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Mrwdaw

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Hi all!
I need advice on how to handle a year old stallion. I am a pretty new mini owner. We bought our first mini last July and added two more this past March. We would like to breed our two females but are brand-new to the mini world.
My question is how to handle the stallion. When it's time to come in the barn, I bring in the two fillies and tie them. He proceeds to run around and today, kicked (and farted...lol) at me. I know he's trying to show me his dominance and he's small enough that I can grab him and lead him in. I guess I'm asking how do I establish my dominance over him and show him that I'm the boss?
 

JFNM miniatures

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I just want to give you my own experience with my stallion and three mares. Your description of your little guy is so similar to Jumper's when I first got him, nearly a year ago. By the way, what is his name ? :)

I got Jumper along with Flicka and he was in terrible shape emotionally. He was so scared of humans, he always seemed to be dreading my next move. He was wild on the halter, pulled me around and so forth. He kicked me if I tried picking his hoofs up to clean them... In fact, for the first few days after I got him, I thought I had made a terrible mistake by purchasing him.

The truth was his former owners completely neglected him, never brushed him and I have this feeling they may have been very rough in his handling, because of his abnormal behavior whenever I tried to touch him or gently pat him on the neck.

I decided to do a few days of observation. I asked someone else to handle him when it was time to put him in his paddock. That person, aware of his attitude, would take a defensive pose (pulling back on the halter, or blocking head movement), which resulted in Jumper pulling harder, trying to run around, tensing up etc.

After 3 days of seeing the same thing morning and evening, I decided to try something completely different. I took the lead rope and brought him back to the barn from the paddock myself. The difference, however, was I stayed calm around him, did not pull back on his halter, and gave him enough lead rope for him to had free head and neck movement. The result ? He immediately calmed down, lowered his head and followed me calmly to the barn.

This was our first victory. I don't consider that I was the winner. We both won. He had understood that no harm was meant by haltering, and I won by staying calm and confident that we could both come to some level of understanding.

After this, came a long struggle for him to understand that grooming was meant to be enjoyed, not scared of. He hated curry combs, so I used a brush. And I brushed his tangled mane with it. He began relaxing. I relaxed even more. He turned his head towards me and gently blew on my hair. I even saw tears in his eyes and such a look I've never seen in the eyes of a horse. Another victory.

Now, I can do anything around Jumper, he doesn't mind. Brushing, training, hoof cleaning patting him... He knows I will never hurt him and he respects me for the respect I give him.

The whole concept of training horses is about gaining their confidence and trust. Once we have this, they naturally come to respect us. Sometimes, we need to define the do's and dont's, but in a manner in which the horse will still respect us.

From my experience, I learned that stallions, which are often seen as dangerous, are just normal horses who exteriorize their anxiety more than mares or geldings. Oftentimes, it comes back at us in a attitude of defense (such as kicking, biting etc). But really, all they want, is to be free from anything that they don't trust. They don't want to dominate, unless they are trying to kill. Horses are prey animals.

So, I learned that I needed let Jumper trust me. And being calm around him helped him a lot, because animals (I'd say especially horses), can sense every emotion we have, whether we hide it or not. In order to be calm, I stayed positive, I focused on something else besides the horse himself... I learned to forget he was a stallion and treat him like I'd treat any other horse. And it worked. Now, I can go by the mares' stalls with him calmly focusing on me until I've taken the halter off and closed his stall door.

Because you see, it's not about showing him that you're the boss and that you're the dominant. It's about being a friend to him and showing him you respect him, so he will naturally respond by respect you. Horses in the wild are in groups and they respect each other because they NEED each other for survival. It's the same thing in our relationship with them.


I'm sorry for such a long post. I hope it helps, though. I just wanted to share my own experience.:)
 
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Pitter Patter

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Hi all!
I need advice on how to handle a year old stallion. I am a pretty new mini owner. We bought our first mini last July and added two more this past March. We would like to breed our two females but are brand-new to the mini world.
My question is how to handle the stallion. When it's time to come in the barn, I bring in the two fillies and tie them. He proceeds to run around and today, kicked (and farted...lol) at me. I know he's trying to show me his dominance and he's small enough that I can grab him and lead him in. I guess I'm asking how do I establish my dominance over him and show him that I'm the boss?
My stallion is low in a herd "pecking order" and is respectful naturally. My thinking with all my animals is that I am NOT boss and I don't try to establish dominance. Learning to be their leader and using their natural communication signals works wonders. (Being a leader doesn't come naturally to me!) Learn their body language, be considerate, don't try to over power them because it will later be a fight you can't win. They need to learn trust first. Sit with them and let him come to know you better. You will be amazed at the reaction! I have a feral pony that I work with daily. This mare was shot in the head, now blind in one eye and suspect doesn't see well in the other. She was left for dead in a field. Lately I have been able to ask her for a kiss. If she doesn't run, I lean over slowly and kiss her muzzle. If she is in my way, I can just point and she walks off in that direction. Sometimes I can toss my head in the direction and she'll go as well. (just learned this from my mare communicating with her foal! I'm so excited!). There are some great books out there on communication.Take one small step at a time you will see results. It won't happen over night. Using hands scares this mare so it's a very slow process but now she is the first to greet me at the gate. Just my opinion, my way of doing things. Some people disagree, but I love having these relationships. Don't be afraid of your stallion; may turn out to be your "heart" horse (or at least he will respect you because you share a bond and show leadership, not because you are boss). He may be scared or unsure. Hopefully I haven't offended you and I tend to be long-winded. Sorry. Good luck and keep us updated?
 

Mrwdaw

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I just want to give you my own experience with my stallion and three mares. Your description of your little guy is so similar to Jumper's when I first got him, nearly a year ago. By the way, what is his name ? :)

I got Jumper along with Flicka and he was in terrible shape emotionally. He was so scared of humans, he always seemed to be dreading my next move. He was wild on the halter, pulled me around and so forth. He kicked me if I tried picking his hoofs up to clean them... In fact, for the first few days after I got him, I thought I had made a terrible mistake by purchasing him.

The truth was his former owners completely neglected him, never brushed him and I have this feeling they may have been very rough in his handling, because of his abnormal behavior whenever I tried to touch him or gently pat him on the neck.

I decided to do a few days of observation. I asked someone else to handle him when it was time to put him in his paddock. That person, aware of his attitude, would take a defensive pose (pulling back on the halter, or blocking head movement), which resulted in Jumper pulling harder, trying to run around, tensing up etc.

After 3 days of seeing the same thing morning and evening, I decided to try something completely different. I took the lead rope and brought him back to the barn from the paddock myself. The difference, however, was I stayed calm around him, did not pull back on his halter, and gave him enough lead rope for him to had free head and neck movement. The result ? He immediately calmed down, lowered his head and followed me calmly to the barn.

This was our first victory. I don't consider that I was the winner. We both won. He had understood that no harm was meant by haltering, and I won by staying calm and confident that we could both come to some level of understanding.

After this, came a long struggle for him to understand that grooming was meant to be enjoyed, not scared of. He hated curry combs, so I used a brush. And I brushed his tangled mane with it. He began relaxing. I relaxed even more. He turned his head towards me and gently blew on my hair. I even saw tears in his eyes and such a look I've never seen in the eyes of a horse. Another victory.

Now, I can do anything around Jumper, he doesn't mind. Brushing, training, hoof cleaning patting him... He knows I will never hurt him and he respects me for the respect I give him.

The whole concept of training horses is about gaining their confidence and trust. Once we have this, they naturally come to respect us. Sometimes, we need to define the do's and dont's, but in a manner in which the horse will still respect us.

From my experience, I learned that stallions, which are often seen as dangerous, are just normal horses who exteriorize their anxiety more than mares or geldings. Oftentimes, it comes back at us in a attitude of defense (such as kicking, biting etc). But really, all they want, is to be free from anything that they don't trust. They don't want to dominate, unless they are trying to kill. Horses are prey animals.

So, I learned that I needed let Jumper trust me. And being calm around him helped him a lot, because animals (I'd say especially horses), can sense every emotion we have, whether we hide it or not. In order to be calm, I stayed positive, I focused on something else besides the horse himself... I learned to forget he was a stallion and treat him like I'd treat any other horse. And it worked. Now, I can go by the mares' stalls with him calmly focusing on me until I've taken the halter off and closed his stall door.

Because you see, it's not about showing him that you're the boss and that you're the dominant. It's about being a friend to him and showing him you respect him, so he will naturally respond by respect you. Horses in the wild are in groups and they respect each other because they NEED each other for survival. It's the same thing in our relationship with them.


I'm sorry for such a long post. I hope it helps, though. I just wanted to share my own experience.:)
Thank you so much for your response. His name is Liberty and he was returned to the farm he came from because his owner had a stroke and died. He is only a year old so I don't know how he was treated but I'm assuming it was good because he loves to be groomed and has never been afraid of me. We also purchased the little filly he was with because they seemed so attached to each other.
When I am in the barn with him, he is quiet but doesn't really want me to pet him. We've only had him since March so he's still getting to know us. I definitely need to walk him more so he is used to listening to me.
 

JFNM miniatures

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Thank you so much for your response. His name is Liberty and he was returned to the farm he came from because his owner had a stroke and died. He is only a year old so I don't know how he was treated but I'm assuming it was good because he loves to be groomed and has never been afraid of me. We also purchased the little filly he was with because they seemed so attached to each other.
When I am in the barn with him, he is quiet but doesn't really want me to pet him. We've only had him since March so he's still getting to know us. I definitely need to walk him more so he is used to listening to me.

Such a nice name ! :) Give him time to know you better. Bring him carrots when you go in his stall. About teaching him leading manners, teach him to stop when you stop, and not move until you've taken a step forward. Every time you stop, use a vocal cue like "Whoa" every time you gently pull back on the lead. You can do this in his paddock or in his field, turning in a circle. This way, he will be more relaxed than if you just walk towards the barn. Once he listens to you in the paddock, you can do the same thing when you go towards the barn. Lastly, never stop at the same places repeatedly when you practice this. That way, it keeps his attention focused on you.
 

Taz

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Dito to everything said above! I'm going to add remember he's only a baby still and is going to want to play more than the girls. Running, bucking, rearing,biting are all natural 'boy' behaviours. You want to shoo him away from you if he's doing that at you and close enough to get you. Is he living with the girls? A happy stallion doesn't live alone, they have other boys to live with if they aren't living with girls and being a herd stallion. If you just want a couple of babies I'd suggest gelding him as soon as that happens, that way he can stay with them. If you're wanting to keep breeding I'd get a gelding for him as company and only let him with the girls to breed instead of herd breeding, foal watch is not fun when you know the breed date, without it, it can last a really long time.
 

Mrwdaw

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Dito to everything said above! I'm going to add remember he's only a baby still and is going to want to play more than the girls. Running, bucking, rearing,biting are all natural 'boy' behaviours. You want to shoo him away from you if he's doing that at you and close enough to get you. Is he living with the girls? A happy stallion doesn't live alone, they have other boys to live with if they aren't living with girls and being a herd stallion. If you just want a couple of babies I'd suggest gelding him as soon as that happens, that way he can stay with them. If you're wanting to keep breeding I'd get a gelding for him as company and only let him with the girls to breed instead of herd breeding, foal watch is not fun when you know the breed date, without it, it can last a really long time.
Great advice! Thank you. He is living with the girls.
 

elizabeth.conder

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If he is living with the girls at a year he can have already bred them just FYI, there have been cases of colts breeding their own dams as young as 6/7 months. Yearling colts can be very hard to handle because yes they are young, but they are realizing they are stallions and will test you every chance they get. You have to have firm boundaries. Obviously not being mean, but he cannot be allowed to push his way around because it will just get worse as he ages. I have been through the same thing with my first colt years ago. He actually became quite aggressive. I ended up having him gelded because he was not what I wanted in a stallion conformationally and he had a bad attitude as a colt. As a gelding he is the sweetest thing.
 

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