For those with performance horses in competition. What methods do you use for breeding? ie natural cover/ground collection etc. And what are the benefits in regards to stallion behaviour at shows? Also, during competition season, do you collect/cover or do you wait until showing season is over.
I own a performance stallion, and we have never let him pasture breed. He was trained at 2 on a phantom since hes a show stallion. He has shown as a yearling, and as a two and three year old (hes 4 this year) and we have taken him to huge APHA shows with 300 + horses with no major problems in his behavior.
Naturally, we take certain steps to minimize any acting out such as Vicks in his nose and also not working him in an arena full of mares, we also go into classes last, or first instead of waiting with the group at the rail to go into the ring, or doing warm ups in an outdoor arena away from the rest of the competitors instead of in one of the indoors, or just keeping him separate from the gang to avoid any chatting up the ladies. We even requested a stall away from all other competitors with two outside walls for safety, and a tack stall beside him so he had no horses on either side or behind him. We usually also ask for an end stall in the barn, so if the barn is 3/4 full of competitors, we are far away from all the excitement, horses passing by, people walking by, dogs, etc. Sometimes we feel a bit like lepers but its what it takes to keep my stud quiet. We also travelled with plywood and hammers and nails as some stalls wouldnt keep my dog in and we had to put up lots of sheets of plywood to reinforce the stall walls.
As for collections, last year we simply took him to a stallion station on a "drive through" basis when we had semen to ship. He lived at his trainers year round so the trainer would merely take him to the station, they would do the collection, and the trainer would take him back to the ranch. We did this throughout the breeding season and did not wait until showing season was over. Breeding season starts in March and runs through July, so the breeding season would be long over by the time show season ends in October.
My guy was pretty studdy, so we had to do many things to avoid him acting out, but gladly we never had any problems with him in the ring or in front of the judges.
This year, he is standing at a stallion station about 5 hours away from my farm. Hes been sold, so he will remain there until he leaves for his new home. We are currently collecting and shipping semen to our clients in North America and also doing some freezing of straws for our own use and for any re-breeds from this season if necessary next year.
I guess it really depends on the disposition of your stallion as to what lengths you want to go to. I have seen a few (very few) stallions that are herd sires and also show in the APHA or in county fairs or 4H events, that are not studdy and you wouldnt even know they are stallions, but in my experience around studs, you have to make accommodation for them where ever they go.
Secondly, not many people show studs mine was the only stud at all 3 shows we went to last year - another indication of the challenges of taking a stud to a show - so its obvious its a whole different experience taking a stud versus taking a mare.
I have a 6 year old Spanish mustang stallion that I show during show season a lot, and also ride year round. I never have any problems with him at shows, trail rides, rodeo's etc. because I take him everywhere with me and let him work. I gentled and broke him, and from day one we established mare manners. I never abuse or hit or smack his penis or anything like that. In the beginning if he would drop, talk or anything else I would put him to work. Lots of extended trotting got the point across. (Of course not mindless circles, lots of change of direction and gait until I have his full attention) He is bred March-August and our show season is april-september. He has a special sex halter that is only used for breeding. The rest of the time he knows its time to work. I use him to bring in all the mares from pasture at night, and to push them out in the morning. (Undersaddle) He works at least an hour a day 6 days a week. I never stud chain him, I just use a rope halter, and I ride him in a bosal. I am just now putting him into the bridle. I can tie next to mares with out problem and also pony them. If you are consistent with your handling there is no reason why you can not have an excellently behaved stallion. No one even suspects that he is stud until they look between his legs. Really I don't make any accomodations for him, except at home he is in with a couple other gelding buddies, they are very good to each other. I ride him in crowded warm up pens, I stand next to mares waiting for classes, use him on cattle drives. You name it and we do it. Personally I use live cover. No specific reason, I don't have the equipment for ground or phantom breeding nor the need. It's just more convinent for us. Different halter=different day plan to him. IF he ever gets distracted by mares, and its rare, I ask him to collect up and that usually solves it because he knows we can do collected work for hours as well as maneuvers that take a lot of energy. He then decides its better to stand and sleep than oogle mares. Hope this helps.
Our 14.2 pony stallion is 8 y.o and we live cover our own mares and AI everything else. We show him In-Hand, he competes showhunter (hunter jumper in USA terms) and has even been to pony club rallies. He has won national titles in my country (New Zealand) and behaves perfectly at any of the above shows. Breeding him has had no impact on his athletic performance. The breeding season and competition season co-incide so we just have to get on with it.
I have a 4 year old QH stallion. He was injured as a two year old, so he was put up for a year. As a 3 year old I sent him to a trainer and supposed to be a "friend", only because I coud not ride him as much as he needed. Well I believe that he bred my stud without my permission. Before I sent him he was ok to handle, now he is VERY study. I do show him and he does okay around all the horses, but he seems to be getting more studly, I have barely learned about the vicks which I intend to try. does anyone have any suggestions to use on him, he drops every chance he gets now. IF I just walk him past my lil mare he drops and is ready to go. I have turned him out with my older gelding but I dont want either one to get hurt and they tend to get a lil rough, my gelding doesnt put up with my studs childish games so to speak lol. Any ideas or suggestions will greatly be apprectiated. my stud will try to test you in every which way he can.
I responded to your nearly identical question posed here the other day.
While it is possible that the trainer bred him, it is far more likely that what you are seeing is simply a matter of the testosterone levels increasing in the colt as he ages, and bad handling. Actually, it would have made essentially no difference even if your trainer had bred him - it's the testosterone increase with maturity that has the impact, not the breeding.
One cannot learn stallion handling from an Internet bulletin board. Get help from a suitable and capable handler - and not all horse people are capable at handling a stallion, or suitable - or get him gelded before you get into bigger trouble.
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