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Showing a Stallion

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  • Showing a Stallion

    For stallion owners/riders: What precautions do you take when taking a stallion to a show?

    For other competitors: If a stallion is at the same show venue (let's say a schooling show that allows stallions), what do you want the stallion owner/rider to do and what do you want to know?

    Let's assume stallion is young, going to his first horse shows under saddle, but is well behaved around mares at home. Do you want the stallion owner to let the announcer know that number 555 is a stallion to let exhibitors in the same flat class know? Have someone ask that a path be cleared near the in-gate when going in for over fences? Put a ribbon in the tail?

  • #2
    It's been awhile since I've been at a barn with a showing stallion, but when we had one around, the biggest thing was stabling. Make sure he is stabled away from mares (most shows are happy to accommodate) and easy to keep an eye on - I like them in an end stall next to the tack stall. If you have any question about him climbing the walls, I've seen many people bring a portable hotwire to run across the top of the stall and it definitely keeps things in check. Out of the stall, he should always be handled by competent people and with a chain on his nose or a bridle on (sounds obvious, but I've seen some questionable handling). A little bit of Vick's in the nostrils goes a long ways as well.

    Under saddle... that's on you. It's relatively easy for other people to see you are on a stallion but unless they are on a mare in season, it really shouldn't affect how they ride around you at all. Manners are manners and your expectations for him should be the same of any other horse. If the stallion is enough of an issue that you feel it needs to be announced before he goes in the ring, he's not ready to go off the property. If he starts acting studdish at all, he needs to be firmly reprimanded and learn that shows are not the venue for that. I've been told by some very respected riders to never ride a stallion without a crop for that very reason. Make no excuses for his behavior because he's a stallion.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks, it would be a one-day schooling show, so stabling at this point would not be an issue. How many people recommend Vicks? I've heard good and bad about using that with stallions (or any horse really). I also just didn't know if mare riders prefer to know that a stallion will be close by at a schooling show venue, mostly because there are a lot of green horses and green riders. I certainly agree that stallions should always behave just as mannerly, or more, than geldings and should know the difference between breeding time and riding time.

      Comment


      • #4
        The biggest thing is that you have to be super on guard - even moreso than at home, because most people are clueless about stallions.

        At Quentin one year, we shipped in because it's so close. Stallion was a super good boy, but two teenage girls were just stupid.

        I told them when they walked past with an obviously in season mare that this was a stallion. So they proceeded to walk back and forth with their mare. Guess they thought it would be cute if they caused a problem.

        Thankfully his manners were imbeccable and he never even blinked...but I was still on hyper alert.

        IMO, stallions (if they have been taught manners) are easier to show because I think they tend to be more focused on their jobs. Either that, or I've been very lucky in the stallions I've handled.
        http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

        Originally Posted by JSwan
        I love feral children. They taste like chicken.

        Comment


        • #5
          I always meant and forgot to put a red ribbon in the tail of a stallion to discourage people from running up on his hind end--in the schooling ring or even when standing at the in gate to give you a little more oom.--I think some people may use a yellow ribbon?

          Comment


          • #6
            If you're concerned about stabling then i would suggest going out and purchasing dark colored king sized be sheets if the stabling has the potential to offer any visual contact between stalls or into the hallway. We used to pin them up with our stallion and it offered a nice, quiet haven for him to live in at shows (and he was very well behaved at shows too!). It worked very well and it looked professional if pinned-up properly. If he's not normally studdish at home then I wouldn't make a huge fuss about it at the show.

            Take the proper precautions and put a ribbon in his tail and stick to them. Outside of the arena; keep him in his own area away from other horses. if he's antsy; keep him busy by working undersaddle until his classes come. First shows for stallions can be stressful so keep that in mind. In the line-up for hack classes; stand on the end several feet away from the nearest competitor so that you have room to circle and keep him occupied.

            Like others have said, keep in mind that the majority of all people at the shows don't know how to work around a stallion and don't have common sense. Vicks works good but keep in mind that it has a very strong scent and could create more of a problem then you want; use it in moderation.

            If he's very well behaved at home around all types of horses, I wouldn't stress about it too much. Don't be afraid to point out the obvious if others' start getting a little too close for comfort. Enjoy the show.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yellow ribbon in the tail = stallion. (Red = a kicker) Unfortunately, most riders aren't educated as to what ribbons mean anymore, beyond red. Which is a shame because they allow a rider to see at a glance what they may need to keep an eye on.

              I agree with the poster who said that if the stallion is unmannerly enough that you don't feel he can walk to the in-gate without everyone having to get out of his way, he's not ready to be shown. A good friend of mine whom I showed with rode a stallion, and most people would never have suspected he even was one. She did put a yellow ribbon on him, and may have used a little Vick's as well, but beyond that, he was a gentleman. Her philosophy was that nobody in the ring with a stallion should have to alter the way they ride.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have never shown a stallion but there are several people in our area that show at the same competitions that I do.

                I personally have no issue if the stallion is being well behaved, I would like a heads up, IE have announcer advise of the stallion so people can keep their in season mares at a distance.

                One stallion in particular, this past season, was obviously young and was not experienced being off his own premises and he was being a down right *beep word*.
                Granted stallion owner did park her trailer far from the parking area and did contain him for the most part of his fits but he did get loose once and barreled towards young competitors waiting at the ingate.

                Another request for a young/inexperienced stallion would be to keep some distance between him and other horses.
                The moment this same stallion would notice mares, whether in season or not I am not sure, he would start dancing sideways and trying to bite at them.



                On another note, I do hear that stallion is well behaved now.... maybe it was a bad day?
                http://dotstreamming.blogspot.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Are you guys really that princessy about stallions at shows? REALLY? I can't help but laugh, admittedly. I now manage a jumper/eventer farm, but before that did Arabs, and I would say a quarter of the horses shown at the average arab show are stallions (too many, probably, but that's a discussion for another day), and none of them wore yellow ribbons, had Vicks on their noses, or required an announcement.

                  The onus is on the rider/handler of the stallion to make him behave, and you really shouldn't know he is a stallion unless you look. If he is doing anything that could potentially harm someone else, he doesn't belong at a show and needs to be better socialized.

                  I do agree some stalls will need some better reinforcement, and better planning for the safety and peace and quiet with regards to where you put him (and you may have to talk to show management about that with your entries, or your neighbors if you can't get a stall against a wall or corner stall.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I guess the consensus (which I agree with) is that the expectation is that the stallion blends in well, keeping in mind the place is full of green horses, the stallion is allowed to be green.

                    I remember showing against a stallion who really should have stuck to the schooling ring. He was out and up the entire time. My gelding was getting worried because the stallion was acting so territorial over the other 20 people in the class. Judge asked the stallion to withdraw because trotting around was scary enough and the rider yelled out 'OH no he's just a stallion, this is natural.'

                    don't be that person

                    (but from the sounds of it you have put more than enough effort in and sound like a truly intelligent person.)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As someone competing at the same venue as a stallion, I wouldn't expect to be informed of a stallion's presence unless he got loose. In which case I'd fully expect the handler/owner/rider (and then a rolling echo of people as they became aware) yelling loose stallion, instead of just loose horse. If I am curious as to a male horse's intact-ness, I can always take a peek and satisfy my curiosity.

                      As the owner and rider of a stallion at multiple shows of various disciplines, I don't inform anyone of the state of the horse beneath me. In fact, I've heard several people whisper, "oh my goodness, he's a stallion". I consider their surprise a compliment. It means my horse is behaving just the way he should. Well mannered.

                      Now he is at the point where people recognize him by his excellent behaviour and performance record. I'm not sure which makes me more proud.

                      Best of luck with your fellow.
                      Cindy Geres

                      Home of Foxwind SL (Cdn Trakehner and Cdn Sport Horse Approved)
                      www.sprucelane.net

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SpruceLane View Post
                        As the owner and rider of a stallion at multiple shows of various disciplines, I don't inform anyone of the state of the horse beneath me. In fact, I've heard several people whisper, "oh my goodness, he's a stallion". I consider their surprise a compliment. It means my horse is behaving just the way he should. Well mannered.
                        We don't either and ours is exactly the same way. Have you ever had anyone actually bend over to check the plumbing? We have.
                        Fox Haven Farm, Inc.
                        Home of 2002 JC Registered stallion Artrageous

                        Artrageous has his own Facebook page!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dazed - LOL -

                          Having a background in western breeds, I agree. But the difference is that in those, and Welsh/Arabs/Morgans, stallions are commonly shown. Granted, in all the above, some are possessed of better manners than others, but most show under saddle with their concentration on the job at hand.

                          And I've never really seen outrageous behavior as the norm at tracks, either, where colts and fillies cohabitate, as it were.

                          It's all in the expectation/training, I believe.

                          Carol
                          www.ayliprod.com
                          Equine Photography in the Northeast

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Most show's I've been too, the stallion owners were the ones to watch out for...

                            They would have an aisle way cleared in .095 seconds by screaming "Stallion coming through, get out of our way! Stallion! THIS HORSE IS A STALLION!"
                            Mr. Intact came out of his stall pretty chill. He had the airplane ears going on, and just clip clopped out of his bedroom with straw in his tail, and big green blotches over his grey body.

                            I was underwhelmed by this woman, and she showed him in that condition. She then went on and complained too loudly about how the judge didn't know ANYTHING about horses and that she should have came away with Grand Champ.

                            I have no issues showing with a stallion. As long as he is on his best behavior just like all the other horses should be.

                            I went to the Derby at Lake Oswego Hunt Club yesterday with my girls. We got there kind of late, but I never saw a horse get out of line. Not once. Last year, there was a 18 hand warmblood stallion there. He was pretty green, and it was his first show. First of all, he was quite the looker. Gun Metal grey with white mane and tail. People were gathered all around him and following him. He did a little airs above ground, but mostly stood and took in the view around him. His handler didn't go out of her way to make sure he had vicks, or a yellow ribbon. She expected good behavior from the get go, and wanted him to be accustomed to the sights and smells no matter what. I was impressed.
                            Originally posted by dizzywriter
                            My saddle fits perfectly well. It might be a little tight around the waist, but I take care of that with those spandex things.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree to a certain extent that others should not have to alter how they ride around a stallion and that it is up t the stallion rider to think ahead-but that presumes that the way others ride is not reckless and inconsiderate--which you might be able to get away with around a gelding but can cause issues w a stallion. But folks usually know to stay away to the best of ones abilites from the brainless riders in the schooling ring even if you are on a gelding!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Jane Honda View Post
                                Most show's I've been too, the stallion owners were the ones to watch out for...

                                They would have an aisle way cleared in .095 seconds by screaming "Stallion coming through, get out of our way! Stallion! THIS HORSE IS A STALLION!"
                                Oh yes, it's all about "Lookit me! I'm so very speshul because this is a STALLION!"
                                Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I agree with the above...the resposibility is with the stallion owner. For stabling, I call ahead and see if they can put him on a wall on the end, and I also bring plywood, hotwire, and tarps to hang if he happens to be stabled next to another horse. As long as he can't touch noses with anyone, he is perfect.

                                  Each morning, I get there before anyone else just to give him a nice peaceful hack (I consider that his "turnout" for the day ). Once he has that, he is perfectly content.

                                  I found that the Vicks actually caused him to worry more. I think stallions rely heavily on their senses and when you take one away, it makes them nervous.

                                  Always try to use the same handler, and have the same, clear, consistent, and fair rules and expectations at all times. Amazing is expected to behave like a gelding, and that means no talking. At 7 he knows the ropes now, and the most he'll do is go into sniffing overdrive.

                                  When I'm riding, I just try to respect that he prefers a larger personal space and give him that room around other horses. Only once did I say something to another rider. In the morning at Trader's Point someone was riding a particularly explosive horse, and no matter what I did she was constantly right by me even though there were like 4 horses in the ring. So I politely said "This one's a stallion, can you please just give him a little extra space?" No biggie.

                                  The most important thing is to keep them focused on you and the job, and if you feel that focus slipping, put them to work.

                                  It's a lot of work, but there is nothing like the "presence" of a stallion in the show ring...
                                  Cornerstone Equestrian
                                  Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
                                  RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated
                                  www.cornerstonefarmpa.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    OP sounds like she's thought things through. I don't know that announcing the presence of a stallion on the grounds is really necessary, but if the blighter gets loose, that's another story!

                                    I have very little experience with stallions, but as a mare owner will say one thing: if you (deliberately or not) induce "stallion posturing" in your stallion, it's very rude to do it when other competitors are nearby, especially if they are young/green etc.

                                    At a schooling show at my barn earlier this year, a nearby barn brought a couple of their (some Iberian breed) dressage stallions, not to show, but just for the outing. They did a lot of fairly advanced moves with stallions snorting, arching their necks, stepping high, and, well, they kept their willies in, but not by much. My mare (who was not in season) and several others read this as "stallion display" and were freaked out by it. I ended up scratching our rides as my poor mare was just unable to cope.

                                    It would have been a wonderful "demonstration ride" during a break in the show, but doing this in a crowded warm-up area with lots of mares, little kids on ponies, etc. was just downright rude.
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Remember to read the prize list carefully--some schooling shows do not allow stallions on the grounds, especially if they expect to have very beginner riders attending.
                                      Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Our showing stallion is only known as such because he's "known". He is quite aware that he is at a show to WORK and not check out any mares. He is a lovely horse and has superb manners (he was just shown all summer by an ammy), but if he ever even considered stepping out of line he would be reminded in 0.02 seconds.

                                        We've never announced that he was a stallion, put a yellow ribbon in his tail, or used Vicks. I'm with those who say the onus is with the owner/handler. If you do not feel 100% confident that your stud will act as a regular old gelding at a show, I would hesitate to take him. Perhaps trailer in to a few different locales prior to showing to give him the experience without the crowds/risks.

                                        The only thing I might really pay attention to in a haul-in show is the type of classes - green horse classes would be find, but be mindful of green rider or green horse/green rider classes. Your stallion might be very well behaved, but if there's a beginner kid on a hussy of a mare, it could cause a bit of an upset.

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