Is 19 "too late" to geld?
I have a friend who is considering getting a 19 year old Clydesdale stallion. The horse has primarily been used for riding for the last 5 years, but has sired a colt as late as 2009. The owner did tell her he will still mount and cover mares, but isn't certain he is still viable at this point, he is pastured with mares and his last foal was that 2009 one. My friend's interest in him is just as a riding horse, and she plans on having him gelded. I'm strongly advising her against this whole deal - but it's ultimately her decision and she figures her mind is made up. She thinks she can just geld him and get on with riding - I am not under the impression it works that way. I'm trying to find some solid facts to provide her. I am not terribly familiar with older horse castration, but I know even in my own gelding, who was gelded as a 7 year old after being used as a stud, there were concerns about excessive bleeding, due to the "maturity" of the blood supply etc. Not to mention nearly 20 years of being used for breeding seems it would certainly put it's stamp on his character with permanent ink. The current owner of this horse has my friend convinced it will all be fine, that the gelding would still be "routine", and that his manners are no problem, she rides with mares all the time etc. I have seen this horse firsthand, and he IS a very fit 19 year old, and very easy to handle, but it just seems like such a bad choice to me for someone who is, at best, a low-intermediate rider. This would only be her second horse. Thoughts?