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Re: RC: Re: Re: Re: Stallions in endurance riding

> >>Both horses were standing quietly,  but I remember the stallion started
talking to the mare.....then out of the corner of my left eye saw him just,
in a flash, charge up and over the mare.>>
> Karen, here is where the problem came in.  That stallion gave fair warning
of his intentions and the people didn't pay attention and act upon it.
Don't blame the stallion.  He will always tell you what he's up (or down)
to, there is no such thing as a surprise with a stallion - in fact, if
you're attentive, a horse will always tell you what his next move is going
to be, stallion or otherwise.

Kristene, you said a mouthful here, no matter what the gender of the horse.
Stallions aren't the problem--inattentive people are the problem.  If a
stallion even gets so far as the talking described in the first post, the
rider  has already been a failure in the attention department--before the
stallion talked to the mare, there was a social situation set up for him to
do so, and the rider should have been aware of that and already been in the
mode of getting his attention back, even before the talking occurred.

I remember a situation that occurred with what was really quite a sane and
gentle stallion, but one that had been a consistent social problem in our
area.  The woman came to talk to me about how she perceived that she was
being socially picked on for riding a stallion, and wanted my input, both as
a ride vet and as one who has ridden stallions.  She came up to me leading
the horse in a ride camp that was situated adjacent to the manager's
barnyard.  She had the stallion on about a 15-foot lead, and proceeded to
turn her back on him and give him most of that lead as she talked to me.  We
were right next to a yearling in a paddock.  The stallion never said a word,
but in the 10 minutes or so that we were talking, he dropped and began to
masturbate, with his full attention on the yearling--so hard that he was
almost doubling over and falling on the ground.  I glanced at my watch and
timed the whole thing, and after 10 minutes of discussion had gone by (in
which I was clearly failing to make any headway in convincing the woman that
she was not attentive to this horse) I finally said, "OK, turn around and
see what your horse is doing--he is making my point for me."  Should she
have "punished" him for dropping and paying attention to the yearling?  In
truth, her error started the minute she walked up, before the stallion even
started paying attention to the yearling, and he should never have even
gotten as far as dropping.  First of all, and not just with stallions, she
should have been aware of EXACTLY where she was in relationship to another
horse.  Then she should have positioned her horse in such a manner that his
attention would not become focused on the other horse.  Third, she should
have positioned her horse where he was still in her line of sight.  Fourth,
she should have been in control on the lead, even if it remained loose, so
that if his attention ever even wavered toward an inappropriate direction, a
slight vibration of the lead or a quiet cluck would have reminded him of his
manners.  This particular horse would have been an "easy" stallion for even
a moderately-skilled rider--which was the only reason he hadn't flat killed
anybody, quite frankly.  This woman really had no business riding ANY horse
in public, with her complete oblivion to equine body language and her
unwillingness to assume control of her horse.


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