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Stallion Turnout

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  • Stallion Turnout

    Hi Everyone
    Some of you may already know that I am a Research Student studying stallion management.
    After conducting a survey into management I am looking for further information on some points.
    How are your stallions turned out? alone, with mares, geldings, youngstock etc? and why do you choose this management method? would you do it differently given the option?

    Thanks
    Cat

  • #2
    My mature fellow goes out with either his mares and foals, or my 2 year old colt and geldings. Very lucky with how easy he is to manage at the farm.

    My new fellow will have his own pasture next to the mares. He can't go out with them but likes to see them.
    www.muskokalakesconnemaras.com
    Wonderful ponies for family or show!

    Comment


    • #3
      Ours where weaned with nice but no nonsense geldings and continued to be turned out with either that very same or similar geldings.
      "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

      Comment


      • #4
        I worked on a breeding farm for several years. We had up to 10-12 stallions on the property during that time. This was more a holding area type farm not actual breeding of mares. Unfortunately NONE of those poor horses lived the contented lives that some of the others mentioned previously.
        These stallions stayed in standard sized stalls a lot of the time with no turnout but maybe every 2 or 3 weeks they'd go out to the one stallion pen for a few hours. Always turned out alone. Different stallions reacted in different ways to this way of life.
        Some got depressed and stood with their head low in the corner- tuning out the world. Some became almost unmanageable and dangerous to handle.
        Some stood with their head gazing out the stall window watching other horses, mares, babies frolicking in the sunshine.

        Still, to this day I'm sad to think about the lonely, isolated and non -social lives these horses had to endure. Just one of the ugly sides of the horse world.
        "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

        Comment


        • #5
          Our Stallions live out or are turned out daily for more than a few hours. We have had them alone, with mares, with geldings and with other colts.
          Redbud Ranch
          Check us out on FB

          Comment


          • #6
            Growing up, my parents had 2 studs, both of whom stayed in the pasture with their mares and foals up until the day of their death. They now have a one colt remaining and therefore cannot be turned out with his mom and sister so he has a turnout with attached stall very close to the herd, but no nose touching. He will be gelded which will make life easier and he'll be happier.

            I worked at a barn that had lots of stallions. All of them had a paddock that they went out to for six to eight hours a day, plus were ridden (trained). There were more stallions than mares at this place, it was more of a stallion station than breeding farm. But, the horses were happy, confident souls and seemed to enjoy life.

            The way my parents (or I should say my mom, she did most of the horse stuff) kept the stallions in my opinion is best. The horses are happy and socialized. It was also easy because they were all the same breed too, so no worries of cross-breeding. But some establishments have to do things a different way; I don't think that makes them any worse. I once knew a "trainer" that kept their horses in a stall always-never, EVER, let them go outside to graze or roll in dirt. These horses were lucky if the owner indulged them in a five minute hand-walk with nibbles of grass stolen here or there--that is sad! (they were not stallions either).
            I LOVE my Chickens!

            Comment


            • #7
              We have 5 stallions of various ages. One is coming 2 and he is turned out with other 2 yr old geldings. The older ones are out with at least one bred mare - they have 24/7 turnout with access to a run-in shed. One is a yearling and he is turned out with an aged mare that can teach him how to be a gentleman. I am a firm believer that stallions need lots of turn out and as much socialization as is possible in a safe environment.
              Quicksilver Farms, LLC
              "Welsh Hunter Ponies"
              Welsh Sec. B Stallions and
              Fancy Show Pony Prospects
              www.quicksilverponies.com

              Comment


              • #8
                My stallion is turned out 24/7 and shares a common fence with the geldings. I have turned him out with one gelding in the past before that gelding was sold. He travels in company and is always stalled next to his gelding friends (we have a mare motel so that means there is just pipe rail fencing between him and the geldings). There is plenty of socializing.
                Ranch of Last Resort

                Comment


                • #9
                  Our TB stallions were always turned out in large pastures either all day or all night. Pastures were double fence, but horses on 3 sides. Our ISH was turned out with a TB gelding companion until their mutual play got too rough. Then the gelding was put across the aisleway from him....the ISH was miserable!! He missed his playmate and whinnied all the time like a weanling for months. After the ISH was gelded we put him right back in with his buddy and now he is a very happy gelding in training. Our current TB...a VERY expensive colt, was badly injured at 4 months of age, so spent a lot of time in a stall and because of his value, NEVER interacted with another horse other than his dam before weaning. On the race track he was not studdish, but again, got no "touchy/feely" with other horses. We got him in Dec. 2011 as a three year old and after he settled in - he was well mannered in the stall and 4 acre turn-out paddock that Spring we decided to put "Just Dandy" (for those who remember my ghetto rescue pony) out with him. At 14.2 and having good speed and agility...and knowing we could open the gate and he'd come running...we put him in the stud's pasture. The stud was dumbstruck to think he could touch and smell another horse!!! He got all silly, rubbed all over Dandy. Danced around, but showed NO hostility. So...now those two are a pair!! The stud comes in the stable at night in the winter...in, during the days for the hot summer while Dandy enjoys a large turn-out shed. Every time they meet, they nicker and rub each other, but neither is bothered by their separation periods. They run, rough house and enjoy their relationship. It might not work for every stallion, but ours is happy this way.
                  For those of you who turn your stallions out with mares....do you pasture breed?? I'm considering that, but worry about the stallion's risk.
                  www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                  Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My TB stallion lives out 24/7, he used to come in half the day, but he preferred living out. He lives alone for the most part, shares a fence line with a few geldings and they will groom each other over the fence. Sometimes one of the ponies will jump in with him, or the mini colt gets in there and they hang out, but once he tires of their company he will run them out.
                    www.hilltopfarmva.com

                    Facebook: Hilltop Farm VA

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My current guy is a reiner so has limited space for turnout when in slide plates. Until he got hurt he had free roam of a small paddock (about 36'x24') attached to his stall. He was alone but had a mare that had the same type of paddock across a 12' alley. A few days a week he would then get 20 minutes or so loose in the arena by himself. Since he's been on stall rest he has been in a stall next to his paddock with the top dutch door open and his small pony companion has been given the paddock. This has worked very well as my stallion has had the interaction and company of the pony while restricted.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The stallion at my current barn usually goes out for 4-5 hours per day in a good sized pasture. He is turned out alone but can see the other horses. He is a very quiet, mellow horse by nature, is very well behaved and easy to handle, and would probably do fine with a quiet gelding companion, but he is used for riding and breeding, and they don't want to risk him getting injured playing so he goes out alone. He's a sweet guy and seems very content with his life.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My stallion is turned out solo 15 hours a day, he has about 1/2 an acre. He has full time access to a stall for shelter, his "man cave" which he loves. He can see my other horses, 3 mares and a gelding and gets fairly close (not nose to nose) depending on which pasture they're in. He loves having a view of his herd! He is stalled at night in the same barn. I keep a stall with hay between him and the closest mare. Overall he seems very content, I've thought of getting him a pasture mate but I believe he's always been solo (he's 24 this year) and I'd never forgive myself if he or another animal got hurt.
                          Fernhill Warmbloods
                          www.fernhillwarmbloods.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by crosscreeksh View Post
                            For those of you who turn your stallions out with mares....do you pasture breed?? I'm considering that, but worry about the stallion's risk.
                            Pasture breeding is how we TAUGHT our stallion not to get hurt. I put my alpha lead mare out with him (that we were planning on breeding to him). She explained proper behavior to him in a way that made more impression on him than any amount of hand breeding ever would. Once she was in heat, the first time he ran at her in his excitement, she wheeled around and chased him off. He learned to be polite and respectful in his "duties". Then the other mare we wanted to breed to him came into heat, so she went out with him. She's no where near as alpha as my other mare, but he was still very polite with her. Checked her out, nipping her hocks and knees to make sure she would stand, before doing his "duty". The first time we hand-bred him, it was like he had bred 100 mares. All business, polite, he "checked" his mare to make sure she was going to stand, and just basically required a human to hold his lead. The easiest stallion either my husband or I ever handled. And it wasn't a fluke, he did the same with his next hand breeding too.

                            As far as turn out, like the OP asked. We don't own our own farm, we rent part of a very large farm. Our boy's paddock is only about 1 1/2 acres, separated by the driveway from other paddocks on one side, and by an aisleway from the pasture on the other side. But the way it sits, he can see pretty much the entire farm. He was turned out with his two pasture breeding mares while they were in heat, but his paddock really isn't big enough to keep more than one horse full time unless we want it to turn into a mud pit. However, he seemed lonely, so we turned out a low key gelding with him. It went great until someone turned out an in heat mare in the paddock next to them. Then Sparky started herding the gelding away from that fenceline. Unfortunately, that fenceline is where the water was, so that wasn't going to work long term. We moved the gelding. When we get our own place, we will have a better, more sociable setup for him. He is out during the day for the winter (night in summer) currently. He starts pacing the fenceline and calling when he's ready to come in. Occasionally, he likes to stay out 24/7 during the spring or fall, and on those occasions we let him. Yeah, he's spoiled.

                            Anyone turn their horses out with a molly mule? An old timer mentioned to us that that's what they used to do. Keeps the stallion "in practice" he said, and gave them company without any risk to a nice gelding if the stud got territorial, and mules are sterile, but still come in heat. Just curious. I've always wanted a mule, and this might justify the purchase in the future.

                            Sheila

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My horse's ISH sire was turned out in a large field with his gelding buddy, or buddies, and the rest - mares and youngies - were also in large fields all around him....but his life was much different to many stallions, and he lived very much like a normal horse.

                              We even trucked out together - him and my mare.
                              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Mine is out unless the weather is really bad. He's either out with mares or geldings. It's doesn't matter to him. He is the most chill guy ever. He likes everyone.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  "Pasture breeding is how we TAUGHT our stallion not to get hurt. I put my alpha lead mare out with him (that we were planning on breeding to him). She explained proper behavior to him in a way that made more impression on him than any amount of hand breeding ever would. Once she was in heat, the first time he ran at her in his excitement, she wheeled around and chased him off. He learned to be polite and respectful in his "duties". Then the other mare we wanted to breed to him came into heat, so she went out with him. She's no where near as alpha as my other mare, but he was still very polite with her. Checked her out, nipping her hocks and knees to make sure she would stand, before doing his "duty". The first time we hand-bred him, it was like he had bred 100 mares. All business, polite, he "checked" his mare to make sure she was going to stand, and just basically required a human to hold his lead. The easiest stallion either my husband or I ever handled. And it wasn't a fluke, he did the same with his next hand breeding too."

                                  This!

                                  My guy lived out 24/7 with his mares and offspring (until weaning). I started him out with my alpha mare to "educate" him. He was a very mild mannered polite stallion that, unless the mare was in heat and being bred, didn't act "studish".
                                  The downside... I took him to Rood and Riddle to be collected and wouldn't collect off the mare they use if the stallion isn't used to the dummy. He was there a week and the vet called and said he didn't know what else to do with him. He would mount the mare with encouragement and then look at the handler's like "now what"? The vet called and said to come get him but I asked if there was anyway he was not performing because he was used to LC on mares who were actively in heat and ready. He said he was going to try one more thing and called me back in 15 min laughing. He had gone down and gotten a recip mare that was currently ovulating and Trey performed perfectly. The vet said he was just too smart lol. He stayed another few days and was successfully collected for freezing.

                                  He also traveled and stabled at shows with mares and geldings.
                                  There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse-Robert Smith Surtees
                                  Breeding TBs, Connemaras and TB/Conn crosses for eventing
                                  www.twistoffateeventing.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My stallion lives with the mares he breeds, his bred daughters and all the babies until they are weaned. He is very polite and respectful to the mares with the exception of one that for inexpicable reasons makes him mad when she is lead in or out of pasture particularly when we use a lead rope. They have no problem breeding and he is fine with her once she has been in the pasture for a bit. We get around this by putting him in a catch pen when we put her back in, let her settle, bring him up to the barn for some grooming and a little Vicks on the nose.
                                    He is wonderful with the babies, letting them share food and exchange scratches. If there is a colt that is a bit studdy he will let the colt follow him around the pasture, checking out the mares and leaving poop piles together.

                                    A few years ago there was a thread about stallions and pasture breeding with a number of shared stories. You might try looking it up or someone else may be able to find it.
                                    Cindy Bergmann
                                    Canterbury Court
                                    559-903-4814
                                    www.canterbury-court.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Cat-ReseachStudent View Post
                                      How are your stallions turned out? alone, with mares, geldings, youngstock etc? and why do you choose this management method? would you do it differently given the option?

                                      Thanks
                                      Cat
                                      I've grown up with stallions here on the farm and mom and dad have had them from the beginning (1970) so here is what has worked for us...

                                      Stallions are on solo turnout. They usually have a gelding buddy in the next paddock or pasture - or over 1 more if their neighbor has been caught to work. We have multiple stallion paddocks and can rotate who goes where when and do so with great regularity. There are usually at least 15 other horses in their respective paddocks/pastures within view/earshot. Our stallions stay in full work regardless of competition schedule, so turnout is part of their routine for a minimum of 3-16 hours. But the competition stallions have a specific schedule and "neighbors" - usually the gelding from the stall next to theirs.

                                      If I were to do anything differently - I would add 2-3 more stallion paddocks closer to our stallion/show horse barn so there would be less walking and it would keep the boys separate from the geldings/mares in the lower paddock spaces. But the logistics and geography of the existing facilities has prevented that for now. That change is more for convenience than anything to do with their testicles - less walking!

                                      As for why -
                                      Mom and Dad did some group turnout and pasture breeding (in the 70's) and found a very direct correlation to behavior and undersaddle obedience - especially for upper level work. Since it is difficult enough to get a horse to Grand Prix, why make it more complicated with a stallion that is constantly fretting about his herd/mares? Add in the risk for a stallion that forgets to mind his manners, and well, if I wanted to enjoy a natural herd dynamic - I wouldn't be pushing to get back into the FEI show ring with our young stallion.
                                      Attached Files
                                      Watermark Farm
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                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
                                        I worked on a breeding farm for several years. We had up to 10-12 stallions on the property during that time. This was more a holding area type farm not actual breeding of mares. Unfortunately NONE of those poor horses lived the contented lives that some of the others mentioned previously.
                                        These stallions stayed in standard sized stalls a lot of the time with no turnout but maybe every 2 or 3 weeks they'd go out to the one stallion pen for a few hours. Always turned out alone. Different stallions reacted in different ways to this way of life.
                                        Some got depressed and stood with their head low in the corner- tuning out the world. Some became almost unmanageable and dangerous to handle.
                                        Some stood with their head gazing out the stall window watching other horses, mares, babies frolicking in the sunshine.

                                        Still, to this day I'm sad to think about the lonely, isolated and non -social lives these horses had to endure. Just one of the ugly sides of the horse world.
                                        This makes me sad to read, sad for those horses.
                                        I have seen similar situations where the stallions live lives of isolation like this, and when I decided to keep my colt as a stallion prospect one of the main considerations was that I would NOT do it unless the colt/stallion could live a normal and happy life.

                                        My stallion lives in the main barn surrounded by mares and babies. The stall fronts and partitions are only solid at the bottoms, the upper part are widely spaced bars - so the stallion can see and socialize while in the barn. He has a colt beside him, but mares in all the other stalls.
                                        The paddocks and pastures on my farm are in a loose pie or star pattern around the barn.
                                        He is turned out in all weather, every day, in a large pasture (about 4 acres) which is separated by a tractor aisle from the pasture adjacent, which has the colt and his pony companion in it.
                                        When the pony chooses, he climbs through the fence into the aisle and visits with the stallion.
                                        Sometimes this same pasture will have mares/mares and foals in it.

                                        Other times he goes out into a smaller paddock, which is adjacent to all the other paddocks, each with a couple of mares in them. He stares, he trots around, he surveys his kingdom, but mostly he eats and sleeps in the sunshine.
                                        One of his fencelines is shared with my neighbours and their 8! homeschooled children. Right along the fence line is their play structure, their trampoline and their pool.
                                        Often I will look out to and see the stallion grazing calmly only a few feet away from all the children playing and screaming.

                                        He comes in at night, but is out for between 4-10hrs daily, weather dependant.

                                        So, while he does not share his paddock with another horse, he is not isolated or lonely in any way.

                                        He seems to be very happy, very content and secure. and able to be left in the barn alone, or left outside alone, for whatever reasons, (farrier or vet coming etc).

                                        When he was actively showing, and living at the trainer's, he was on the same turnout schedule as all the other horses, turned out individually (as they all were) but beside his friends.
                                        A Fine Romance. April 1991 - June 2016. Loved forever.

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