Q: I have worked with many different breeding stallions, including Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods back east, then mostly Arabians and Quarter Horses in Texas. We now have a halter stallion that does something I’ve never seen before. He seems to have to savage the mare before he can breed. He’s got his little ritual going where he savages the breeding mount before he will get ready to breed. When he’s brought to the breeding shed, he just tears into the breeding mount. He lowers his head and pins his ears in that very mean looking snakey posture and just charges at the mount like he is trying to kill it. He literally lunges into it with open mouth, goes at it like a woodpecker for a few seconds, spins around and kicks out both hind legs. It’s not at all sexual, just like he’s fighting with another stallion, or trying to kill it.

He then calms down and you can wash him and collect, usually in one mount. Any ideas why he needs to do this to breed, or do you think this is just some sort of bad habit in the extreme?

Outside of the breeding shed this horse is actually not a bad horse to work with. He’s not what you could call a perfect gentleman, but certainly not a mean horse. It just seems so weird that he has this extra step in his routine. It does seem like a habit in a way that is very specific to the breeding routine. He is not exposed to live mares at all where he is right now, but we wonder about what would happen if this horse was ever near a live mare. It could be disastrous!

Any ideas on how to stop this? It tears up the breeding mount and just isn’t very pleasant. We’ve had a variety of suggestions. Of course people who haven’t seen it tell us to just get into him and just plain “set him back on his ass” a time or two. I’m not the one to do that. I just don’t have it in me to beat horses, and I would probably lose. It’s so bad, th