Illinois 5 year old Paso Fino Stallion

Question: The problem isn't riding, he has become very aggresive. He tries to bite when we bring him out of his pen to go to the barn. We have other stallions and breeding mares, this makes him unruly, which is normal, but the biting and lunging and trying to run ahead is becoming dangerous. 

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From Panelist Stella

Some stallions adapt quite naturally to situations where there are other stallions present, as well as mares around, and others don't. This tends to be more likely where that particular stallion is a more dominant horse, and is not being used as much with mares as some other stallions there are, and especially if you are doing breeding within sight or sound of them. 

I also keep a number of stallions, but try to do the teasing (bet he's not the teaser, either!) and breeding away from the other stallions, so as not to unnecessarily aggravate/frustrate and develop such problems, but sometimes it develops anyway, simply from not being used very often (for breeding). If a stallion is hardly being used, its best to either geld it, or sell it to someone who will use it more often, or at least be "the only one" -where being bred a little is still not surpassed by some other horse.

In the future, it helps to raise colts together till 2-3 years old, then separate (and certainly when you start breeding them ignorance IS  bliss)...stallions removed from the company of other horses very early are more apt to have this problem. Mine are actually kept stalled next to each other, they remain buddies, and if a new one is put next to them, the  posturing and screaming lasts only a few minutes intermittently, and never serious, they become more interested in "being buds," just as they would naturally in what's known as a "bachelor band." 

In the meantime, I'm assuming you ARE using a chain on his nose, if he's getting too strong to control otherwise. You never really want a stallion to know they can be stronger than you, and they certainly can be! (keep it a  secret!) Its best to get a long one fatter ones, like bits, are kinder-also, choose a good quality totally smooth one, no ridges on links), one you can run up to the ring that connects the headpiece, so you have control of his poll as well as across the nose. Bring the chain UP through the first noseband ring, and from the outside in on the far side of the noseband to stabilize it across the top of the noseband- that way, it cant slip down and cut the wind off, and also the noseband cushions the chain...then run it to the upper ring from the inside (side where eye is), which helps keep the halter from slipping towards the eye. It stabilizes the entire chain. Don't put any pressure on the chain; let him do that himself, and when he does when being unruly, abruptly give a quick, sharp pull and release (don't forget the release!); it helps to use a loud "no," so he can  associate a verbal command that can eventually be used alone as a warning for what might happen next (the chain) if he doesn't respond to the verbal.

Eventually you will find that just putting the chain on will signal to him what behavior you are expecting.

Make sure you are also following through when using him on mares...they are to respect you, not mount till you "send" them, and no aggressive behavior towards a mare is tolerated, either (must be a gentleman)....otherwise, mine go back to the barn and don't get bred, have to think about it an hour or two, till we try again. Even in such "tempting" circumstances, they get the message fast.

Stella



From Panelist Darla

You have other horses and stallions so I am sure you know how serious this problem is.  He needs retraining as soon as possible.  I suggest you send him to a professional trainer with lots of stallion experience.  This is not an easy vise to break.   Please do not resort to slapping him in the face every time he bites.  This can cause him to become more aggressive.  I just had a client tell me she did that and her stallion put her in the hospital 
intensive care.  This can be corrected but it take time an patience and hands on know-how.  

Sincerely,  Darla 
 

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