Is 19 "too late" to geld?

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Is 19 "too late" to geld?

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  • Is 5 years old too old to geld a horse
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    05-13-2010, 08:06 PM
Green Broke
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?
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    05-13-2010, 08:16 PM
Am not to familier with this topic either, but if I was your friend I would NOT geld the stallion at that age, it is a very high possiblity that his manners/tempermate will stay the same, it may make a tiny difference but not much.
Am not familier with the health risks but am sure the vet would tell your friend when she does make a appointment to get him gelded...?
    05-13-2010, 08:31 PM
Green Broke
Is it this one?
Clydesdale stallion 19yrs old 18 hands May trade??

I don't think she'd ever be able to stick him out with geldings. He'd probably always have stud tendencies. Some studs don't ever act studdy so I guess it would depend.
    05-13-2010, 08:33 PM
Super Moderator
If you go to the Fugly blog (Fugly Horse of the Day) and look up gelding, I'm pretty sure she's written quite a few blogs about gelding older horses. From what I remember, she made it sound like it wasn't a big deal at all.
I have no experience with it at all, but I would assume that if he's a well behaved stallion and he understands when is and is not the time to breed, I wouldn't think it would be a huge deal.

Good luck!
    05-13-2010, 08:35 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by ShutUpJoe    
Is it this one?
Clydesdale stallion 19yrs old 18 hands May trade??

I don't think she'd ever be able to stick him out with geldings. He'd probably always have stud tendencies. Some studs don't ever act studdy so I guess it would depend.

Huh, I don't think it's the same. The one she is looking at is registered, that one says no papers. Jen heard about this one through her barn owner, where I take lessons, I didn't think he was being advertised? But that's an awful weird coincidence isn't it? I'm going to email her that listing...thanks!

ETA: I just realized that is a Cincinnati CL. This horse is located in Roanoke, IN. Still seems like a very weird coincidence though. The owner is dispersing all her horses, I don't think she'd be looking for another mare?

As far as pasturing, he's actually in a field with 4 mares and 2 geldings now (but both the geldings are his get, I've heard sometimes that makes a difference).
    05-13-2010, 08:48 PM
Green Broke
Wallaby, I'm a daily reader of fugly, love her. I'll search her archives, thanks for the idea!
    05-13-2010, 11:57 PM
Its never too late to geld a horse. If done by a reliable vet, then I'd do it. I don't think as a 2nd horse its really appropriate for her because it would still retain most of its stud like tendencies.
    05-15-2010, 10:22 PM

From a veterinarians stand point, gelding a 19 year old isn't any different than gelding a 2 year old. By 2 the vascular supply is mature and as a rule I always ligate the cord to minimize any potential for bleeding (it takes all of an extra 4 minutes).

However, gelding may not change any behavioral issues the horse has. Some behavior becomes learned habits ie; (i see a mare, so I'm supposed to act this way). These may not change with the loss of testosterone.

The benefit is that your Friend would be able to turn the gelding out with mare and not worry that he may breed one. 19 is not old in the breeding world, I have a few clients with 25 - 28 year old stallions still breeding mares, and at 19 this one could still cover mares and have a successful breeding.
    05-15-2010, 11:00 PM
Green Broke
My cousn gelded her staly at 25 and he is now 30 so I think its safe :P
    05-16-2010, 08:19 PM
Green Broke
CMvet, always excellent to have a professional opinion, thanks so much. I'll pass what everyone on here has said to her. She went ahead and took the horse. I just hope she hasn't made a bad choice. Thanks so much to everyone for your input!

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