Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
If I had a colt I was thinking of keeping intact(highly unlikely) then I would first sit down and ask these questions;
-does he fit my goals? If not a resounding yes, snip,snip.
-how is his conformation? If not close to perfect, with only very minor flaws, same result as above.
-How is his temperment/attitude? If its not A+++ he gets snipped.
-How are his bloodlines? Are they truly desirable? If not, a good stallion makes a fantastic gelding.
Those would be asked of the colts periodically as it grew, if at any time the answer changed to one of those questions, then off to the vet he goes. When he turned 3 or so I would start saddle training, and if he excelled at that, I would breed him to one or two good quality mares. Then I would evalute the foals the next spring and decide wether to proceed with training, showing and advertizing. If at any point I had doubts, or he didnt pass a test with flying colors, he would be loosing his jewels.
The fact is, there are too many poor/fair/good quality foals on the ground, but few exceptional ones. There are far too many poor/fair/good quality stallions siring those foals. The number of people who have a "flashy arabian stallion", "Race winning thoroughbred stallion" or a paint or appy with "color, color, color!!" that want $300 for a stud fee and will breed anything with a uterous, but have poor temperments, faulty conformation, and in all other ways are at best, mediocre.
Keeping a stallion is a pain, and breeding is expensive. A friend of mine had a thoroughbred colt with stellar bloodlines, incredible conformation, tons of tallent and an A+++ disposition. She debated when he was two keeping him a stallion. She had doubts, and got him gelded. At three he proved to be an incredibly fast, successful race horse, but there were no regrets. He gets to play with the herd, enjoy other horses and run in the big pasture, while the stallion stays separated from everyone, with just a goat and donkey for company.