The Facts on Horse Castration

Whether you're gelding an older stallion or a colt, making the decision for stallion castration could be the best choice.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Every gelding is a former stallion, but the horse’s age at gelding can make a difference in whether the horse acts like a stallion. (Credit: Journal)

To make a great gelding, start with a good stallion.

That bit of cowboy wisdom has been passed down for a long time.

“That’s what my dad always told me when it came to cattle,” says Dr. Tom Lenz, the horse health columnist for The American Quarter Horse Journal, who doesn’t hesitate to geld every stallion that steps onto his property. “If you want to make a good steer, you take a good bull and castrate him.”

The main job of the equine testicles is to produce testosterone and sperm, Dr. Lenz says, and testosterone is what makes a stallion relatively aggressive toward other horses and highly interested in mares that are in estrus. Horses with testosterone in their systems are more prone to fight other horses, mature more quickly and develop cresty necks and other stallion characteristics.

Veterinarians can choose to castrate either standing while the horse is sedated with a local block or on the ground, anesthetized. 

Continue reading this article in the December American Quarter Horse Journal. 

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