Arizona 5 year old RMH with 6 months Pro training ridden western and English
 by fairly decent rider

Question: I don't really have a problem with my stallion.  I have been contemplating to have him cut this summer.  Since he is five years old and he had been used for stud service 12 times, my question is will he still thinks and acts like a stallion after he has been gelded?  He has a pretty good disposition for a stallion.  He has been ridden on trail rides all his life with mares, however, he is still a stud and I handle him with an iron fist.  Like they say, never trust a stud.  My trainer and I are the only ones that ride him.  We always give him a correction immediately whenever he talks to the mares.  Since he is already five and had been used for stud will he behave like a quiet gelding after he becomes one.

Thanks for your advise.

From Panelist Stella 
Yes,usually, sooner or later. First, remember that it takes 6-8 weeks for all the viable semen to be out of the system, before turning out with any mares. I've had horses as old as 12 gelded, and it really depends on each individual as to how long they take. I've had some literally change their behavior overnight, and others that took up to a year, as there are other hormonal factors than those associated with the production of semen. It doesn't seem to have to do with how much previous breeding experience they've  had; I've had some with much more experience breeding take less time than ones with hardly any.

One thing that may not go away completely is protectiveness of mares when turned out with them; it is not a good idea to have another gelding with them if there are also mares in the same field, they may fight over the mares, but this often occurs even with those that have been gelded early and never bred....they're still males in their heads! Thats why at many farms, mares and geldings are kept in separate fields.

Socialization with other horses also depends on how much socialization they had as youngsters; at what point they were removed from company of other horses. Wherever possible I like keeping colts out together for a few years after removing from mares at 4-6 mos old, so they can continue developing socialization skills. It does make it much easier if at some point later they are gelded, to be reintroduced with other horses, and it does make it easier to ride a stallion with other horses. Since you have had this horse since weaning, you know the history and can strategize how quickly you assimilate him back into being "part of the usual gang," and which horses you choose to turn out or ride with first.In a sense, you have to look at it as a "retraining" process coordinated with the gradual diminution of hormone levels.


From Panelist Steve

In general, he will become like a gelding. Not always, but usually they become docile after the testosterone levels drop. However, two points need to be emphasized.

 First, many stallions are either given too much control or not enough training or both. Thus the gelding may have poor manners. This won't be based on hormones anymore, but rather as residua of his past life where very little might have been expected of him. So gelding alone does not insure a docile horse.

Second, the half life of testosterone is longer than many vets think. Don't expect any changes in less than a month and expect the final result to take up to four to six months.

Steve Chasko

From Panelist Lee

He will eventually lose those "excess hormones" after being gelded, but it will take a little time for their effects to wear off, and his mental state will probably never be the same as that of a horse gelded at 2 months of age.  Stags (horses gelded after they have been breeding stallions) usually retain a little of the stud qualities, but fewer and fewer as time goes on. 

It depends a lot on the particular horse,  and how 'studly' he has been as an entire.  He will be quieter than he is now, but it will take at least 6 months for you to know how quiet he will end up being. Talk to your vet about this.

Lee Ziegler

From Panelists Bob

I think that you are making a fine decision. I have gelded horses from hours old clear up into their teens. If they were good stallions they became better geldings. I have had many mature breeding studs gelded without any problems. I have an experienced equine vet and I always geld and wean by the signs. The best days for gelding (according to the Almanac) are; June, 11-14, July, 8-12. I work them lightly throughout their recovery and never get much swelling or bleeding.  I prefer to do it before the heat and flies are too bad.

Bob Blackwell

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