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Raise up the stallion to be a gentleman. How-To

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    Raise up the stallion to be a gentleman. How-To

    Originally posted by cardinale View Post
    Perhaps the handlers causing disasters are mainly self taught or taught badly. It seems that stallion handling is a learned skill which is acquired from working long term with an experienced, competent stallion handler in a variety of situations. Those opportunities are probably not widely available.
    Originally posted by exvet View Post
    So much of this is true and sadly so. I grew up on a farm - dairy and horses (breeding). We learned early on what the dangers were and how to not only behave around all animals but also how to manage them. It was matter of fact, on the job training called growing up and being part of the family with expected age appropriate duties/chores. Consistency, fairness and always thinking ahead so that you stay safe and give everyone the best chance for success (in other words don't put an animal in a bad situation) were the keys to survival - your own and the animal's. First-calf heifers no matter how good their genetics and milk production, if they kicked at the milker while being milked (ie, continued to do so after their first or second milking) were culled and sold to slaughter, end of story. Stallions that were ill-tempered were gelded and if not improved with their disposition in a reasonable time-frame were sold. RESPONSIBLE breeders cull their live stock. RESPONSIBLE stallion owners make sure they are well trained, well handled and do their best not to let their stallion be put in a situation that can get out of control. This, however, doesn't negate third party responsibility or at least their obligation to exercise common sense when in the same location as a stallion or breeding animal and that includes mares, mares with foals etc. Unfortunately it's that part of the human genome that seems extinct these days, not just the reduced opportunities to learn stallion handling skills.
    Bold mine.

    The above two posts were copied from the thread "Stallions don't belong at horse shows".

    My mare is expecting, and DD and I both have a gut feeling that it will be a colt (Our guts are usually pretty good about these sorts of things). Could be filly, we did not choose for sex, but I’m thinking that he will be a boy. I chose the very best stallion that I thought would go with my gal, and think that the kid might be worth keeping himself intact.

    I’ve been around stallions, both good and acting up, but haven’t been around a really rank one. I have NEVER trained one, or personally handled one, except for Frisky the one-eyed Shetland. At the time, I did not have the tools to deal with his horniness around a mare in heat, so we just moved him to another boarding situation and that fixed things.

    I’ve checked Amazon for books on specifically handling stallions, but came up with too many suggestions to buy Walter Farley books, and not much on actual stallion handling. {Sigh}

    Around the same time we had Frisky, we had a filly at Longacres in training. I saw young studs whacked in the penis with a crop if they dropped it and tried to get a gal’s attention. Is this generally acceptable??

    If this foal turns out to be a boy, and worthy, how do we raise him up to be a gentleman?

    How is handling a stallion different than handling any other horse?

    What “rules of thumb” are there? What extra tools would we need?

    Please discuss – any and all suggestions and advice appreciated on how to raise a colt to be a gentleman.
    “It’s up to you the voters to decide the future of our democracy. So get out and vote. ... As Abraham Lincoln said, the best way to predict the future is to choose it.” Professor Allan Lichtman

    #2
    I don’t know if there are any hard and fast do’s and don’ts that work for every horse and not every horse is going to be a gentleman regardless of how he is raised but generally speaking they need to be held to a higher standard from day one. When dealing with any foal you need to remember that any behavior that won’t be cute when they are 1000 pounds isn’t cute when they are 75 pounds. Any behavior that you would not tolerate in a stallion can not be tolerated in a foal. Don’t let them be mouthy or pushy. Don’t tolerate small misbehavior so it doesn’t get a chance to blossom into large misbehavior. Be fair but firm and extremely consistent in your expectations. Make sure to praise behaviors you want very frequently. I personally would never hit a horse on the penis especially if I hoped to use him for breeding some day. Lastly don’t be barn blind and keep him intact for sentiment.
    McDowell Racing Stables

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    Comment


      #3
      Observation, not personal experience, but in my view there are 2 main elements to raising a well mannered stallion.

      First, a large part of the equation is a good temperament. If the horse has a good, steady character, he will be easy to handle. If you listen to any stallion keeper they always stress temperament above performance. A horse might be able to jump sky high, chase cows into spirals, or be so beautiful that crowds swoon, but if no one can handle him at a show he is useless. And poor temperament can be passed on to his get. If the temperament is poor, the horse should be cut.

      Second, consistent, fair and respectful handling by their humans. Stallions - actually every horse - require definite boundaries, clearly established and consistently applied. This starts immediately, as a foal. No jokes, no tricks, no putting them in a situation to fail. Their humans, however, do have to be confident in their skills, ability and knowledge.

      Same as dogs. We all know the horrid ones that rush around, bark, jump up and have no recall. We also know the trained ones, sitting politely at heel, looking up at their leader.

      Many horse cultures only ride stallions: the Spanish come to mind. I have been in a Spanish stable with rows of stallions quietly tied up side by side. When I asked if they ever kicked or bit each other I received a look of amazement and was told "Of course not. It is not allowed".
      "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

      Comment


        #4
        I raised my first homebred colt with the possibility of keeping him intact. From day 1, there were very clear boundaries. I never played with his face; he was naturally mouthy, so I simply didn't give him the opportunity to bite. No kisses, no tolerating chewing on sleeves or "cute" nibbles. His face never came near mine, period. He was expected to have perfect manners, leading, tying, and daily handling. He lived with one or two other geldings, had ample opportunity to learn life lessons.

        He tested boundaries EVERY DAY. Not aggressively or dangerous, but in a playful, cheeky, bratty way...grab the lead rope, reins, brushes, rags. Invade your space, just a half step. Charge at you in the field, run away squealing. EVERY DAY I had to insist on the same hard & fast rules. He was never "studdish" or particularly dominant, but he could have easily turned difficult with someone less consistent. He could intimidate amateurs, and found it fun to "scare" people, dogs, and other horses. He had a big sense of humor, but it had to be very controlled whenever he was "at work."

        I ended up gelding him at 3, because he wasn't quite stallion material (and I had a very nice, mature & well behaved stallion in the barn at that time). He was still a handful as a gelding...the mischevious personality never went away, but he did get a little less pushy. Strangely, after gelding he became food aggressive and very protective of his nose (no kisses! Ever!). He still requires consistent handling and doesn't suffer fools...its probably very good he doesn't have hormones along with his test-the-limits personality.

        My current stallion has exceptional character, and that's how it should be. I can't take credit for raising him, he came from great connections at the track. Partly he was handled well, but also he has a laid back, intelligent, honest, and kind temperament. He has retained all of that after he started breeding (LC), and easily switches between jobs. I am very consistent in his handling, too, but in general I don't treat him differently than any other horse. I don't make "allowances" for his hormones...he has to stand quietly in the grooming stall despite the broodmares coming and going in the adjacent paddock. I can pony his young gelded off of him. He trailers next to other horses, stands near mares at the ingate, etc. I avoid putting him in stupid situations, and we've always practiced social distancing. ;D But generally, he is treated the same as any good horse and he responds as such.
        A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
        ? Albert Einstein

        ~AJ~

        Comment


          #5
          One of the best things you can do for a colt who will keep his jewels is to let other horses help with the raising. Too many people whisk stallion prospects off to isolation early, either because they lack a turnout situation where no one can be impregnated or because the play gets too rough. If you don’t have a suitable friend for turnout, at least raise the horse in the thick of equine activity.

          Re: whacking him in the penis. No. Just no. This is a great example of why so many stallions are @ssholes; because they are raised by people who think they need to do things like whack them in the penis whenever they drop. Don’t get me wrong, once you have a rank stallion with terrible behavior, there are reasons people resort to such strategies. But that should be the exception, not the rule.

          Basically you are just instilling regular manners with precision. There is not anything special or different to raising a mannerly stallion than any other mannerly horse, you just have to be more vigilant that you aren’t skipping steps in training or letting negative behaviors creep in. You have to be able to get his focus back on you, preferably without negative reinforcement and excessive force.

          The nice thing about colts is that if they are born with a challenging temperament, you always have the option to geld and it usually helps. We just have to live with the fillies who are born bitchy.



          Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

          Comment


            #6
            We have found that keeping dominant, older geldings with the weaned and growing colt, to be a very good practice. Colt gets disciplined as needed, learns to "read" other horse signals in a group/herd setting. They play hard and run together, gelding/s can "take" his rough play, unlike humans. Geldings are good minded, not usually bullies unless colt needs squelching. They tend to bite over kicking him. We feel horses are social creatures, need to be kept in groups for good mental health. A nice stallion has a good mind, not kept isolated to fry his brain with no mental stimulation or good outlets for his youthful energy.

            One of the best stallion handlers we ever met, had a set "building block" program for his colts. It was out west, lots of room for keeping colts in Batchelor bands until 3, when they came in for riding training. His biggest criteria was a good mind after a sound body. He bred for that. Colts were usually used a half day riding fence after 7-10 days. Then turned out again in the fall, brought in as 4yr olds in the spring. They were used a bit more heavily that year, but were still considered "growing boys", not worked hard very often. At any point in the process of training, colt might be cut from the stallion prospects. Gelded immediately. Reasons might be stubborn, hard to handle, not accepting of training or handling under various riders. Then the Colts would get a small band of mares as 5yr olds, turned out as a herd in huge pastures. Stallion was expected to get the mares bred without beating them up. Mares were big, tough range horses who got the young stallion respectful of the girls and their foals. Each small herd was evaluated when brought in fall gathering. Were mares round well-fed, bred, not marked up? A stallion has to take good care of his herd. Then each stallions foals were evaluated for quality after birth in Spring. A number of stallions got gelded then. He really liked a number of his now geldings, good workers, easy to handle for any of the hands tof use.

            We bought one of his stallions along with a mare and gelding. That stallion was so easy to deal with here! He would get turned out with the gelding, on advice oF the stallinn trainer. He would hollar every morning, "Anyone need to be bred?" No one ever answered, so he would put his head down and jog out to the field with his gelding friend for the day. They played together, but gelding could always outrun the stallion! We did not need a stallion, ended up gelding him. The gelding checked out ex-stallion when he got home, immediately moved up to Alpha horse of the two! He did make an excellent gelding for us! Had "the stare" down perfectly, could intimidate any young stallion or gelding into being civil.

            The point of the story is that Trainer put his colts to work, expected them to behave well in situations they used him in. He was not bred until after learning how to work for a year. If his brain and hormones could not be controlled, he turned into a gelding. Colt learned his reason for living was working on the ranch, being a civil, well behaved horse. Breeding was a bonus IF horse passed all the tests. Breeding was not his reason for living. I sure could not argue with his good stallion results.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by goodhors View Post

              One of the best stallion handlers we ever met, had a set "building block" program for his colts. It was out west, lots of room for keeping colts in Batchelor bands until 3, when they came in for riding training. His biggest criteria was a good mind after a sound body. He bred for that. Colts were usually used a half day riding fence after 7-10 days. Then turned out again in the fall, brought in as 4yr olds in the spring. They were used a bit more heavily that year, but were still considered "growing boys", not worked hard very often. At any point in the process of training, colt might be cut from the stallion prospects. Gelded immediately. Reasons might be stubborn, hard to handle, not accepting of training or handling under various riders. Then the Colts would get a small band of mares as 5yr olds, turned out as a herd in huge pastures. Stallion was expected to get the mares bred without beating them up. Mares were big, tough range horses who got the young stallion respectful of the girls and their foals. Each small herd was evaluated when brought in fall gathering. Were mares round well-fed, bred, not marked up? A stallion has to take good care of his herd. Then each stallions foals were evaluated for quality after birth in Spring. A number of stallions got gelded then. He really liked a number of his now geldings, good workers, easy to handle for any of the hands tof use.

              We bought one of his stallions along with a mare and gelding. That stallion was so easy to deal with here! He would get turned out with the gelding, on advice oF the stallinn trainer. He would hollar every morning, "Anyone need to be bred?" No one ever answered, so he would put his head down and jog out to the field with his gelding friend for the day. They played together, but gelding could always outrun the stallion! We did not need a stallion, ended up gelding him. The gelding checked out ex-stallion when he got home, immediately moved up to Alpha horse of the two! He did make an excellent gelding for us! Had "the stare" down perfectly, could intimidate any young stallion or gelding into being civil.

              The point of the story is that Trainer put his colts to work, expected them to behave well in situations they used him in. He was not bred until after learning how to work for a year. If his brain and hormones could not be controlled, he turned into a gelding. Colt learned his reason for living was working on the ranch, being a civil, well behaved horse. Breeding was a bonus IF horse passed all the tests. Breeding was not his reason for living. I sure could not argue with his good stallion results.
              One of the original breeding approval processes, 100 Day Stallion Tests

              As a culture, we (North America in general) seem to think stallions either need to be put in their place right off the bat and are treated unfairly, or allowed to get away with behavior because "well, boyz will be boyz", and both of those are what cause most stallion issues.

              Just...no. Set a very high standard of behavior and teach him to live up to that. It's that simple.
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by JB View Post

                One of the original breeding approval processes, 100 Day Stallion Tests

                As a culture, we (North America in general) seem to think stallions either need to be put in their place right off the bat and are treated unfairly, or allowed to get away with behavior because "well, boyz will be boyz", and both of those are what cause most stallion issues.

                Just...no. Set a very high standard of behavior and teach him to live up to that. It's that simple.
                Thanks everyone. This is good info.

                I looked quickly at the "100 Day Stallion Tests" page that came up in Google. It was the Dressage Today page:

                https://dressagetoday.com/horse-health-/test41203

                It only speaks of warmbloods. This little one will be a Saddlebred sport horse. I want to bring "him" up in Dressage. Mom seems to enjoy it. And the ability to take him out on trail would be helpful too. (Or Eventing, with someone else up. I'm too old for that.) The test seems to be geared for a good all-round horse. That's what I'm hoping for.

                The baby's sire is Sultan's Great Day and Mom is by Hot Every Night out of a King of Highpoint mare.

                Are there any 100 Day Stallion Tests that a Saddlebred can participate in?
                “It’s up to you the voters to decide the future of our democracy. So get out and vote. ... As Abraham Lincoln said, the best way to predict the future is to choose it.” Professor Allan Lichtman

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Sparrowette View Post


                  I looked quickly at the "100 Day Stallion Tests" page that came up in Google. It was the Dressage Today page:

                  https://dressagetoday.com/horse-health-/test41203

                  It only speaks of warmbloods. This little one will be a Saddlebred sport horse. I want to bring "him" up in Dressage. Mom seems to enjoy it. And the ability to take him out on trail would be helpful too. (Or Eventing, with someone else up. I'm too old for that.) The test seems to be geared for a good all-round horse. That's what I'm hoping for.

                  The baby's sire is Sultan's Great Day and Mom is by Hot Every Night out of a King of Highpoint mare.

                  Are there any 100 Day Stallion Tests that a Saddlebred can participate in?
                  The point of my comment was that the program described is very much aligned with how the 100DT is run.

                  In that test, stallions are graded on exactly what goodhors described: "stubborn, hard to handle, not accepting of training or handling under various riders."

                  There are other things of course, including conformation, jumping ability, and other things, for a total of (I'm pretty sure) 10 different areas. They have to be pleasant to work around, eager to work, easy to train, able to handle different riding styles (ie different test riders), do Dressage work, Jumper work, Cross Country work (ie the Olympic disciplines for which they are bred), etc. The program goodhors described puts their horses through their specific work.

                  If more breeds, or more operations even, would go to those lengths to determine suitability for breeding stock, horses all over would be better off for it.

                  AQHA has ZERO desire to do anything like that. Most breed registries have zero desire to do anything like that, which means anyone can breed anything to anything and get registration papers for their particular breed, simply because both parents had papers.

                  ASBs don't have anything like that either, which means it's going to be up to you to define and be 100% consistent about standards
                  ______________________________
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Sparrowette View Post

                    Thanks everyone. This is good info.

                    I looked quickly at the "100 Day Stallion Tests" page that came up in Google. It was the Dressage Today page:

                    https://dressagetoday.com/horse-health-/test41203

                    It only speaks of warmbloods. This little one will be a Saddlebred sport horse. I want to bring "him" up in Dressage. Mom seems to enjoy it. And the ability to take him out on trail would be helpful too. (Or Eventing, with someone else up. I'm too old for that.) The test seems to be geared for a good all-round horse. That's what I'm hoping for.

                    The baby's sire is Sultan's Great Day and Mom is by Hot Every Night out of a King of Highpoint mare.

                    Are there any 100 Day Stallion Tests that a Saddlebred can participate in?
                    OP - I must say that the Saddlebred stallions I had the pleasure of working with (and I mean that sincerely) were awesome despite the conditions that they suffered. I won't go into detail here. I see you're in AZ. Feel free to PM me with questions. My system isn't perfect and I've sold my stallions but I'm happy to help if I can. I also agree with JB 150%
                    Ranch of Last Resort

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have owned American Saddlebred stallions my entire adult life. And, I was blessed to pull Borealis into the world. Bo still owns the record for the highest score an ASB has ever achieved, and he did it in front of an Olympic level judge- Hilda Gurney awarded him a score of 78% at Dressage at Devon, with me showing him. So, I understand the sport horse world, and what it takes to be competitive.

                      Having said that, you really need to look at the foal that is born, and consider that they need to be exceptional. Your foal will have interesting breeding, but it is completely uninteresting the ASB show horse world. Stallions need to be exceptional in every way. They need to be better than good, in conformation, movement and particularly temperament. They lead a challenging life- because they have to be good, all of the time. No one gives a stallion the benefit of a doubt- they believe that it is their testicles that make them naughty.

                      Having said all of that, I have found, with TBs and ASBs and an Arabian stallion that I have handled, that you need to be fair with them. You need to be consistent, and if they do something that they shouldn't, there need to be repercussions for that-- consistently. You can love the hell out of them 99% of the time, but if they cross a line, you need to address it before it becomes "OK".

                      I had three stallions here at one time, some years back, and people were shocked by that, but the stallions were lovely. They were out as much of the time as possible, and in their stalls the rest. It isn't difficult, but you need to think about what you are doing. All three of them had been bred.

                      Just remember that when your foal is born, it will be warm and fuzzy and adorable. But, it may not be breeding material, whether it is a filly or a colt.
                      When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
                      www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
                      http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        When I bought Amazing as a 2 year old Barbara Sikkink gave me some of the best advice ever. "Discipline the behavior, not the penis". If he's dropped, calmly looking at mare, fine. If he's dropped, puffed up and calling anywhere other than in the breeding shed, he gets a firm "no" followed by some type of in hand maneuver to focus him on me. Back, turns out of my space, halt etc. To be clear though, I did a million repetitions in hand in comfortable surroundings until he basically heels like a dog off of my body cues. So when I ask for these behaviors, it flips him back into "focus on mom" mode. I will say that to have a good stallion takes infinitely more time investment than a gelding. Worth it in the end, but it's a commitment for sure!
                        Cornerstone Equestrian
                        Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
                        RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated
                        www.cornerstonefarmpa.com

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by horsechick View Post
                          When I bought Amazing as a 2 year old Barbara Sikkink gave me some of the best advice ever. "Discipline the behavior, not the penis". If he's dropped, calmly looking at mare, fine. If he's dropped, puffed up and calling anywhere other than in the breeding shed, he gets a firm "no" followed by some type of in hand maneuver to focus him on me. Back, turns out of my space, halt etc. To be clear though, I did a million repetitions in hand in comfortable surroundings until he basically heels like a dog off of my body cues. So when I ask for these behaviors, it flips him back into "focus on mom" mode. I will say that to have a good stallion takes infinitely more time investment than a gelding. Worth it in the end, but it's a commitment for sure!
                          You mean, like everyone should do with any horse I'm sure it probably takes more repetition with most stallions than it does most geldings, but it's still all the same work - the same work that most people don't put in with a gelding, and the same work most don't put in with a mare and then get upset and angry when said mare is in heat and doing "mare things" (medical issues aside)

                          I'd imagine 99% of people just don't understand all the work that goes into making a stallion like Amazing and all the other impeccably-behaved ones out there.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by JB View Post

                            You mean, like everyone should do with any horse I'm sure it probably takes more repetition with most stallions than it does most geldings, but it's still all the same work - the same work that most people don't put in with a gelding, and the same work most don't put in with a mare and then get upset and angry when said mare is in heat and doing "mare things" (medical issues aside)

                            I'd imagine 99% of people just don't understand all the work that goes into making a stallion like Amazing and all the other impeccably-behaved ones out there.
                            Imagine how much 'nicer' and easier handling horses in general as well as how safe most venues where horses gather would be if everyone took the time to raise every horse regardless of their sex as is being discussed here?
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                              #15
                              Originally posted by exvet View Post

                              Imagine how much 'nicer' and easier handling horses in general as well as how safe most venues where horses gather would be if everyone took the time to raise every horse regardless of their sex as is being discussed here?
                              Interesting point! I realized, after I read it, that every horse that I have raised has been brought along the same way. Except one. He was the first, after I lost his full sister, and he was flat spoiled.
                              When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
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                                #16
                                Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                I don’t know if there are any hard and fast do’s and don’ts that work for every horse and not every horse is going to be a gentleman regardless of how he is raised but generally speaking they need to be held to a higher standard from day one. When dealing with any foal you need to remember that any behavior that won’t be cute when they are 1000 pounds isn’t cute when they are 75 pounds. Any behavior that you would not tolerate in a stallion can not be tolerated in a foal. Don’t let them be mouthy or pushy. Don’t tolerate small misbehavior so it doesn’t g et a chance to blossom into large misbehavior. Be fair but firm and extremely consistent in your expectations. Make sure to praise behaviors you want very frequently. I personally would never hit a horse on the penis especially if I hoped to use him for breeding some day. Lastly don’t be barn blind and keep him intact for sentiment.
                                What SHE SAID!!!
                                Be firm, but fair, 100% of the time. Nipping is never cute. Studdish behavior probably won't appear until late yearling or two year old year...and unless he is another Secretariat...he should be gelded by then. Best of luck!!
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                                Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

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