Ok, here's the situation. I have a 25 inch stallion who has a very hard if not impossible time breeding mares over 29 inches. Therefore, I have dug a square "pit" in the barn so that I can step the mare off in the hole and let him do his work. It worked out great for a while, until the stallions back foot slid down in the hole one time. To resolve the situation, I put up a 'kick board' so that the mare can't back out on him, and his little feet can't slide down in the hole. Well, the mare I have been trying to get bred lately has really given him a hard time. She acts like she's in ragine heat, then when he goes to mount, instead of backing into him, she moves away. I have to stand in front of her and force her body backwards, and on our last breeding, she got a foot on top of the kickboard and moved herself out of his reach. He has become very frustrated with the situation, and I don't want to screw this up. He is very excited to get his mares bred, but seems to be put off by the addition of the kickboard. It does not affect him on any other mare...just the one who acts crazy. I do not want him to develop an aversion to breeding in the pit, and don't know how to better the situation. I *think* (hope) we've got every body bred for the season....do you think that just having a year off will clear his mind of it? I don't want any bad habits developing, as if he will not use the pit, i have NO other way to breed these mares. He can only reach 2 of the 7 i have by himself LOL This is a problem that has only just presented itself in the last 4 days or so, and the mare is no longer in heat, but I dont' want it to be a battle for all of us if we have to do it again. Anybody have any other wise ideas for getting her bred (if she's not) without making him hate the pit? THANKS in advance!
I would try twitching the mare to see if that might help keep her in place. What type of footing do you have where the little guy's back feet are? I collect my pony (he's not a mini), he would dig a hole and could not get good traction, I wanted to get a couple of those thick coconut mats but ended up using a 3/4" thick rubber mat with dirt on top of it. I inlaid the mat in the ground so it would not shift then put some dirt on top so it did not distract him.
Have you considered learning how to collect and inseminate, it's not brain surgery. It makes life so much easier.
We always found (with bigger horses of course) that using a hill rather than a pit worked better. The problem with the pit is that if the mare walks forward, she is walking out of the pit (getting taller) as the stallion is walking into the pit (getting shorter) whereas with a hill, if the mare walks forward, the stallion walks forward at the same time and they are both going downhill at the same rate together so neither grows or shrinks (does that make sense???!!!).
Haha! The collecting thing brings me to tears of laughter. This little guy is very personal about his personals, not to mention very close to the ground. If/when I reach up under him, he literally sits down....it's pretty funny. He doesn't even appreciate "help" with his aim (which is often off LOL). I will post some pics of my setup in the morning, it's just dirt...and has worked wonderfully until trying to breed this mare. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get a twitch on her, as she is CRAZY, and very strong. I have tried EVERYTHING to calm her, muscle her, etc....just no dice. My pit is set up in a corner with a wall in front of the mare, and on both sides of the mare, so she cannot walk out of it, but she does have enough room to move forward. With the other mares, I just put my knee in their chest and keep them where they're supposed to be...and they typically back into the stallion anyway. This mares version is more like 'if you won't let me move forwards, i'm backing out' which is pretty much impossible with the kickboard at her hocks. She does manage to get a foot on top of it, making things near impossible and frustrating for the stallion. I'll put pics up in the morning. I wonder if maybe I can drill some holes and use a chest bar to keep her situated? Or somehow make the kickboard taller so she can't do what she's doing...Like I said, i just don't want the stallion to be a mental wreck over it....as it works so well with everyone else. Thanks for the advice, please check back tomorrow for pics, maybe that will be helpful as well.
Ok, here is a pic of my current configuration. The pit is almost 3 ft wide and deep enough for my mares to hop in and have room for a person to stand in front of them to hold them. I set it up this way to make breeding a one man operation. The kickboard keeps Dynamites feet from sliding off into the hole, and it is only affixed on one side, so I can flip it up, then walk the mare in, then flip it back down. The mare I'm talking about causing problems has a tendency to get her back foot up on top of the board, and the stallion knows that if she moves too far forward he cannot reach her without falling into the pit. I'd like to modify this plan if possible...as we don't have any hills LOL. The difference in size from my stallion to my largest mare is quite a span, making the pit need to be about 10 inches deep. Any suggestions would be invaluable at this point. LOL almost forgot to post the pic http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii281/kdgilger/SSPX0091.jpg
Diana, I'm no expert with this but have had to come up with many different ways to breed a very small dog to a bigger one, That was funny but If I were you, I would try making the kick board taller. Add another board above the one you have there already and she shouldn't be able to back out of it without hitting it, that way you can stand in front of her and back her up all the way and try to hold her there. Your stallion might not even notice a change since it wont be a big one and will be much safer on both. make it where you can remove it for the other mares or if he doesn't mind it, you can leave it. Just a thought and definetly what I would try first...
Thanks susan, i think i'll try that. If the mare comes back into heat this year, I will report back with our progress!
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