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Gelding The Older Stallion

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HorseMom

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Last year I purchased a 7 year old stud. I was hoping to keep him a stud but he's so uncontrolable. I have a trainer working with him in hopes that he makes an improvement. I have been considering gelding him, it would be easier for everyone and I could always find another stallion later on. I've been reading and hearing different things about gelding the older horse. I know he won't become a nice calm boy right off the bat, but will it help calm him down in the long run? I want to get him a buddy but he's never been with another horse. He terroizes the big horses, they're completely terrified of him. will gelding him help with other horses? Jay has never been bred, will that help with the gelding? About how much does it cost to geld an older horse? Would they be able to geld him right at the farm or would he have to go to the Vet's? Or is it a waste of money this late in life?

Heather
 

Nathan Luszcz

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Maybe, maybe not... you are right, immediately you may see no change. Even though the testosterone is out of his system in less than 24 hours (very short half-life) the behavior is learned. EVENTUALLY, chances are he will be a quiet boy. BUT, there is always a risk (maybe a small one, but still a risk!) that this is what he is and always will be. Probability says gelding is the right thing to do if you want a quiet horse and have no intentions of breeding.

Vet's opinions differ on the cost/location question... to me, 7 is an "older stallion", or I guess more proper and more important, "mature stallion". As a colt matures into a stallion the blood vessels and muscles which are part of the spermatic cord (the structures which together connect the testicles to the colt's body) enlarge significantly. Larger blood vessels and stronger muscles result in a more risky procedure. In my personal opinion, this alone dictates that the stallion should be in a location where problems can be best addressed, aka a veterinary surgical clinic. Some vets will be happy to do the procedure in the field. I don't think that's the best option.

I also insist that the stallion is laid down with Ketamine and not castrated standing. I don't think its quite ethical to do a standing castration, nor is it very easy for the vet to address issues (like if the blood vessels get away from him and go shooting back up into his body, still leaking. You'll never find them!).

Cost is the same as a young castration if all goes well. Complications are generally easy enough to deal with without raising the price, but if things get out of hand and you are at a clinic I'm sure the price will start flying upwards! But, the colt will get the best care he can have.
 

MinisOutWest

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Last spring, I and the Vet went thru the barn to 6 older stallions/ 6-9 yrs old/ and snipped them all. The more aggressive/ wild spirited took about 6-9 months to get calmed down, the easy going ones about a month. But my wild and crazy guy was calm in a few muonths, but-still occasionally got studdy when the mares were around, I think it was just natural for him, but when he realized nothing was getting 'UP' he soon calmed back down. But please do not think the calming effect is going to happen immediately, especially to the 'excited' ones, it does take time and patience. A LOT of it.
 

JMS Miniatures

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I have just recently gelded an older stallion for the first time. He was gelded during the winter months. He got very sweet once he was gelded and we were able to let him out with the other horses. We wasn't mean as a stallion to begin with and was very easy to handle. However, now that spring is here, and it is breeding season he acts very hormornal. He won't necessarily go out and do the deed but he isn't the calm boy he was over winter.

We also have gelded a younger stallion in the past when he was 2 but he stil bred mares. He was very hard to handle and a big pain. Once he was gelded though he was very calm and gentle, never thought about breeding mares again. Before you didn't want anything to do with him, now he is a National Champion in driving.

So I think gelding older stallions they can still be hormornal during breeding season but with your guy never breeding mares hopefully he won't be.
 

HGFarm

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I've heard the matured ones take longer to calm down than a youngster- as Nathan said, the behavior is already there. But gelding DOES help!

At our gelding party last fall, we had everything from weanlings to a 7 or 8 year old (that was very aggressive) The mature aggressive one has taken quite a while to calm down, but he is- slowly. We can see improvement each month but it took about 4 months before we noticed much of any improvement, but he's getting there.

Your horse can make a fairly nice gelding- especially if he has a job- driving or doing something to get his mind elsewhere too.
 

Basketmiss

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I say if your arent going to breed for whatever reason (aggressive conformation , etc) geld him.. No need of a stallion, he will probably settle down after a while as a gelding and will be better off without the hormones.. IMO
 

Keri

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He will calm down. I gelded a 12 year old and a 6 year old last August. They are as sweet as can be now. When you get him done, treat him like a stallion for the next 6 weeks. Only put him out with geldings and let him get use to the herd. Then slowly introduce your mares through the fence. He'll still act studdy for a little while, but then he'll calm down. My mare is in full heat right now and my two don't even blink an eye. It can take up to a year for him to lose most of his habits, but it'll come. I was ready to kill my 6 year old last year becuase he was still a heathen after 6 weeks. But then he started calming down after that.

Good luck! It'll be one of the best decisions you make.


I also wanted to add that a gelded stallion can still get a mare pregnant for 90 days. So keep them apart.
 
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HorseMom

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Thanks Everyone. I was planning on breeding him because of his good lines and conformation but I hate his attitude. I have him at the trainers to see if that helps with his attitude. If by the end of the summer he's not in a decent place in his training, he's getting snipped.

Heather
 

Nathan Luszcz

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While its certainly not a bad idea to TREAT your gelding as a stallion for 90 days, his sperm will decrease in a matter of days. "Extra" sperm is stored in the organ adjacent to the testicle, and both the organ (epididymis) and the testicle are removed as a single unit in the vast majority of castrations. The only sperm left in the stallion's body will be the very small amount left over in the vas deferens, and that will disipate very quickly. Dr Ed Squires did a project where they collected gelding's seminal fluids for several weeks after castration (until they failed to get an erection and mount) and the amount left over was negligable. Two weeks would be plenty, but more time apart from mares never hurt anyone, of course.

Two other factors will also affect semen quality:

1) Lack of testosterone. Testosterone is a required part of ejaculation. Without it, the gelding will not ejaculate. There is enough left over in the system for only a very short time. Blood levels will immediately drop and will be but a fraction of normal in a matter of hours, and will be quite low after the first week. Two weeks and it'll be pretty much lost.

2) Body temperature. The body is too warm for sperm to survive well, and they die off pretty quickly.

For some really interesting reading (if you are into reproductive topics like this one), check out Dr Squire's research paper detailing semen quality following castration. Its available from the Journal of Reproductive Fertility, Suppliment, 1979, pg 25-27. A brief summery:

"Twenty-three geldings were used to determine changes in seminal characteristics following castration and the effect of frequency of ejaculation on these seminal characteristics. In Exp. 1, semen was collected from 8 geldings every other day after castration until the number of spermatozoa per ejaculate was below 1% of the precastration value. An average of 3 ejaculates was required to reduce the number of spermatozoa below this level. In Exp. 2, 15 stallions were castrated and each stallion was assigned to 1 of 3 groups for seminal collection at 7, 14 or 21 days post-castration. The ejaculates collected on these days contained an average of 23, 14 and 2 X 10(6) spermatozoa/ejaculate, respectively. In both experiments, all spermatozoa in ejaculates collected 7 or 8 days after castration were non-motile. Frequency of ejaculation did not appear to hasten the disappearance of spermatozoa from the ejaculates. It is considered that after castration several months may be required before the ampulla and vas deferens become devoid of spermatozoa and the ejaculates azoospermic, and that pregnancy is unlikely to result from mating or insemination 1 week after castration."
 

Maxi'sMinis

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I just gelded a really rowdy 8 year old less than a month ago and boy what a difference in him all ready. He is actually getting lovable
and doesn't scream at everyone walking by now.

Mary
 

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