How to nicely explain "please geld/dont breed"

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Jun 17, 2010
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My 2 cents worth here.

If I am selling a colt I believe is not top quality, I geld first, or sell on a gelding contract. No papers until horse is gelded. Fillys and Mares I hope for the best that I'm not looking at a future low quality breeder. I always offer a return policy if they can't keep the horse.

As far as telling people to geld... well you can't make em no matter what you say. But, putting thoughts into peoples heads is a great way to go. For instance, here in California I have recently been informed of 3 MAJOR rescue operations each of more than 40 minis. Oregon just had the widely publicized sale of 200 confisgated minis. When you tell people of the number of horses suffering and dying because of over-breeding sub-standard and unregistered horses hopefully it will get through.

I have lost many a sale because I gelded the horse a potential buyer would have preferred to be a stallion. Bloodlines alone do not make a good breeding animal!

Apr 20, 2005
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Southwest Oklahoma
It seems one thing is overlooked here when talking about poor quality horses and owners being urged to geld. The cost of gelding. How do you persuade an owner to spend $100+ on a homely colt that won't bring $50 at a sale? He can save/make $50 by selling the colt.

The only time I've been successful at persuading people to geld are those who are upset that their miniature stallion is--duh! acting like a stallion! Somehow they thought because the horse was little, like a fuzzy stuffed animal, it wouldn't have the usual stallion behavior. I ask if they would ever buy a full sized stallion for their children to play with. The wheels start turning ...


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Feb 4, 2009
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I hear everyone on poor quality, geldings, poor breedings, folks who wont listen. BUT in my case here, Im not dealing with a "breeder". HOWEVER he sorta rescued these animals from a breeder/horder who only cared about $ not quality.

With this, he did end up with a mature stallion and a 8 month old colt. He dose want to breed the 2 jennys before he gelds. Good thing is, most likely the resaulting mules can not reperduce. And they will not be for sale, but born/raised/trained for team driving. He's concerned for the bred dwarf mare and has no problem gelding both boys at $200 each. He even plans on selling the colt after gelding or even give away to a loving home. He wants whats best. I cant convince him to not breed, but good thing he wants 2 mules, no minis, and I wanted to explain anything and everything to him. I wont tell him "dont breed" that's not my place to say. (Im sure folks dont like my breeding program.) But wanted to help him in his new cituation of being a mini owner with poor quality/special needs horses in the most nicest way humanly possible.

No one here can claim who can or cant breed and leave it to the pros, cause in my eyes, theres no such thing. Just responsable breeders. Only cause known "pro" farms have been known to sell duds as well. We all can pick apart everyones programs, But thats not what I was asking for here on this topic. I just wanted some friendly ways/advice to help someone to inform them about gelding and not breeding without insulting him in anyway. But to educate him while there without comeing out as a b**** and say "well you should'nt do this! That's not me, and only want to help everyone of my farrier clients as a professional & a friend, not someone who looks down on them. I feel I have a lot more respect from them as a friend who helps, not point fingers. I would never say my program is better and have told stories of my mishaps & scary births from my farm as well, That way they can hear that ALL breeders can run into issues too.

I tell the whole truth, not part of it.


Thanks everyone! I did use a lot of suggestions and advice here. And will agin if I run into this type of situation again.


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Aug 18, 2012
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Oakboro. NC
Thanks Marsha..I was going to add that point! Our minis are all rescues, and we are happy to have them. When I called around regarding gelding, I was shocked to hear $300+! I can buy a lot of feed and hay for that..keep the little stud with a gelding in another pasture away from the girls.


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Feb 1, 2013
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Washington, USA
Marsha is so right. I forgot about the cost issue... My parents paid nearly $300 to have their little guy gelded. I dread a colt, because of that.

Rescues are full of minis. They have become a dime a dozen. There are some good ones out there without papers and there are some bad ones out there with papers. Too many people think "I love my horse, so I want to breed it." If someone tries to say the horse has a serious fault that person gets ticked off and doesn't listen anyway. When I was barely 20, I wanted to go through the whole pregnancy experience and raising a foal so bad that I tried to by a pregnant mare that was known for flipping over backwards, didn't have papers, and had other issues. Luckily, the person wouldn't sell her to me as I was too "inexperienced" in the seller's mind. Even worse, why would a person BREED a mare like that?

BigDogs & LittleHorses

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Mar 30, 2004
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Saint Helens, OR
This is a good discussion. There are many good reasons and ways to encourage gelding, but so often it is handled incorrectly, with it often backfiring.

Good reasons:

1. Stallions in an immediate breeding environment are often unpredictable

2. Pregnancy is significantly dangerous to mares, even more dangerous with a maiden mares and amateur owners

3. Stallion isolation and lonelines if you don't have a companion for them

4. Housing / space considerations

5. Less usefullness for equine activities (driving, showing. etc.

6. Depressed economy for selling foals, overpopulation


1. "Only 1% (...0.01%, ...0.001%, whatever) of stallions should breed"

Give me a break. Not every one has access to this imagined one percent. The flip side of this statement is that 99% of mares can be bred freely and without serious thought? It's also always an amazing coincidence that the person who is making this statement this just happens to have one of these 1% stallions! Breeding should be a serious decision made by looking equally at both dam and sire.

2. "Stallions are unpredictable".

Once mature, many stallions are often MORE predictable and stable than mares when not in breeding mode. Yes, some benefit greatly from "brain surgery", I've seen this too. I've seen some not change at all, pleasant animals before and after. Geldings are the most stable of course, but many stallions do not need gelding from a behavoiral standpoint. This is an individual personality / training issue.

3. "A person new to the miniature horse world that owns an intact male is irresponsible by default" I realize that no one says this, but it is often implied.

A new / small scale owner who decides to breed their average mare once to their average stallion is not the one who is causing the problem of mini horse overpopulation. It's the idiots like in Grants Pass that caused that recent auction & rescue. Years ago I bred my quite average stallion to a pretty average mare and got a very nice and petit little filly who I just adore and is still my favorite. I would say she is an improvement over sire and dam. No regrets. I never used him again, and he lived happily with his donkey gelding companion. When he passed away, I did buy the best stallion (reasonably) possible as his replacement, just as I plan to do if I buy a breeding mare. I'm not saying don't go for the best reasonably possible, but that it's a decision that has to be based in reality and there is an element of luck in breeding.

I don't like the prevalent attitude that stallions are loaded weapons that can somehow magically impregnate mares just by looking at them. It's QUITE possible and not that difficult to own a healthy, happy stallion, if you have the correct set-up for him. There's nothing like stallion attitude and spirit!

If you're going to encourage someone to geld, at least try treating him or her like an adult, and gently lead and give the person the knowledge to make the decision themselves.

I suppose that if you encounter someone who is heck bent on just cranking out crappy miniature horses, then stronger methods and words are needed.

Finally, if you are in the fortunate position of owning an exceptional stallion, you have to ask yourself if you are contributing to the problem by locking him up or making him unavailable by charging unreasonable stud fees to folks who want to improve their lines but have lesser resources. That $500 dollars that they would have spent on your stud is now being used on craigslist for a mediocre animal.
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