Hi. I found this board by doing a google search of my problem. I have an 8 yr. old Arabian stallion which I have raised. He was a show horse for the first 5 yrs. of his life, he has bred mares, but not since 2006. He is a well-behaved, socialized stallion.
He has started to drop and become erect as soon as he stops working on the lunge line. We can't get him to the mounting block without him dropping. He is not acting up, he just becomes erect, which will lead to problems. He used to pull up when backed up, but now he just drops immediately after. He pulls up when put to work, but them immediately drops when he stops. His rider is now unable to get on him as he is erect. I know it's still the season, but he just started displaying this behavior this spring. Nothing has changed on the farm. There are mares around, but there have always been mares around and he needs to be able to handle that because he does leave the farm. Tapping it doesn't work and water treatment, with a squirter hasn't worked. Any ideas?
As you will find in another thread elsewhere on this board - "ignore the symptoms and deal with the cause".
You observe that "His rider is now unable to get on him as he is erect - but there is no reason why his rider cannot get on because he is erect. If the rider cannot get on, then that is because he is badly behaved, and that is the problem that needs to be dealt with, not the erection.
Abuse of the penis (tapping, "water treatment", etc) is strongly contra-indicated. If you abuse his penis, then - and rightly so - he is liable to become protective of it when you approach it to breed him. If you're not going to breed him, then why keep him a stallion; and if you are going to breed him, then why create a situation where it's going to make it more difficult to breed him?
Deal with the behaviour problem - not standing still or whatever it is - you've already observed that when he's in work the erection goes away, so get his behaviour to the point where you can work him.
If you are concerned about him gaining an erection in the show ring, then don't be. As long as he is well behaved, any competent judge will ignore the erection. If you are marked down because the stallion gets an erection, as long as he is behaving well otherwise, that is a reflection of incompetent judging, not an issue with the stallion.
Thank you for your response. I posted this question on the off chance someone might have an idea I hadn't thought of. I have considered having her get aboard when he is erect, as he is quiet, but I have been around stallions long enough to know when they are thinking between their legs, they aren't thinking between their ears. So I have been reluctant. As nothing else seems to be working, I guess we will give it a try to see if this habit can be broken
I would reconsider advising anyone that an erection in the show ring is acceptable. I can only speak for my experience, but I am experienced as an exhibiter from Class A to National to local dressage, mostly with colts & stallions. Never has an erection on a stallion been considered tolerable, nor should it. A stallion needs to know when it's breeding time and when it's not. To have an erect stallion in a show ring with other horses, whether in hand or under saddle is asking for trouble. The horse would be excused from the ring. If your experience has been different, OK, but it is not, in my experience acceptable.
I most decidedly will not reconsider my advice concerning stallions that get an erection in the show ring! I stand firmly by my position that if a judge marks a competitor down for that - providing that the stallion is perfectly behaved other than that - then it is a reflection on the standard of judging, not the stallion. I have shown extensively - including stallions - as well as dealing with the other side of the fence in reproduction, and I have dealt with stallions in the breeding shed that idiots in the show ring/world have abused because the stallion got an erection. Now those are dangerous stallions! And not unreasonably - they are protective of the equipment!
If you consider that it is natural behaviour for a stallion to masturbate every 90 (yes, ninety) minutes on average, then there is little doubt that one is going to encounter stallions in the show ring with erections. Again, if the stallion is perfectly well behaved otherwise, then it should be ignored, and the best judges will do so.
OK. As I said, it would not be tolerated in the show ring I have frequented. I have shown Arabians to the National level, I have a Pinto ASB stallion who is a National Champion and I have shown dressage horses extensively on the local level. It would not be acceptable. You disagree with the principle and that's your choice, but I'm talking about the reality as I have known it. You will get the gate. I've never known a judge to overlook stallion behavior and that is includes the stallion classes. I'll stop now.
I agree with JOS, as the same holds true even in the miniature horse shows. Judges will not (and should not) mark down stallions for having an erection as long as he's behaving. An erection is not a problem, bad stallion behavior is. There was a post on here not too long ago about a girl who's stallion would 'drop' in the ring, and she was worried about showing him, for fear that they would mark him down. We had this same conversation then. Needless to say, after the same concensus we arrived at here, she in fact showed the stallion and was not marked down, rather he WON....dropped or erect doesn't matter....behavior does. I think the problem doesn't lie in the stallion itself (as this is perfectly natural behavior for him)....but it lies in the handler being embarassed and wanting to "fix" it. There is nothing that needs to be fixed unless the stallion is acting unruly.
I must comment on this thread. Having also shown stallions up the ranks to the National level in both halter and performance in another breed association, a stallion always knew that the show ring was not the place to drop. Four legs is enough to judge---not five! :~) It is the concept of training that there is a time and a place for everything. IMO, an erect dropped stallion not only has the gun out---it is cocked. That is one step closer than I want to be while watching my daughter sitting on the horse next to him or standing holding the horse in front of him. I see it as bad manners and potentially dangerous. I find your views interesting, Jos and some that I have not encountered before.
I also have experience in the breeding shed, having stood as many as 9 stallions at stud during a season.
Diana--I have seen that behavior more in the miniature show ring than at any other breed. I am not sure why---I always thought it was because it was too hard for the handlers to crane their necks to see what was happening under there! :~)
Also, not putting him to work just because he has dropped can behavioural teach him to get out of working because he is dropped. He will start to drop just to get out of work. In training, ignore it and put the stallion to hard work! If you ask him to halt (under saddle) and he drops, then back to very hard work. Soon, he'll learn to keep it up until otherwise advised, because he'll start to associate his inappropriate behavioural dropping being rewarded with very hard work.
You can also try smearing a scent cream on his nose. He can perhaps smell a mare in heat. Their sense of smell is incredibly sensitive. Some people use a different bridle when the stallion is to be bred. They learn to differentiate between bridles. Also, you could start using a code word just before he's to breed, so he learns to associate that word with when it is okay to drop. Just a couple ideas.
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