Could I have your attention, please?

Tonight the Lust of the VLC’s Life, Honey, was out in the paddock adjacent the arena. He saw her and did something he has never done under saddle before – whinny, raise his head and totally stop paying attention.

I turned him around and we did little serpentines down half of the arena until he was confused, dizzy, and had forgotten what he was looking at. Fortunately, he is three and has the attention span of a gnat. He was fine after that (and we loped a whole three times around the arena without breaking tonight! What a good boy.) But now is a good time to ask for some advice on this topic – what are your best tactics for getting your stallion to ignore mares while under saddle, even the ones he really likes?

We’ve already started riding with other geldings and stallions in the arena, and that has not been a problem at all. Is the next step to bring in a mare and make him deal with a mare tied in the middle? And what do you do when they do react inappropriately – i.e. whinny and lose focus? I used the same method I use on the ground, growled “NO TALKING” and turned his nose away from the cute mare, but I am thinking we need something more foolproof (and quiet) than that. So for those of you who have experience in this area, how do you desensitize your stallions to mares so that they can show and stand in the lineup like gentlemen, even with something like Honey the Hottie next to them and flirting? What has worked for you? The VLC is very sensitive to punishment, so I won’t have to do much, but I want to be consistent and also clear about what he is being asked not to do.

Published in: on June 23, 2008 at 4:20 am  Leave a Comment  

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