And they didn't have a difficult time with laying a 100% alert horse in survival mode and cutting his testicle open then ripping them out? One little needle would of sent them over the edge?
I don't agree with castrating live stock medication-less either. Smaller animals I can under stand, they can be taken off with one quick snip.
My solution? Well I don't know, I'm not a vet and I'm not a rancher. I just don't see the point in trying to save a dollar when your horses comfort is at stake.
It's not about the needle, it's about trying to put the needle into a very large vein on a part of the animal that it's impossible to immobilize without choking them. You can't keep the horse from flinging his head around, but if you put a rope around the front feet and another rope around the backs and stretch him out gently, then he simply lays over on his side and nobody is going to get kicked or trampled. The horse isn't going to get more seriously hurt because he can't squirm around or move his body at a bad moment. It's not easy, but it's a lot safer for everyone involved, including the horse.
As for just trying to save a buck, there's a lot more to it than that. You have to remember that this practice is most common in situations where there are multiple animals needing cut. Maybe an entire herd. $100 a pop is no big deal to me because I've only had to do it every couple of years to a single horse. However, if I needed 30-50+ horses gelded this spring, that's a lot of money.
As for cattle, well, when I was working calves on one of the smallest ranches in this part of the country, we'd commonly cut 500+ calves in a weekend. Not exactly feasible to pay for anesthetic without the price of doing business, and therefore the price of meat, skyrocketing.