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Gelding an older stallion


I am looking into buying a 6 year old appaloosa stud. He has been used for breeding his whole life is very studdy. He can't be around other horses no matter what sex they are or he gets very aggressive and unhandleable. But when he is alone he is the sweetest horse ever. He is broke to ride and is a great show horse, but I can't show a stallion because I'm under 18, so I want to geld him. I have heard that gelding doesn't always help though, and in horses older than 5 there is a big risk that the vet can cut into the stomach lining and the horses guts will fall out, killing them. Will he be nicer around other horses as a gelding, and what are the real risks? Also I was advised to send him to an Amish barn for a month and let him stand in the pastures with their big draft horses so they'll beat him up and teach him respect for other horses. That sounds mean, but would it help? How much would it cost to geld him? Thanks for any advice you can give me.


HI Heather,

It is true that gelding a stallion over the age of 5 or 6 may not make much of a difference in his behavior. Especially if the horse has been bred a lot, which this one has.

There is always some risk to gelding an older stallion. However, if you have a reputable vet, one you can check references on, the risks should be minimal. You should have a conversation with the vet about your concerns. Ask him how many castrations of older stallions he has done. These are legitimate concerns for you to have and if he hesitates answering them or giving you references from people he has done this for before, I would be very suspicious. As far as sending him to an Amish farm, it could be a good idea, but it has risks. There are risks to almost anything you choose to do with this stallion.

May I ask, if you are not into serious breeding, considering gelding him and want to show, why buy a stallion? It really sounds like you are making an emotional buy and not really aware of the consequences and problems you may be facing even if you geld him and the operation goes well. Why not get a beautiful, well trained gelding or mare already ready to show for you? Doesn't that make more sense? It doesn't sound like this is the best decision for you. As far as costs to geld this horse, it can really vary widely. Expect to pay at least $1,000 for the operation and there will be some recovery time, assuming there are not complications. Truthfully, I think you are getting into a can of worms. Keep it simple. Get a beautiful, well trained horse without the baggage of a stallion.

Good Luck!

Sincerely, Franklin

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