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Geldings responding to mares

Dear Sir,

Thank you for the prompt answer and please forgive me for bothering you again but I really need your expertise. Could you tell me what 'gelding' a horse exactly does to him? Here is a really weird question.... Can a gelding be affected or can he sense when a woman is on PMS?


Hi Marlene,

Castrating (gelding) a horse means surgically removing the testicles. This dramatically reduces the testosterone (male hormone) levels for the horse.

This reduction in the male hormone level will change the demeanor of the horse depending on the animals age and history of breeding. For a young horse (two and under) who has not been bred, mostly no stallion like behavior will be present after the procedure. It is suggested that male horses not be gelded until they are about two (give or take a few months) as the hormone allows muscular development. Although some horses get gelded very early on as yearlings and even a bit after weaning (usually at 6 months of age). If a stallion has begun to 'cover' mares (breed to them), unless he has a naturally good disposition and/or has been very well trained, he will become 'studdy' in his behavior. This means being territorial, aggressively wanting to breed when around mares (especially when they are having their estrus time), and often prone to biting, striking, rearing, etc. The horse may become aggressive to other male horses near him whether stallions or not. He may also continuously or regularly challenge the leadership of the human handler.

Unless someone is a professional breeder, there is no reason to keep a stallion around. Most places will not allow you to bring the stallion there. You will not be allowed to ride with many folks you want to ride with. The horse may become unmanageable for you. You will have a difficult time just keeping the horse as mostly they are isolated from other horses. This is unfortunate but comes from folks keeping stallions who do not know much about horses. This is a dangerous and difficult position to be in. I suggest gelding male horses by the age of two unless there is serious breeding to be done.

As far as PMS is concerned, I think you are referring to; will the scent of a woman having her menstrual cycle affect a male horse? The PMS may make the female a bit grouchy, but other than that have little effect. The menstrual cycle and resulting discharge has a scent that all animals will pick up on. Dogs, dolphins, cats,etc., will pick up this scent. The male gender of most mammals will respond somehow and usually it is un-noticeable. However, this response can prompt some sort of 'male orientated sexual response behavior. I have not known of any cases where a stallion has attacked a human female for that reason. However, I would not rule it out. Usually they are merely challenging the leadership of any human with it. A stallion can be sexually stimulated by a human. Even a gelding will often extend his penis when warm soapy water is applied to his groin area (boys will be boys no matter what).

Anyway, I hope I have shed some light on your question. Geld your horse! Do not get a stallion unless you want to become a serious breeder and then gets lots of experience first.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays, Franklin

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