This page deals with the young horse's breeding confusion.
hello, this is my first time writing to you, I have a 2 year old colt who has been handled since birth but has just started to figure out what a stud horse does unfortunately he is trying it on people when they least expect it, my concern is he going to hurt someone and I need some ideas to stop this unacceptable behavior. I have tried tapping him with the whip but that just seems to make him angry. he is not a mean horse by no means but I don't want this situation to get any farther out of hand.. We will be getting him gelded in the spring but we have to deal with this now.. any suggestions would be appreciated .
Thank you for your time,
My first suggestion is going to be to continuously keep your guard up when around him and any other young horse. Young horses climb on each other all the time and they see little reason why they can't climb on the hairless horses as well. Who cares if they only have two legs? One should develop the habit of NEVER being directly in front of young stock (and some older stock as well).
You only start allowing yourself to get in front of the horse when it begins demonstrating acceptable behaviors while you are in more safer areas such as at its shoulder. This is a product of training. As you both learn more, you'll be more able to accomplish this.
You're afraid it'll make him angry if you tap him with the whip? Does it make you angry when he climbs on you? It should. Since you pay the bills and you wait on him hand and foot, who really cares how angry it makes him if you don't want him climbing on you? It is really in his best interest that he doesn't climb on you. If you get hurt, who'll support him in the manner to which you've accustomed him? Anything serious happens to you and he's headed down the road to take his chances somewhere else where he may not have it so good.
If he was in a herd situation and he climbed on some crotchety ol' mare she wouldn't give one hoot for his feelings. She'd attempt to kick his brains out until he realized he'd made a mistake. And you know what? He wouldn't give it a second thought, he'd quickly learn to honor her wishes.
*IF* he catches you off guard again (and I surely hope he doesn't), don't tap him. Give him everything you got with whatever you have handy and scream at him at the top of your lungs "DO NOT DO THAT TO ME AGAIN!!!" You want to convince him that he is slipping over the edge of life. Go at it for as long as you have lung power. When you run out of steam, forget it and act like nothing happened.
If a horse transgresses against you and you clobber him good he'll figure he went into an area he shouldn't have gone into. Do not whip the animal. The term "whip" essentially means holding him when inflicting punishment on him. Clobbering him while preventing his escape or denying him the opportunity to call it off is unfair. If you do not give the horse the opportunity to call off the punishment by complying with your wishes (stopping what he's doing) he will resent it and may hold it against you. I say may because he may not hold it against you. In my pre-enlightened days I have done some pretty shabby things to horses and few have held it against me so that I could tell it. Your goal is to act like a lead mare would act. Since you are lacking a lot of weight (I hope) and two extra legs with hammers on the end of them (I hope) you have to improvise a little.
The key is to respond and forget it. That is how the situation is handled in a herd of horses.
I have heard people say, "I don't want to geld him yet until I see if he's a stallion candidate." My reply is, "He's already a stallion, he's a gelding candidate."
I am a solid believer that all colts are prime gelding candidates. Any that aren't are immediately apparent. There are already far, far, far more horses in this country, and actually in the world, than there are homes for. If there isn't a line of mare owners four times around the block wanting to breed to a colt the MOMENT he hits the ground, my suggestion is gelding. It will save a lot of money and effort and it will be socially better for the horse and safer for the humans in the long run.
I also have often heard, "The breed is dying out and needs to be preserved!" There is a reason for that. There is not enough demand to sustain the breed or to justify the prolonging.
As soon as they are descended I want them gelded. While that may not stop such behavior, it usually lessens it a great deal. Lately I've heard a lot about vets refusing to geld in the cold months but in the past it wasn't a problem. If I lived in a cold area and it was gelding time, I'd have him in the barn if cold was a problem and we'd proceed.
Best of luck,
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