February 19, 2015 at 3:11 pm
There’s a beautiful Friesian stallion that lives on the other side of the highway from me, but likes to ride up our dirt road because it’s quite a climb and good exercise for the horse. Quite a few trail riders use it. I was out last week riding Boo on a local trail that branches off the dirt road when I saw two horses heading our way. I occasionally go trail riding with a friend who has another mare, but as these two horses got closer, I recognized the black horse–the Friesian stallion. (Mares probably dream about studs like this–he is drop-dead gorgeous.) Now keep in mind that Boo had a foal last year, so she knows all about the birds and the bees. She took one look at this stallion and every muscle in her body went rigid. The closer they got (the second rider was a girl on a gray gelding), the more agitated she got. I let them pass–Boo was prancing and dancing but not doing anything bad–and then went down the road, past our house, just relaxing but also looking for a good place to get off the road when the Friesian finally came back down. Oh boy. He wanted her and she wanted him, but he was the one getting really upset about it. Boo was just being unruly, fighting to get to him, but the Friesian finally bucked while Boo and I were literally going around in circles. I prayed that his rider would stay in the saddle. He did, and then he galloped the horse for a short distance and then did a sliding stop with him. That was good enough for me. I pointed Boo in the opposite direction (home) and let HER gallop to get rid of some of this nervous energy. I have no idea what happened after that because I was too busy with her to look over my shoulder. Whew! Were any of you ever in a similar situation? If it happens again, what would you suggest I do?February 19, 2015 at 6:40 pm
If I understand you correctly, this is your road. You own it? If so, tell the person that the stallion is not welcome on your property, due to the danger to your horses and to his horse. In fact, put it in writing. You could also post “No Trespassing” signs on the road, so that you cannot be held liable for anything that might happen to anyone. And, increase your liability coverage.
It is never the horse's faultFebruary 20, 2015 at 1:07 pm
I called it “my road” because I didn’t want to give its exact name. But it IS a private road, as are all the dirt roads in the area. This means the families who live on it (all four of us) maintain it because neither the community nor the county does. We who have tractors level it after major rainstorms, snow melt, etc. Legally, this guy should not have been on the road at all–he’s trespassing. But the horse community here is very tight-knit, and most trail riders “trespass” on each other’s private roads all the time, usually to reach a legitimate horse trail. We reserve “trespassing” for motorcyclists and ATV off-roaders. I think/hope the Friesian’s owner is smart enough not to come back, but if he does, I will figure out how to contact him. Meanwhile, I think I will put up a “no trespassing” sign where our property line intersects with the road.
Thanks, Joe-Joe. BTW, it was 81 degrees the day Boo met the Friesian. My daffodils are blooming. Boo is starting to shed. This has to be the shortest winter on record here. Do you still have rain and mud?February 20, 2015 at 2:13 pmMapaleTopics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421
How scary Joan! I’m glad you managed it so well.
I have trail ridden with stallions (as long as no mare is winking) and depending on the stallion, it’s really no different than riding with a gelding. A friend of mine uses her stallion as a training horse for children – and yes he is that good – I put my best friend’s 6y.o. granddaughter on him as a part of her birthday present last year. He’s a dreamboat and is repeatedly bred because of it. That might also be the difference between a QH and a Friesian? Or perhaps the level of maturity and training?
What you have described is a stallion that does not have sufficient manners or control to be on open trails. Perhaps he is young and that might explain why he’d be drawn to a horse not in estrus? You can’t control where people ride (unless it is on your own land – but I also know you ride out beyond your property line), but I would suggest that you move off in future before that particular stallion gets anywhere near you or Boo again – and request that owner not ride a stallion on your own private land because you have no refuge if your mare is in season – this is a reasonable request and should not cause conflict.
When my mares have been in season over the years, for that brief period I am very careful not to be out where a stallion might be tempted to crash a fence, and tend to stick near home. A winking mare can even disrupt a well-mannered gelding. Carmagirl has only one hard estrus in spring and is mild throughout the summer. During that time (usually late April) we don’t venture. I have another horse buddy with a big flirty mare that doesn’t seem to care. She says if she stayed home every time her horse was in season she’d never get to ride.
That said, Boo did well, considering. We are much more successful at getting the best out of our horses if we do not put them at direct opposition to their instincts and natural inclinations, but trail riders know you can’t control what’s out there so we do the best we can whatever we meet. Here’s hoping that with a little time, socialization and training the Friesian will become a better mannered gentleman on the trail. Until then avoidance is your only option, and I’d use it. Stay safe out there, Joan.
Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...February 20, 2015 at 3:40 pm
Don’t gloat Joan. We have six inches of snow. The temperature this morning was 8, with a wind chill of -17.
If it would be easier, perhaps you could just ask the stallion owner to coordinate with you, so you aren’t both out in the same place at the same time?
Now, we have a winter weather advisory scrolling across the TV. I hate winter!!! Remind me of this in August, when I start whining about the heat.
It is never the horse's faultFebruary 20, 2015 at 4:32 pm
What–me gloat? Never! If this means we’re in for nine months of summer, meaning 100-plus degrees–the animals and I are moving. John can come too, if he’d like.
The weird part about the Friesian encounter is that I doubt very much that Boo was in season when we left for our ride. But by the time we got home, she was winking. The next time I rode her, no winking. I’m baffled.
I think for right now I’ll look for a “No trespassing, private road” sign and avoid riding on weekends, and give the Friesian’s owner time to do the right thing. If I see him on our road again I’ll find out how to contact him. He’s a very macho guy and not easy to deal with, in spite of the fact that all three families on our road helped him find and capture two sheep belonging to him that went AWOL last summer.February 20, 2015 at 4:54 pm
I once worked with a mare who thought she was always in season. Turned out she had some cysts on her ovaries. Once they were removed, she was fine.
It is never the horse's faultMarch 10, 2015 at 9:14 pm
He was on our road again this weekend. I asked a neighbor for his phone number and called him. I started by asking for his help. Then I reminded him who I was (I helped rescue your sheep, and I’m the one riding the bay mare your horse fell in love with). I told him I didn’t enjoy our last encounter because the mare was new to me–and that I’d rather not do it again. I asked if he only rode weekends, and he said yes. I told him good, then I WOULDN’T ride on weekends. Then I praised his horse–easy to to do because this is one beautiful stud. (Joe-Joe, cover your ears.) His next question was, “What is she, an Arabian?” So the honey approach worked. Thanks, everyone!March 11, 2015 at 6:29 am
Does this man know much about horses? She is a MARE – breed is irrelevant. For that matter, he is a STALLION – gender doesn’t matter to him. Our stallion gets excited when he sees geldings. He will even “breed” a wooden dummy, for collection for AI.
“Is she an Arabian” indeed! Glad to hear that a solution has been reached without any problems. Nothing worse than disagreements between neighbors.
It is never the horse's faultMarch 11, 2015 at 4:49 pmMapaleTopics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421
That’s funny Joan, they always ask me if my horses are Morgans! Glad you have a plan worked out with your neighbor.
Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...
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