Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
I found one of the articles that I had read about gelding: Horse and Rider, May 2005, by William Rhoads, DVM.
It suggests gelding a colt between 4-6 months of age (around weaning time) for several reasons:
1. Fewer complications: less developed testicles, etc. = less bleeding/swelling.
2. Less pain: related to the above reason.
3. Less aftercare: because of minimal swelling, reduces need to cold hose incision site. Also, being turned out with dam or other weanlings keeps him moving and discourages swelling.
4. More Growth: a study shows that horses gelded earlier can grow taller than their intact brothers. Testosterone (mainly generated in testicles) has an effect on early growth plate closure, which can limit height. Gelding shuts down testosterone production allowing growth plates to remain open longer so they can continue to grow.
5. Better behavior: gelding before puberty avoids having to deal with aggressive/unsafe behaviors associated with stallions. The longer you wait to geld, the more likely the behaviors become ingrained.
6. No surprises: Accidental breedings due to waiting (has happened with yearling colts).
7. Health: eliminates risk of testicular cancer, which, though rare, increases with age. Also eliminates risk of scrotal and inguinal hernias.
As I posted somewhere above, fairly convincing reasons. I still don't know what I will do regarding my mares soon to come foal if it is a colt...that gives a lot to think about. Also, up here after the foal is about 4 months of age, the weather begins to turn colder. I don't know what temps are most desirable for a gelding procedure..I guess a talk to the vet is in order.
I am pretty sure that I read a 2007 version of this type of article in Horse and Rider also.