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Stallion display

I have an Appaloosa colt that is about 1-1/2 years old. He has fabulous manners and I'm staying on top of everything. The only problem I have is that whenever he's content (i.e. when I'm grooming him) he becomes "over stimulated" (polite way of say he gets an erection). His behavior is still calm and everything but I dread showing him (or grooming him around a my teenage son and his friends) and having this result. I've been told that tapping him with a crop will teach him not to respond that way but wanted some advise before trying that. I have yet to need a crop, stud chain or any harsh device on him, as he is so agreeable.

I've checked out books on raising stud colts and none of them seem to address this topic. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, Pamela

Hi Pamela,

Thank you for your candid question. You have a couple of things to try before going to tapping him with a crop. When he extends, immediately give him something else to think about by putting him to moving around you in small circles, both directions and 3-4 rotations in each direction. Then offer a "Whoa" and let him stand. If he 'drops' again, repeat the process. Do this as much as it takes for him to associate an unwanted display with going to 'work'. You can use this technique to modify many behaviors you do not want without going to any hitting, slapping or whatever. This makes what you do not want from him hard to do as he goes to 'work' of he does it. It also makes what you do want, him standing without the display, easier than going around you in tight circles. He is smart and will get the association soon. You can also do this from the saddle when you start to ride him. Just bend him around your inside leg a few rotations in both directions, then ask again for what you do want. Do you understand?

Another thing to try is just backing him 30 yards or so. If he backs easily and willingly, try it to modify the behavior. It is no fun for him to back around in a circle or whatever. Again, this is a non-abusive way to modify his behavior your do not want.

It sounds like you have a terrific stallion. How wonderful. What are your plans for him? Breeding, showing. I would love to know. I am also available to various types of coaching and seminar presentation. Please let me know if I can be of additional assistance. Its great you are looking for non-abusive alternatives rather than the old paradigm of dominance and control. Well done.

Sincerely, Franklin

You may not recall, but I am the one who emailed you about a nearly 2 year old appaloosa colt with a "display" problem when being groomed, etc. At the same time I had also contacted a couple of other trainers who seemed to be in line with my techniques and you are the only one who didn't respond by saying I should tap him there with a crop and have him cut immediately because stallions are too much trouble, etc.

So, again, thank you for giving me a positive response. Time will tell whether he gets gelded or not, but it's not something that should be done "just to avoid having a stallion" given his bloodlines and provided he continues to progress with his training and socializing as well has he has to-date. I'm sure My Soul (his name) appreciates your different approach, as well. I've only had one opportunity to put it to a test (we get such WONDERFUL weather here in Washington) and it worked quite well. I know it's going to be a while before there's any type of association, but it's definitely a preferred alternative.

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