- Published on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 10:47
Should I Geld Him? cont
Owning a stallion is a huge responsibility that should only be undertaken by someone with lots of horse experience as well as the facilities to handle a stallion. The only reason a horse should be kept a stallion is if the owner has an established and well-defined breeding program and obviously the horse must be a superior animal from both a genetic and conformation point of view. If you as a horse owner would like to breed your mare and have decided that you can deal with all the logistics and expense of a mare and foal, you don’t need to own a stallion. We are fortunate to have some really nice stallions around that are available for stud as well as all the options that artificial insemination give us.
Stallions require special handling and all stallions can be unpredictable and dangerous. Even the most docile, quiet stallion may switch in an instant when hormones kick in and he becomes instinctually driven, even if it is only a split second, it can be extremely dangerous. In fact it is usually the so called quite docile stallions that cause the severe injuries to people as well as other horses when they experience these hormonal drives as the handlers/owners are unprepared and didn’t expect the behavior. I hear comments like “he attacked me for no reason”, “ he just reared up and struck me for no reason”
The very “stallion typical” colts and stallions are usually handled with more respect and are typically handled by more experienced horse people that know better than to take a stallion for granted. They would be prepared for it and would not be shocked or surprised that a stallion could rear up, strike out, bite or become unmanageable within a split second. Older horse hands handle these outbursts fairly, firmly and consistently.
Never ever take a stallion for granted or disrespect the fact that he is a stallion. It can have fatal consequences. Stallions should not be used as children’s ponies or in general as riding horses. The dangers are far to great for your child, check underneath the pony giving rides next time you have the opportunity to allow your children this great opportunity. Is it a boy or a girl, and is it two stone lighter?
Stallions need more stimulation in their day-to-day world than mares or geldings. They are very territorial and like to keep to same routines as much as possible often establishing themselves a territory and marking it out. A stallion always feels he has a job to do in building his harem and then protecting it. This is why stallions often won’t let a particular mare be taken out for work, when housed in a natural herd. It can be terrifying to be challenged by a stallion thinking you are taking his breeding mares away from him.
So what are the benefits of having him gelded by the vet:
* The horse becomes far less agitated and stressed and can run in a natural herd during the day.
* The younger you geld the better it is from a behavioral point of view, if he hasn’t started showing interest in mares even better.
* He will still mature at the expected height and some research is showing that colts gelded earlier may mature at one inch taller than if left to develop as a stallion.
* You will be able to keep the horse in most stable yards or liveries. It is very difficult to find somewhere that is willing to board a stallion.
* It will be a much safer horse to work with.
* The horse will be able to run with other horses and have adequate social interaction.
If a horse is a steady and gentlemanlike stallion or colt he will make an even better gelding! Some vets will geld early if the testicles have dropped, but you will need to discuss the individual situation with your vet and be prepared for the expense when it is done. So should you geld your foal, colt or stallion? Absolutely! Even an older stallion can become a more content and happy horse. Be a responsible horse owner and do what’s best for the horse and improves safety for people!