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Normal stud colt?

I just recently found your website and I think it is wonderful. I have been having horse troubles and you seem to be the right person to ask. So here it goes.

I have a 10 month old colt that is about 13 hands. He has not yet been gelded. I have been having problems with him of which includes: he tries to bite me and rear up when I lead him around, and he is really pushy.

He is also pastured with two older mares that he gets along with. I have tried many things to fix these problems, but nothing seems to work. He does have a good nature and plenty of potential. I'm just really confused and don't know what to do or how to fix these problems.

Any advice that could help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Yours Truly, Amanda


Hi Amanda,

First off, he doesn't need fixing. He is a young stud colt and is acting like one. Are you going to geld him? This is an important decision for you. What is your purpose for him? Depending on your answer to: 'To geld or not to geld?' my responses could be a bit different. If you were going to geld him, I would do it now and begin basic training as a gelding. If you plan to leave him as a stallion, the training will take on somewhat different and more intense aspects. Stallions require more specialized handling. I have worked with many stallions over the years and most recently have been working with a 2 1/2 year old Egyptian Arabian Stallion. I was with him a little over 2 1/2 months 4 times a week for three- four hour sessions at a time. During that time I started him under saddle and rode him. I did a lot of specialized ground work, at liberty, long and short line work. The work is high energy, has a much higher element of risk and I would never consider anyone without vast experience with horses even attempt this type of training. Your colt is behaving normally. His energy needs to be directed properly. You need the right tools and skills. This is not about just getting a horse to load, or a herd bound horse or a bit this or that. Your horse has great potential as a stallion with the right handling. I have only encountered a few stallions that have reached sexual maturity that anyone can go into their stalls and handle them without potentially serious consequences.

Jousting with the mouth is common, rearing is common. Getting pushy into the handlers space is very common. All normal. Sometimes the colts are really taught some good lessons on manners from the older mares around. I do not know if this is the case with your colt and the mares he is pastured with.

Please tell me how much horse and stallion experience you have really had and be very candid with me. Please tell me your intention with this horse. If you are unclear or have a fantasized picture of a stallion in your mind that you think this horse is, let me know now. I shall tell you my straight and true feelings, beliefs and thoughts on your question. Please know you have embarked on a fairly long and somewhat risky journey with the horse if you keep him a stallion. If you geld him, you will probably have a wonderful companion, partner and good, deep and loving friendship. Unless you are very experienced (and I mean very) with horses, you'll probably end up having some else train him for you anyway and even then, he'll always be a handful and a horse you'll always have to keep a good eye on. He may also never be able to be around other horses (especially mares). This will limit your time with him anyway. Please, please, consider all these things carefully. Please, don't let me discourage you either. Maybe you have the skills and the time it is going to require to really give this young colt the training he needs. It cannot be wishy-washy, unclear, uncertain, what if's and all that. Precision, directness, clear and decisive action are required. Along with kindness, compassion, gentleness, respect, trust, mindfulness, presence, focus, courage and good technique born out of a long time of practice and concentration. Perhaps you have these things now. I would hope that you do as you will need them all. If not, perhaps consider gelding the horse and keeping a wonderful easy going companion around. Let me know your thoughts. I know I may sound a bit abrupt and harsh. I have seen too many loving and well intentioned folks over matched to a horse and the horse is the one who then gets passed around and suffers through too many changes of ownership and unhappy endings. Please consider all the above and I bless you and your love for horses. I really want to hear back from you soon.

Please........I am concerned.......

Aloha, Franklin

Hello again.

I would just like to so thank you for replying to my email I very much appreciate all you have said. I will start off by answering the questions that you have asked.

For gelding - I do plan on gelding him but I was told by my vet to wait until the fall.
His purpose - The reason I bought him is for pleasure riding around the farm and a companion.

For my experience with horses - Well where to begin. I will tell you that I am only 19, and I will be completely honest as to I need the proper advice. He is my first horse. I don't have any previous horse experience. I have a great a passion for horses (especially Paints) and eventually I wanted to own one myself, so about 6 months after moving from the city to a farm in the country I bought my dream horse - a Paint whom I named Dakota. I will also tell you that the way I have learned what I now know is through talking to people and researching through books and the internet. Oh and my mom does have horse experience but not with young horses. She is the one who owns the two mares. My passion has grown so much for horses over the past 6 months, and after owning Dakota I am going to college for an equine studies program.

I've been told by many people that Dakota would make a good stallion and that he would eventually be good to put up for stud. I've also been told that they see plenty of potential within him. I'm really confused about what to do.

I do spend about 2 hours at least with him everyday. He is a really sweet horse when he is good. I enjoy his company and he enjoys mine.

I honestly didn't know what I was getting myself into. But I am very determined and I am not going to give up I have every good intention with this horse. I'm not sure what steps to take in training him and which is the next step. I want to train him myself, I don't want to send him off. I do have plenty of time and I am very willing to take whatever it takes to do this on my own.

Just before I go I want to say that I appreciate your kindness and honesty. I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Take care.

Yours truly, Amanda.

Hi Amanda,

Sounds like things are going pretty well with Dakota. Good, I am delighted. Being mouthy and nippy is definitely part of his being a stallion. They joust with their mouths a lot. Carry the wand with the flag.

You have to pay constant attention to him while you are with him. Do not turn your back to him. When he gets older (over 6 years) this should diminish somewhat. But it is something you will be dealing with a lot. One thing you can do is when he is nippy or tries to bite, send him to work by having him go around you on the lead rope (in both directions) five or six times. What you want to do is make him go to work whenever he is nippy. This just will make him think twice about nipping. It may not stop it, but he will think about it if he has to work when he does this. He is always trying to establish his dominance, this is normal. You may pop him right on the upper lip over his front teeth if you can do it within 2 seconds of his nip. If it is past the two seconds he will not associate it with his nip. Be careful, use your elbow and make certain you are wearing gloves always. If you do manage to catch him just right on the lip, it will stop the behavior for a little while (how long depends on him mostly and how effective the pop was). Do this very carefully and thoughtfully. It can become abuse and start a war quickly unless done very right on target. Keep me posted.

Aloha, Franklin


It's Amanda. Thank you again for your expert advice. I do also have one more question to do with Dakota. I have been lunging him and he seems to always want to come up to me after going around me 1-2 times. I don't have a round pen or any specified area where I work him. I would think having a round pen would help in giving him a guide as where to walk around. What is your opinion? What could I try to stop him from facing me and then trying to come up to me? I'm not sure why but he has been getting pretty wild lately. I'm having troubles leading him as well. Things were going so well with him and then just the past couple weeks he has been misbehaving badly. Your advice and/or opinion on my situation would be so greatly appreciated. Oh did the picture of Dakota I sent you work? I am looking forward to hearing from you again. Take care.

Yours Truly, Amanda

Hi Amanda,

A round pen is a great tool and I highly recommend having one. The horse facing you and wanting to come to you after a few rotations around you is normal behavior. You can train him not to if you want. I like to be able to invite the horse to come to me and not have him just doing that all the time. When he turns to you and begins to come towards you raise your ‘wand’ and say ‘Whoa!’ Or, just raise the want behind him a bit to encourage him to keep moving. You can have him stop ‘straight’ and not turn to you at all by how you use the wand. Remember they habituate very quickly. You must be sensitive and support only what you want. This means you must be very clear on what your desires are. Anything you train him for now will stick with him. You want to encourage the horse to come to you a lot as this will make it easier to catch him and to have him stay with you at all times. So, if you send him away, bear in mind that lesson will ‘stick’. You never want the horse to think you don’t want him around or at least close by.

Yes, I did get the picture and it was wonderful. Thank you very much. Let me know how it all goes.


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