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Aggressive stallion behavior

I purchased a Paso Fino stallion in Puerto Rico at the end of April and transported him here. I saw this young stallion, he will be 4 years old in October, as a yearling, a two year old, and he seemed very nice and normal. I saw him again after they began training him and he was a very different animal. Very aggressive. What I observed was that his trainers were afraid of him and he played on their fear to his advantage. The method of training was severe according to our standards. He is extremely intellegent, and fast. After biting a trainer, they were going to geld him. I am familier with the blood line and talked the owner into selling him to me. In the four months I have had him he has made great progress, in my opinion. I have done a lot of ground work--I do not trust him enough to get on his back yet. He makes a lot of progress, but them can become aggressive. He is an extremely spooky animal. I have interpreted this as not trusting people. And I continue to believe this to be true, however, I have noticed that his aggression seems to be linked to noise. Like he is sensitive to to noise. I have thought this all alone, but have been observing it more and more. He has bit me a couple of time. I believe this horse has a tremendous potential. I am wondering if his behavior could be linked to some hearing/ear problem, or even a neurological problem. I am going to contact my vet and have this check out. Have you heard of anything like this? Can you suggest any other possible alternatives or things to consider? Are there any good books on normal stallion behavior that you are familier with?

Currently, our stallions on in the same barn with our mares. Of course, this aggression becomes more intense when one is in heat. We are moving our stallions to another barn in October and hope that will help. Do you think we will see a major change? Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated. The genetics on this animal are superior and I would like to rule-out anything that may be causing this behavior.


Hi Rosie,

Stallion behavior has several factors. You probably know them as they are obvious: genetics, environment, training. Temperment can be inbred. Look at other horses of this bloodline. The animal may have a proclivity towards this behavior and attitude. In my experience, Paso's tend to be a bit nervous in general. Being encouraged to do those fast, very quick gaits they have, as well as a desire by their owners and folks who show them that they be extremely quick and animated when they travel, would seem to encourage the fearul, nervous behavior you are experiencing with this stallion. I have no doubt his initail training has brought this out even more. Many humans and so called 'trainers' really do not understand stallions and tend to isolate them so they never get to really become socialized with either other equines or humans. Thus, there are a lot of dangerous, aggressive stallions of all breeds out there. If these fearful horses had been handled with good leadership when young they would still be magnificient stallions and much more managable.

If this were my horse I would do a ton of liberty training in a large arena. This way I would not have to crowd the horse and I could work him from a safe distance and gradually teach him to trust me and to view me as his safe quiet place. His reward for even a little try at what I request of him would bring an immediate reward of a bit of calm and rest. Once I had his trust and respect I would work on getting him used to scarier and scarier things including loud noises. I have trained horses to not run from gunfire. It is not hard really. You can probably bomb proof this stallion quite a bit if you have the time, patience and skill. He is still young enough. I agree that moving the stallions away from the mares should help the situation. Having several stallions near each other may not be really helpful here with all their carrying on and feeding off of each others energy. I doubt if he has a neurological or hearing problem. I think it is from how he is and was handled in particular and what goes on for him on a dialy basis. He is habitualted to how things are. To change him you would need to change what is going on daily in his life. Again, I would train him a lot at liberty in a large arena. No need to get within his range to bite (not for a good while anyway). Let em know how it goes.

Sincerely, Franklin

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