Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
It may vary depending on opinions and situations, but it seems like the general consensus from trainers I have talked to has been to correct stallions for calling out. I wonder though, should I only correct stallion noises (which he never makes in public -only when we bring an in season mare in his pen for him). I have had many geldings who I did not correct for calling, and they grew out of it with experience for the most part.
The people in general seem to get a little nervous because my stallion is calling - as if dangerous stallion behavior is to follow - which I am very sure is not the case - he is calling like any other horse. I honestly would probably ignore most of his calling (unless it got out of hand), but it seems people expect me to correct him for it. There are few stallions other than mine who attend regular events (I have seen one in two years now- who did act rather scary). It seems that stallions are a big unknown here with a negative association - is that the same elsewhere? In many ways, I have expected my stallion to behave as any other horse (myself taking a few more safety precautions such as more space for other horses, etc.) - for the most part though, he has risen to the occasion, and acts like a gentleman. He actually seemed to be one of the more behaved horses out of all the other geldings and mares present at a playday I recently attended.
I do think that when we were on the trail ride without his buddy gelding, he really was freaked out because there were a bunch of horses, and he didn't know any of them. The problem with this episode is that he was calling to the point of distraction. He got himself so worked up that he couldn't stand still and relax, he was very tense, and he kept wanting to catch up to any horses that were in his vision. He was still listening, but he was very much on edge.
Thank you both for your insight - I don't feel good about repremanding him for doing what nervous horses do, but do I go with my gut, or with what seems to be expected with bringing a stallion to public events?? If I am to ignore it, how do I address people if confronted? He is a doll of a horse, and I hate that he has a negative association by default.