One more question though (hope with less controversy
): How is the process of gelding a stallion -this doesn't mean I will get one, I'm just curious ? What does it take, how long does it take, how much does it cost, etc?
I just had my 6 year old stallion gelded in September. It was a relatively quick and easy process, but does run some risk to horse and vet/handler. It is a much easier process on horses that are not full size. We will be having our colt done first thing in the spring, around 9 months.
For the process, the vet inserted a needle (IV style) into his neck, and stitched it into place. She then proceeded to inject him with various drugs than eventually dropped him onto his side. We had to lubricate his eyes because we was too out to blink. She had an assistant, and I was by my horse's head. She used clamps and all her special vet tools to cut him open and remove the testicles. She left the incision open so that they would drain, and because we did not use a 100% sterile environment (anything out of a hospital), she would not be trapping bacteria in by stitching. We then had to wait for him to wake up, and keep him from getting up before he was ready (some stallions feel vulnerable on their side like that, so try getting up and fall repeatedly, hurting themselves). When he was up, I put him into his pen, and was to watch him carefully for 24 hours. I was given Bute to help control the swelling, and he was given a massive dose of pennicillan to prevent infection. After 24 hours, I was to exercise him to keep the swelling down.
He is now no longer living alone, but learning to live with the geldings, and loving it. He is still too interested in the girls to be put in with them.
He was a fabulous horse, and I was perfectly capable of handling him, but I did not like that he had to live alone, and that I always had to be super defensive and aware of what other horses and riders were doing at all times to keep my stallion out of trouble. I was also bummbed that I could not allow him to be ridden by kids, when he is such a mellow guy. Training him always took much longer too because his mind was always elsewhere. :)
Sara...I agree that this topic is very popular for discussion...maybe because people feel very strongly about it one way or another. :)