I'm pretty tough on my stallions, it doesn't take a whole lot to convince me to geld them. So far, even as a 3 year old, Skip has been super easy to handle and train. He loves attention, loves to be ridden and even at a show doesn't turn into a jerk around mares.
He's still got a lot of proving to do, he's only been shown a few times and needs to do a lot more. He's started out well, the judges seem to like him a lot, which I wasn't sure would be the case. So far, he's winning in decent sized classes and has minded his manners very well.
We bred him to one mare last year, unfortunately, she colicked and lost the foal. This year, we've bred him to one mare and we're waiting on a preg check and will be breeding him to one more. Last year, he didn't miss a beat after breeding the mare, his attitude never changed. So far, this year he's been exactly the same, sweet, mellow and no change is his attitude. After one more mare, we'll see if he stays sweet and easy.
The mares we've chosen for him this year haven't been live covered, so he's learned to jump a phantom and be collected. He's been real easy about that too.
My criteria for keeping a horse a stallion are pretty strict. First, he's got to pass the temperament test. If he fails that, nothing else matters, he's a gelding. Then he's got to have good conformation, if he's a club footed, satchel headed mess.....that's it for him right away. Athleticism is very important, if he's good at his job and easy to ride, and is cooperative while he's learning, that's very important to me. So far, Skip is passing his tests but we're still very much in the "wait and see" phase of his development.
The final test and the one that will trump everything else is, do I like his foals. Are they good natured foals? Are they good to look at? Are they easy to work with? If mom is good natured and dad is good natured but the foals all come out to be little terrorists......snip snip. If I don't like how they look....snip snip.