The Myths and the Truths about Stallions

by Hidden Trails 02/17/2011

We recently received a trip report from a client that had a wonderful time on one of our rides in Mexico (Colores de Mexico Ride), but was not very fond of the fact that the ranch was using stallion and geldings in their remuda together. She wondered if it had something to do with “not wanting to spend the money on castration” or maybe some sort of “Macho” thing in Mexico.
Here what our partner, Uschi, had to say … my comments will follow at the end of this blog.

Uschi Wichpraechter:
“Just a short comment on the remark of these guests about keeping stallions. Since about two years I do have more and more stallions in the group of horses (32 horses / 12 of it stallions).
It is an old myth that you can not keep stallions together and that they behave badly together and on the rides. If you observe their comment they say, they might behave badly, nonetheless, they did not or rather they do never behave badly.
When they see a mare, most of them don't even notice them and if they do, they just make a cute noise of ihihihihih (really funny) and then they walk just by.
What you have to do if you integrate more stallions into your group... you have to close your eyes and ears for a couple of days until they know where their place is in the group and keep them happy with food, so there is no reason to fight about and obviously... no mares in the group. Only stallions and geldings... and all works out fine.
It is not about the money and not about machismo, it is not necessary to geld a perfectly perfect horse. They are outside together the whole day, get their little quarrels sometimes, but once they are saddled up they behave great. Up to date, we did not have one bad experience.
And if you go to other places like Morocco, Jordan, etc they even ride stallions and mares in the same group, once saddled they behave normally very well. What people are really not used to is to see them outside together. I am sure, they are much happier like this and I did have some bad experiences with the gelding of a stallion, so if not necessary I will not do it anymore.
The horses are a great ride thanks to the great life and interactions they do have here at the ranch. No need to keep them in separate boxes living frustrating lives all day long.
I walk daily between all my horses in the corral and... they come up to me like dogs and are really in a good mood.
So why not promote a free stallion life. The only thing we humans fear, is that they could get hurt and do not look as nice as if they are prisoners each in one of his own cell. A little bite, a little kick, some fun and you have a great horse for your next ride.”

A last comment from myself…

“I have been around horses for over 40 years and at times owned a remuda of 60. Our horses had a lot of room to roam and we never separated them. The formed their little groups and families and I believe they were extremely happy and a very good ride … we rode mares, geldings and stallions together without ever having any issues.
Watching them play their roles in their little harems it warmed my heart  every time realizing that they were all very happy.  In contrast when I go to some of the most sophisticated stables in more urban areas that have all the fancy gadgets for their horses … I seldom saw happiness in their eyes ….  Let’s not forget …. horses are herd animals and not pets.”
Hidden Trails

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