Stallion behavior

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Stallion behavior

This is a discussion on Stallion behavior within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Stallion bad manners
  • Why is my stallion being aggressive

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    02-25-2007, 10:17 PM
Stallion behavior

AS you may know I just purchased a new stallion. I not only picked him for the way he looked but his temperment. He is a kind stallon, but is just really out of control when he is even close to a new horse. I know that it is a stallion's first reaction to "check them out" but he totally trys to run me over just to see.

He is currently at my trainers but I would like a different opinion also.
Is a chain in his mouth cruel? In my mind I think that it isn't needed. I think that every horse no matter their sex should be able to be controlable in just a regular halter. This is my first stallion and I have heard that they always need a chain just to remind them that you are there.

Also, a friend told me that you can't be at all aggressive with a stallion (yell at them, or hit) because they will be aggressive back.

In your opinion is this true or not?
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    02-25-2007, 10:29 PM
Hey.. in my view I hate it when people put a chain thru the horse's mouth, but if he is being a danger to himself and others, it sadly might be needed.

And for the aggression thing I honestly have no idea, but I would think that it would depend on the horse, though stallions would probally be more prone to this

Sorry I wasnt too helpful haha
    02-25-2007, 10:38 PM
I would never put a chain in any horse's mouth no matter the sex. You shouldn't need a chain to control him. If he truly respected you then you wouldn't have to use one.

In some cases this is very true. It's their nature to fight. You don't have to be aggressive though. There are other options which are sometimes better than being aggressive. Stallion will fight back and when they do it's hard to beat them.
    02-25-2007, 11:14 PM
I have a lot of experience with stallions. Unless you've had stallion experience, I don't think people truly understand how quickly their behavior can change when hormones are involved. :roll:

I use a chain, always. A chain can be very kind in gentle hands, but I've also seen a chain make a horse's mouth bleed.

For example, a mare once got loose as I was walking a stallion out to his pasture. This stallion was aggressive and had been taught no manners by it's owner. Regardless, as the mare ran past, the stallion that I once easily controlled then reared up, jumped forward and drug me with him. I was basically flinging around by his side without him paying ANY attention to what I was doing. The stallion was solely thinking one thing - mare. Yes, I had the chain in his mouth which did slow him down a little, but I wouldn't have been able to stop him unless someone had ran over to help me. If I had just a halter on I would have probably have been trampled. It happens quickly and powerfully. This was an extreme situation, of course. But, this also leads to breeding. Breeding a horse without a stock to hold the mare can be extremely dangerous due to their behavior. An experienced handler should only do this with care. Using a halter on a misbehaving stallion while in the process of breeding isn't the best option. You need better control.

I should also add that I use the chain differently depending on the stallions bad habits.

There are better stallions with very kind manners. I still use a chain. With these guys, the chain is not jerked or used roughly, rather in neutral. This is not painful when used kindly but it is there in emergency. I've found the chain useful on stallions that like to nip. Having the chain to chew keeps them occupied.

But, having a kind stallion leads to manners as well. It is essential to discipline any horse that proposes a threat or safety hazard. A stallion cannot be dealt with too aggressively, but nor can any horse, really. I have had to become very aggressive before, but I knew my limits and the horse well. But this didn't guarantee anything and it's not something I recommend. Sometimes creativity must come into play when working with a stallion. For example, with the nipping, a chain or lead to chew may keep them occupied. Or, rather then hitting, a squirt of lemon juice in the mouth right after they nip may cure the habit. It just depends but in no way should a stallions bad manners be ignored because 'they're just a stallion.' It's not an excuse!

The going stupid near other horses thing may not be curable. I understand those moments too well. They can be worked on but the excitement of hormones can be over whelming at times - for both the horse and owner. But I do completely disagree with the fact that if a stallion does this, they don't respect you. Horses have short attention spans, are deeply set in their ways and can easily jump from thought to thought. I just didn't want you to think it was a fault of your own if they did this.

But don't worry! Things will progress! I have seen some lovely stallions that I swore were gelded. Not all are mind numbing and vicious!
    02-26-2007, 01:36 AM
Very well said Kristy!
    02-26-2007, 03:35 AM
Thank you dear!
    02-26-2007, 10:59 AM
Kristy, yes I do think that what you said really well put and taught me a couple of things.

My trainer is great because he not only teaches the horse but he asks that the owner is there to learn as well. So not only will Spartan learn some manners, I will will learn just how to handle him.

Another question that got me thinking. The previous owner was breeding 30-40 mares in one season. Do you think that this is too much? I suppose it depends on the horse and what else you will be doing with him, but I plan to cut it down to around 5-10 mares this year. I will be showing him this spring and I want to be able to show and breed. (not possible if you breed that many)

Thanks again everyone!
    02-26-2007, 09:04 PM
My friend gets her QH babies from a guy in Canada. He has a direct son of Hollywood Dunit and bred some 40 mares to him in the.. fall.. I think, LOL. And the stallion did very well and loved every minute of it. So I think that 30 wasnt too unsafe of an amount.

I'd wait for Kristy to see this though, she is really the expert when it comes to studdies, she's had a TON more experience than me! LOL!

And as Kristy said, a chain can be a good thing when in good hands, and a bad thing when in bad hands. I'd rather have it in the mouth and being safe... than putting it loosely over the nose and regretting it later when the hormones kick in.

I've seen people put them over the gums.. that seemed really ouchie =/ But.. I mean.. i'd really rather be safe than sorry.. i'd try the mouth first, not the gums =/
    02-26-2007, 09:41 PM
Will do.. I know that he has to have had a chain in his mouth at APHA or AQHA shows so I don't think he will freak out with it in there.

I am going to try to book as many mares as I think that I can handle, which hopefully is around 10 .

Any more advise on stallion behavior so I can have a heads up?
    02-27-2007, 12:12 AM
No, the amount they bred him seems completely reasonable. It really just depends on what goal you want to achieve - a large amount of offspring or a reserved breeding line. 10 is fine, although after all the details you may wish to lower the number if it is your first breeding season. (But this also depends if you are offering mare care or boarding along with other things). I suggest educating yourself about the entire breeding process, what must be done including the business aspects of it. But I think that having an experienced trainer around who knows the importance of teaching you as well as your boy, you'll have plenty of information available.

If you plan to show as you said, I suggest instilling manners into him the best possible way and eventually take him to shows not to participate but as exposure. This would be an excellent time to take your trainer with you. Once he has some what become accustomed to a shows atmosphere as well as having others around, it may become much easier to handle him. Him having access to other horses and the ability to communicate with others will desensitize him to the excitement of a new horse as to just being alone and quarantined often.

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