The barn where I board Snoopy also has a riding school, and amongst the school’s horses, there are three Shetland ponies. Two of them are mares (mother and daughter), and the third is a little black stallion, Felix. And this is where the problem lies, for everyone except the owner, who doesn’t really care all that much.
The two mares live in a run-in shed with a nice big paddock, they are pampered and ridden almost every day. Felix, on the other hand, barely leaves his stable in the barn. He can’t look out because he isn’t tall enough to look over the door. He isn’t allowed in the turn-outs because he is a stallion-y little guy (Duh!, I know). He can’t go into the arenas when there are other horses around, which is 99% of the time. He lives completely isolated because he is a stallion. He isn’t used for breeding, though. The only reason he is a stallion is because of his owner’s vanity: “Ooh, I own a stallion”.
It’s a real shame, because when he gets to be outside more, he is actually really, really sweet. Like most ponies, he is way too smart and if he got proper training, he would be an awesome little partner. But because of his raging hormones and stallion antics, there is only one little girl at the barn whose skills are advanced enough to be able to handle him. But the only time she can work him is early Sunday morning when the indoor arena is empty.
The more time Felix spends locked up, the more aggressive he becomes. This is why the owner of my horse’s neighbor and I make sure he gets to go out every day. If we didn’t, he would be stuck in his stable days at a time. We put him on the walker, or hand-walk him. But it’s still not enough and it’s not fair on this great little guy.
So we keep nagging the owner to have him cut. That’s the only way he’ll be able to live a good life. As soon as he’s cut and hence can’t make babies, he can go live outside with his little pony friends. The kids will be able to ride him in the arena (after he is trained properly, of course). Over time, he’ll calm down a bit and actually enjoy life again.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is how cruel it is to keep stallions out of vanity, just for the sake of having a stallion, even when they’re never going to be used for breeding. You don’t do them any favors with that, and if you’re being honest, you’re not doing yourself any favors, either.
The last I heard, Felix will be cut in October, when it’s a bit cooler and the flies are gone. We’ll make sure it actually happens, because he deserves all the good things that he’ll get as a result of that.