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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I'm getting a lot of mixed opinions from my horse friends so I thought I would ask everyone here.

I have a 3/4 shire colt that just turned 8 months on Dec 1st. When my vet did his vaccs back when he got here, he said I ought to plan on having him gelded by 8 months. When the vet was out here a few weeks back treating an abscess on my mare's foot, he re-iterated I needed to think about gelding the colt soon because he is so big already (14.1 when I taped him yesterday). He said he'll start developing stud behaviors soon that will be a problem. (note the colt doesn't act studdy at all. He is still very baby-ish in personality, just follows mama around and plays, or feels sorry for himself when I work with him.)

A good friend of mine who raises Friesian crosses argues since my colt is mostly draft, he is slower developing and I shouldn't consider gelding him until his second birthday, to geld him sooner will make him "mareish" in appearance (I know drafts ARE slower to mature, but I have always thought this theory of gelding a horse young making him "mareish" was a myth?) But most of my friends are tuning in with her, saying I should really wait to geld him until I absolutely have too, to maximise his growth potential. To me - he's going to darn well be tall enough, I am not overly concerned with maximising his height!

Generally I would always go with my vet's opinion, but my colt hasn't even dropped yet, and I don't think it's at that "too late" point where I have to consider major surgery on him, right? Anyone have thoughts on a good age to geld draft colts?
 

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Taller is what you get when you geld young(so they say), more muscle is what you get if you wait.. Not much taller and I dunno how much more muscly. ;) I say fix him when he drops, or when he starts acting up. Whichever is first.
 

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you should wait till hes 2yro he can breed at 1yro so becareful with mares and if hes not studdy just keep hima stud thats what i would do
 

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Well if you want him taller geld him young. If you want him more muscular geld him older. Testosterone helps to close the growth plates sooner and produces a more muscular animal (or human). So get rid of the testosterone and the plates will stay open longer. I don't know anything about the whole "mareish" thing. Sorry :)

Of course, the absolutely most important aspect of when to geld him is your ability to deal with him when he starts feeling like a big man and your ability to keep him away from mares. That's my opinion anyways.

Now on to the important part... Pics? LOL :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't intend to keep him a stud regardless, he will be gelded, just a question of when. The only mares on the property are his mama and my son's 11.2 hand pony mare, who already needs to be separated when she is in heat - my 7 year old gelding wasn't gelded until he was 6, and he was used for breeding, so he DOES has some studdy behaviors (not too bad though. Just have to put the girls up when they come in heat.) I really don't want Finn (the colt) developing any bad behaviors, but it just feels like it's a long way off right now. I guess I'll just wait for now until he drops, assuming he does within a reasonable time, and try to make a judgement then. While I'm not concerned with his height, I'd like him to be fairly bulky, just for my own riding comfort several years down the road. I don't know, I guess the wait and see approach is a good one! I was just feeling a little attacked, I guess, by my vet wagging his finger and making me feel like I am neglecting my horse by not having it done already.

Thanks guys.
 

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Well if you want him taller geld him young. If you want him more muscular geld him older. Testosterone helps to close the growth plates sooner and produces a more muscular animal (or human). So get rid of the testosterone and the plates will stay open longer. I don't know anything about the whole "mareish" thing. Sorry :)

Of course, the absolutely most important aspect of when to geld him is your ability to deal with him when he starts feeling like a big man and your ability to keep him away from mares. That's my opinion anyways.

Now on to the important part... Pics? LOL :)

Well, that makes it a little simpler. I'd rather have him bulkier than taller, for sure! He'll be tall enough as it is. I'm confident enough in my ability to handle him thinking he's a tough guy, but do I want to is another thing altogether. :lol:

As for pictures, haha, I posted a couple of him (and his mama) on this thread: http://www.horseforum.com/draft-horses/post-pics-your-drafts-draft-crosses-18520/

but they bad pictures, it's too dark in my barn. I'll try to get some better ones put up.

Thanks for the advice!
 

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I would geld as soon as I could after he drops, not before. But if he hasn't by 2 I would get the surgery. If he don't drop he wil still get the stud manners. He may not get studly but if he does it awhole lot of horse to control. It's alot easier for you and them if their cut before they get the bad behavior, thay way they never know anything about acting that way. You, him, and your other horses are safer.
My sister has a colt that she was waiting on him to drop and he's gotten the stud behavior now and when her mare is in season, her geldings play HELL. He ran one of the gelding through a fence and he got stabed with a T post (hate those things). 600.00 vet bill and 6 months later, he's much better but not sure he's going to be sound for heavy riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would geld as soon as I could after he drops, not before. But if he hasn't by 2 I would get the surgery. If he don't drop he wil still get the stud manners. He may not get studly but if he does it awhole lot of horse to control. It's alot easier for you and them if their cut before they get the bad behavior, thay way they never know anything about acting that way. You, him, and your other horses are safer.
My sister has a colt that she was waiting on him to drop and he's gotten the stud behavior now and when her mare is in season, her geldings play HELL. He ran one of the gelding through a fence and he got stabed with a T post (hate those things). 600.00 vet bill and 6 months later, he's much better but not sure he's going to be sound for heavy riding.

Yikes!! That's terrible, yeah those t posts are the worst, I'm still digging up ones that are set in concrete around the side barnyard (the horses are fenced well away from there, there was a bunch of trash, rusty old barbed wire and posts strewn through that whole section when I moved in).

I guess that's my real fear, is what if he doesn't drop - my vet seems to think he should have by now, but my friend that breeds the friesian crosses says a lot of her colts don't drop until 18 months.
 

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Some colt take up to about 2, some don't. Just keep checking, if nothing else it helps him get ready for the shealth cleaning in the future. Give him till a year at least to drop on his own.
 

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I just read a couple things quickly, but it seems that most of them drop by 2. If he hasn't by then there may be an issue, but you're planning on gelding anyways, so it'll just be a little more expensive.

We had a TWH colt that bred his half and full sisters at about a year old (maybe a little less). This was years ago, but they were certian he couldn't breed yet. He was gelded a while later, but still maintained some "studdish" type behaviors towards mares afterwards. But there were no problems whatsoever when riding him or on the ground. This was about 26 or so years ago, so nobody castigate me for something that happened when I was two. :)
 

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I don't think he would be 'marish' however, he wouldn't get big jowls, a thicker neck and other stallion traits. I do know that if he is left ungelded for to long that he will not grow to his fullest potential height because the hormones his body releases will cause his growth plates to close sooner rather than later.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
MN Tigerstripes - hey, things happen. :) I've heard of horses breeding that young, and had an experience with a 14 month old at a farm I used to work at, but I just don't see it at this point with Finn. When you've handled a few stallions and unruly colts you get a feel for the behavior, and like I said, Finn is just such a baby still. Although I weaned him off at 5 months to help his mama gain weight, once I put them back together he still just acts like a weanling. There's no maturity to him whatsoever. Then again there's little exposure for him to get his hormones going - his mom is pregnant and I separate out the pony mare when she goes in heat. (otherwise my 1,800 lb gelding tries to mount her - he is a bit studdy!) I will of course keep close eye on him and watch for any signs of maturity, though.

AQHA13 - haha my vet expects Finn to mature pretty near 18 hands or better - losing a little of that "height potential" doesn't sound horrible to me. Maybe I'm getting old, maybe I'm just a bad person. :twisted:
 

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Okay, I'm getting a lot of mixed opinions from my horse friends so I thought I would ask everyone here.

I have a 3/4 shire colt that just turned 8 months on Dec 1st. When my vet did his vaccs back when he got here, he said I ought to plan on having him gelded by 8 months. When the vet was out here a few weeks back treating an abscess on my mare's foot, he re-iterated I needed to think about gelding the colt soon because he is so big already (14.1 when I taped him yesterday). He said he'll start developing stud behaviors soon that will be a problem. (note the colt doesn't act studdy at all. He is still very baby-ish in personality, just follows mama around and plays, or feels sorry for himself when I work with him.)

A good friend of mine who raises Friesian crosses argues since my colt is mostly draft, he is slower developing and I shouldn't consider gelding him until his second birthday, to geld him sooner will make him "mareish" in appearance (I know drafts ARE slower to mature, but I have always thought this theory of gelding a horse young making him "mareish" was a myth?) But most of my friends are tuning in with her, saying I should really wait to geld him until I absolutely have too, to maximise his growth potential. To me - he's going to darn well be tall enough, I am not overly concerned with maximising his height!

Generally I would always go with my vet's opinion, but my colt hasn't even dropped yet, and I don't think it's at that "too late" point where I have to consider major surgery on him, right? Anyone have thoughts on a good age to geld draft colts?
Forgive me, if I repeat some things as I just skimmed through the responses.:)

A horses height is a horses height...its genetically predetermined. Gelding wont make a difference on his height. If left till later he will get thicker muscle wise more bulk, but IMO not attractive bulk for just a riding horse.

It is best to geld as soon as possible IMO. Less chance of them developing studish habits if gelded late. Have seen geldings retain studish habits such as mounting mares may seem harmless, but it can cause injuries, running down other geldings, nipping (humans included)

We geld all our colts in and around 6- 8 months (shortly after they have been weaned.) We also do so in winter, or early spring...less chance of infection due to flies and heat.

AS for dropping, even though they have not "dropped" completley a vet can still geld with out surgery...it just depends how high up they are...he can sometimes still "pull" them down to cut. Just have your vet out, and he;ll manipulate to see if he is ready. And 99% of the time they are ready by 6 months:wink:

I would say get him gelded. If not keeping him for breeding there is no point in keeping him intact.
 

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Indyhorse - He's a pretty boy, looks like he's gonna be a tall one too. I'd like to ride a draft someday. It seems like it'd be so different than my "little" QH or TWH.

Maverik - Height is influenced quite a bit by testosterone as I previously mentioned. This is proven in all species, including humans. Of course, there is an obvious genetic component to height, but there are plenty of "nature/environmental" components that can add or subtract to genetics. When you starve a young animal in a crucial point of growth they won't meet their full growth potential. Same concept just different mechanism and result. It holds true in dogs too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Indyhorse - He's a pretty boy, looks like he's gonna be a tall one too. I'd like to ride a draft someday. It seems like it'd be so different than my "little" QH or TWH.

Maverik - Height is influenced quite a bit by testosterone as I previously mentioned. This is proven in all species, including humans. Of course, there is an obvious genetic component to height, but there are plenty of "nature/environmental" components that can add or subtract to genetics. When you starve a young animal in a crucial point of growth they won't meet their full growth potential. Same concept just different mechanism and result. It holds true in dogs too.

Haha if you are ever in the area give me a call and I'll let you try mine. My gelding doesn't actually ride all that different from the QH I used to have - he does have a bone-jarring drafty trot but you can collect him back into a very nice easy jog, much like a QH, his canter is unbelivable though, just awesome and smooth as can be. He is slower to turn and not terribly sure footed :lol: but we are still doing a lot of work with him, he's pretty green still after all - according to the seller he was broke to drive much better than ride, but he's coming along. He has a lot more fire then I would have expected from a draft cross. My mare is a different ride altogether. I haven't put a lot of time on her back because of her bad foot, but she seems to be gaited (only when riding, I've never seen her do it from the ground.) She goes into a walker gait, complete with head shaking, I am guessing she might actually be Shire/Walker rather than Shire/Paint, I've seen a lot of black and white Walkers. Other than not knowing a lot yet, she's easy. I ride her with an indian hack because she seems to have a metal allergy or something. But other than longer strides to cover the same distance, they really don't feel all that different. However, they are crosses. I used to have a huge Belgian years ago, and he was difficult to ride, just because of sheer size.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It just seems like it'd feel weird you know? Like you are just a tiny little thing up there. LOL :)
Hahaha it is a little, but not too much on my guys, although Claymore is built like a tank, my horses aren't unusually tall. Claymore, the gelding, is in between 16.1-16.2. Freyja, the mare, is 15.3. My last horse before them, which was a QH gelding, was 15 even so while they feel bigger than him, they don't feel scary high up :) I put some better pictures of them on that draft horse thread, so you can see them a little better.

I am assuming, BTW, that my Claymore is a good demonstration of the "bulk up VS height" comparison you were talking about - He is very bulky and heavy, with big jowls and a cresty neck - he was used as a stallion and just gelded last year. But like I said, he's not crazy tall. He does have some studdy behaviors - but some actually work in my favor, too - he's very neat and tidy in his stall :)
 

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LOL, well the neat & tidy in stall behavior I could defintely put up with! Mine aren't stalled, but I've cleaned enough messy stalls to appreciate a horse that can keep it somewhat clean. Go stud piles! :) Your horses are beautiful by the way.
 
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