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Understanding Stallion Behaviour

As anyone who has witnessed a modern horse breeding operation can attest, current breeding practices are a far cry from what a stallion encountered on the range, hanging out with his harem. Today, stallions live a life of social isolation, rarely having the opportunity to touch another horse outside of breeding – and often not even then. In-hand breeding involves hobbled or twitched mares, or teaser mares, dummies, and artificial vaginas. And yet, despite invasive human intervention in what was once a seamless activity in nature, stallions for the most part tolerate these procedures with equanimity. When they do not, we are quick to label them as distractible, stubborn, oversexed, and dangerous. Here I discuss how we can improve reproductive efficiency and fertility, create safer, more compassionate, and more successful in-hand breeding, as well as develop a more focused performance stallion. I explore how some of the breeding practices we…

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