Looking after any horse requires hard work and dedication but if that horse is also a stallion, there are other factors that need to be considered.
The Cyden Dressage team consists of three stallions, KWPN-approved Cyden Cadans M, KWPN- approved Bodyguard Moorland and NWPCS pony stallion, Cyden Oostings Amigo, so at Lara Dyson’s yard in North East Lincolnshire the boys rule!
Lara shares some of her top tips on caring for a stallion:
1. Make sure you handle your stallion in a firm but fair manner, being consistent so they understand the behaviour you expect. Testosterone levels can soon rise in a stallion, turning playfulness into annoyance.
2. Allow plenty of turn out in the field to help them relax and play. Many of today’s competition horses are high value animals but the desire to protect them must not come before their welfare. All the Cyden Stallions get to enjoy time to chill out in normal paddocks just as any other mare or gelding.
3. Always turn out in protective boots or bandages to avoid knocks and injuries during any over-exuberant play.
4. Get out hacking! All the Cyden Stallions are regularly hacked out. Seeing the world can help make them less spooky and varies their routine, giving them a break from the more intense dressage training.
5. Feed a balanced diet with plenty of fibre to aid good digestion and help prevent ulcers. The Cyden Stallions are all fed on Baileys Horse Feeds and Lifeforce Elite from Alltech to ensure they receive the correct balance of nutrients to keep them feeling and looking good and support their reproductive systems as working stallions.
6. Feed little and often. The Cyden Stallions get five small meals a day to help prevent boredom during periods when they have to be stabled and also to maintain their weight and condition, particularly when combining competing with their stud duties.
7. Maintain a routine, so where possible your stallion knows what to expect every day – consistency is key in every aspect of your stallions care.
8. At Cyden Dressage there is more than one stallion on the yard. Be aware that on yards with multiple stallions one might be more dominant, so ensure that he is kept in a suitable stable and not allowed to worry the other horses on the yard. Bullying can be a cause of stress-induced ulcers.
9. If your stallion has been imported from abroad as all the Cyden Stallions have, be aware of any small ponies that you might have on your yard and stable them out of sight of the stallion. It is common practice in Europe to use small ponies such as Shetlands as a tease. The Cyden Stallions interact safely with the ponies on the yard once they or the ponies are tacked up.
10. Stallions undoubtedly have special personalities that make them uniquely different from mares or geldings and to develop a mutually respectful bond with a stallion is incredibly rewarding and well worth the effort.
All three Cyden stallions will be standing at Stallion AI Services for a limited time this April and May. After this, frozen semen will be available.
For further information contact Lara Dyson on 07920 452739 or visit www.cydendressage.com