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Spinoff of spinoff: Stallions & kids - WHY?

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  • Spinoff of spinoff: Stallions & kids - WHY?

    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...
    A proud friend of bar.ka.

  • #2
    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?
    Originally posted by tidy rabbit
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.


    • #3
      I thought you had to be 18 to show a stallion? Maybe I am mistaken.
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      • #4
        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....
        "Go on, Bill — this is no place for a pony."


        • #5
          Originally posted by alliekat View Post
          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.
          Originally posted by tidy rabbit
          Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.


          • #6
            Arabian breed shows also permit juniors to ride stallions. The stallions are expected to be mannerly (so much for "crazy ay-rabs" ).
            Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
            No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.


            • #7
              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.


              • #8
                Originally posted by ExJumper View Post
                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
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                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    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.


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        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.


                        • #13
                          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.
                          The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~ Arabian Proverb


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by piccolittle View Post
                            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?


                            • #15
                              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.


                              • #16
                                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.


                                • #17
                                  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?
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat


                                  • #18
                                    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!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by piccolittle View Post
                                      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.


                                      • #20
                                        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.
                                        No jumps, no glory...
                                        Know jumps, know glory!
                                        "One person's wrong lead is another person's counter canter."