Confidence around a Stallion.. Advice please!

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Sniggles, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Sniggles

    Sniggles Active Member

    I am just after some advice from people who have experience with Stallions, I work at a spelling agistment and stud with mainly broodmares and young TB's and there is also a big TB stallion there, I have been a bit nervous lately to go in and feed him when hes not locked up as he can get a bit full of himself and will sometimes strike out, i dont know if this is being nasty or what it is, but i have to get in the gate (he is normally there right in your space) and when you get in there he shoves his head in the feed bucket and i have to turn my back on him to lock the gate which im not very comfortable doing and i will start to walk away from the gate and past him with the bucket to go over to his little yard and stable to put his feed in the bin and sometimes he will jump around and paw out and stuff and making growly noises, sometimes i cant even get into the gate because he will be running at the fence with his ears pinned back to the horse in the next paddock. I have alot of expererience around horses but no experience with a stallion. What should i do in these situations where he is being a bit full of himself and no manners? ';'

    He is normally fairly quiet and alot of the time he will just follow me quiety to his feed bin, but others he will just be really silly and buck and rear. I know stallions can be quite unpredictable. And i dont want to provoke him in anyway as he is VERY big and strong and it is quite daunting! I find myself getting down there and sighing with relief if hes locked up!

    Would love some advice on how i should act around him and getting some more confidence around him! :)
  2. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    I also work with Tb's and stallions, and I would not be expecting any staff to go in with the stallions if they are not comfortable and confident with doing that.

    He would have already sussed out that you are not confident with him, so he is having heaps of fun with you.

    Before you go into the paddock, you need to have some respect established. I dont know if a more senior staff member will help you with this, but I would be send him away from the gate first, before entering, and expecting him to stay back and not shove his head in the bucket. He needs to keep out of your space, or get out of your way to allow you to walk around to his bin, then you put the feed in whilst still expecting him to stand back and wait. Then you could approach him for a gentle rub on the face before you walk away, but at no time should he barge to the feed bin or crowd you.

    If he does try this you need to send him off, but I would talk to the senior staff, as this stud may have rules that you have to adhere to, and you may find that someone could show you how to make him give you space. Perhaps hes been trained to back off with a command or signal.

    You do need to be careful, as this situation could be dangerous.

    Good luck,
  3. farfromhome

    farfromhome Well-known Member

    Never turn your back on a Stallion :)
  4. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    My in-laws have a stallion...and if he's getting too close to me I just get him to back up. I've led him around and stuff. Really they are just like any other horse, but you MUST respect them. When I get him to back up I give him a pat and just talk to him. Horses get tense when we stop if you're talking you'll be "calm".

    But he's a QH and pretty much a nice dude...
  5. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Stallions are NOT just like any other horse!! They can be very dominant and highly dangerous if you dont have the confidence or the knowledge to work with them.

    If you are not confident, don't even enter his yard. The horse has sussed you out before you even enter. He aint going to respect you if you aint confident and assertive yourself! Get someone else to do it for your own safety! **)
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  6. Sniggles

    Sniggles Active Member

    It is pretty much just me and the owner of the property, i feed up about 4 mornings a week. I told her when i first started that i had no experience with stallions, and she told me that he is very quiet and is a nice kind and that i should have no problems with him. ';'

    Everything was fine at first, its only recently that this has started, and maybe because i was a little nervous when he first started doing it, hes picked up on that and just pulls the mickey out of me now (hes probably laughing at me). Last week i refused to go in there with him as he was going crazy and i definately didnt feel safe or comfortable getting in there with him! I let her know and since then hes been locked up when ive gone out to feed up this week, I will speak to her tomorrow morning when i go out!

    I am normally very confident on the ground around horses, and im fine with the silly weanlings and yearlings and off their head race horses, i think its the fact hes a stallion and ive heard so many horror stories about stallions! Ive also had a friend attacked a few years back as well, one minute he was fine and she was just giving him a pat and next he was lunging for her!
  7. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    It sounds like the owner of the property was sympathetic to your earlier worries, and good on them for locking him up for you.

    If he's locked up, do you still have worries with feeding him?

    Could the feed bin be placed so that you dont have to go in with him, but just pour the feed over the gate/fence and into his bin?
  8. Sniggles

    Sniggles Active Member

    His feed bin is hung on the fence rail so i can just pour the bucket over the fence and into the bin and im completely fine with him then, i will normally give him a pat and talk to him and hes fine.

    I cant expect him to be locked up 4 days a week though, i will speak with her tomorrow and see what we can come up with, might be able to just put the feed bin on the gate to the paddock when hes left out so i can just pour it over the gate!
  9. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    That sounds like a great idea Sniggles, and I am sure the owner would want you kept safe as well.**)
  10. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member

    please please be confident { well pretend to be } around a Stallion, hold your body up straight, square your shoulders etc etc BUT don't get aggressive, or he will too and he'll win ever time.
    Sadly theres a few badly treated Stallions out there, that don't trust people so will show aggression first.

    Good luck

  11. Better Gun

    Better Gun New Member

    Stallions are funny creatures. Some play, some bluff and some are serious. Either way you have to be in control of the situation at all time. If he gets in your space even from over the fence you could carry a flag/dressage whip etc with you and when he's in your space use the flag/whip to get him to back off. You may have to be very firm to start with but very soon he will learn that the flag means to back of. After a while you can often just point your finger at them and they will back down.

    This may sound a little crude but if he dives his head into the bucket before you want him to then you need to get him to back down and may need to be very forcefull and get him away with what ever means you can. You may be able to use an open palm and put pressure on/tap his face till he backs off or if he is really stubborn and ignorant you may have to swing the bucket at him. It may seem excessive but they are big strong animals and the can cope with it (a bucket has nothing on another stallion kicking or biting them). Again after a few times they will learn to respect you and your space and wait till you have finished before they eat their feed.
  12. Northern Peregrine

    Northern Peregrine Well-known Member

    Be VERY daughter was attacked by a TB stallion while working at a stud.
    She was mucking out his box and with no warning at all he went for her..literally tried to kill her. Only thing that saved her was the barrow she was using for the poo fell over her and protected her head. She managed to eventually escape by rolling away under the fence. He tried to stomp her into the ground...she had hoofprint bruises all over her and ended up in ED with suspected spinal injuries. This was last year...she is 19 and now has ongoing back problems, along with a big permanent dent in her calf muscle. The horse attacked with NO warning at all..he had never attacked anyone before (allegedly) . My daughter was confident with horses but also had no experience with stallions...for some reason he just took exception to her. This was a 'quiet' stallion and it was used to her as she had handled him before and had cleaned his stall every day prior to this. Unpredictable!
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  13. RustyRidge Clydesdales

    RustyRidge Clydesdales Well-known Member

    DO NOT enter his yard again until you are willing to get his respect!! There is alot very wrong with your post 1. You turn your back on him, 2.You let him get his head in the bucket 3. He puts his ears back and lunged at the gate.
    I have a 18hh 2yr old colt and dinner time Is definently the strictest you need poly pipe or a lunge whip. When you get to the paddock tell him to back off do not enter the paddock until he respects that you are telling him to nick off. When you enter make sure he stays back, by pointing the whip at him should be enough, make sure you are keeping an eye on him whilst doing gate up. Do not let him near you until the feed is in the feed bin. Then approach him give him a rub on the nose and let him eat. Be careful that he doesn't retaliate when you go to walk out. It will only take a few days of this and you will get his respect.
    Of course make sure you talk to the owners first and let them know you are scared of him and that you would like to try a safer way ;)
    Good Luck :D
  14. dakota95

    dakota95 Active Member

    A couple of years ago I did some work experience for a TB stud that had around 50 horses in small yards. It was my awesome duty to clean out all the yards which I did daily and ha no problems. I learned a few days into the work experience around 6 of the yards I had mucked out contained stallions, I was pissed off at first but figured no harm done?

    Possibly nothing happened because I just treated them like "normal" horses aka don't come into my space and mostly just ignored them. Never thought to check for nuts :p
  15. ILoveClydesdales

    ILoveClydesdales Well-known Member

    The stud I worked for had 6 stallions and 2 rigs and daily encounters was the norm but I never forgot that they were stallions. One of them was insane but bred winners, I was never allowed in his yard, I fed over the fence. Four were big puppy dogs, sweet and gentle, I was even allowed to work them for service. One was temperamental and you had to test the waters each day before engaging him in any activity. The two rigs were just as dangerous as the big boys as they had all the hormones without the gratification LOL.

    If you don't feel that you can hold your own in his yard you are far better off asking for his feedbin to be moved. Horses, and stallions in particular, can feel your vibe before you even get close enough to feel theirs. Your safety is the only concern.

    Also, even with the "puppy dogs" I was never allowed in if I had my monthlies. I never questioned it, just accepted it, but I guess now looking back it would be nice to know why? Hmm off to google. :)
  16. RustyRidge Clydesdales

    RustyRidge Clydesdales Well-known Member

    ILC I was always warmed to be careful at that time of the month, from memory they can sense it? not sure good question for the breeding section ;)
  17. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member

    Now this I disagree with #(... you dont need a weapon to teach respect ! this just teaches the Stallion or young colt, that when you- or anyone else- don't have anything in your hand, he CAN come into your space as they respect the weapon not you.
    OP- ask the Stud Manager or owner how they deal with the Stallion/s, and IF this is how they deal with them...please DON'T treat EVER Stallion this way ! #(

  18. Sniggles

    Sniggles Active Member

    Thanks everybody for your suggestions and advice! :)*

    The days hes not locked up when i am feeding up the feed bin is going to be on the gate so i can just tip it straight in without having to go in there with him. Which makes me feel alot better now!

    I figured if im not confident enough to go in there and have no experience with stallions then its probably a lot safer to not enter his yard at all!

    Northern Peregrine that is horrible, and your daughter is so lucky to have gotten out of there, just goes to show how unpredictable stallions can be! Any horse really.. ';'

    Thanks again everyone!! :)
  19. Spec

    Spec New Member

    A very wise decision if you ask me. Good on you for being 'brave' enough to decide you were not comfortable with the situation **)

    That stallion would know he has it over you, and be damned if I would go into his yard knowing that. I have worked with a few, one I had an amazing bond with and he taught me so much about respecting stallions. The bond I had with him was nothing like I have had with my own horses, but I think I lucked in with him!

    Glad you could come to a happy resolution for all involved :)
  20. RustyRidge Clydesdales

    RustyRidge Clydesdales Well-known Member

    Well seeing as I have handled many many stallions I think I know what works. And once you have the respect you no longer need a 'weapon' ! Better option than excuse me horsey will you please back up??
    This stallion knows that the OP is scared and his behaviour will only now get worse towards her! A 'weapon' is only necessary when a horse is dangerous and what the OP is explaining the stallion is one step away from showing her who the real boss is.
    She needs something in her hands to defend herself with as an extension of herself to keep him at a safe distance if it be a leadrope,bucket,lunge whip anything.

    This is very personal for me many years ago when I was 15 I was sent into a stallions paddock and told to catch him, he was well known for hurting others. When he came at me the first time I managed to get over the fence. I was sent back in the paddock and told to stand there and stand up for myself! He came at me again and I yelled and carried on at him to get out made no difference I had nothing to protect myself. I was severly injured that day and am here today because it was winter and I had 3 layers of clothing on.
    Stallions are un predictable even the sweetest horse can have a bad day and people who dont have that in there mind get hurt :mad:

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