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stallion is so strong. But inside, they are really soft and want to be reassured, like little boys.” It’s also a misnomer that once a stallion is collected

and bred their personalities change. Per Vitor, colts develop their personalities as they grow and mature, and they are what they are. Some are quiet and gentleman- like while others are more excitable and aggressive regardless of whether they are collected or not.

TO BREED OR NOT TO BREED

Not all stallions have the individual quality or bloodlines that should be passed on. If he is not a candidate for breeding, keeping him a stallion may not be in his best interest. As a Lipizzan breeder, June has heard a similar hue

and cry against gelding the famous white stallions in part because of their mellow nature, but also as the Lipizzan is a rare breed with only 5,000 in the world, some feel that it is a misdirected vision to lose any breeding stock. “My general philosophy is that the quality of the

breed is seen in the quality of its geldings. Some people will breed anything. But having a rare breed, we must be very careful to avoid inbreeding. At the beginning of the breed in this country, people were breeding brothers to sisters. When you do that with a small breed, you increase the chance of having really serious genetic issues. You’re going to get the really good characteristics, but also the lethal genes. Then the American Lipizzan Breeders Associations brought in experts that helped us, and we now have a fairly good understanding of what a Lippy should look like, move like, think like. We recommend that no

Two of Tina Veder’s

Andalusian stallions, Renaissance (right) and Toltec (below).

horses are bred with closer than fourth generation cross in the pedigree. That eliminates a lot of horses. And then when you look at the phenotype and temperament and movement, you eliminate even more.” June is concerned about the breeders using horses

that are not of superior quality. “With such a small breed we have to look at the overall image that the horse presents. We don’t want people saying they saw a Lipizzan and it was awful. We want people to say we saw a Lipizzan gelding and it was so nice, that it reflects the Lipizzan temperament and quality. That promotes the breed better than keeping every male colt entire,” June observes. Vitor agrees. “The problem I have with the Iberian

breed is that some people buy these horses and think that because they are stallions they are breeding horses. But if they don’t have the quality to breed, the stock suffers.” “As a breeder I’ve sold some that I think should be bred and hoped the new owners would keep them stallions and contribute to the genetic base,” June recalls. “But when a horse is sold, you have to be willing to accept that the horse should have a happy life and make the owner happy. If keeping it as a stallion affects that relationship, it’s wrong for horse and owner and not good for the breeder either.” If circumstance dictates gelding the stallion and

the owner thinks they might want to some day have offspring from the stallion, it is possible to collect and freeze semen before the horse is gelded. “If you think it is valuable stock, but you don’t want a stallion for yourself, definitely collect. Just be sure the horse has the ideal temperament,” says Vitor. “If the stallion has a ridiculous temperament, if everywhere he goes he lets everyone know he has arrived, and you have to work him for half hour to calm him down, don’t pass on the bad temperament. A stallion to be bred should be a gentleman with exceptional temperament.”

GELDING CONSIDERATIONS

The influence on the horse’s personality when gelding varies according to the individual and to the age at which he was gelded. If a stallion is gelded after six or seven, likely the stallion behavior will stay. In any case the personality will prevail for up to a year after the operation. “They still think they can breed,” says Vitor. “With some it’s their personality to be leader of the

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