It is advantageous to train stallions that are active in an artificial insemination program to mount a breeding phantom for semen collection. Most stallions with good libido can be trained to mount a phantom.
Advantages to training a stallion to mount a phantom include:
- Safety: There is less chance of injury to the stallion and personnel when collecting a stallion off a phantom than collecting off a mare.
- Convenience: A trained stallion may not even need a mare in estrus in the collection area.
Initially the stallion should be allowed to examine the breeding phantom without the mare in the immediate area. Subsequently, the tease mare is placed immediately adjacent to the right side of the phantom and the stallion is allowed to tease the mare across the phantom from about a 45° angle. The stallion should be allowed to interact with the mare and encouraged to mount over the phantom in an attempt to mount the tease mare once he has an erection. It may be necessary to move the mare forward and backward adjacent to the phantom and occasionally turn the head of the mare back toward the stallion to encourage the stallion. Once the stallion mounts the phantom, the person holding the artificial vagina (AV) should step in immediately and divert the erect penis into the AV. In most instances the stallion will settle onto the phantom and thrust his penis into the AV. A positive first experience mounting a phantom is often sufficient to promote successful mounting on subsequent semen collection attempts. After one or two positive collections, the mare can often be maintained behind a tease rail in the collection area and is not needed adjacent to the phantom.