I desperately need some advice about my new colt. He is a 2½-year-old Gypsy Cob named Geordie. He was raised in a herd, then separated as a yearling colt, and ran with a colt herd until I imported him to Australia. He is naturally gentle and not aggressive. I’ve had him for two months and spend time with him in his paddock every day. His pasturemate is a 6-year-old maiden mare of similar size that is renowned for her willingness to be mounted–in fact, she (successfully) invited all the owner’s geldings to mount her in the months they were paddocked together.

When we introduced the two, Geordie attempted to mount the mare after she explored the paddock and she stood for him at first. They did about 15 revolutions around the paddock before Geordie tried to mount her twice from the side. Then she lost interest and warned him. He didn’t take the hint in his excitement and got a double-barrel kick in the flank, but fortunately he was uninjured.

Now he won’t go near her! She follows him around and pees in front of him, but he’s scared of her. I hope he gets his courage back because this is his job!

I don’t know whether to interfere with Geordie and the whole breeding thing, or just let them be together and sort it out. It doesn’t matter if he serves this mare or not, she was given to us as company for him. But in saying that, he needs to learn how to serve a mare without a complex! I lean toward letting them sort it out, and experienced friends are telling me to sideline hobble the mare and breed him in hand. What should I do?

The way I see it I have four choices:

  1. Leave them in together and let Nature take its course.

  2. Pull her out and bring her back during her next heat, then go with the above.

  3. Pull her out and sideline hobble her, and (attempt to) breed him in hand, with a greatly lessened danger of injury.

  4. Give up on