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Should I buy a stallion?

Hi Franklin,

My name is Sierra. I am struggling with the decision on whether to buy a weanling stallion Irish Sport Horse and keep him a stallion. I want to know whether a stallion could be the right horse for me. I consider myself to be an advanced (not pro) horseman and I truly have no fear of horses but do keep myself in check and aware of the power and risk that comes with handling horses. My goals and reasons for wanting a stallion are to achieve my goal of becoming a pro jumper and my reason for wanting him to remain a stallion is so that when/if he becomes a great jumper I would be able to breed him. I have not been in close contact with stallions and do not know all of the negative and positive behaviors of stallions and you can only research so much. Are you still able to gain somewhat of the same bond with a stallion that you can gain with a gelding or mare? What methods are used to keep stallions from becoming completely mare obsessed? Should I keep him isolated from mares? And if so what age should he be reintroduced to mares? What is your personal opinion of owning a stallion and using him as a performance horse? Thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you.

Thank you, Sierra

High Sierra (sorry about the pun),

I have known stallions who were gentlemen and others who were dangerous and extremely unpredictable. A lot has to do with genetic disposition. If you know the parents of this horse well, along with others with the same lineage and they are mellow boys, chances are yours will be too. If you discover the male offspring in this particular line, are mostly difficult horses, yours will be as well. True that some behavior can be greatly helped by the knowledge and early consistent handling by a wonderful and skillful trainer. But all it takes is one bad experience being handled and a stallion predisposed to aggressive behavior, will get very aggressive. I always suggest gelding a stallion unless a person is seriously into professional breeding and knows what they are doing. Many places will not allow you to bring a stallion in. Consider that your showing options and travel options may be limited simply because your horse is a stallion, no matter how mellow it is. Also, breeding stallions (collecting seamen, breeding in hand, etc.) is generally something that should be done by very experienced handlers, because it can be a risky and dangerous proposition. If you do not have this experience, I suggest you concentrate on improving your winning abilities in shows on a wonderful, mellow and easy to deal with gelding. Keeping stallions (even one), is special handling no matter what. It may mean never being able to fully trust this horse. It is a distraction from showing. Sounds like you have a lot of time to be dealing with stallions. Why not keep things as simple as possible for a while and concentrate on your showing skills and overall horsemanship. You have time to deal with stallions.

Sincerely, Franklin

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