Hormones or brains? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-08-2008, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hormones or brains?

Want to know anyoe opinion on this or if anyone has experienced this.

I have a gelding who gets very emotional when the mares are in heat. He has never been used for breeding. No one has ever seen him mount the mares, but he will show stallion behavior, snaking his head and rounding the mares up, keeping the other geldings away. Okay, so I give him an estrogen shot in the spring and mid summer and he is good to go. Back to his old gelding self, could care less about the girls.

Now...I have another gelding. This horse has also not been used breeding. He is 20. He has always been head hancho at the barn, but he has never been study. Until this year. Late this summer, like only a few months ago, he starting acting different. He does not herd up the mares or snake his head, but it seems there a handful of mares that he has now considered his. I have witnessed him once trying to mount a mare. And again this was recent. Gave him an estrogen shot that worked so well for the other horse....absolutely nothing. It has made no difference at all. He has had several as a matter of fact with no effect.

Another twist to this story. There is a new group at our barn due to another barn closing. One gelding with this group does exibit stallion behavior, mounting, herding all that stuff. I think he challenged this head gelding, maybe to be head of the whole herd, I dont know.

The handful of mares that the head gelding has decided he likes....came over with this new group.

My question. I know my gelding was hormonal, that is why the shot worked to calm him down. This other gelding...could he be doing this to put the other geldign in his place. Kind of taking his mares away from him? It really seems he is not hormonal, as the shots have no effect on him, and he has had enough of them lately that he should be eyeing the geldings himself

I have not experienced this before, so any thoughts or opinions?
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-09-2008, 12:17 AM
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I have two geldings that round up thier mares and will fight over the fence. One of the gelding will actually challenge my Stallion. This gelding was gelded at the age of 4 and the other gelding was gelded at 11 months. I have never heard of giving them estrogen shots, is that safe?? was that on advice from a Vet?? Really curious as I definatly have this problem with my two geldings.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-09-2008, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Males and females both produce estrogene and testosterone, just in different levels. My vet does not have a problem with it. I actually picked up that tip from someone at a show. He would give a small amount to one of his stallions, to make him more managable during a show, especially if he was showing with mares the stallion had bred before. I dont know that I would mess with a stallion like that, but I do not know any adverse effects on geldings..or stallions.

Like I said, for one of my geldings it made a world of difference for him. I have had him since he was 5 mths, but I did not geld him until he was almost 2. I dont know if that is why he is the way he is, producing more testosterone or if he is just that way. He is fine in the winter, it is only spring and summer that he gets all worked up.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-09-2008, 08:21 AM
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my gelding was cut late (so we think) at age of 7 (so chances are if that is true, he was bred also) and he has the stallion behavior...he's mounted some mare's before and pranced around in the pasture when a mare was playing "hard to get", chased geldings away from his "girlfriend" and always hangs around the mares (except the one lol)

Really I see no need at all to give them the shots, I haven't heard that they aren't particually good for the horse, and even if they are "safe" they can still play damage somewhere that won't come out until later in their life.
As long as your geldings aren't hurting another mare seriously (biting does not count lol) or another gelding, they are fine.

I don't give my horse any shots...I let him be himself
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-09-2008, 08:17 PM
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That's interesting. I too have never heard of estrogen shots for this purpose. I would want to hear some opinions from some different vets & see some long term health results before I would consider using them occasionally tho.

I haven't heard that they aren't particually good for the horse
Sonnywimps, your double negative threw me - do you mean you know of adverse effects, or you haven't heard anything??

Horses that have been gelded late(or dogs, for that matter), particularly if they're a year or more old, especially if they've had a chance to practice that behaviour can act 'studdy' because it's a learned behaviour. It doesn't matter that the hormones are no longer present, he just knows that's the way to behave.

I would ask how you *know* your gelding with whom the shots worked for is 'hormonal'? Without further info, I think it's likely that he doesn't have a hormone problem, but the estrogen just calms or levels him on it's own. The other gelding is probably not being 'studdy', just dominant.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-10-2008, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post

Sonnywimps, your double negative threw me - do you mean you know of adverse effects, or you haven't heard anything??
Woah, sorry, typo...
I haven't heard that they are good for them. I heard one bad effect a while back, but can't remember what was the effect.
Sorry about that, I was rushing when I was typing my first message
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