Envision this: In his first season, the young stallion fulfills his purpose as a breeding animal. He matures from a rambunctious colt into a skillful stud. So how do you make this dream a reality? As the handler, you want the horse to behave naturally in a controlled setting. You should envision how you expect your youngster to behave, then train him with mutual respect.

The handler sets the horse’s conduct. Steve Alred, breeding manager at Plum Creek Hollow in Larkspur, Colo., advised, “The most important thing is to have your training thoroughly in place before breeding season begins.”

He noted that many people mistakenly breed a horse that isn’t completely broken.

“The stallion has to get it well in his mind that when he’s out, away from home, that there’s absolutely no possibility to even get familiar with a mare. When a stallion is started that way, there’s no question in his mind.”

Many youngsters need retraining. For example, a stallion off the track has had different
handlers, who might have allowed the horse to muscle them around.

Stallion handlers instill and reinforce ground manners in their horses. Alred grew up with Quarter Horses, and he learned handling from his father and grandfather.

“You watch a stallion every single minute,” he reminded. “My folks said, ‘Stallions are so awful, because you can’t be good to them.’ ”

Alred said, “I just growl under my breath, and they respond to it. They threaten, but they wouldn’t dare. I’ve instilled in them that they’d better not.”

Even when sexually aroused, the stallion must yield to pressure applied through the lead shank. Dean Scoggins, DVM, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, explained: “Teach the horse to respond to the command whoa. Stop the horse and back him up. Don’t ex