Your Experience With Stallions?
Im thinking about keeping Dreamer, my Spotted Saddle Horse colt a stallion.
Now, I have had a bit of experience with stallions.. from Miniatures to Thoroughbreds.. Bred and Non-Bred.. From birth to about 15 years old.. But im trying to gather more information. I would love to know your personal experience with handling a stallion. Just to get more knowledge on what i am up against.
Ive seen some stallions as sweet as puppies, lead by 5 year old girls, and some that were living a crummy life in a fully enclosed stall because they would bite you and hold you up by your ribs if you tried to go into their stall.
This stallion was not imprint trained, but is incredibly quick to learn and sweet. He is halter broke and leadable (and is only a year old). He is very smart and does not get separation anxiety when separated from the herd.
I'd love to hear your experiences! Thanks guys!!
My experience with stallions is generally not good, mostly because I started out my horse experiences with them, and found they were better left to people who knew what they were doing (one whiplashed spine and a very sore butt later.)
Now that I actually do know what I'm doing, I've made my peace with them, a lot of them are actually just as awesome as geldings. Even so, it just happens I don't cross paths with stallions very often, so I'm not sure how much of a help I could be. What I can tell you is just be sure to keep him in line, and immediately discourage unpredictable behavior. I knew this one TB stallion who was as sweet as could be as a colt, and became a bit of a monster as he got older... it was pretty much the trainer's fault as a whole, he totally underestimated the little guy. Not saying you'll do that, just noting it can happen.
I have had 4-5 years solid experience with top of the line show studs and another year working with a regular stallion. From my experience I would say that only if the horse had fantastic bloodlines and/or a profound showing history would I keep from gelding him.
It helped allot Bucko! Im gathering as much experience as i can =) Thank you two very much for your input!
Kristy, if you dont mind, what was your experience like? Obviously something must be up if the horse has to be absolutely stellar to stay intact. The other APHA stallions i worked with didnt have stellar lines, they had champion grand sires, and did minimal showing.. but were pretty good to handle (but you could never fully relax around them)
This will probably be long. (sorry!)
The job I was referring to was managing a farm with 10 horses, 2 babies and a stallion. I ran the place while the two owners took time to tend to their individual horses. I was in a very bad situation at the time and could not quit the job. (The owners reflect greatly on this situation, which is why I am mentioning a background.) The stallion was a potentially nice AQHA stallion that was ill mannered because of the owners. TOO OFTEN people pawn off the bad behavior of a stallion on just the fact he is a stallion. This should not be acceptable. I would have retrained the horse if possible, but alas, not my horse. Despite the stallion's horrible manners, he was also extremely aggressive. He could not be trusted alone in a stall without an experienced handler. I had to watch my back constantly for fear of him attacking in some way. He was unpredictable and unpleasant. I always had to keep him in line without ever being able to relax. Maybe some of the attacks could have been decreased by a very experienced trainer over a period of time, but the aggression would always be there, regardless.
I was leading this stallion outside on the stud chain one day when the owners mare got loose. The owner was trying to mimic parrelli but instead, the mare took advange of her and ran off. The stallion was uncontrollable, drags me along and it took two people to stop him. This is not uncommon behavior for a stallion. The point is, situations can not go wrong when generally working with a stallion. The stallions mouth was also injured due to the chain. (and the owner blamed me for the stallion's behavior. :roll: )
The stallion also damaged much of their equipment and did something to his stall constantly. I remember walking a gelding past his stall one evening. The stallion reared, longed at the stall wall (Towards the gelding) while knocking his front hooves and legs through the wall. His legs were injured. (the stall was made of wooden boarding.)
Was the stallion ill mannered due to lack of and irresponsible training? Yes. Was he aggressive and unpredictable. For sure. Was this because of the owner? No. Even when a person with good intentions deals with aggressive stallions, their training may not be correct and lead to the same results.
The stud barn. Thank God I could finally leave that job. This barn had World Champions, Reserves, AQHA Champions, in addition to World Champion sires, dames, ect. I say this for the fact the studs were bred often. Half the time they left the stall, they were either bred or exercised. These were well trained, shown in every show studs. Their owner is a dear friend and one of the greatest professionals whom I look up to. These studs were trained the best they could possibly be. With this in mind, I was still uncomfortable and on edge around them. They were aggressive and dominant. Two so much so that I could not handle them, let alone go into the stall. Their job was to breed, period. Some were calmer and could be left alone inside a wash rack with the gate closed on a thick rubber lead, others had to supervised at all times. When they were exercised, they were on a hot walker lead by a chain surrounded by fencing and metal gates. When they were turned out alone and separately, they were in a 6 foot high steel fenced arena. Stallions are not convenient. They have to have special care. They must be turned out alone or with select horses. To turn a stallion out in a paddock next to mares is difficult and at times, dangerous. The fencing must be well kept, extremely strong and durable. Stallions must be sheltered from situations where they may injury themselves. (Many will do so trying to get to a herd or a mare.) It is often difficult to ride a stallion with other horses because of mares being close and because of dominance issues. It can be so difficult to get them to focus at shows or when working near horses. I can walk up and snuggle my gelding with trust but have yet to find a stallion I would be comfortable doing so.
I have encountered at least one stallion that was very calm and gentle. He was rare, of course. He still had special turn out and limits. He also still had random outbreaks.
All in all, to own a stallion, you must be experienced, cautious and be able to predict a stallion's behavior well. It isn't worth it to me.
Wow Kristy, thank you for such an insightful post!
What i am expecting in handling a stallion can be compared to leading a weanling (alone, no other horses) off the property he was born on for the first time. In that situation, I would be literally, constantly -watching- the horse, looking for reactions, reading body language, and of course, most importantly, making sure I have a way out in case something bad happens. Im sure leading a stallion is the same way. Constantly watching HIM, always 100% alert, as if you were leading him for the first time.
What I noticed in the stallions ive known with bad behavior, is they didnt have a job. Whats worse, is they stayed in their stalls all day, and were used to tease mares. The lady would lead her mares by him to "Make him feel better" Yeah.. right.. thats not cruel ~_~; She rarely turned him out, and when she did he was INSANE. He never escaped his pen but good God would he try to attack you over the pipe corral. Another instance, a paralyzed woman bought an arabian stallion, and in the two years i knew him, he never once got out of his 12 x 24. He eventually went stir crazy and broke his leg and died. Sad, he was a good guy.. just needed a job.
Since I plan on actively riding my horse, keeping him toned, and fulfilling him with a purpose in life, I dont think i will go that route. I dont want him for just breeding, I'd just really like the option to breed him. If I need to geld him, I definately will.. its not worth ruining his life, im just wondering what im up against.. but i think its kind of dumb to ask, since it seems every stallion is so different.
Thank you again Kristy for taking the time to write all that out. I really, really appreciate it, and thats exactly what i was looking for when i posted this thread, personal encounters and dealings with stallions.
I completely agree about constantly being on guard. It will be exhausting, too. :wink: The first stallion I posted about was ridden quite often and had daily turn out. Just an example of that it really depends on the animal, but generally the instinct is still there.. Anyway, you can always geld him, THANK GOD. :lol: I do truly hope that things go the way you'd like, though.
It seems that Kristy has had quite bad experiences with stallions i will now tell you some good stories. A close friend owned a colt from 6months old she disciplined him like a normal horse, he went out in a decent sized paddock everyday next to a quiet gelding with post and rail fencing between them. He was regularly handled, lunged etc. He was always quiet but like all horses you always have to be careful. He was broken in after only a few rides and i actually sat on his back (after leaning over him etc several times) before he was ever sent to the breakers. He was an extremely good horse who eventually got gelded as the owner decided against breeding him anymore. He lived a very regular life as a colt/stalion.
Another friend bought an 8yr old stallion to breed who had been shown in hand and bred consistently. He was a fairly quiet horse but had to be kept away from mares. When he was serving a mare (before/ after) he got a bit bad mannered and rude he occasionly lashed out around that time. She also had him broken in and competed him under saddle were he was extremely quiet. So you have to be aware that although he was generally a quiet horse he could get narky and rude.
One more good story my insructor owns an arab stallion and has owned him since he was two, this stallion is extremely well trained and mannered. He is paddocked across from mares, is floated(trailered) right next to them. As well as competes next to them even trail rides sandwiched between mares. This stallion is used for breeding, but he knows that breeding time is breeding time and anywhere else he is just like a gelding his rider is in charge and he gets on with the job at hand.
Here are 3 examples of different stsllions who were not too much.
However if you are not intending on breeding a horse i don't see the point in keeping hm entire. But it does depend on the stallions temperment and training as well as his socialisation, it is wrong to keep them away from other horses all the time as they will quickly get bored and lonely. Hope this helps.
I am planning on using him to breed, and offer for stud loosely to people in the area (im not planning on making money off of him, if that makes sense ^^) But i have no regrets about gelding him if the need be. I know when I used to work on the "Dude String" trail rides, with some 30 horses/yuppies.. I usually claimed a gelding, but most of the other guides got stallions that they were training. The stallions seemed to do well, and some acted completely normal.. i couldnt even tell they were stallions!
My big fear, as you said, is having him get bored and lonely. I am really hoping he would get along with my gelding (who was a stallion for 7 of the 10 years of his life) but if he doesnt, thats another factor im going to consider. I dont want to diminish the quality of his life just so he can throw a few offspring. I know I would have to ride and expand his mind daily with fun excersizes and trail rides. Things to keep him busy physically and mentally =)
Thank you for the advice, tips, and the stories! I really enjoyed reading it! I like absorbing all these different experiences so i can hopefully read my studdy better =) Thanks so much!! *hugs*
Hey as i said i hope my post helped, it sounds to me like you have Dreamer's best interest at heart wether hes kept a stallion or gelded (not just trying to make a 'quick' buck from him) :wink: I think you should try keeping him a stallion and then deciding on gelding ornot later on, Good luck i hope it turns out well for both you and Dreamer, by the way he's a cutie!
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