Stallion Ownership and Training
I don't own a stallion, and will not any time soon. But some day in the future, perhaps when I win the lottery and can purchase good breeding stock, I would certaintly love to. I have read lots about stallions, and I haven't really found anything solid. How is training a stallion different from training a mare or gelding? I have heard that they can [potentially] be easier to train because they only think about one thing. Keep them on track and don't let it get out of hand and they will be willing partners. I would definitely want to keep my stallion in a herd to be socialized, and I don't like any horse being isolated without ever having social interaction.
I have met plenty of nice stallions, and have handled a few. How different are they? If you are trying to teach them something will they lash out at you, even if they seem mild mannered? With the right training can they be worked around mares and trusted? From what I read and what I have seen first hand are completely different. I know plenty of stallions who can be worked and led past mares without a problem. Then I read about how stallions can never be trusted and will demolish anything in their path to get to a mare. :? I'm a little conflicted. If a stallion is raised right, is there really any cause to worry about them more than the average horse? Just like any normal horse, even a mare with hormones a'plenty, they aren't going to try to take you down just for reproductions' sake? (Of course that doesn't mean being irresponsible, anyone with a stallion still should recognize that they are intact and can get mares pregnant.)
I do know you have to be careful around stallions, just like any horse they are unpredictable, but I can never find any reliable information. Anyone experienced want to shed some light? Also, would it be unheard of to pasture a stallion out with mares during breeding season, let him cover the mares, and pull him out of the pasture to train? If he was only pasture bred would it be difficult to train him to be able to collect for AI? Also, I have broke and worked with many horses, intact and not, of all ages and personalities. For someone who can train horses, would a stallion still be 'out of my league', so to speak? Years in the future I hope to improve my horsemanship skills, so even if a stud isn't something I could handle now, I hope that in the future I wouldn't have a big problem. One last group of questions, how many mares a year should a stallion breed to be really worth having? Can a person wait untill their stallion is well into training before breeding? (As in, wait untill they are 4 or 5 before every breeding a mare.)
Sorry for so many questions, but I like to educate myself and couldn't seem to find any solid, practical advice. Thank you for the responses!
I have personally owned 3 stallions.
They can be a challenge and IMO they do learn faster.
Most of the bigger ranches turn stallions loose with the mares for breeding.
I have done this with one stallion and had no major probelms. He did become protective when taking a couple of the out once while they were in season.
I have always handled my stallions with a simple rope halter. No stud chains ever.
Stallions treated with respect and firmness, not cruelty, are a pleasure to work with. I do not allow them to get out of hand and enforce good behavior at all times.
I do not mind if they talk to the mares. Just that they do not ever forget that i am in control.
My current stallion is a pleasure to be around and rarely needs to be disciplined. Shalom
Each stallion is different, just like mares do not behave the same. The only stallion I have worked with was purchased as a weanling, put in a herd of mares and grew up with them until his first foals started hitting the ground. He learned breeding manners from pasture breeding young and then he learned hand breeding and AI. He was also trained and shown in halter when he was a yearling and started under saddle at 5 1/2, shown western pleasure at 6 yrs old. My mom bought him 2 yrs ago, he is very smart and very quick to learn but he can get excited if there is a vocal mare (he likes the talkers). My mom and sister took him to a fair this past fall, while waiting for a class, they had to remove him to another area because a mare started backing through several horses while squealing away... She KNEW there was a stallion and she was going to get her rump as close to him as she could, the mare owner was shocked that her mare would act like that because they thought she was too old. So, sometimes you have to know if your stallion can work around mares and also be prepared for mares that are determined to get to a stallion.
It takes the right training and the better the stallion's natural temperament and disposition, the easier the training will be.
Much depends on the stallion and his bloodlines in terms of how tough he can be too handle.
They need to be watched more as they can be very dangerous to work around, more so than mares can.
Until the market improves if ever, no way I would contemplate a breeding program.
If it does, then figure out what niche you are breeding for, and make sure you have something marketable to put on the ground.
The only thing I found different about training a stallion, is how other horses (mares) react to him. Rest was the same as training any other horse, sorry, never trained him in the breeding pen, the owner did that.
Thank you all for the responses. I definitely hope that the horse economy picks back up, but if it doesn't I would not stock pile horses and put their health in jeopardy just to breed. But I do believe that there is always a market for a good horse, just a matter of producing said horse and marketing it to the right crowd.
I've had 4 studs, 2 were colts. My first was bought as a yearling and sold as a coming 3 year old. His personality was much more easy going than the filly I bought the same age as him. When e put the first ride on him, he just walked the round pen like he was already broken, and while I don't know if he ended up gelded, I do know he went on to being a great ranch horse. Never bred that one.
My second one I had from a weanling to a yearling, and briefly again as a 2 year old. He went from being an in your pocket colt to a complete psycho, because the current owners were the sort that thought the only time a stallion should be let out of his stall in the barn is to breed. He was a biter and completely unmanageable. The first walk out of the stall to the round pen was nothing short of terrifying, but he got good enough to be given away to an advanced horseman that would treat him better. Lost money on that deal for sure but I couldn't leave him to rot in a stall for the rest of his days.
The third was a conformational train wreck in my eyes, short and coonfooted grade quarter/Arab cross, nearly solid chestnut. He was nice enough to ride and a wave of your hand would move him away from your space, and he never tried to get with the ladies while I searched for a home that would geld him and love him. You would never know he was a stud unless you looked, and he was about 6 years old.
The 4th was very sensitive. A quiet word and he would.move away from feed or mares in raging heat. He wasn't the type of horse you could smack as he tended to get sensitive and jumpy afterwards, but he learned quickly. All of them did, to be honest. You could take mares from him or put them in the pasture and he was always very gentle. Good horse.
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Mine are all pretty much treated like a normal horse.
All my studs and geldings are turned out together. They love to play and I've never had a fight.
When messing with them, I'm just constantly staying ahead of everything and more watchful/careful
They have some natural stallion behaviors that have to be nipped when they are young. The nipping for example. A stud colt is more likely to nip than a filly. That has to be squashed if it surfaces. They can also rear up more as colts, another behavior that needs to be handled.
Although, my stallion is very gentle. He hangs out with my gelding (who is worse behaved than my stallion) and is very respectful. He knows nothing else but to respect his human.
IMO - problems with stallions stem form their youth. If they no nothing but respect and proper training, they expect nothing else. They are just more sensitive. Gendings and mares are more forgiving of a hole in training.
If I were you, I would go visit people with stallions so you have a chance to get to know how stallions are dealt with differently. Also, most of the stallions out there probably shouldn't be a stallion...so that is another thing to consider. I currently have one stallion. He is in a paddock next to two of his foals that are coming yearlings. He LOVES having the babies next to him. He had them in with him and is good, but can get a little pushy if they mares are in heat. He's a great guy and is well behaved for a stallion. I don't have to put a chain on him and he leads better than a lot of horses. He is also an easy stallion to handle during breeding. He is 17 and has spent time in the show ring and is quality enough to be kept a stallion. I've been around studs that can be down right mean. I would never want one to deal with one like that personally, but to each their own.
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