I am sure this has been asked a million times, but...
I have a 2yo halter stallion. He still looks fairly immature. He hasn't got a lot of "bulk" to him yet. He did seem to have a good libido though. He knickered any time he saw a girl, and definitely knew he had "boy parts", lol. I discovered yesterday that we have a really hot mare. So we decided to go ahead and breed her. ( hand breeding) He acted VERY interested. He was a total gentleman no biting, or kicking. Tried to mount from the side, and did all the other baby things. He did manage to get his penis in once yesterday, so that was good...but no ejaculation. So we thought we would try again today.
Hubby suprised me with a different mare, that was displaying heat yesterday. Only she didn't have a lot of interest in the stud, and did try to kick at him, so I told him to put her away. I took my colt off and trotted him a round a little while he caught the original mare. When she came up he talked and acted like everything was fine. He sorta tried to mount her once...but it was half hearted. We tried a couple different tactics, but nothing worked, he just didn't want to mount her. I suggested we put them in the round pen together, but it was just more of the same. The mare is REALLY REALLY ready. Should I be concerned? I have handled 2yo stallions before, and I don't remember them having this issue. Should I keep trying ( like in a couple days, not tomorrow)? Or should I just wait until next year? I don't want to discourage him, as I have high hopes for this boy!
Attempting to breed a 2 year-old colt (he's not even classified as a stallion yet - he's too young!) is fraught with risk. In essence, you are dealing with a young teenager in human terms, and as with young human teenagers, some may be adequately sexually mature, while others are still more interested in playing with their Lego! The big risk with attempting to "force" a young colt to breed is that the first few sexual experiences for a colt (or stallion) set a pattern of behaviour for the rest of his life - it's a steep and quickly learned learning curve. Consequently, if he is (for example) allowed to rush at a mare the first few times, he will tend to want (expect) to be able to do that for the rest of his breeding life. Similarly, if he is intimidated in those first few experiences, he is likely to be either a timid breeder (or not even try), or alternatively have it go the other way (typically once he bulks out) and become a very aggressive breeder (e.g. want to kick the mare "to put her in her place" before each breeding).
My advice in this situation would be to err on the side of caution. Put him away and wait until next year, and in the meantime don't do anything to suppress his sexual instincts (so be very careful when handling him for showing - no abuse of the penis because he gets an erection in the ring for example!). We typically will not work with male entires younger than 3 as we find the success rate is considerably lower in those animals, plus which there is the increased risk of "damage". As a matter of interest, there has also been some suggestion that colts that start breeding young are more likely to develop aberrant behaviour patterns such as self-mutilation at a later date. Something else to avoid!
Thank you very much for your input. From his behavior yesterday, I had pretty much decided to do the same thing, but I wanted some one else's two cents. In my mind I was hoping to get at least 2 babies for next year so that in the event he did not out produce himself, he could be gelded fairly early. No harm, no foul. Unfortunately it doesn't seem as though that "plan" is going to come to light.
I agree that the first few experiences shape their future behavior. That is why I have always handbred, especially the first year. I always have handled the stallions, and my husband the mares. It is a system that has worked well in the past.
I have read some horror stories of people that have "repremanded" stallions for dropping...both in preparation for show, and the poor guys that just stay on the farm, and still take a beating for it. Typically, I have not done much about it with our previous stallion. If he was under saddle he was expected to behave as if he were any common gelding, likewise when the children were around. But if he was just hanging out in his pen, or stall, etc, then who cares. They have to be allowed time to be boys. The funny part is, I can't honestly remember ever getting after him for dropping. It is almost as if he understood through his regular course of training that he was expected to behave when there was "work" to be done. Maybe it was my imagination, maybe not. But he NEVER EVER acted like a stallion under saddle, or any time that we weren't breeding him. The neighbors were amazed! lol. There are certain stallion behaviors that come with owning a stallion. Some must be tolerated, and some must be curbed. For instancce our stallion is not allowed to put his mouth on us. Ever. But I do have a stall ball for him, and he has a stall "pas-i-fier" toy mounted in the corner...because biting is a normal stallion behavior...its just not acceptable to bite US. ( Im not really a fan of them biting at mares either, but it does happen from time to time).
Thanks again for the input. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question in an open and honest manner. I just found this site yesterday, by accident. Its funny, people that I know through the horse world have posted here with similar issues. I am glad there is a place where we can come and get sane advice! Keep up the good work, and thanks so much for providing an outlet such as this!
Just an observation I had with my friend's 3 year old WB stallion and his start at stud. He was really interested and a little green on getting up on the mare. The mare was really ready, real patient...good first experience. Then the next mare was not as patient with him, he wasn't great at getting close enough to her once on top of her and wasn't connecting (seemed like her build was tougher for him to stay on top of). Anyhow, she finally got tired of trying and started to buck him off of her. Well, that one experience alone caused him to start to try turning around at the mare and kicking at her instead of mounting her. He would go at it more like an attack. Like "I want to breed, but I'm the boss!". It would of course scare the mares and he was way more difficult to handle, it was really hard to keep him from swinging around at them. It took a whole breeding season at age 4 of correcting and he still wanted to do it every time anyways...just figured out the handler was in control. Anyhow, like Jos said, he might [become a very aggressive breeder (e.g. want to kick the mare "to put her in her place" before each breeding).] Hard to fix, but probably easy to prevent in hind sight. So that's my 2 cents! Good luck with him!
I think the advice given so far is the best. I am currently test breeding a 2 yr colt right now. He is very mature and fgured things out very quickly. Its like he's been breeding for 10 yrs with excellent manners. We also have a very nice been there and done that broodmare that is a wonderful teacher.
However a friend of mine tried to test breed her 2 yr old and he was able to mount but couldn't quite put A & B together and the mare became annoyed and kicked him. Now he is terrified of mares and wants nothing to do with them. Hopefully he comes around next year. I think its a very good idea to give your guy 1 more year to mature. Moral is all 2 yr olds are different. Some just need that extra year to mature alittle more. Some need even longer then that.
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