimidated and unable to enforce proper behavior, it is probably a clue that stallion ownership is not for you.

4. TESTICLES ARE NOT AN EXCUSE FOR BAD BEHAVIOR If I hear one more person use the "oh he's like that because he's a stallion" excuse, my head really WILL explode. No, he's not. He's like that because you failed miserably to train him. A stallion should lead, straight tie and cross tie quietly. He should be able to walk down the aisle past mares without whinnying or dragging you. He should be able to stand close to mares in the show ring without acknowledging them. If everybody scatters when you lead the stallion down the aisle, you have failed to train him properly. I have seen an otherwise knowledgeable AQHA breeder need a BASEBALL BAT to lead her stallion down the aisle. WTF is that? I know this is not always a popular opinion, but if you cannot control it, GELD IT. I don't care how athletic or pretty or special it is. If I can't lead it around like a well mannered horse, if it refuses to be trained, if it's aggressive and snarly, GELD IT. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it - I don't care if it's World Champion Everything and the fastest racehorse on the planet. If it bites people, I'd cut off its balls.

Here, I'll give you an example of what I think a well behaved stallion is like. I used to live in Wisconsin and there's a breeder there who's got this gray AQHA stud named Supremocist. Here's what I like about this horse. First of all, it's not surprising he's got a brain, because his dam was her amateur all-around horse and has points in all kinds of different events. She bred this colt and he was expected from day one to have manners. I saw him frequently as he grew up. I do not remember him EVER screaming, rearing, or dragging anybody. He was never beaten or abused, but he was expected to pay attention to his handler. It makes a huge difference. Bad stallion behavior is always lack of respect and inattention. He's for sale now, and that video was taken this year at age 18 - sound, jumps, swaps leads, sire of many successful show horses including World Champions, and most of all, QUIET with a BRAIN. This is the kind of horse who, in my never-humble-opinion, should be a stallion. He deserves to be a stallion. He has traits you want to see passed on. Just as I've said that bitchy mares produce bitchy foals, you can bet that aggressive, idiot stallions produce aggressive, idiot foals. Anybody care to chat about the Storm Cat line in Thoroughbreds? Uh-huh, yeah...

And of course we only have to go as far as Youtube for examples of bad stallion handling!

If he would have done that to me, he would have been sorry. But not this lady - she just ignores it!

He's a stallion and bucks but we are going to use him in shows for the small beginners! Why is this thing not gelded?

You have a grade Percheron stallion why? And that shared fenceline with the mares...that's just a GREAT idea.

I don't even know if this is a stallion or they're joking, but it's a GREAT example of how NOT to lead something that is screwing around. There you go. Leave that line about 10 feet long so he has plenty of space to get far enough away from you to kick you in the head. And don't expect him to behave! It's so KYOOOT when they fly in the air!