Sunday, June 22, 2008

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.

59 comments:

amarygma said...

I would look to see what tactics are done for racing.

I'd imagine having your prize colt flipping out because there's a filly in the gate next to you isn't a good winning tactic. They must have some sort of technique.

I assume 8 belles wasn't in second just because the other boys wanted to see her cute fanny.

dp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dp said...

If you come up with something good, let me know. My horny mare can hardly think when she's in heat and there is a stud around -- even the mini down the road.

foodforfounder.blogspot.com

amarygma said...

The only things I can find online are a: to turn them out with cranky mares when (he's too) young so that he learns rejection from mares and b: that when going to be around mares, or a particular mare that he's "in love" when you ABSOLUTELY need him to listen to you, like a show, to put vicks on his nostrils so he can't smell them. Seems a cop-out to good training, but might be insurance along with good training if you absolutely need him to behave.

Elly said...

My old trainer used to have someone ride a quiet mare (not in season and one that isn't a tart) in the arena at the same time on the basis that the mare will be being worked and not interested. You work your colt/stally at the same time for a short time and build up until you complete a full training session. He'll soon twig that under saddle he's just going to have to keep it in his trousers so to speak!!

Fleeting said...

With all the studs I have ever worked with, we would have done the exact same thing you did, although the second he started that wuffle, the rider would have taken a stick sharply to his butt.

We never did any specific work with desensitizing them to mares, as if their brain is on the job, as it should be, they shouldn't care about mare X down the lineup. Of course, at shows we would always park them in a lineup with a good space between them and any mares, but that was the only way we ever treated them differently than the geldings. These were all active breeding stallions that were either pasture, hand or AI bred. In my two years working shows with these stallions I can only ever recall ONE problem, and that was on the ground when the moron just refused to move because he was in a turn out paddock where a mare in heat had recently been. Co-incidentally, he was the pasture-bred one. Stupid stallion.

I would suggest treating it the same way you would treat a herd-bound alpha mare: Say no, I don't care, we're doing this now, and you're just going to have to deal with it. He will learn there are times to play and times to work, and these two don't mix.

As for how they deal with it in racing, that's partially why the blinkers are there. Plus, it's awfully hard to be saying "Hey bayyyyy-beeee" when you're galloping at full tilt. Same principle. If they're intent on working, the mares become a non-issue.

seven7luv said...

A stallion my trainer used to ride was really good, they put vanilla in his nose. vanilla extract i assume. when he was out at the shows and stuff. he couldnt smell the mares then. simple, effective, he was well behaved.

aussiecritter said...

"I assume 8 belles wasn't in second just because the other boys wanted to see her cute fanny."

-------

Erm, amarygma, just a word of caution if you plan to use the word 'fanny' in future. In America, it means bum, fine, but it places like Australia it refers to a different part of the female anatomy that resides in the vicinity. xD

ellen said...

My stallions live side by side in a barn full of mares that resembles Estrus World half the time -- I use them for teasing, and they are allowed to react then, but otherwise, unless they have on a specific halter, and see hobbles and blue vet wrap (Fredrick's of Horseywood) they are SOL and they know it.

If they get looky or noisy I treat them just like any other horse who's not listening -- put them on the aids and get them busy. I think it's important that the response from the handler is not specific to the offense -- i.e. there's no difference between getting distracted by a babe and getting distracted by a butterfly or some yummy grass -- the message is "get to work, slacker!".

mugwump said...

Hey Fugs,
Here's our basic stud rules....
We treat them like geldings.
They are tied next to, between, whatever, mares on the tie rail. We make sure they can't reach them. We check them often. The stud needs to learn to stand tied with the girls like everybody else. They need to hang out with the girls and learn that's all it is. Being tied. I don't care how much they talk at each other as long as I'm not there.
When I approach my horses they are required, always, to swing their hip away from me, face
me, and take a step back. I want their total attention. I will use a crop on a horse that doesn't want to acknowledge me. I DON'T beat them. One sharp tap to remind them where I'm at is usually enough.
Studs tend to have mindsets like this "Sex, sex, sex, food, sex, sex, sex, sex, food, sex, sex, sex"
I think of them as eternal 12-year-old boys. Big 1000 lb hormonally raging boys, with the attention span of a gnat.
They seem to frighten easier than mares or geldings, so I'm careful not to scare them.
I will make them pay attention though.
Example: I have worked my stud hard enough to be thinking, "Sex, sex, sex, man I'm tired, sex, sex, food, sex" We are standing still, airing upon a loose rein.
I will have someone on a mare come into the arena. If he looks I will pick up my rein and make him look away, then I'll drop my rein again. I'll let him look again, and take his face again. I'll do that forever, when I'm on a stud I want him to look straight ahead. Always.
I don't beat them for looking, I just put them back. I let him look, because he needs to know why I'm correcting him.
If he nickers or moves, we go back to work with authority.
I don't pay attention to the other horse; I only focus on my horse paying full attention to me.
When he is, I'll let him rest again.
I don't pet studs below the eyes. I don't hand feed them. Ever. Studs are oral. Their mouths are great big sexual communicators.
I leave him alone, and I expect the same in return.
I'll handle their face to bridle them, check their teeth, etc. But it's all business.
Studs bite.
I want them to keep their teeth away from me.
If this is making sense to you email me, I'll give you more....

verylargecolt said...

It's making a lot of sense and I like your method. I mean, I know I don't want him to ever get rotten, and he's been so good so far, but I also know it's a slippery slope from whinnying to being pushy to being a shithead that I have to geld. At the same time, I don't want to overdiscipline because he's sensitive and he does get upset easily about discipline.

A friend of mine observed about the get of his sire that they are SO good SO much of the time that when you DO have to discipline, they're horrified. We've seen it with both the VLC and the BGY.

I will say that he does not seem to have a mouthiness problem in general. If he is REALLY bored, like standing tied, he will want to chew on something, but he's never laid his ears back and tried to nip at a human in a nasty way. I don't think he's going to have that issue, but if I ever see it, I'll check it right away.

I LOVE the idea of just tying him and making him stand tied with mares in the vicinity, but not reachable. I will definitely be doing that. I have been making him stand tied while I ride the SSG anyway, because he needs to learn patience (he likes to paw and whack his knee into the fence....greeeeeat), so we can incorporate standing tied with mares also standing tied.

SOSHorses said...

A (former) friend of mine would work her stallion around mares and when he would react she would simply correct him. "Don't Look!". She would do this under saddle as well as on the ground. (She showed him in halter too) She finally got to the point that she didn't have to growl she would just say "Don't Look" and you could watch him turn his head/eyes away from the mare he really liked. He also had a special halter so he knew when he wore it that he was in luck. He would come out of his stall screaming at the mare. It was so funny, he was like Jeckel and Hyde regular halter don't look at mares, "that" halter whooa baby.

I believe consistancy is the seceret here. Never let him get away with it when you are in the situations where it is not appropriate, and he will soon learn that he is SOL and be a perfect gentleman.

FutureDVM said...

From my professor:

Train him from the ground. Associate each behavior with two similar but different objects(anything really). For example - if you put on a certain halter its time for work. If you put on a different halter - you can flirt. This can be done with handlers, but you probably don't want to do that. I know some people that do this based on the turn out of the stall. Right turn = good times! Left turn = work!

Stuff like that may help you in the arena as well.

I do like the strong scent in the nostrils idea for added protection.

Laura Crum said...

I rode a lot of stallions when I was training reining and cutting horses and they were all different (just like mares and geldings). Ones such as you describe (sensitive, well intentioned) were much easier than the natural hot heads (of course). We treated them just like geldings, as many of your readers have suggested, tied them in the line with mares, rode them with mares...etc. A good friend showed a stud that was indistinguishable from a gelding in his behavior, and she always consistently treated him as one. Some of them were great their whole lives, including when they were breeding stallions...and some weren't. My opinion, for what its worth, is to take it one step at a time, treat your young stud more or less as if he were a gelding (geldings nicker at mares they love, too--you should see what one of my ancient geldings --a rescue horse-is doing this morning since he's been separated from the love of his life).Pay attention to what you're seeing, and be aware that as time goes on, some of the easy ones can turn difficult--I could tell you a bunch of stories if you're interested. The main thing to look for is when they get mad (they get a blank look in the eyes)--that's when you have the serious problems--and it can arise very unexpectedly in a stud who has always been good, and it can be very dangerous. Again, if you want, I'll tell you some of what I've seen (very bad injuries and fatalities included).
Also, on another note, Cathy, I've been wondering if you would like to help me create a character for the book I'm currently working on. I write a mystery series about an equine vet and your Fugly blog gave me an idea for a character. You can email me at laurae@cruzio.com or I'll look for yopur reply in the comments.

horsesense102 said...

My advice is simple - GELD HIM.
1. You have fear issues with riding. You can't have fear issues AT ALL if you own a stallion - they need confident, experienced leadership with consistent and fair discipline - and a lot of mutual respect.
2. Reading all your comments, it seems you don't believe in good horsemanship foundation ground training; you rush through training the basics, leaving huge holes, just so you can ride.
3. This horse doesn't even know how to stand still to be mounted let alone pick up his feet (and how DO you have his feet trimmed? sedate him? Keep giving him the kick in the belly until he submits?) If you don't know how to train the basics BEFORE riding any horse, you have no business with a stallion.
4. Anyone who doesn't understand stallion behavior and how to deal with it should NOT own a stallion.
5. You work 7 days a week and barely have the time and money to care properly for/train the horses you now have - how are you going to have the time and money to properly care for a breeding stallion? Or all the foals you are planning on raising? Your other young horses (that you say you raised from birth) don't even know how to pick up their feet. You don't even have the time to teach them this simple basic training yet you keep adding more horses to your herd. You have too many horses to give them the time they need for basic training, let alone trying to learn how to handle a stallion.
6. He may not bite now but wait until he is a mature stallion that one day is sick of all your growling, kicking, slapping, kicking in the belly routine. This intimadating behavior to get a horse to submit may work for you with mares and geldings. But one of these days you'll have 1200 lbs of pissed off, testostone charged stallion that realizes you are nothing but a bothersome knat and he'll take you out good when you are least expecting it.
7. You haven't learned to let go of your ego - bad enough when interacting with a mare or gelding - train wreck waiting to happen with a stallion.

horsesense102 said...

Edit for spelling police:

"testosterone"

Karen V said...

We had an issue like this yesterday, except with a gelding and mare. Kaci (first ride on him was yesterday - YEA!) and Jazzy are REALLY mothered up! Kaci whinny'ed at Jazzy (who promptly squatted) and turned toward her. I turned his nose away from her and popped him a good one with the opposite leg. I also growled at him to quit. He watched her out of the corner of his eye, but he didn't turn his head, nor was there any talking until we were done.

Although I have ZERO stud experience, I think that swift correction is necessary, regardless of the horse's sex or state of alteration. You HAVE to interrupt the thought process immediately!

Bear in mind the VLC is still young and part of his vocalization could be "stud love" and part could be "youngster talking". A one heel thump and an immediate nose turn EVERYTIME with a verbal grunt from you will get his attention. He sound like he's a fast learner. He'll figure out, in short order, that Cat Calls are NOT acceptable while under saddle.

mugwump said...

Some good suggestions all around..I'd be wary of verbal commands.....it's a no no in the show pen, (at least for us)

Tripple Spring said...

Vick's Vapor Rub will become a great friend in the long run, especially if you ever have to haul him in the trailer with mares - most pro-haulers I know use it whether the stallion is "perfect" or not, just for sort of insurance.
Is the mare in heat? I would think, only because he is so young, that maybe removing the temptation - for now - until his training is furthered a little bit...but on the other hand - how you handled it seemed like the perfect response to the situation - maybe start riding him in the arena and then while you are mid-session (kinda when he hits that "I'm being the perfect VLC") have somebody bring an out of heat mare in to work as well, but as far as you and the stally goes, act as there is no additions/changes - if you start to ignore her he will.

rockerchick1343 said...

horsesense102: that was uncalled for and very rude. she wants advice to help and she has said before that she wants him as a stallion.

artdoc said...

I agree with Rockerchick. That was rude and not at all helpful.
In my experience, most studs who bite are those who were spoiled rotten as youngsters. In almost forty years of having breeding stallions around, we have only had one who ever bit anyone. He was 12 when we acquired him and definitely a pampered prince with very little respect for people. He doesn't bite anymore - :)
Your boy is already respectful and well-behaved, he should learn very quickly.
If you can stand the stress; pasturing with bred mares is a great way for them to learn that seeing a mare doesn't always mean sex. Problem is you need super fences, a very large space, and preferably several mares (Sometimes they can get one mare running too much) and they do get kicked and dinged. We usually just try to raise our colts (even those we geld - which is 99% of them) with a lot of companions mares and geldings, so we don't have to resort to this.

FindlayDropout said...

Seeking a second opinion does not make you incompetent, neither does having irrational fears :). FYI its intimidating.

Emilie said...

Methinks Horsesense comes from that "school" of thought that a one-off whack for being a bastard is evil, abusive, and worthless. Which is to say, an entirely different school of thought of anyone I know, and one clearly different from Cathy's approach to training.

And I love the assertion that he will one day turn into a mankiller because of it.

appywoman said...

horsesense102: The first time you don't have a healthy respect for any stallion is when you are likely to get blasted. A little "fear" keeps you safe by keeping you aware of the horse and potential situations. I think Cathy is progressing correctly with this colt and never once have I gotten the impression that she is looking at things through "rose colored glasses."

My stallion was an absolute sweetheart...quiet, respectful but all male when the right time came for it. I have always said that the biggest danger with him was forgetting that he was a stud because of his gelding like behavior. For example, I left his door open while dumping the wheelbarrow and he didn't move, door wide open! Thank God. I became complacent and thus less diligent and it could have been a wreck. Soooo...I had to constantly keep the mind-set that yes, he was an angel, BUT he was a stud who by their very natures, can be unpredictable.

So Cathy keep up the good work, keep asking for advice (cuz when ya think ya know it all that's when you don't...ahem horsesense102)and weighing that advice against your own extensive experience.

CutNJump said...

...the VLC is sensitive to punishment...

That's a stallion for you. Correct them and they pout like a child.

JR had a stallion masturbating in the lineup once. western pleasure- whack with the end of the rommel did wonders to put that to a quick stop.

The ring steward advised him of what was going on, nevermind he could feel the horse's back humping up and the grunting going on... So the steward stood there as cover when the end of the reins struck their mark.

A lot of times you just gotta ride them through whatever it is distracting them. Maybe ask for some lateral bending, move them off the rail or on the rail, circles anything to get their attention.

CutNJump said...

amarygma said...
I would look to see what tactics are done for racing.


Actually if their testicles are in the way (physically or mentally) the grooms will often splash aclohol on them. It is cold so they suck them up for the race. Gets their mind back on the job and rinses off during the after race bath.

Redsmom said...

Sounds like Horsesense102 has some sour grapes (probably got called out for something on the Fugly Board.) I have no doubt that Cathy can handle both the stallion and this heckler with ease. From what I have read, Cathy has many years of experience. I wonder where this Horsesense102 is coming from? Tell us Horsesense 102, what's your story?

Sydney said...

Pregnant mares: My aunts standardbred stallion used to break out of the paddock to visit his girl. One day he broke out of the wrong side of the fence and into a paddock with two really pregnant brood mares. He came back to the barn with his left ear nearly missing, a lot of bumps and it looked like someone took a potato peeler to his neck and took off a 2 foot long strip of skin (that was still dangling) he never broke out of the paddock again or flirted.

Before he did that I used to put vicks in his nose. He wouldn't be able to smell the mares in heat over the vicks. Worked like a charm.

WP said...

Much aged wussy rider here. In my younger days I worked on a breeding farm (Arabians). Thou I did not have much to do with the training of the stallions I did handle and ride them. In fact my favorite cow herder was a 23 year old stallion. Breeding was just another job for them one of many and they knew when called upon for this specific job. All the stallions were shown, trail ridden, used for cattle herding etc. They NEVER bit and were as trustworthy as any mare or gelding. My opinion training at a young age and having a job to do other than breeding is key.

By the way this farm had 4 stallions one retired (gelded due to health reasons) and all could be ridden/tied near each and other and mares (with supervision). We did use the Vicks trick for trailering along side a mare (as we were out of site and thus out of their mind).

Any horse can hurt you not just stallions.

Chezza said...

Okay guys...Horsesense can be RUDE, b/c VLC/FHOTD can take it. Their information is INSANE. I think they just may have missed this is a THREE year old and so he didn't need to do ground work THIS year he has done it THREE years. SHEESH.
I don't remember being 'worried' meaning you are a bad rider. I know TOP NOTCH RIDERS who vomit when they have to tack up before an event. LOL
I also know that if VLC did get nuts he would not have NUTS.

I think the trick is to just treat it all the same. We had an old stallion that we rode regularly on the trails with mare (heat or no).

I question whether the 'scent in nose' thing would work. It might 'help' but more a sugar pill. Horses have a STRONG sense of smell and the smell of nature overrides others. LOL We used to use Vicks to cover bad smells at the vet clinic (on ourselves) the BAD smell was still there, but we were able to ignore it. A stallion would not want to ignore a mare's smell so he could still find it. Oh, and let's not forget pheremones which are not actually smelled and you would have to put the smell on the inside of his lip....too!
I think you did the perfect thing Cathy, and more work WITH mares and NOT freaking out is awesome

verylargecolt said...

I am entirely unconcerned with Horsesense's opinion. I have handled and ridden numerous stallions; this just happens to be the first one I have trained from scratch. I have never been injured by a stallion, in fact, I have never been injured by a horse on the ground, PERIOD. That track record leads me to believe my horse handling is both safe and effective.

And as has been discussed here before, the entire point of the blog is that fear is merely an obstacle to be worked through, not an insurmountable roadblock. We have also all discussed here that no one is such a brilliant trainer or rider that they do not benefit from the advice of others. Even if you think you know how to do something, someone else may have discovered an even better way.

I always fine it amusing when I get this kind of post. It just screams "you made fun of my natural horsemanship bullshit on your other blog and I'm maaaaad." Tell you what, Horsesense, why don't you have some cojones here and out yourself? If you are on the west coast, I'll be happy to come and show against you one day and we'll let the judge decide which of us is the better trainer. Got the guts to do that, or are you just another Internet blowhard?

verylargecolt said...

>>My opinion training at a young age and having a job to do other than breeding is key.<<

Mine as well. I have handled and ridden enough of other peoples' stallions to see what made some of them good and some of them bad.

verylargecolt said...

>>A lot of times you just gotta ride them through whatever it is distracting them. Maybe ask for some lateral bending, move them off the rail or on the rail, circles anything to get their attention.<<

That is exactly what I did, and like I say, it worked just fine. He is three, he can't think about 2 things at the same time, LOL.

CutNJump said...

I have to say I agree with Horsesense102 on a few issues. For those wishing to disagree go back and read it again with an open mind. Flame me, hate me or feel free to disagree, but here they are-

horsesense102 said...
My advice is simple - GELD HIM.
1. You have fear issues with riding. You can't have fear issues AT ALL if you own a stallion - they need confident, experienced leadership with consistent and fair discipline - and a lot of mutual respect.


1) Stallions certainly DO need competent and confident handlers and riders. One show of fear or weakness + bad timing = loss of respect from the horse = disaster in the making... and $$$$$$$$ gone like you wouldn't believe.

2. Reading all your comments, it seems you don't believe in good horsemanship foundation ground training; you rush through training the basics, leaving huge holes, just so you can ride.

2) While everyone’s methods of starting and training differ greatly, a solid foundation built on basics CANNOT be overlooked. Period! When things do not go as planned, you always step back in training to something the horse knows, then move forward and try again. With no basics or foundation to go back to, you flat out screw yourself in the long run. You will at some point end up going back and retraining the basics. Why skip it and do it later. If you don’t have the time to do it right and do it now, where will you get the time to do it over again? Cars are not built without steering and brakes added as 'aftermarket or optional equipment'.

This is why every horse we get in is treated as if they don’t know anything. We go over the basics with them to find any holes in their training that may have been skipped so we can address the issue before going on. To do otherwise is setting your self up for an accident and/or injury.

3. This horse doesn't even know how to stand still to be mounted let alone pick up his feet (and how DO you have his feet trimmed? sedate him? Keep giving him the kick in the belly until he submits?) If you don't know how to train the basics BEFORE riding any horse, you have no business with a stallion.

3) Our horses learn to pick up their feet, and hold them there as long as we want them. If they are in pain or off balance, they get the foot back long enough to readjust themselves and then it is asked for again.

They learn whoa means stop, relax and do not move. Not HO! or Hoe as in crack whores or garden tools. Neither belongs in the world of training horses.

Whoa is said quietly and taught that stopping and standing is the preferred response = you the horse, get to stop working. It is not yelled at them, unless they are not listening, but it is amazing how quickly they learn to listen for the quiet word to stop and relax. This is reinforced during groundwork, long lining/ground driving, and well established before their first ride. Their first rides 'whoa' is reinforced and praised heavily so that above all else- the brakes are excellent, all the time, every time.

Intimidation as a correction does not work. Every challenge from the horse must be met head on. This can escalate and worsen with each challenge. If you are not prepared, you my friend are fucked.

Belly kicks can result in rupturing the horse’s perineum, or the sack around the internal organs. A ruptured perineum can be fatal. Other horses in a herd situation do not care what happens when kicking each other; they just kick to get their point across, heaven help those they aim at and those who get in the way. Anyone can certainly kick a horse hard enough to do this type of damage.

4. Anyone who doesn't understand stallion behavior and how to deal with it should NOT own a stallion.

4) No shit! This one goes without saying. It isn't just a boys will be boys type of thing and don't ever expect a stallion to behave all the time for you or anyone else, because "He never did that before". We hear this one all the time about mares, geldings and stallions.

The exception is of course, when you have the money to place the stallion with someone who can take care of them and teach them proper behavior and thus you take a ‘hands off’ approach to stallion ownership.

5. You work 7 days a week and barely have the time and money to care properly for/train the horses you now have - how are you going to have the time and money to properly care for a breeding stallion? Or all the foals you are planning on raising? Your other young horses (that you say you raised from birth) don't even know how to pick up their feet. You don't even have the time to teach them this simple basic training yet you keep adding more horses to your herd. You have too many horses to give them the time they need for basic training, let alone trying to learn how to handle a stallion.

5) Horses take time and money. Stallions take even more so. And a very good line, I believe from a "Dirty Harry" movie- "A man's got to know his limitations." So does a woman. Stallions need more money and time as far as training, hauling, showing and promotions, then collection for sperm count & motility, proper handling in the breeding shed...

No special halters here, as we expect our boys to behave themselves ALL of the time and especially during breeding. A special halter or using a stud chain gives them a clue you will be allowing different things today and they may be able to misbehave "because they are breeding". BULLSHIT! No free pass to act like an ass around here. Our stallions are expected to behave. This lets us more effectively focus on the mares, whose behavior can be most unpredictable.

Also no breeding hobbles. WHY? It's just more shit to get everyone- mare, stallion and handlers- hung up in if things go wrong. If the mare isn't accepting of the stallion, then you need to wait, AI or try something else altogether.

6. He may not bite now but wait until he is a mature stallion that one day is sick of all your growling, kicking, slapping, kicking in the belly routine. This intimidating behavior to get a horse to submit may work for you with mares and geldings. But one of these days you'll have 1200 lbs of pissed off, testosterone charged stallion that realizes you are nothing but a bothersome gnat and he'll take you out good when you are least expecting it.

6) All horses will get tired of any intimidation tactics and BLOW someday. Some horses internalize their feelings and this may come in the form of a major impaction colic resulting in surgery. Stallions tend to 'pout' when corrected. It can build and build until they blow. It will be ugly when they do.

7. You haven't learned to let go of your ego - bad enough when interacting with a mare or gelding - train wreck waiting to happen with a stallion.

7) Ego + horses = a mess in a hurry. It gets even worse with stallions. For the ones who get to fix it or clean up the mess- it is never fun. Also the stallion may respect and respond well to those who set parameters, but don't expect the same behavior from the stallion for every handler. It won't happen.



Stallions are not a status symbol or an ego booster. More often than not they are no more than an eating, shitting, money pit with legs, a tail and an all around pain in the ass and a liability. Just as some people shouldn’t own horses, not everyone should own a stallion. Not every colt born is automatically stallion quality and thus worthy of keeping their nuts.

A stallion may be built like nothing else ever seen in the industry, have an unbeatable pedigree as well as an extensive show record, but this does nothing to guarantee he will ever produce anything noteworthy even from the best of mares. It happens in every discipline and results in either foal crop after foal crop of mediocre horses selling on the sire’s credentials or a knowing owner who does what is best and lops off his nuts before things go too far.


Cathy has expressed the desire and intent to send VLC off to a pro trainer to take him to the top. She is planning the finances for this and hopefully dog willing the money will come, the horse will do well and maybe produce a few outstanding foals and bring in some money as far as stud fees. It will not likely ever begin to match what has been spent to get him that far and keep his name on everyone’s tongue, but she is aware of this.

Cathy is also willing to accept advice on handling different situations. The only way to learn is to ask. By her asking, many of us stand to benefit from the wealth of knowledge shared here.

Redsmom said...

Cutnjump - I like what you did there... the advice offered by Horsesense was essentially sound advice, it was just rather abruptly phrased in attack mode/bluntness. I still think Horsesense is someone with an agenda, but you got some good out of what was said anyway.

Redsmom said...

CutNJump said "All horses will get tired of any intimidation tactics and BLOW someday. Some horses internalize their feelings and this may come in the form of a major impaction colic resulting in surgery. Stallions tend to 'pout' when corrected. It can build and build until they blow. It will be ugly when they do."

What can we do to avoid having this happen?

verylargecolt said...

My question here would be, what constitutes an intimidation tactic. When a crabby old broodmare snarls at me and I step at her and growl, isn't that an intimidation tactic? Let me tell you, it works.

At the risk of sounding like Pat Parelli, I do believe the horse needs to know you are the alpha in the herd...I just don't think Pat's tactics make that happen.

What is unacceptable intimidation? (This is almost a new topic) I think physical punishments like a slap with the hand on the neck or shoulder are just fine, and that kicking back is appropriate when a horse kicks at you (because that's an extreme act and needs to be shut down ASAP), and that smacking a horse who won't load in the ass is fine, too. I don't think it's okay to snap the crap out of a horse's nose with a chain, or to ever hit in the face (excepting the "oops your nose ran into my fist when you came around to nip" move), or to whip in anger or to break the skin with a whip or spurs.

I've never seen a horse get mad over consistently applied, not extreme, physical punishment. I have only seen inconsistent, emotion-filled, frustrated, angry punishment result in problems. To me one of the most annoying things to watch is the person running their horse backwards around the show grounds, snap-snap-snapping on the chain lead. That teaches nothing. I have no idea what the horse is being punished for, and normally the horse has no clue either. Haven't we all seen that a million times? Or - here's my favorite - the person comes out of the show ring where they did not place, and snaps the horse in the mouth a few times for good measure. WTF. Do you really think the horse understands he was a bad horsey ten minutes ago when he blew the lead in front of the judge?

This is always a hot topic. There's the entire range from the "no spanking" crowd all the way to abuse, and few horsepeople can agree 100% on what is okay and what isn't, in the middle.

verylargecolt said...

Oh, I do want to respond to this:

>>Your other young horses (that you say you raised from birth) don't even know how to pick up their feet. <<

Actually, I've posted before that he was fine as a weanling (by the way, "horse," singular. I have no other young horses). He was handled constantly and picked up his feet fine. He got bratty about it over the winter - I assume this is related to rapid growth and having more trouble balancing due to his size. He is over 15 hands at 15 months so he has grown quickly. His brattiness has not been due to a lack of handling, it is simply a phase he seems to be going through, and I am paying someone to resolve it because I have a bad back. Make sense?

ellen said...

CnJ lots of good information there.

Like you, I find most of the stallions I've handled to be more emotionally complex, more sensitive, and more timid, beneath the huff and puff and bluster, than most of the mares and geldings. To me that means they need MORE calm, trustworthy leadership and LESS (NO) bullying or intimidation.

A couple of points in semi-rebuttal:

Special halter in my barn does not equal a free pass to be an ass -- it means now and now only you have permission to think about breeding a mare. My stallions are 100% in control from the moment they leave the stall until they return. They mount on command, they get down on command, and they are "with" me all the time or we fix it first before the breeding proceeds.

I do use breeding hobbles (although you're right -- they create yet one more possiblity for a wreck) because I do everything by myself. Not an ideal situation by any means, but it's what I have. If I can remove a large variable by adding a smaller one, it increases the odds of getting things done as safely as possible. If the mare is "anchored" I can focus on handling the stallion, and get him and myself out of the way if she gets squirrely. I know better than to think the hobbles will keep her from kicking if she's determined to get it done, but at least they may slow her down enough to get us safely out of the way.
I have one stallion who hangs on to the neck strap of the hobbles to steady himself while mounted. Although he's experienced and very quiet, he feels insecure without his "handle".

I know people who are advocates of the belly kick, but I hate it and am much more in favor of making the horse move its feet until it figures out that compliance = peace. It takes more time and emotional self control, but engaging in a contest of blows with something that outweighs one by a factor of 10 does not seem like a high-probability undertaking.

Just as an aside -- have you ever taught a stallion to collect w/"four on the floor" -- if so, what did you think vs. using a dummy in terms of manageing the stallion and increasing/reducing risk?

ellen said...

I'm not, by the way, a "no-spank" person -- have felt quite justified in blasting one from time to time, I usually use the "swatter" tail of a lead rope, but it's mainly a last-ditch attention getter so that I can THEN proceed to fix the problem -- the swat in and of itself doesn't really fix much.

4Horses&Holding said...

6. He may not bite now but wait until he is a mature stallion that one day is sick of all your growling, kicking, slapping, kicking in the belly routine. This intimidating behavior to get a horse to submit may work for you with mares and geldings. But one of these days you'll have 1200 lbs of pissed off, testosterone charged stallion that realizes you are nothing but a bothersome gnat and he'll take you out good when you are least expecting it.

6) All horses will get tired of any intimidation tactics and BLOW someday. Some horses internalize their feelings and this may come in the form of a major impaction colic resulting in surgery. Stallions tend to 'pout' when corrected. It can build and build until they blow. It will be ugly when they do.


I think that these statements are true with qualifications. Yes, if the ONLY way a horse is ever reprimanded is by intimidation, then you stand the chance of them 'blowing' one day.

I have no problem smacking a horse if they need it. I've punched them in the neck or chest before. I've thrown buckets at the kicking end of a pastured horse who didn't care that I was there. I've thrown halters at horses who've swung their butts toward me.
But I don't do it often. I don't HAVE to do it often. They learn, and for the most part, they quit any naughty behavior by a vocal "Quuuuiiiiit!".

You use as much 'pressure' as you need. You strive to make the 'pressure' as light as possible.
Discipline by an experienced, intelligent horseowner is considered fair by the horse and won't end up with the horse 'blowing'.

CutNJump said...

redsmom- we encourage our horses to play. This way they learn they can express their emotions.

My Arab mare has learned a new 'trick'. When I approach the stall put my hands over the top rail and say come here, she walks up all pissy faced, ears pinned and slams her side into the rails.

This might be intimidating for some folks, but she wants her back scratched and will 'adjust' her position to get the spots needed. She makes the doofiest of faces while I scratch her back, flanks chest, neck under the mane... usually ended by a swat on the butt and "Off you go!" and she does. Circles the stall and tries to come back for more. Dork!

A lot of times a horse in a boarding situation is viewed like a machine. I show up, you are taken out and worked with little or no emotion and put back until next time.

A good number of these horses seem dull, lifeless and care less about people. Why should they? Their 'people' don't care about them.

They need a reason to 'live' and someone to care about them. A treat, a scratch, something, usually little things to 'break the ice' are a start to getting them to open up and turn on what has long ago 'shut down'.

I had one horse under my care at BNF back in the day. He cribbed was barn sour, arena sour and a miserable SOB. Nobody wanted to deal with him. Can we all imagine why?

He had been shown as an English Pleasure horse, WP, and also carriage driving. When something didin't work they tried something else... They never bothered to be his friend, he was a show horse as a means to bring home ribbons and promote the name.

When I got him, nobody was riding him. I was the new groom and got the 'bottom of the barrel' horses.
I talked to him, scratched on him, rubbed his itchy spots and treated him like the rest of my charges---> Goofy! He whould nicker whenever I came into the barn and called his name.

RIP AA Firm Resolve.

Within 2 months his attitude had changed and they started riding him again. He was a different horse. Gone was the pinned ears, wringing tail and pissytude. His full brother was my all time favorite horse, ever.

Bringing out a horses personality and training them for something they enjoy changes their attitude and their outlook as well as reduces their stress levels. It also makes training and learning FUN for them as well as easier on them and us.

Think about your dreaded subjects in school. Which ones were made easier by a teacher with a different tactic? For me it was history.

I had a teacher in HS that I could follow and grasp the concept. Any other teacher I would have failed miserably. I still cannot stand the subject some several years later, but remember he taught it from a different approach.

Sometimes it takes a different approach. That's all. Recognizing that and figuring out the right approach is the hard part for many of us.

Myself included!

CutNJump said...

vlc-
>>My question here would be, what constitutes an intimidation tactic. When a crabby old broodmare snarls at me and I step at her and growl, isn't that an intimidation tactic? Let me tell you, it works.

At the risk of sounding like Pat Parelli, I do believe the horse needs to know you are the alpha in the herd...I just don't think Pat's tactics make that happen.

What is unacceptable intimidation? (This is almost a new topic)<<



This IS worthy of a new and entire topic!

Unacceptable Intimidation Tactics hence forth UIT's come in many many forms.

Think about how other people try to intimidate us with words, body position, etc. Horses do the same to each other in the herd. Flick of an ear, swish of the tail, lifting a hoof, stopming a foot, baring the teeth, wrinkling the lips, as much or as little as needed. Sometimes it is all a bluff- other times it is not.

Knowing a horse as an individual and knowing their body language helps us all deal with knowing when they are 'full of it' and when we are about to get nailed good.

Poking at a horse, touching their ticklish spots and doing things you know irritates them, just to do them for sake of irritating is definately unacceptable intimidation.

Using an umbrella to stop a charging horse is one thing, but to do it repeatedly and now chase the horse is certainly UIT. Do it when needed, as needed and leave it alone. It's what they do in the herd- fix it and forget it.

Keep poking and poking, harrassing and annoying and pushing the horse. The horse will get tired of it and try something else. The severity of what is tried will escalate.

UIT's can come in the form of spurs and larger bits. Show horses often enter the ring looking defeated. Often they have had their mouth yanked and jerked on for slowness and an artificial headset, then spurred forward. They move unnaturally and look misreable forced into a 'frame and way of going' that may be uncomfortable at the beginning and more and more painful as it continues.

They get to the point where a bigger bit or jabbing with the spurs becomes the norm when the last thing stops working. All hallmarks for a horse becoming more and more unhappy in their work.

When it goes to hell it will be ugly and most likely someone will get hurt. Ultimately the horse will be blamed and ruled unmanagable or difficult- when actually they have had enough bullshit. Time off and a change of ownership, scenery and pace can do wonders for some, but for others they may never be safe for anyone to handle.

For some horses it is merely hanging on their face or the reins. When they do what is asked, there is no release/reward. They stiffen, grab the bit, hang on the bit- your hands, often labor on the forehand and in essence fall apart.

Some will race off out of control and no amount of pulling on the reins in a 'dead mouth' will do you any good. Often a horse who has run off once will learn this will scare the hell out of a good number of people and do it with others. Been down this road, it isn't fun and fixing it sucks.

CutNJump said...

Ellen- Good points all of them.

While we don't advocate breeding while alone sometimes it has to be done. We try to have someone around in case it all goes south. You just never know when and it's no less likely to happen than getting dumped while riding. We have all hit the ground, unwillingly on our part, at some time while riding.

I have not tried teaching a stallion to collect with four on the floor, but ended up doing just that once when the satllion was misbehaving, mounted the dummy from the side and fell off the front. (RA Malibu) The AV was already on him and followed him down. We collected him with all four on the ground.

If you are going the collection and AI route, the vet should be on hand to help at the very least and may have a tech with them who can assist.

We don't go the special halter for breeding route or the stud chain, etc. Even with the special halter, they should still behave, but some will try to use it as an excuse. We never give them the option.


4 & Holding- We have never had a horse in training with us 'blow', but I have seen many headed that direction. They can be scary to be around and dangerous to handle. They require more focused attention when handling than anything. You never really know what will set them off or how big of an explosion it will be. Even if they blow, it could be a minor warning of what is to come if things don't drasticly change in a damn hurry.

I am not a 'no spanking' type person either. The punishment has to fit the crime, but as you stated, use as much as needed and quit. No more, no less and it also HAS to be immediate.

I think we agree on this. Yes?

Some behaviors stem from pain others from fear and then there is agression. Knowing what the root of the problem is helps us all avoid getting to the 'blow point' for each horse. Fixing the problem at the root can take a lot of the wind out of the sail of a horse at or near the 'blow point'.


Guess I gotta finish this from home...

slwtwist said...

My philosophy with my horny gelding (he didn't get the nickname the "Big Black Stud" for nothing) is same - "your job right now is to focus on me, not that mare in heat at the end of the arena." He is learning. We do figures, transitions, half-halts, anything to keep him busy and emphasize the message that it's all about business when we're riding.

He wasn't gelded until he was five and he can be mouthy (although he doesn't bite, he's orally fixated on the reins, the lead rope, the cross ties, whatever he can put in his mouth) and pushy. I use the least amount of reprimand I think is appropriate, starting with a sharp "cut it out." I've found he does read my body language well. If I push my shoulders up and out while giving him the evil eye, it reinforces the message.

I am willing to elevate it to a more physical level if necessary. It's how a mare disciplines her foal - or watch the smarty pants new guy in the group. When he starts getting cocky, one of the lead horses in group is sure to put him in line with a nicely timed kick or nip.

ellen said...

The only horse I ever had in for training that I gave up on was one that was set to "blow" - she had had a wreck with her head tied around in a round pen by a "hall of fame" WP trainer -- and it blew her mind. She flunked out of his program (blemished from the wreck, hence unsuitable for the A circuit), went through a series of beat-em-up B-list trainers, and ended up in the low-ball dump sale -- bought by a complete novice, with predictable results, which is how she came to me.

We had it out big time ONCE on the ground -- she was earnestly trying to kill me, and I had to see it through. Several intense hours later, she gave it up -- I'd meet her aggression head on, and stop immediately when she did - just one tick higher on the energy scale than what she threw at me, and stop one hemi-second after she backed down.

After that she trusted me, and tried so hard to work for me, but I could only have her in regular work for a few weeks at a time -- the tension would build and build and build, and if I had pushed her at that point she would have blown. So out to pasture with her for a week or so to decompress, and we'd begin again. As it ended, I bought her, and gave her away as a broodmare to someone who understood her needs. Quite a comedown from a $15K price tag as a two year old. She did NOT have temperament problems that would have rendered her unsuitable for breeding -- in her "real self" she was quite sweet, but she had just had her mind wrecked by poor training. You could tell she didn't really want to be a basket case, but the fear and tension just overrode her personality if she felt too pressured.

It's so important to know your horse (and be able to read horses in general, if you wish to train them) -- to know when he's getting to the "blow" point, or IF he will, to look for every possible exit ramp to give him an alternative to blowing, but also to know when you have to stand fast for his sake and yours.

It's easy to be wrong, and it's easy to get your emotions/ego in it, but both mistakes can be literally fatal.

ellen said...

sorry, but I felt I had to add about that mare that she had a full chiro workup, massage therapy, and every physical source of her tension was addressed as my first line of approach. The intensity of her reactions made me think "pain" but in her case the pain was emotional.

Probably the best descriptor for her was "claustrophobic" -- both physically and emotionally.

SOSHorses said...

Intimidation is a relative term. Each person has a different opinion of what constitutes intimidation. My mare whom I raised from a weanling, understands where her boundaries are. When she is pushing her boundaries, a look from me can sit her straight. From a distance, the tone of my voice gets her attention. This is not to say that she will respond to anyone else this way. I will admit there was a fair amount of intimidation involved over the years to bring her behavior where I wanted it to be.

When she was being taught to park for halter, yes, she is a walking horse, she learned quickly “if I don’t keep my feet where she puts them she is going to get my legs and make me go backwards”. I would for no more than a few seconds get her cannon’s with the crop and then we would start over. When she got it right, she got to quit and was praised, and received a treat of a peppermint. Which I believe if she could she would stand on her head for. Was the leg spanking intimidation? Hell Yes it was! Do any of you have children? Have you ever leaned down and said, “If you don’t quit I am going to spank you” or “take away your privileges”. Is that intimidation? YES!

A horse must understand consciences for their actions just as human children do. There is a time and place for every kind of behavior and stallions must learn this more than anything. I think that Cathy ask for others opinion is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! I can’t tell you how many times someone else had a better idea than I had. Keep up the good work! None of us are perfect, and we all have our strong points.

Oh, BTW, I have 7 horses, have trained lots, and have rehabbed several, BUT I still have one that won’t stand still for mounting. So does that mean I am not a good trainer? If it does FINE; but to make up for it I have a horse that will pick up the foot the farrier was working on when he hears the said farrier lay down his hammer and take a step. 50% of a horses training comes from the horses personality.

mugwump said...

I spend my life questioning my training methods. I agonize every day over doing the right thing. I will go to a cohort (or a rival) in a heart beat for input on a training problem.
I second guess myself continually.This helps my training, not hinders it.
I consider myself a fair hand. I look to this blog as a great source of information, and fun.I hope I'm never afraid to ask a question because somebody might slam me like I read here tonight.
Rein it in a bit horsesnse102.

SOSHorses said...

Edited for word use and spelling

consciences = Consequences
sorry

robyn said...

Really interesting discussion, as I know absolutely nothing about stallion handling.
FYI, the lining of the abdominal cavity is the peritoneum. The perineum is the genital area.

ellen said...

mugwump I agree -- there is much to be learned from other people, even if you don't agree on all the theory. The big black basket case mare had me consulting 3 or 4 other trainers -- there is always something to be learned, always always.

Sagebrusheq said...

Loins, tigers, and bears, Oh my!

CutNJump said...

Robyn- I was close in my spelling though right? LOL! And had the right general area... Oy!

See even I get corrected too. No biggie, but just like stated by others, we all stand to learn and benefit. From our learning, our horses benefit.

How can that be bad?

Horsesense, may not have com across as intended or maybe that IS how it was intended, but we all can take something from what was stated and learn from there- flames or sparks.

ZebraNeighbor said...

Is holding a bitey horse's ear abusive?

Is *biting* a horse's ear abusive?

Is smacking a bitey horse on the nose abusive?

Is punching a bitey horse on the nose abusive?

Is a lip chain abusive?

Is a lip twitch abusive
a) as restraint during a vet procedure?
b) during breeding or training?
c) as punishment?

Is thumping/kicking a horse in the belly abusive
a) after he cowkicks at you?
b) while he stands with a puffed-out belly during girthing?
c) after he throws you from the saddle?
d) after he attacks a student or weaker horse?

Is restraining a horse by the leadrope and tail abusive?

Is smacking a horse on the shoulder abusive?

Is punching a horse on the shoulder abusive?

Is it abusive to use a whip on the rump?
a) a quirt?
b) a crop?
c) a dressage whip?
d) a rein-end?
e) a longe whip?
f) a bull whip?

Is it abusive to use a whip on the shoulder?

Is it abusive to smack a horse on the poll?

Is it abusive to use a whip or rope-end near the genitals of a stallion?

Is it abusive to longe a horse just because you're angry with it?

Is it abusive to leave a horse tied all day? [other than a pregnant mare or in inclement weather]

I've seen most of these things done. I've done some of them myself, including biting two or three disrespectful horses on the ear. I don't like to haul off and kick a horse in the belly, but I do give a hard smack on the shoulder when a horse kicks. I don't bother using a crop on my TWH mare's rump, but use it on her shoulder and fan it next to her neck when she does the dreaded head-turned-in shoulder-popped-out sidepass at the trot and canter. There are some things I just won't do, but I think that context matters. I think it's necessary to hit a horse when it kicks or bites, but abusive to hit it out of frustration, anger, or pain. Mostly I use the "make myself look big and roar" maneuver but it is sometimes necessary to use force. I'm a bleeding-heart lifelong veggie with a small menagerie of animals, but I've seen horrified reactions from a few teenage horseowners at my horse correction methods.

Maybe you could open a topic on the Fugly site proper?

On the hormone/behavior subject, a friend told me over the weekend that she prefers to own mares because when they act up you can always blame it on hormones but with a gelding you have to admit your horse just isn't well-behaved. I tell my girls "focus on me" when their attention wanders, and don't give them too much leeway to act mareish. They don't care at all about stallions, but they do present their hindquarters to certain geldings. Apparently they can't tell the difference?

AlphaMare said...

Just from what you've described, I would bet that you'll be able to gradually reduce the volume of the verbal correction until it's unnoticeable. Remember that horses have VERY good hearing -- an almost inaudible growl is all you need.

Using a special halter or other signal for when he is allowed to be a stallion is *imperative*. NEVER take him to tease or cover without it, and NEVER ask him to be Mr Faux Gelding with it.

I have always used the chain over the nose as a signal for boy behavior and it has worked like a charm. My old stallion would actually put his head in the halter, then jiggle his nose to try to feel the chain. If it wasn't there, he'd give this HUGE sigh, and go about our business ignoring even the most seductive "Hello Sailor" behavior.

You have a sensitive horse, so you'll be able to use minimal signals to keep it in his jeans. :)

ORSunshine said...

New Reader here. Just found your blog last night. And I must say that both my husband and I enjoy your writing style. Next, I'm very glad to not be the only chickenshit re-rider out there. I'm 32 and haven't rode in 13 yrs.

Sorry I'm late to this topic, but having worked in show/breeding barns and also been an obedience trainer for dogs, I sometimes look at problems with both species a little different.

You don't want VLC to pay attention to the mares in the ring or unless you give the ok... So, ask yourself this, what is it you DO want him to do? Is there an alternative behavior you can train him to do when he notices the pretty girls? With a dog, I'd probably condition a "watch me" for a distractor. Find the horsey equivalent. Maybe quickly refocusing on you (with a reward for doing so)? The idea being to over time fade the command when said pretty girl is present and then eventually fade the reinforcer.

Hey, what do I know? Traditional training methods for teaching a horse to lower their head didn't work with my Very Tall Half-Arab. I inadvertently taught him what we like to call his "stupid trick". He learned to put his head down whenever I say "Give Momma love", which in time made haltering him easier. Before, he'd put his giraffe-like neck up so I, at 5'8", couldn't reach him. Haltering became less adversive and associated with forehead scritches.

austriancurls said...

horsesense102 said...
--

No offense to other readers and supporters of FUGS other blog, but I fully agree with horsesense102. It is the problem I have with this blog. Everything that is said here points exactly to what horsense102 has analysed and given a critique on. FUGS has riding issues, is not using a professional trainer as support to work out problems or guide the process. Horsesense102's accessment is dead on, FUGS does not have the experience or the confidence. And, rockerchick1343, defending FUGS when it is plaint to see what's happening here doesn't help her or that stallion.

My 2 cents worth. I thought the topic interesting, so I started reading it and really like mugwump's assessment in handle stallions. I would like to hear more, I just have problems with this blog because I cannot stand to read how an person inexperienced with stallions and lacking the confidence necessary, is trying to train one from scratch.

austriancurls said...

VLC said...

"Actually, I've posted before that he was fine as a weanling (by the way, "horse," singular. I have no other young horses). He was handled constantly and picked up his feet fine. He got bratty about it over the winter - I assume this is related to rapid growth and having more trouble balancing due to his size. He is over 15 hands at 15 months so he has grown quickly. His brattiness has not been due to a lack of handling, it is simply a phase he seems to be going through, and I am paying someone to resolve it because I have a bad back. Make sense?"

We have seen this in one of our stallions, had nothing to do with pain or growing fast, it had to do with gaining testosterone levels and being bratty to test us. After it happened several times, it was roundpen ground work time using foot placement techniques and walking the horse one foot at a time (along with other work to keep it fresh and not boring). This was done daily. The guy who also holds for our blacksmith came out and did roundpen work with him too to set their relationship.

We did the same with a mare that came to us raw from Canada at the age of 4 years, no foot training and was sensitive, took about 3-4 months of work like this to get her sorted out, but was perfect afterwards.

The stallion still tries to act up sometimes, just to prove he can, then we go back out and do the same routine again.