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View Full Version : Spinoff of spinoff: Stallions & kids - WHY?



Hunter Mom
May. 3, 2010, 01:48 PM
After reading the mean girls thread, I found myself wondering why one would want a stallion for their junior rider. I don't think I'd EVER look at one for my daughter. I do know sometimes they are shown by a junior, esepcially if parent is a trainer, and can see that. But for their horse? Help me understand please...

ExJumper
May. 3, 2010, 01:51 PM
Why not? If the horse is suitable and the kid can ride it, what's wrong with it? Many stallions aren't fire-breathing dragons, especially those that are in a program and have a "job" other than bangin' the ladies.

Would you tell a talanted Jr rider that she couldn't show, say, Popeye K in a hubter derby just because he's a stallion?

alliekat
May. 3, 2010, 01:52 PM
I thought you had to be 18 to show a stallion? Maybe I am mistaken.

InWhyCee Redux
May. 3, 2010, 01:53 PM
In Eastern Europe I saw several pre-teens jumping (!) stallions — geldings, I was told, were "for pulling the plow." Granted, this was a working farm and the riding stallions (who were not breeding stallions) were very, very well managed....

ExJumper
May. 3, 2010, 01:53 PM
I thought you had to be 18 to show a stallion? Maybe I am mistaken.

Not in the jumpers, which is what the juniors are showing in in the thread to which the OP is referring.

ambar
May. 3, 2010, 01:55 PM
Arabian breed shows also permit juniors to ride stallions. The stallions are expected to be mannerly (so much for "crazy ay-rabs" :D ).

NorthFaceFarm
May. 3, 2010, 01:59 PM
I've known many a stallion that is perfectly safe for juniors to handle and show. I've also known many geldings and mares that aren't. No matter the typical temperament of any 1000lb animal, there is always the risk that something might spook it and get any junior, adult or pro into serious trouble, no matter its sex.

alliekat
May. 3, 2010, 02:00 PM
Not in the jumpers, which is what the juniors are showing in in the thread to which the OP is referring.Thanks I learned something new today:)

KristieBee
May. 3, 2010, 02:17 PM
I think so much has to do with how the stallions are handled/trained. We have this weird expectation that they will be, like someone said above, fire breathing dragons. If they're well trained, and well handled, and well managed, they can be perfectly respectable citizens too.

I think the way most stallions are boarded up and boxed in borders on psychological abuse. No wonder they gain a reputation for being nutso. But that's just me, and how I feel about 20+ hours per day spent in a box stall in general.

Go Fish
May. 3, 2010, 02:27 PM
Hmmm...coming from an AQHA background, I dunno.

Even the best-behaved stallion can become unpredictable in a heartbeat and as we all know, teenagers are easily distracted. I'm not sure I'd like the combination of the two at a horseshow.

I've handled and shown a lot of stallions...you never let your guard down for a minute if you know what's good for you.

Coppers mom
May. 3, 2010, 03:09 PM
I've been around a lot of stallions. All ages, all disciplines, and a lot of different breeds.

Some were complete A-Holes, but in my opinion, the majority of those probably would have been that way no matter what sex they were because of poor handling. The huge majority, however, were respectable gentleman who you wouldn't have known from a gelding unless you stuck a mare in his face.

Yes, there are some special considerations that come along with owning and riding a stallion, but as long as you're not out to get a Darwin Award, most with a decent amount of experience would be able to handle a well behaved stallion. There's no reason that a teen shouldn't be able to compete and do well on a stallion who knows his job and knows what is and isn't ok.

I used to work/board at the farm that owns Moorpark Image, and he's one of those stallions that could be competed by literally anyone. He gives up down lessons to little kids, can be led around by anyone with at least 2 days of experience leading a horse, trailers with mares, and has been at times the only man in the whole barn. He is by far the safest and most trustworthy horse on the whole farm. He understands the difference between a show and the collection station, and I have no doubt that a young, experienced teen could show him without a problem.

ontarget
May. 3, 2010, 03:27 PM
Coming from someone who rode one of the sweetest, most well-behaved, quiet, amazing stallions in the Junior Jumpers... I would say its all about the horse as an individual, regardless of gender and whether or not they are in tact.

I've also dealt with some stallions who were not the most manageable, but it does depend on handling and personality. The first time I tried my stallion, it was a spur of the moment action, and I was in a different country with a language barrier between me and the horse's usual rider. He went in a french link snaffle and we jumped up to 4'3" on that first day while I was wearing tennis shoes, jeans, and a helmet that was too large and kept falling into my eyes. He was absolutely perfect. His personality did not change from that day onward, and I would have taken him over many geldings and mares.

piccolittle
May. 3, 2010, 03:48 PM
I just don't understand why it's seen as desirable to have a 14 year old stallion for the junior ranks. If the horse isn't actively breeding, why does he need to be a stallion? all the comments about how geldings "can be nice horses" seems as though it's somehow an ego thing to ride a stallion, when it's been my experience that horses tend to perform better as geldings, by virtue of having... ehem... a little less to think about.

ontarget
May. 3, 2010, 03:59 PM
I just don't understand why it's seen as desirable to have a 14 year old stallion for the junior ranks. If the horse isn't actively breeding, why does he need to be a stallion? all the comments about how geldings "can be nice horses" seems as though it's somehow an ego thing to ride a stallion, when it's been my experience that horses tend to perform better as geldings, by virtue of having... ehem... a little less to think about.

My stallion performed just fine with his parts and is now a very nice breeding stallion. With his temperment, conformation, bloodlines, and talent, I can see him being very, very successful as a sire. I have known other juniors with stallions who went the same direction, others who were purchased and then gelded. It really depends on the horse. We had another stallion who we gelded because we thought he would be more marketeable/rideable as a gelding, and this proved true.

Depends on the horse. They are individuals. I definitely did not want a stallion when I came across mine, but I'm sure glad I found him.

ETA: I mentioned this in the other thread as well, but I knew a 12 year old daughter of a BNR who rode a stallion in the Modified Jumpers. This stallion was an absolute mellow saint and took care of this kid like no other. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

SkipChange
May. 3, 2010, 04:02 PM
When I took a trip to England I saw 9 year old little girls riding pony stallions, in double bridles no less. No big deal.

I have a friend that purchased a jumper stallion at 12. They had some minor problems at first but with good management by a trainer he is now a solid citizen with perfect manners. You can find her riding him bareback in a halter around at big A shows.

I see ZERO problem with capable and experienced Juniors owning and showing stallions. I do believe they need to be in a careful program and that a stallion should not be a first horse. In fact I'm always surprised, every time this topic comes up people think it's against the rules--but it's not.

To clarify:
I do not think Little Susy competing on the local circuit in the 2'6" jumper needs a stallion. But if kiddo is getting into the serious jumpers and has the talent, there is no reason to rule out a stallion if they are in a consistent program with a qualified professional who knows how to manage a stallion.

I think some people may leave them intact thinking, the horse is young and they want to wait to see how talented he really is before they go snip-snip? He might turn out to be a super star and then they will wish they had not gelded him.

Just my 2 cents.

indygirl2560
May. 3, 2010, 04:51 PM
I've ridden two stallions as a junior and they were wonderful horses. They did "demand" a rider, not a passenger, as they would test what they could get away with sometimes, just like any other horse. One stallion acted like he was gelded most of the time(ie not really studdish, mellow temperament) and was easy to ride among other horses. The other one had a much hotter temperament but was one heck of a jumper. I don't see a problem with a junior owning/riding stallions as long as they have a capable trainer and they're a capable rider as well.

mvp
May. 3, 2010, 06:17 PM
There is more variation within the categories of stallion, mare and gelding than between them.

I rode and handled some very nice stallions as a junior. They were that way because the people who kept these horses whole insisted that they be treated like regular old horses. I think they would not have chosen a horse for breeding that could not have a regular horse job. That taught me a lot.

I wouldn't own a stallion now for a different reason. So many people are prejudiced against them that it means they'll almost always get a bad deal-- not be welcome in a barn, expected to be bad and have handlers on edge, have to take the lonely end stall at a show, etc.

I also don't have enough money to promote a breeding stallion, and it can be an asexual life for them can be frustrating in a way it would not be for a gelding. Why subject a horse to that if you aren't prepared to keep him as a breeding animal the right way?

FineAlready
May. 3, 2010, 06:25 PM
I agree with what some others are saying. I've been around a fair number of stallions. Some have been jerks, and some have been total sweethearts. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect a talented junior rider to be able to handle a well-behaved stallion both on the ground and in the saddle. In fact, many juniors I have met are probably better equipped to handle a stallion than some adults I have met!

NorthFaceFarm
May. 3, 2010, 07:12 PM
If the horse isn't actively breeding, why does he need to be a stallion?
If you just bought a very capable, safe, sane and talented jumper horse for your junior rider would you really want to risk complications from the procedure just so that he's not a *gasp* stallion anymore? I sure as hell wouldn't want to do ANYTHING to unnecessarily jeopardize the health and well being of my new purchase. On top of that, there is always the change that they are no longer the same home afterward. Wouldn't THAT be a silly waste.

Jumpers4life
May. 3, 2010, 08:47 PM
I show against another junior who rides a stallion. He is also 20 years old and winning in 3'6" divisions. You would never know he wasn't a gelding. He's an awesome horse. :D

Ghazzu
May. 3, 2010, 11:51 PM
After reading the mean girls thread, I found myself wondering why one would want a stallion for their junior rider. I don't think I'd EVER look at one for my daughter. I do know sometimes they are shown by a junior, esepcially if parent is a trainer, and can see that. But for their horse? Help me understand please...


You don't need to look at stallions for your daughter if it give you the vapors.
Doesn't mean that they are all fire breathing dragons...

crazyhorses
May. 4, 2010, 01:44 AM
I guess you can kind of 'prove' how gentle a stallion is by having a junior show him. Also, to show that if you want an amateur horse or a junior horse, then he would be a good stallion to breed to. I dunno?

Poniesofmydreams
May. 4, 2010, 09:14 AM
Some of the worst horses I have ever ridden/owned were geldings. And the best horse I ever I have ridden was a stallion. And he was shown and used for lessons by children. He was the most solid citizen in the barn.
My friend owns two breeding stallions. The older one was the trusted pony her children learned to ride on. And to this day they fight about who will ride him out on trail or who will get to drive him first. The younger one is only two but is expected to behave as well.
Its sad that stallions have this scary mystique about them. They need a job, love and proper handling like any horse. And a great horse is a great horse regardless of its gender.

Punkie
May. 4, 2010, 11:20 AM
I leased a WONDERFUL Henry Jota stallion when I lived in Ecuador. He was treated no differently than the gelding or mare I leased, lived between another stud and a mare, both of whom he could see (all stalls had Dutch doors) and was hot walked with stallions and mares all the time. I found that there is simply a different mentality about studs in South America than there is in the US. Most of my friends either had or at one time rode a stud (I lived there when I was 12), but there was always the expectation that they were mannerly and easy to handle. Now, keep in mind, all we really did there was ride. We did not take part in the day to day care or handling of our horses and as long as they were safe under saddle, they were considered acceptable. But my guy was easy both on the ground and under saddle and as far as we could tell, had no idea he was a stud. He was gelded years later after getting sold to the states and now lives in CA doing the Child/Adults, but he was only gelded because it's much less expensive to import a gelding than it is a stud.

findeight
May. 4, 2010, 12:27 PM
...'prove' how gentle a stallion is by having a junior show him. Also, to show that if you want an amateur horse or a junior horse, then he would be a good stallion to breed to. I dunno?

OK, the Juniors in that particular thread were USEF Juniors who show in the Junior Jumpers on major circuits-which usually start about 4'3" for the lows and 4'6"+ish for the highs, including open water. Not some kid with a horse going around the level 0.

There are also alot of Amateurs that ride the big money GPs very successfully.

Both these groups can handle a stallion successfully-and the fact they can does not necessarily mean it's that quiet.

Alterrain
May. 5, 2010, 10:07 PM
what findeight said :)

And also, the juniors I was talking about in the OP don't really "handle" their stallions other than riding them. So you don't have to worry about them leading them too close to others, etc. I would agree with most of you that MOST stallions would not be appropriate for a kid IF the kid was supposed to groom/ tack up/ graze/ etc. BUT my barn is full service, the kids don't even pull their stirrups down. So the stallions are managed really well by the guys, and in terms of RIDING, they are completely, 100% perfect matches.

gg4918
May. 5, 2010, 11:31 PM
I've ridden stallions, and I've ridden geldings. My gelding was gelded late and still acts like hes a stallion (i.e. gets studdish when a mare is around, distracted by mares etc.). The stallions I've ridden didnt even blink an eye when mares passed by.
I think it was a mismanagement with my gelding while he was younger, he was allowed to get away with the behaviors and now I have to deal with the repercussions. Don't get me wrong, hes the biggest sweetie and I'll never sell him, but he still is extremely pushy and bullying at times when he wants something. Bad habits that were created while he was young and I don't think will ever be fully exterminated.
We had a stallion at my barn that was INCREDIBLE. Easy as pie. Champion at hits in the 2'6" with an amateur. 2nd at Adult eq finals. etc.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30276927&l=a6659797fd&id=1339560116
Gentle as a lamb.
I really think that it depends on the junior, the horse, the management. I've heard so many horror stories though about junior girls being mounted by a stallion?? Maybe thats all that it was, horror stories so dissuade people from getting a stallion??

findeight
May. 6, 2010, 08:58 AM
I've heard so many horror stories though about junior girls being mounted by a stallion?? Maybe thats all that it was, horror stories so dissuade people from getting a stallion??

Oh, I bet they did happen. Someplace But not with a USEF defined Junior in a properly managed situation.

Now, I've actually seen a couple of incidents with studs. They were not exactly as related later...much less dramatic. And they were not competent Juniors and there weren't any competent adults around either. Knuckleheads having no business with a stud...or anything other then a near dead schoolie. Can't blame the horse if it's people can't make a decent decision.

That said, stallions are not for everyone unless you need one specifically or you are pushing the elite levels where that little extra sparkle and drive can make a difference in performance. That rules out about 98% of riders.

Donkaloosa
May. 6, 2010, 09:13 AM
I surely wouldn't go out with the plan of buying Susie a stallion to show. However, if he was the right horse, right price, right behavior, etc., I'd have to at least consider it. I've met some lovely well mannered stallions who were used for beginning riding lessons (Arab, TWH, QH), I learned to drive with a STB stud, and I've met Morgan stallions who were amazingly well behaved in the barn or the show ring and were shown by juniors.

I've met at least an equal number of studs who were stark raving mad. I blame that primarily on the owners/trainers.

I know a lot of boarding barns won't board a stallion. I respect that because there are too many poorly trained ones.

But one who is brought up properly, is disciplined, and knows when he has to work and when he gets to breed --- they can be wonderful. Maybe not my first choice as a horse to buy --- and of course, a good stallion can be a great gelding --- but they are worth considering if everything else about them is right.

DandyMatiz
May. 6, 2010, 09:30 AM
Matiz is safely handled by everyone at his barn, including the teens who much stalls. As with any horse we are cautious with him. But he's never been anything but mannerly. He does get a lot of turn out (with geldings) and is not a solitary horse though, so that could have something to do with it. And he is an Arab :)

rideforthelaurels16
May. 6, 2010, 09:44 AM
I'm not opposed to seeing junior riders on stallions - when I was a working student, I occasionally rode one of the farm's breeding stallions, who was a CCI* eventer. He was a DOLL, you could ride next to a mare and he wouldn't lose focus at all. Totally professional. On the ground you did have to be a little more careful - he wasn't studdish, but he was quite high strung and you had to be a little quieter. He was a very nice horse to ride, though.
On that note, I don't think anyone NEEDS a stallion, unless, as someone else mentioned, they're at an elite level and need a little 'extra.' I don't think your average ammie or children's hunter rider need to go out looking to buy a stallion. If they're competent and they're offered the ride on a stallion, that's one thing. But looking to buy just to be on a stallion, that's a little silly.

ExJumper
May. 6, 2010, 11:43 AM
On that note, I don't think anyone NEEDS a stallion, unless, as someone else mentioned, they're at an elite level and need a little 'extra.'

I have no problem with juniors riding an appropriate stallion, but I don't agree with this statement. I don't personally think that stallions have anything "extra." Except testicles. Just look at all the examples of spectacular geldings in the other thread.

I think whatever talent and ability a horse has has nothing to do with its gender or lack thereof.

NorthFaceFarm
May. 6, 2010, 12:16 PM
I have no problem with juniors riding an appropriate stallion, but I don't agree with this statement. I don't personally think that stallions have anything "extra." Except testicles. Just look at all the examples of spectacular geldings in the other thread.

I think whatever talent and ability a horse has has nothing to do with its gender or lack thereof.

I'm on the fence about this. I have known of stallions who have lost a little something (besides their physical parts) after being gelded. We have a 12 year old jumper in our barn who had grand prix horse written all over him until he was 9, after being gelded because of a situation kind of like the one in the original thread about this. Since then, we have never been able to keep him as fit or as bright as he used to be. Now, you could say its a consequence of aging, but it was a very sudden change in him. He is still a great ride and marches around in the Low A/O's with no problem, but he doesn't expend one extra ounce of energy anymore, there is nothing special in his jump, no eagerness. Those were things we loved about him in the past. I obviously can't conclusively say the change is due to becoming a gelding, but it came at the same time.

And of course, I have known many who are absolutely no different at all.

So, I don't know what to think about that. My gut tells me its just a horse-specific call.

Coppers mom
May. 6, 2010, 02:18 PM
I've noticed that many stallions lose that "I'm a man!!" quality after gelding. You get a great gelding, but they're not the cheeky showoffs that for an *extra* brilliant round.

I've also heard of stallions moving better (in dressage) once their hmm hmms weren't in the way anymore. So...

DancingQueen
May. 6, 2010, 08:28 PM
Agree. My sister rode a stallion in her junior years. We bought him as a 13 year old and we were certainly not going to geld him just because we had no plans on breeding with him. He was very well behaved, liked to come of the trailer screaming and carrying on a little once we got home from a show (never when we got there) to let the rest of the barn know he was back.

Sure, you have to pay attention when you ride a stallion, don't loose rein him while walking behind a mare in season etc. This "no juniors on stallions" thing is a bit much though. We let them drive cars and that requires a bit of attention too.
Many of my peers back in Europe showed small and medium pony stallions around age 10. Believe me they knew what they are on and would be quite happy to announce it to those who didn't.

Turning 18 doesn't automatically make you a better rider. I know teenagers I'd rather see on a stallion then many adult riders.

HobbyHorse101
May. 8, 2010, 06:16 PM
We own a stud (mini) but as a junior rider I like my geldings, you can throw them out in the pasture together without worrying about them killing eachother, and they can be around mares in season. The paint gelding I own wasn't gelded until he was six and while he may have made a nice stud he makes one super gelding. If the horse works then its fine but it takes the right kind of ride to ride a big ol' boy...

Kaelurus
May. 9, 2010, 09:31 AM
I've also heard of stallions moving better (in dressage) once their hmm hmms weren't in the way anymore. So...

I used to have a trainer that wanted to design a sort of bra for their manly bits for just this reason :lol:

Seriously though, I used to lease a stallion, and he was the most well behaved horse in the barn. My gelding is harder to handle than the stallion.

A good friend of mine has a stallion, that her parents bought her at 12, that she has shown very successfully in the junior jumpers. She is a very capable rider, and the horse was well suited to her for what she wanted to do.

If the horse and rider are a good match, I wouldn't think twice about the "extra equipment."

Thomas_1
May. 9, 2010, 09:36 AM
The first pony I had that I didn't have to share with my elder siblings was a connemara pony stallion. A perfect gentleman too.

My eldest daughter had a New Forest Pony stallion from when she was 7.

My youngest daughter had a pure bred Arab stallion when she moved on to horses and from when she was 13.

It's not so much a case of whether the horse has it's testicles or not as whether it's been well trained and is right for the owner and rider.

Dinah-do
May. 9, 2010, 09:54 AM
In Canada juniors cannot ride stallions period. Hunters or jumpers. There is not a place on the entry form for defining "well mannered stallions" or "capable juniors" or "properly managed stallions". Open the door and they are all there. I am not sure about dressage shows. Breed shows are different.

ExJumper
May. 9, 2010, 11:14 AM
In Canada juniors cannot ride stallions period. Hunters or jumpers. There is not a place on the entry form for defining "well mannered stallins" or "capable juniors" or "properly managed stallions". Open the door and they are all there. I am not sure about dressage shows. Breed shows are different.

We don't, of course, limit juniors on stallion by temperament. That would be impossible.

We do, however, limit it by division so it's not a crazy baby-stallion free for all. You won't see any short stirrup stallions in the USA, either.

Any seriously misbehaving or dangerous animal of any gender can be excused from the competition by the steward.

Alterrain
May. 9, 2010, 02:46 PM
In Canada juniors cannot ride stallions period.

just to clarify: they CAN show stallions in FEI (jumper) classes