Okay, I'm getting a lot of mixed opinions from my horse friends so I thought I would ask everyone here.
I have a 3/4 shire colt that just turned 8 months on Dec 1st. When my vet did his vaccs back when he got here, he said I ought to plan on having him gelded by 8 months. When the vet was out here a few weeks back treating an abscess on my mare's foot, he re-iterated I needed to think about gelding the colt soon because he is so big already (14.1 when I taped him yesterday). He said he'll start developing stud behaviors soon that will be a problem. (note the colt doesn't act studdy at all. He is still very baby-ish in personality, just follows mama around and plays, or feels sorry for himself when I work with him.)
A good friend of mine who raises Friesian crosses argues since my colt is mostly draft, he is slower developing and I shouldn't consider gelding him until his second birthday, to geld him sooner will make him "mareish" in appearance (I know drafts ARE slower to mature, but I have always thought this theory of gelding a horse young making him "mareish" was a myth?) But most of my friends are tuning in with her, saying I should really wait to geld him until I absolutely have too, to maximise his growth potential. To me - he's going to darn well be tall enough, I am not overly concerned with maximising his height!
Generally I would always go with my vet's opinion, but my colt hasn't even dropped yet, and I don't think it's at that "too late" point where I have to consider major surgery on him, right? Anyone have thoughts on a good age to geld draft colts?
Forgive me, if I repeat some things as I just skimmed through the responses.
A horses height is a horses height...its genetically predetermined. Gelding wont make a difference on his height. If left till later he will get thicker muscle wise more bulk, but IMO not attractive bulk for just a riding horse.
It is best to geld as soon as possible IMO. Less chance of them developing studish habits if gelded late. Have seen geldings retain studish habits such as mounting mares may seem harmless, but it can cause injuries, running down other geldings, nipping (humans included)
We geld all our colts in and around 6- 8 months (shortly after they have been weaned.) We also do so in winter, or early spring...less chance of infection due to flies and heat.
AS for dropping, even though they have not "dropped" completley a vet can still geld with out surgery...it just depends how high up they are...he can sometimes still "pull" them down to cut. Just have your vet out, and he;ll manipulate to see if he is ready. And 99% of the time they are ready by 6 months
I would say get him gelded. If not keeping him for breeding there is no point in keeping him intact.