Yep Dreamcatcher, that certainly is closed mindedness, to the degree of prejudice. Have they ever explained why they feel so threatened by any of your stallions? It is very curious to say the least.
It isn't my stallions per se, they just are terrified of stallions. We rode in a Christmas parade (I rode a gelding) and they were on their mares and another guy, part of another group not near us, was on a very well behaved appy stallion. During one of the parade stops these gals noticed the Appy's equipment and left the parade, even though he was a/ 2 groups ahead of us and b/ 3/4 of the way through the parade before they figured out he wasn't a gelding. THAT is just plum stupid if you ask me.
In the beginning when I mentioned I wanted to take my stallion on a trail ride in a group setting one of the 2 said, "Well, I'll just stay home then, I don't want to get mounted in the middle of the trail." I was utterly flumoxed. This is a stallion who has shown at the national level ever since he was a weanling, in mixed groups and in stallion only classes (can you say FIGHT if not well trained handler AND horse?) and has NEVER offered to do a thing to anyone or anyhorse. I've never allowed him to be Regumated or have his hormones messed with because I feel training is what needs to happen, not chemical castration. His very first show under saddle at 3 years old, there were some stalls right by the arena for patron's horses. There were a couple of mares in heat in those stalls and of course, they saw/smelled him and squealed. He gave a VERY soft whinny/nicker as he rode by and I swear I thought the trainer was going to behead him right then and there. He's never offered to do it again. AND THAT WAS IT, the worst thing he's ever done.
Honestly, now that I think back on it, I don't think either of those 2 have seen him since he turned 2 and we went to Sport Horse Nationals in KY. He's now 5 and been to several Regional and National Championships and never had a problem.
Other than the trainer, I'm the only one who handles/rides him and I've been handling stallions for 30 years, so it's not like I don't know what they're like or that it can be dicey if you're not careful with them. He's very respectful and if I even think he's going to push his luck, I push HIM and hard.