Last fall I got a two year old stallion. This horse had been turned out in the pasture with a herd and/or with a four year old maiden mare most of his life. The owner boarded these two horses, but they received turn-out as described above. According to what I was told, the stable manager stopped allowing this colt to be turned out with any other horses once he was 18-20 mos. old, and he was either stalled or in a small pen alone. For one month last June or July, the owner rented a 5 acre pasture and turned both her horses in it. Naturally, nature took it's course, the stallion bred this mare, she conceived. Then the owner became very ill, I bought both horses and they both returned to the boarding stable till I could arrange transport (across the country) to my ranch. This colt was almost exactly 2 yrs. old when he bred this mare. He will turn three late this June.
When the horses arrived last September, I turned both of them out in a big pasture along with another bred mare. Everyone seemed to get along just great. Occasionally other mares would come into heat and the stallion would "talk" to them across the fence, but he would never "drop" or get an erection, much less try to breed them. In the first part of March one of my easiest broodmare came into heat, so I put her in the pasture with the stallion & other two mares. Everyone knew each other from "across the fence" and there was no problem between the mares. At first the stallion seemed very intriqued with this mare, who was hard in heat. He would nibble her neck/head, but never worked his way back to her hindquarters. After about three days of this, the mare was still in heat -- and he went after her! Chased her several times around the pasture -- teeth bared, ears pinned. The other two mares watched all this drama quietly. The "new" mare finally got far enough away that the stalion stopped chasing her. He went back to the mares...and within minutes the new mare had worked her way back with the herd and he didn't seem to mind. So I took one of the bred mares out (the one he bred last year). By that time the new mare was out of heat, but I hoped they would "bond" for the next time she came in. Nada. She came in again, did everything but draw him a picture (actually rubbing her butt up against him and everything!), and he either ignored her (best he ever did was nibble her head or neck) or chased her (actually MORE aggressively than last time)! Finally yesterday I took the new mare out and tied her, lead the stallion out of his pasture, and tried handbreeding. I kept redirecting him to her hindquarters, but the best we got from him was for him to rub his head on her hindquarters. But once again, no dropping. I stayed out there for over 40 minutes...all of us were really bored. So I figured absense would make the heart grow fonder...I put him in the round pen. Well, he fretted and paced so bad (didn't even eat), this morning I took the other bred mare out of "his" pasture & turned him back in with just the "new" mare. She is still VERY in heat...and he is still very disinterested (no aggression though). The mare keeps approaching him, looking as beguiling as she can -- and he just isn't interested! Right now she is in one corner of the pasture eating and he is in the other corner(the corner closest to the two mares I pulled) -- I kid you not -- masturbating!He appears to be sulking. But at least I know there is nothing organically wrong with him.
I know stallions can have a preference for certain mares..maybe he just does'nt like chubby brunetts? The vet suggested it's "the light" --- as in too early in the year. I know they put mares under lights to get them cycling earlier -- what do they do for stallions?
I've been warned against testerone shots. I've thought of putting another mare in with him, but this one is the only one I've seen show signs of hard heat and she's the only one I KNOW is great for live cover. The other two mares I have for him to breed are new to me -- one is a maiden and one supposedly was bred live cover, but not for me. I don't want this stallion to have a bad experience...but at this point I'd settle for ANY experience.
This would all be very amusing, but I actually have 10 outside mares booked to this guy AND four of my own mares to breed to him!
We bred a mare to a stallion that only pasture breeds and the owner of the stallion had us bring her over several weeks before they went out in pasture, because his stallion will turn away mares that were not initially in the herd...they aren't "his" mares.....its a herd thing. Have you tried putting her in the stallion pen when she's not in heat and let them get good and acquainted when there is no chance of pregnancy and the sexual tension isn't there. Also, has she been accepted into the herd by the other mares yet? It may because the other mare don't accept her....he won't either...in the wild, the dominant mare is who decides who is in the herd and who is not in the herd. Just some suggestions hope they help.
I know this is an old post, but I am having the exact same problem with my 3 year old stallion that the original poster was having with her 2 year old. It's funny because as I read this post, I swear it should have been ME who wrote it! Here I was thinking it was only MY stallion who was a weird freak, but it sounds as though this might be a behavior exhibited by other stallions as well. I found it interesting that firehorse mentioned the whole herd situation. My stallion is very interested in the mares in his own herd, but when new mares arrive to be bred to him, he acts just like Katrina mentioned. And he has also exhibited the aggressiveness toward his own mares also. If anyone has any insight into a situation like this, I'd sure love to hear it.
There is a large horse breeder out here (breeds 250 mares a year) that uses pasture breeding. Every winter the studs go in a pasture together, no mares. The mares are divided into the pastures they will go into with the studs, and outside mares must be brought at this time. They turn the studs out with their pasture of mares at the end of Feb. The studs are there for foaling and breeding and weaning. They will not let you pick up your mare before the first of June, and you can not add a mare to pasture after the stud's are introduced. I think that this is why. This is now the stud's herd and he is not having any other.
Well, here I am again.... I have tried every suggestion that has been given, I have penned the stallion to where he has only visual stimulation of mares, I have isolated him to where he has no contact with mares....and still the same old problem. An outside mare has come to be bred to him, she has been here for two weeks and has finally come into heat. I have kept my stallion in a pen where he can see mares, but not come into contact with them. I teased the outside mare with my senior stallion yesterday, she's in full blown heat. So I led her up to the junior stallion (the one with the prob) and he sniffed at her head, sniffed her front legs, sniffed down her back legs, she of course was winking and squirting and posturing this whole time, and then he promptly lowered his head and closed his eyes and started to doze off! I went through this for 3 HOURS yesterday... So then I led him over to one of my own mares who is in heat and he started dancing and prancing and screaming and arching his neck and huffing and puffing and instantly got an erection. I let him get good and hard, led him back to the outside mare, his penis instantly went down, he lowered his head and started yawning, and she's still standing there completely postured and winking and squirting and he's bored to death. I put him back in his pen, and put the mare in with him. They are acting like old friends to each other, but in the mean time he is still yelling for my mares who are out in the pasture and away from him. When he yells, the mare with him instantly puts her tail up and sticks it right in his face, he walks right past her and is concerned about where all the other mares are. Is there anyone out there who can refer me to a book, a website, anything at all that can help me on this subject??? I'm afraid I'm about to go nuts. And I honestly cannot take 3 hours out of every day standing there watching my stallion sleep. I am beyond frustrated.
As this problem is obviously not resolving, or even apparently improving, I think that it is probably time for you to consult with someone who is an expert in the field, and can actually come to your farm to review the overall situation. Although you have offered detailed descriptions of what is going on and your set-up, there may be something that you are unintentionally missing that could be the key (or several somethings!). If you actually had someone there, they may spot that problem instantly!
I would encourage you to contact Dr. Sue McDonnell at the University of Pensylvania (New Bolton) Havemeyer Equine Behaviour Lab. Dr. McDonnell - as well as being a super person - is recognised world-wide as being a specialist in this sort of problem, and I think she would be able to offer valuable assistance to you in this frustrating situation. Whatever it costs, it will be money well spent!
Thank you so much Jos. I am trying to turn to every avenue available and it is frustrating to not find actual "answers". And I also keep thinking that I am just missing something here and I guess that is probably the most frustrating part. Once again, thank you for the reference.
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