Through the years, Bandalero Ranch has taught many stallions both young and old to use a phantom mare. Most stallions will mount readily and can be collected successfully with relatively few attempts. It is difficult to predict how a stallion will act until teaching begins. A stallion whose behavior is “quiet” or those stallions slow to breed may take more time due to their timidity, or low libido, however they will eventually use a phantom just as well as any other stallion once confidence and understanding is gained.
In our experience, the average stallion can take one to three sessions prior to a successful collection. Those stallions who have previously live covered mares may take additional sessions since they are initially confused when they are not permitted to mount the tease mare. Once a successful collection is achieved, two to three more collections to reinforce the behavior will provide us some predictability and reliability that he will perform when necessary.
We maintain a mare for teaching and general collecting purposes. This mare is quiet and shows estrus well which encourages each stallion and gives him confidence. Each session takes a team of three people; the stallion handler, mare handler and the collector/veterinarian. .The mare handler strategically places the mare next to our teasing partition, giving the stallion, mare and handlers safe access for teasing. In most cases, this is enough to stimulate the stallion. In special circumstances, the mare is positioned next to the phantom mare on the opposite side from where the stallion will be presented. The stallion has already been prepped and is led up so that he can tease the mare over the phantom. The person handling the artificial vagina must be prepared to collect the semen wherever the stallion mounts. If the stallion is being trained to use an in-line artificial vagina the person then helps the stallion guide his penis into the in-line artificial vagina. A young stallion does not always mount on the proper end and to insist that he does can result in frustration. Stallions are quick learners; once success is attained there will be improvement with each subsequent session.
If you are planning to stand your stallion, this teaching period is an excellent time to test your stallion’s semen for fresh cooled transport. Our 48 hour semen viability test will provide you with valuable information for marketing.