The Home-Built Power-pole Breeding Mount or “Phantom”
– How to build a phantom mare (breeding mount) for collecting semen from stallions. Detailed plans for a homemade power-pole mount.
By Jos Mottershead
We have built a lot of these very simple power-pole breeding mounts (also known as “phantoms” or “phantom mares”) for use in semen collection over the years. They have worked every bit as well for us as the expensive pre-fabricated phantoms, but at a fraction of the price. We have called them “power-pole” breeding phantoms as the first ones we built were of old power poles, but any suitable form of wood will suffice.
Measurements are approximate and can be varied depending upon the size of the stallion that is being collected. A 56 inch “tail height” has been found to be a common height that works best for the widest variety of stallion sizes. Note that this height is including the padding.
The legs can be of variable thickness depending upon the severity of work they face. A heavy, rambunctious stallion will obviously demand heavier legs than a lighter weight gentle pony. Whatever the diameter, they should be sunk into the ground for ideally at least 36 inches. If less than that, the use of concrete to assist in securing the structure should be considered. A collapsing breeding phantom can seriously deter a stallion from ever mounting again!
The tops of the legs are “V’d” from front to back as shown in the plan or notched as shown in the image and the upper pole is secured by means of extremely long spikes being driven down through into the legs from the top. Other methods used with equal success have included strapping. Whatever method is used, it is essential that the top is secure and leaves no sharp edges.
The top rear portion of the “rump” is angled for 6 inches or so from the back and upper surface.
Once the superstructure is built, the entire upper pole surface must be padded. We have used old foam mattresses with great success. They are secured by means of rope and nylon straps. It is essential that all straps be as tight as possible otherwise slippage will occur while the phantom is being used. Great attention must be paid to the padding at the “tail” end over the flat section, where any pockets that may catch the stallion’s penis before it is deflected to one side must be avoided. A non-slip, non-abrasive, non-friction-burning outer cover is then placed over the padding. Leather is the best and cow hides have been used with good success, but add to the cost, but canvas covered with a piece of deep-pile carpeting has also worked well. Beware of using materials that will cause friction burns on the inside of the stallion’s legs, as these will seriously deter him from remounting.
One minor addition we have made since the early models is to use strips of Duct Tape over the rear end to both smooth out the surface, and also allow something which is easier to wipe clean or remove and replace if it becomes too dirty. It can also be beneficial to wrap the end of the mount with plastic “pallet wrap” for each collection, and is in our opinion important to avoid cross-contamination if multiple stallions are being collected on the same mount.
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