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View Full Version : Do any jumper riders prefer riding stallions?



selah
Apr. 7, 2009, 09:30 AM
This is a bit of a spinoff from a Sporthorse Breeding thread regarding a performance stallion who is now going to start his breeding career. A poster asked why he had no progeny on the ground. It was said that the stallion was used strictly as a performance horse in the EU and UK...that there are far more performance stallions across the pond than in the US. The discussion starts here, with post #25:
http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=193020&page=2

My question is, are there any (particularly jumper) competitors in the US who prefer riding stallions?

Horseymama
Apr. 7, 2009, 09:42 AM
Just because it is a "stallion" doesn't mean it is a good horse. I think most people want to ride good horses, and it wouldn't matter what the sex was as long as it was ridable and competitive.

jse
Apr. 7, 2009, 09:45 AM
A friend of mine who is a jumper trainer currently has 5...count em 5....stallions in his barn. I suppose he prefers them!

caevent
Apr. 7, 2009, 10:26 AM
Having lived in Europe, I think you see a lot more performance remain intact even if the owners have no intentions of sending them to the breeding shed. At the farm where I rode, the owner kept all of the colts as studs until 3 years, then decided which ones to geld depending on how they had matured and how they free-jumped. I think in the US we tend to geld right away unless the colt shows something exceptional from the beginning.

There were many junior and amateur riders who competed stallions - both ponies and horses. I never really asked anyone why this was so common, but I'd suspect it is the extra testosterone could add more strength to their work.

Moocow
Apr. 7, 2009, 02:35 PM
I agree with caevent. In Europe you see colts kept ungelded until they are a bit closer to maturity. I am working out of a 16 horse barn and though we only have two stallions currently, there are two who were very recently gelded, and one only about a year and a bit ago. The three that were gelded late were gelded around 5-6 years old and mostly because geldings are just easier to sell - the talent was there! They have kept their muscle tone so look amazing (you can definitely tell by looking that they were once stallions).
From mmaaaaannnyyy people I have heard though that they do not prefer stallions. In fact, many think that they will jump better after being gelded because then there is nothing in between their legs bothering/pinching them (for the bigger boys, anyhow... ;) ) And from many top professionals I've heard they favour mares... They tell me something along the lines of, between a gelding and a mare, even if you bond with both, it is always the mare that will give you her all..... Me, personally, I would take a gelding or a stallion over a mare. Mares drive me NUTS!!

TatteredDaydreamer
Apr. 7, 2009, 03:35 PM
It's been my experience that if a mare takes you on as "her person", she'd give her life for you. While it takes a bit longer to gain the trust and respect of a mare I think, they bond to you and try extremely hard. Moreso than I've experienced with geldings or even studs. That said, my horse of a lifetime was a mare and I miss her everyday.:(

Tap2Tango
Apr. 7, 2009, 05:18 PM
It's been my experience that if a mare takes you on as "her person", she'd give her life for you. While it takes a bit longer to gain the trust and respect of a mare I think, they bond to you and try extremely hard. Moreso than I've experienced with geldings or even studs. That said, my horse of a lifetime was a mare and I miss her everyday.:(

I couldn't agree more!! A good mare is worth her weight in gold. My past mare was also a one in a million. I hope that one day I will be able to buy her back and retire her.

jse
Apr. 7, 2009, 05:21 PM
It's been my experience that if a mare takes you on as "her person", she'd give her life for you. While it takes a bit longer to gain the trust and respect of a mare I think, they bond to you and try extremely hard. Moreso than I've experienced with geldings or even studs. That said, my horse of a lifetime was a mare and I miss her everyday.:(

I used to not like mares until we got our current one.

http://www.new.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1280646&l=99520cdecd&id=506924538

That mare is unbelievable on the ground and in hand. We love her more than ever and she has chose us as "her people" and she does everything with grace for us!

Sebastian
Apr. 7, 2009, 07:43 PM
I have a huge appreciation of the "girls" as well. My geldings were great too, but I do get the feeling from all my mares that once I'm "theirs," they will go the distance without question.

Have known a few stallions I'd have loved to have owned -- but they're kinda few and far between.

Seb :)

TatteredDaydreamer
Apr. 7, 2009, 08:12 PM
No better feeling then being "owned" by a mare, I always say.;)

Besides my once in a lifetime mare, I owned another mare who had been roughly handled and was very sensitive and a tough ride. However, the progress that we made was AMAZING. She tried so hard, was so willing and smart. She ended up being a joy to ride and I was most certainly "hers". I used to work at the barn and fed in the AM and PM, so when I'd leave for trips and the BO fed, she'd get all worked up and tear around the run in....pissed her person wasn't there to feed!

The BO even used to comment that the mare really loved me...I miss her.

Fandango7
Apr. 7, 2009, 08:49 PM
I am not a jumper, but I prefer stallions for dressage. I love their confident nature and how they usually have that ready-for-any-challenge attitude. They are also usually characters and very individual. I love them.

AmandaandTuff
Apr. 7, 2009, 09:19 PM
I love the stallion I work with, I forget he's a stallion when I'm handling him around the farm. Honestly, I don't get along with mares, I have a mare now, she's a b!tch, but we also suspect a horomone issue.

Stallions are like extra manly geldings in my eyes, I don't treat them any differently than I do any other horse.

Trakehner
Apr. 7, 2009, 09:29 PM
I owned one wonderful stallion who was my big jumper...he was a ball and really had amazing courage...we'd go over one jump and he'd be looking for the next one. I foxhunted him for fun and practice for x-country.

He was great and only was REALLY studish when he wore his special halter...then it was "Where's the girls!"

I had to sell him when I couldn't find a place to board him and he was too nice a stallion to geld for my convenience...he was a great animal and fun to own and ride. I like all the hormones in my horses...which means since stallions are typically too hard to keep, mares are my favourites (don't have any now, but I do like mares).

jse
Apr. 7, 2009, 09:41 PM
I owned one wonderful stallion who was my big jumper...he was a ball and really had amazing courage...we'd go over one jump and he'd be looking for the next one. I foxhunted him for fun and practice for x-country.

He was great and only was REALLY studish when he wore his special halter...then it was "Where's the girls!"

I had to sell him when I couldn't find a place to board him and he was too nice a stallion to geld for my convenience...he was a great animal and fun to own and ride. I like all the hormones in my horses...which means since stallions are typically too hard to keep, mares are my favourites (don't have any now, but I do like mares).

Speaking of hormones. My friend's barn is testosterone city! lol A lady came to drop off a horse there the other day and she was like "GEEZ! There's more testosterone in here than a breeding barn in KY!"

00Jumper
Apr. 7, 2009, 09:58 PM
Of the 6 horses my family has owned, not a single one has had a Y chromosome. :lol: We are mare people, through and through I think. I love our 4 girls now, and there definitely is something special to being "owned" by a mare. I wouldn't turn a gelding down, or even a stallion if he was the right horse, it's just never worked out that way. :D

That said, my trainer loves stallions. She rides jumpers and while she's not looking to buy a stud because they're too complicated for resale if they're not super special, she loves the boys intact. ;) :lol:

grandprixjump
Apr. 7, 2009, 10:54 PM
You TELL a Gelding

You ASK a Stallion

You DISCUSS IT with a Mare...

I don't think everyone gets along with mares or stallions, as well as, they do geldings, it takes a special bond with either.

I currently have a mare...

Pony+ an inch
Apr. 8, 2009, 12:53 AM
I think the only reason why I get along with my current mare--excuse me, why my current mare tolerates me--is because she has the 'tude of a gelding. I actually like working with (most) green mares because you can build a good and steady bond with them, but for riding horses, yeah... me and mares have rarely gotten along unless they have a boy's attitude. That being said, my mare has the damndest passive agressive streak in her which I'm blaming on the QH in her, but who knows, it may be a mare thing. Her male "preferences" in the barn also baffle me. It changes like every two weeks. She is the most reliable four legged critter o/f though. Always helps me out when I screw up after not jumping in over two weeks haha.

I don't know if she'll post, but one of my friends loves her stallions.

caradino
Apr. 8, 2009, 11:05 AM
You TELL a Gelding

You ASK a Stallion

You DISCUSS IT with a Mare...

I don't think everyone gets along with mares or stallions, as well as, they do geldings, it takes a special bond with either.

I currently have a mare...

and it is SO true. i love mares, and have been 'chosen' by a couple. there is definitely no better feeling than to watch 'your' mare give another rider hell, and then hop on and feel her breathe a sigh of releif at the return of 'her' person, and give you a perfect performance.
but there is definitely no telling them anything! you talk it over, and she only complies if it agrees with HER idea of how things should go.

yay mares! :D

tidy rabbit
Apr. 8, 2009, 12:04 PM
I've got 6 right now. 1 is a mare. She is more complicated to deal with than any of the boys. 1 is a 10 month old colt with a very sensible personality. We will leave him intact for some time yet as he's quite well bred and, so far, very lovely to look at. I think he might be my stallion prospect. We'll see how he shapes up in the next year or two.

My newborn colt will probably be allowed to go late with his gelding as well. I think that extra muscling gives them an advantage so long as you can manage them safely. He's already a pistol so I don't know how long I'll be able to stand him with testosterone.

Words of Wisdom
Apr. 8, 2009, 01:01 PM
My two stallions have completely inimitable personalities. They have impeccable manners, and are very people oriented. One is the kindest, sweetest horse to handle, and the other definitely has "his" people, and it takes him a while to form a bond with someone new, and until then, will be quite scared of them.

However, I was never shopping specifically for stallions-- these two both kind of fell into my lap, and I liked them regardless of their gender.

Portia
Apr. 8, 2009, 02:45 PM
I think one of the biggest reasons why stallions are more common in jumper competition in Europe than here is that they don't have a rule that says juniors can't ride stallions.

Here, a huge part of the market is juniors in the hunters, where no matter how well behaved the horse or how talented the rider, stallions are forbidden. That is a big incentive to breeders and others with young horses to geld them to increase their marketability.

horserider12
Apr. 8, 2009, 05:24 PM
actually, juniors can ride stallions in the u.s. in jumper classes.

JustABay
Apr. 8, 2009, 06:03 PM
2 of the best horses I have ever ridden have been stallions. They had a ton of try, were dead honest and tons of fun. They had puppy dog personalities, and attitude wise were no different than a gelding. They did know though, when they were being watched and always upped the performance! I have never ridden a mare that I liked, and will never own one,but I'd take a stud in my barn any day!

indygirl2560
Apr. 8, 2009, 08:50 PM
actually, juniors can ride stallions in the u.s. in jumper classes.
not at all shows....

I've loved all the stallions I've ridden(all 2 of them!:lol:) Both horses were kept stallions because of their excellent conformation, movement, and just being great potential performance horses overall. As far as jumping them...I really liked feeling how much power they had to get over the bigger jumps. It also seemed like they'd do anything for you once you had "gained" their trust as a good and dependable rider. I'd love to show either one except all of the shows I've been to ban minors from showing or even handling stallions on show grounds.:no:

Alterrain
Apr. 8, 2009, 10:27 PM
not at all shows....



yes- at all U.S. shows, juniors may show stallions in the jumpers. and the USET eq class.

My a/a jumper is a stallion. and I love him. although I bought him because he is safe, quiet, jumps flat, has no spook, and fit my budget. Although I would have bought this same horse if he was a pinto mare. I don't care about gender at all.

indygirl2560
Apr. 8, 2009, 10:30 PM
yes- at all U.S. shows, juniors may show stallions in the jumpers. and the USET eq class.

My a/a jumper is a stallion. and I love him. although I bought him because he is safe, quiet, jumps flat, has no spook, and fit my budget. Although I would have bought this same horse if he was a pinto mare. I don't care about gender at all.

Then I guess shows in my area(at least unrated ones) are breaking the rules because several state in their programs that "no minors are to show or handle stallions on show grounds." Does the allowance of minors showing stallions apply to every show or just rated?

Alterrain
Apr. 8, 2009, 10:37 PM
Then I guess shows in my area are breaking the rules because several state in their programs that "no minors are to show or handle stallions on show grounds."

they kinda are- the USEF says its ok... around here the junior jumper division would be empty if that were true.

Portia
Apr. 9, 2009, 10:43 AM
actually, juniors can ride stallions in the u.s. in jumper classes.
I know. :) But I was referring to the hunter ring, which is a big part of our market. As long as stallions aren't allowed in Jr. hunter rings, there is going to be a disincentive to keep young horses stallions.

There have even been some well known, fully approved for breeding, warmblood stallions that were competing in jumpers in Europe, imported, and eventually bought for Jr. hunter riders and gelded. Now in some cases that may not be a bad thing, but to anyone who knows what goes in to producing a stallion prospect and getting him approved, well, it's a huge waste.