I've got a 3 year old that I would like to teach to ground collect, for convenience and safety. I have thought of trying to teach him myself, but don't want to screw him up. Should a novice (I've hand-bred before and helped in collecting off a jump mare) attempt this or is it better left to professionals? I'm near Buffalo, NY, does Cornell teach this (and do a good job?). I've heard the Miner Institute is good, but they are quite a distance from me and I don't know if they do ground collection....Any ideas?
I am shocked to read that you think that ground collection is safer than jumping a dummy mare. In my experience the horses that i have seen ground collect are much more capable of kicking the person collecting. Also alot of ground collections can cause damage to the horses muscles in his back, it is also not natural to horses so can be harder to teach them this way. I would advise you against it unless the horse has weak or injured hocks
In my experience the horses that i have seen ground collect are much more capable of kicking the person collecting.
Badly behaved stallions that have not been handled well will kick in either - or any - situation. Having trained hundreds of stallions to both the mount and ground collect, I can unequivocally say that there is no greater risk of being kicked in a ground collection situation than on the mount - and the risk of a loose front foot on the mount is far greater with either intentional or accidental aim than a loose back foot on the ground!
Also alot of ground collections can cause damage to the horses muscles in his back
Again, incorrect. Dr. Sue McDonnell at the University of Pennsylvania (New Bolton) will support my experience in this, and her observation (as has been mine) is that in fact it exerts less stress on the back than getting on the mount. Think about it... there is no pressure of raising the entire front end off the ground, such as is necessary in a horse getting on the mount. In fact, Dr. McDonnell's observations are that a stallion that has soreness issues is more likely to give a complete ejaculation in a ground collection situation than on a breeding mount specifically because less strain is placed on the back.
so can be harder to teach them this way
With this I agree. It's why we charge more for ground collection training than training to the mount!
I would advise you against it unless the horse has weak or injured hocks
If it causes more strain on the horse, why would you recommended it for a horse with lameness issues? I'm not quite sure I follow your logic there! This observation does bear out what I said earlier though - that it does cause less strain on the stallion.
Don't get me wrong - ground collection is not for all stallions, just as collection on a breeding mount is not for all stallions either. But I can't let your observations go unchallenged, as they do not - and have not - bear (borne) up under research and in clinical situations.
I am talking of my experiences and how we tend to see it in this country. It is not very common to ground collect here as it is seen as much more dangerous. It is good to read of other experiences as really whatever suits the individual handler and stallion is the best way forward.
I have not said that ground colection is ok for lame horses. I have said it would be better for horses with weak or injured hocks. If a stallion is injured to a severe extent i do not believe either method would be of benefit.
I am sorry if you dsagree with my views but this is the benefit of discussing other opinions. I take them on board and see what you are saying but over here this is what we are thinking.
Talking of ground collections damaging horses backs this is a common thought over here and as it is not a natural position for a horse to be in when they ejaculate they can often find it harder to understand the process.
Not sure where "over here" is, but I am English, lived for years in Canada, and now reside in the USA, and Jamie is from England as well, so I suspect in light of the breed you indicate you are breeding (Cleveland Bay) between us, we've got the "over here" pretty much covered!
If you watch a stallion that is being (properly) ground collected, in fact his position is more or less the same as when collected on a mare or a mount. His head drops, and he rounds out his back. He does not however have to put any strain on the back to thrust, as his center of support is four-fold, unlike when he is on the mount, when in order to thrust he must use his back and hind legs only.
It may be that we have to agree to disagree, but I am heartened that you do take thoughts "on board", and while I eagerly do the same, as I have dealt with literally hundreds of stallions collected on both the ground and the breeding mount, I have to stick to my guns on this one!
It is unfortunate that the misconception is seemingly rampant "over there", but perhaps you can take this bit of experience and teach people to appreciate that it is a misconception, and not fact! My suspicions are that the misconception is present as a result of either lack of experience with good ground collection techniques and training, or just the fact that there is a strong prevalence of "old school" thought - with the concept of "we've been doing it this way for years, and it works, so if it ain't broke, why fix it?"
Jos I think your probably right in the fact that people are very stuck in there ways and absolutely if it ain't broke don't fix it. I have no where near dealt with as many stallions as you but when talking to many people about ground colletions they always say don't do it and it's dangerous etc. But reading your comments has changed my views. I have attempted ground collections off a few stallions some which have been sucessful and some which haven't butlike you say and I believe it is in the training of stallions that makes them either dangerous or not. Views are changing but the last time i spoke to someone who deals with hundreds of stallions a year I was told that everyone is against it!! Who knows!!!!!!!!!!!
Having a rare spare moment and coming into this discussion in mid June, I thought I would add a few comments about using ground collection.
We have trained several stallions to ground collect, for several different reasons, depending on the individual stallion.
One stallion had a non-dislocated fractured front leg from a well placed kick from a "willing" maidan mare who changed her mind upon penetration. After healing for 6 weeks we decided to try ground collection and it works perfectly with him with a 52" solid wall in front of him and HOT mare on the opposite side. He only comes off the ground a little, leaning neck on the wall, taking pressure off the front legs, and is very willing.
Stallion # 2 was taught both ways, accepting each as circumstances change, again easily trained, & would never think about kicking.
Stallion # 3 was initially taught on a mount, but sent to a dressage stable for training/showing with a trainer who only has training horses, no mount, no mares to "borrow" and THIS was the fun part.... he learned to ground collect off of a soaked paper towel from "in estrus" mare urine, frozen into ICE CUBES, then taken with us to use for collection. He had a stall with bars along the front, and we could stand a gelding at the door, wearing Any MARE'S BLANKET from the stable, with her scent on it, and wipe the blanket end, tail and his nose with the paper towel, and he would collect at the door without a fuss. The trainer was amazed and also glad his trainee could stay in training, as we live 2 hours from his stable, and could ship semen from there.
We helped a friend, with no mount, to collect stallions (4) for the first time, so Jos could freeze semen for her last year, and only 1 had slight kicking issues when placing the AV on, but he also had no manners for the wash down either, but he (& OWNER) also learned to be better managed through the process.
The only DOWN side for ground collection, in my opinion, is the stallion who actually almost SITS DOWN like a trick DONKEY, during the process, taking me and the AV at the same time, BUT we got collections, and that is what counts. We do many "dry run's" with the stallion handler (without the stallion) so they are IN TUNE with what the collector NEEDS from the stallion handler... and we do not tangle ourselves up as we get the collection. I want a confident person at the front of the stallion who CAN COMMUNICATE clearly and keep the stallion focused on the MARE, not me.
OOO-RAAAA! for ground collection in my book ! It comes in very handy with no "mount" available.
We always use precautions when collecting ANY stallion, wearing protective headgear at a MINIMUM!
Just one comment on the "kicking" part... we have found that a stallion who "DISLIKES" the AV has had "issues" with not enough LUBE, pressure(too much or too little) and temperature. Jos also helped us in changing AV type and THAT was the biggest thing we found. Each stallion is different, so ONE AV/pressure/temp may not work the same for each stallion! Keep notes on each stallion!!
Lesley in PA
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