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The barn I am at is shutting down because the owners are to old to take care of the horses. There is a stallion I have been working with for awhile that we fear won't be able to be sold because he is A) still a stallion and B) he's underweight because the stable hand doesn't like to take him out (there's three stallions total in the barn very close to each other). They originally had plans on breeding him (he has great bloodlines) but never got around to breeding or really training him. So I'm looking into getting him gelded and start hardcore working with him in hopes he will be able to gain weight and be sold as a good riding horse. He will be 15 this year, what would be the issues/complications on gelding him? Or is there any better way to accomplish this task of getting him into shape and sold?
 

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I believe the biggest risk is that they tend to bleed more and have trouble clotting. Some also retain their stallion characteristics due to being studs so long.

I owned an Arab that was gelded at age 17. He did find with the procedure and within a month went from almost unmanageable to a very trainable horse. For this particular horse, he was not stallion quality and his life was pretty miserable as a stud (constant pacing, etc.). He was a biter and would strike out with his front hooves. We decided that leaving him a stud was not an option, despite the risks.
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We gelded several mature stallions, as we kept daughters, and it was easier to change studs then replace some of those fillies
Our stallions were broke, as I showed them, thus they made very nice non pro and youth horses
My vet is an old time horseman also, so he told me to take the 13 year old stud we had him just geld, on a mountain trail riding trip, a day later. That horse never swelled and healed very well.
It might take awhile before you can turn him out with a mixed herd of mares and geldings, but all of the mature stallions we gelded, were fine being turned out with a mixed herd,ater the first year. Of course, our stallions actually bred mares, so there is a memory component, even after all testosterone is gone
Far as training a horse that age-sure it can be done. Whether it is worth it, is another matter.
 

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I know there was a member on the forum a year or two back who made the decision to geld her older stallion (I think he was 12 or 15? I could be wrong about that). She said that he did great and turned into an even better riding horse than he had been before being gelded (which was saying a lot, because he was amazing).

I had a friend who had a Peruvian paso who had been gelded at 13 when he was given to her. He had been used as a breeding stallion his whole life. I rode him on several occasions and he was absolutely amazing. I was an absolute beginner and he was so patient and willing with me. He was a bit of a butt about some things with my friend (she couldn't get near him with a brush or with fly spray and forget about bathing him), but he was an absolute doll for me (I spent an entire day bathing him, brushing out his mane and tail, and then fly sprayed him when I was done...he fell asleep through it all).
 

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One of our two Belgians was a stallion when when we had him gelded, and 14 years old. He did fine, and we started his training. We were on trails with him within 90 days under saddle.

But with that said, all horses are different and gelding late works well for some, for others not so much. You really won't know until you have it done and start his ground work.
 

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My old event horse wasn't gelded until he was 13 or 14 I believe. You would never had guessed it. But then again, I did not know him before he was gelded, he could have been an angelic stud for all I know.

Generally, there is a slightly greater risk of bleeding/clotting problems, but I would NOT let that dissuade you. Behaviorally, you may see some change, but a lot of it will really come down to training after the fact.
 
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