Our stallion has a great pedigree, and we have kept him intact hoping he could eventually become a breeding stallion. We’ve put a lot of effort into getting him to show well enough to be worth breeding. He has always done really well except for periodic distractions by mares that cause him to lose it at just the wrong moment. Since he was two, he has shown very high libido, so it has been hard to keep him focused on work. We chose the slow, humane route rather than the beating the sap out of him. He finally seems to understand that mares are off limits, and he is doing so well that he now has enough value for breeding.

Now we want to start breeding him while continuing to show him. We plan to start advertising semen in 2006. And since we worked so hard to get his mind off mares at shows, now we want to do everything right to try to minimize the chance that he’ll relapse. We have gotten a lot of suggestions on how to do this, such as using a breeding bell and a designated breeding halter to help him distinguish time to breed from time to behave. It has also been suggested that he be taken to a special facility that is just for breeding and uses a fake mare, and people who only handle him for breeding, again with the idea that this will help him get the message about when to breed and when not to breed.

We read about ground semen collection in your column. Will that help? Or will he then see mares and get excited anyway? Also, it has been suggested that we have semen collected with drugs, so he doesn’t relapse into interest in mares. Another person said you trained their horse to respond to estrous mare urine alone, then to drop down for semen collection on the ground by voice command, instead of getting teased up to a mare. Is that done so he doesn’t drop down to mares? We’ve been advised to have semen frozen, so we can do that this winter and not worry about collecting semen when he has to work. via e-mail