Hello, i have a 2 year old colt and plan on breeding him next year (when he is 3). We have been making him mind since this year he seems to know what he is. What i mean is that he dose not get too distracted, he dose not walk off or run up to mares, absolutely no dropping while standing/being on walker. He will however slip his halter (he is an escape artist and can get out of everything) and walk up and rub on any horse he can. It looks funny when you see it because he looks like he is trying to scratch his chin on other horses, but he still dose not drop. I have not bred him this year because we are training him to be ridden first (better to learn one job at a time than mix two jobs together) but i still would like some tips on how i can safely breed him and he still mind his manners when he is not breeding. I know that this may not happen but it is my first time breeding a stallion and i just want him to still be manageable while being a breeding stallion. Any suggestions will help. We do not allow him to be studdish while having a halter on, but he knows that when the halter is off that he can do what ever he wants, and we dont blame him for it since he is just acting on nature. It is something we have done with all of our horses (mares in heat Etc...) he has terrific manners with the halter and most people dont even think he is a stud, then its free time without a halter. but i am not going to be able to take his halter off every time he breeds, too dangerous. i want to do collection on him but still need him to be manageable we have him at a boarding facility with 130 head on the property so he really needs to know when it is time to breed and when to keep his man hood in. Please send some suggestions, it is my first time as well and i really dont want to mess him up because i am inexperienced.
One must be careful not to over-discipline the colt for showing any sexual behaviours when young. Although one obviously wants to avoid having a colt that has bad manners, "shutting down" behaviour too much can also be counter-productive. It is therefore a fine line one has to walk.
When the time comes for the colt to start breeding, organize some behaviour patterns that will indicate to him that he is going to the breeding shed rather than anywhere else. Such items may be (for example) placement of the leadline chain through his mouth rather than over his nose; taking a certain route out of the barn; handlers wearing certain distinctive clothing such as a particular type or colour of crash helmet. These items should be used only when the horse is to be in a sexual situation. In accompaniment with that comes allowance of certain behaviours such as "talking", prancing, and general stallion display - obviously only in a safe manner. Here however comes the tricky part. If you have shut down these displays too much as a younger horse, you might have trouble opening them up again and actually getting the responses you want. You also need to be conscious of the connections that might be made by the colt with some of your responses. If you have told him in no uncertain terms that his getting an erection or talking to mares when he's being led is inappropriate behaviour, then why should he suddenly be expected to get an erection and talk to the mares at some point in the future when you're handling him for breeding? Be very cautious in shutting down sexual behaviour in a young colt. Within reason, it is often better to ignore it and get his mind off sex and onto something else. Now, I'm not advocating ignoring dangerous behaviours like biting or rearing or dragging you around - those are bad behaviours whether there are testicles involved or not! But I do have to reinforce the concept that shutting down sexual behaviours absolutely in young colts can have disastrous effects when it comes to putting them in the breeding shed.
WOW 130 horse boarding facility! I don't about the horse but that would be over whelming for me to deal with. I like it to be quiet and nothing exciting going on when I collect my boy, that would be impossible to control with 130 boarders. Are you going to live cover or collect him? I think it is easier when you collect off a phantom than a live mare. My phantom is out the back of my barn, he never goes out that direction unless he is going to be collected so it is easier for him learn where stud behaviour is acceptable. Is there a designated breeding area at this facility? For his halter issue you might try tying a piece of hay string to the crown piece of his halter then braiding it in to his mane. Wish you luck, let us know how it goes.
I leased a stallion last year that had never been used. He was 8 years old and we had some issues with him shutting down when he was supposed to be doing his duty. I don't know if it was because his owners had him boarded at various places where stallion like behavior was frowned upon, but he stood next to a mare dead in heat and grazed while she just about peed all over his head. I agree with Jos. You have to be careful not to stifle all of his manly behavior while still keeping everyone safe. With my own stallion I always used a special halter and lead and used my back door that leads to my breeding area. He always knew that it was ok then to strut his stuff. I did the same with this stallion and he did eventually catch on.
If there is a mare in heat next to him he acts like a stallion, but knows when we are holding him back from mounting. We never really punished him (hitting him, or jerking on his face) when he acted like a stallion, we just made him turn a few circles and allowed him to know that that was not his business now, but once one behavior was not excepted he caught on quick to understand when it was acceptable (when he is turned out or when a mare is so close and in heat that we cant blame him for being what he is, which dose not happen that often). And we would like to collect on him rather than live cover but some people in the south (mainly people stuck in there own ways) believe that live cover is the only way to breed a horse, "if you artificial the baby will come out messed up" I do not know where this thought came from but i would like to smack the person in the head for saying it. So it looks like we will have to do both in order to get the suggested buisness we want. And the facility is not as hectic as it sounds, it is just gossip city. other than that it is not too bad. My parents own the property and i could type a book of stories, a few are almost unbelievable. one including a man hitting a tree: the horse did not hit the tree but the man did at a full gallop, but that is a story for there book. I will take all advice and thank you for responding so quickly. Will a special halter work instead of a chain? he dose not walk with a chain, we tried one when he started slipping his halter and he freaked out and panicked, we tried again without connecting it to the lead (i know we should have done this first, but inexperience teaches you a lot especially, that no horse is like another) but he still panicked. So we never used it again. we use a rope hater and he dose perfect with it(except that he still knows how to slip it, manly when we turn our backs for two seconds) he is truly and escape artist and knows how to get out of more than just a halter (he opens doors, arenas, the round pen which takes work, stall doors, sliding doors, snaps, knots, etc...) Would breeding him in a thick leather halter with a little bell on it be a significant difference for him to know that this is when he will breed? And i know the bell sounds crazy but it is a little cat toy bell and it barley makes a noise but i figure it would be a step up from just a different halter.
And when i say holding him back from mounting, i mean leading him the other way. Some people have no respect for a stallion being a stallion and make things a difficult/dangerous situation. Then the mares owner yells at you that you have no business with a stud and that if he breeds the mare that he is going to take up a lawsuit etc... People are amazing sometimes. And there is no designated breeding area here. there needs to be but there is so little room any more i dont know if i can even build one without it getting in the way of something else.
My stallion was an expert at knots! I would tie him to bathe with about ten knots in the rope and by the time I finished the bath he was down to the last one. I would definitely use a special halter just for breeding. If there is any way to designate an area for breeding I would do it. Even if you just use the same area of the lawn. I have a space behind the barn that I never walk the horses through except for breeding. You may need to get your horse used to a chain for breeding. I never use one to lead, but do for breeding. I find I need the extra control. This was another way that my stallion knew it was time to breed. Owning a stallion at such a large boarding facility can be a challenge! A lot of people don't understand stallions.
Rope halters do not offer adequate control. You might be fine when everything is going OK, but if things get out of hand, you need to have the best control possible and rope halters do not provide that.
Circling a stallion is also bad. We discuss that in the short video on stallion handling we recently made over in England in association with Pelion Stud and Equine Reproduction (UK) Ltd. - follow that link to view it on YouTube, I think it might be helpful.
Thank you the video helped me a little. but i have a question. I dont allow him to circle, i kind of lunge him around in a walk or trot to refocus him, he is always away from me and on a longer line if the room is available around the area? is that still bad or is that teaching him to circle. i have never had him circle me and i rarely have to do this, again it is something we do when a mare owner is making a bad decision with my stallion around. and i will try to get him to accept a halter with a chain, thankfully i still have 6 to 8 months to get him ready.
Any circling to the left when the stallion is meant to be doing something else (such as standing quietly) is an evasion tactic on the part of the stallion, or will become so in time. If he's meant to stand still and behave, make him stand still and behave. If he's not focused on what he's meant to be focused on, focus him on it - don't allow him to do something completely different! As I said in the video, it becomes (or is) an evasion tactic on the part of the stallion, and is something that is commonly seen with neophyte stallion handlers. Long-time good handlers make a habit of always trying to turn a stallion away from them (usually to the right if being led from the left, which most are) - and not letting them circle repeatedly.
My stallion used a chifney for covering and a snaffle for riding he knows when the small thin bit goes in it if pleasure time other wise it is work time any other time he is in a headcollar. (sorry english terms)
Chifneys are fine in most cases, but one has to be careful with some stallions when using them, as if they are a little shy or easily distracted and perhaps rush the mare or lean forward up the neck quite rapidly once mounted, the bottom loop of the Chifney can bang the bottom of their chin as they reach forward on the mare, and there have been instances where the stallion then dismounts - in some cases quite rapidly!
I bought a chifney for my boy when I first thought of collecting him but never used it. I started him with a regular nylon halter, it's a good job I didn't use it since he rubs his chin and muzzle all over the phanton before mounting. It would have put him off for sure, he is very sensative around his mouth. I thought it would be a good idea to use a rope halter that has 2 knots on the nose piece. He listens to it real good but the knot that ties the crown piece can slip and leave it hanging at the end of his nose. So I used a heavy nylon halter to breed and use the rope halter to groom him. He gets a nice leather track halter for next year since we had paying customers this year, he earned it.
Young stallions that come to my place for AI training, I ask that the owners provide a halter exclusively for breeding. As Jos alluded to above its all part of conditiong the stallion to "his job" the more cues we can provide then (hopefully) the quicker the association between those cues and the gold standard of a successful collection. I take the view that less is best and modify from there if necessary e.g I have my phantom located a fair distance from the rest of my facilities and if a stallion becomes overly excited enroute to the phantom to the point where the handler is in danger then I will put a chifney bit on him but unclip the lead rope from him when in the yard with the phantom to avoid any jerking on the bit to avoid any injury and association with injury/phantom that may have a negative impact on his libido which can have long lasting consequences. Merry Christmas everyone :-)
Please note that opinions, product information, advice or suggestions posted on this bulletin board are not necessarily those of the management at Equine-Reproduction.com nor does the maintenance of the post position indicate an implicit or any endorsement of that information, opinion or product.
Further, although we have the greatest respect for the posters offering assistance here, you are advised to seek a consultation with your veterinarian prior to using information obtained from this board if it is of a veterinary nature.Proud to be sponsored and supported by: