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Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
2,783 Posts
No. Just not your experience. I was guardian for a very troubled teen that had sex with a 12 year old. In the school bathroom. She was 14 had only started her womanhood a couple of months prior. Not regular. Well, 9 months later we were up walking the floors with a baby. Every one matures at their own rate. No matter the species there will be those that mature early and those that mature late. What worked for you won't work for others as the situations are different. You can't ignore the possibility. Especially here in the states in less rural situations where there are few privately managed herds.
Yeah I sure wouldn't want to risk it either! Especially when the plan is to geld the colt anyhow. This is a limited number of horses, too, and so big group herd dynamics aren't going to work the same way here.

Super Moderator
17,154 Posts
Not getting into the debate of geld early or late...
I did find a article from a horse vet about why sooner is better for the animal than later...
And another from reliable sources about what is involved, why and ....

Hope the information gives you reason and cause to do the deed now or later but is made from facts for the betterment of the horse.
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Retired breeder
2,269 Posts
I very much agree that everyone has to do what works for them. Not everyone has the amount of land I do, or the facilities that I have. And I do believe that by having the amount of land that I do, it gave the herd a lot more area for normal dynamics to occur. By having small areas, there is no where for young horses to go to, and it's a more forced environment, perhaps they mature faster. And a lot of it is personal preference.
As I have said many times on here, all anyone can do is say what they themselves have done in the past. If all of a sudden, I had to go to what is normal for many on here, boarding horses, I'd be way out of my element. But when it comes to letting horses out on a large area, that's my version of normal.

To each their own.
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32 Posts
So, I have my mare with her 9 months old. I can't separate them physically and I want to keep the foal so he will stay.

I trail ride with my mare 3 - 4 times a week and the foal goes with us being free (no rope or else). I thought about it and sounds like a good idea getting the foal to go places, exercise and learn from her mother (since she's not easily spooked). But I was told that 6 months was the time for them to separate, so I'm lost?

What do you do with the foals and how do you build independence?

The foal will go nuts if he doesn't see her mother for a while and she will lose her mind if the foal starts calling.

Sometimes during the rides the foal will go full speed and try to mount us lol. He bites my mare's ankle, tail and does a lot of funny things but I have to correct him all the time (my mare tolerates EVERYTHING and Idk if that's normal), he also asks me for pets when we stop. I do correct him all the way but until I can't ride him and he's getting bigger, I do think it's time to break them apart (?).

Help please!

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I have spit up mares and foals. Best thing is to bring the foal to another place for a month. I find that a month is long enough generally. I would bring the foal to a friend's place with an older mare that I had and the foals grew up with..if you don't have another older horse that can go with the foal that they know then bring the foal to a place that has other older and mellow horses to keep the little one company. And your mare also should have company - it will keep her distracted.

32 Posts
Well she will be going somewhere for sure, I will see if a neighbour can take her... how bad it will be in our training not being able to ride her for 2 months? :(

Edit; okay so I had a panic attack haha. I think I know what I will do;

We have 2 fenced 2 acres places. One is for our riding horses to be during the night and the other we had a corn plantation but besides lives a feral mare (that all my horses love).

Maybe I can start putting the foal in thr 2nd 谩rea with the feral mare for a couple hours a day and gradually make it more hours to finally leave him there until the mare dries?

The problem is that they can see each other from certain angles and of course hear each other.

While I do that I will teach the foal to chill to a post + rope? So I can take him to the pasture him not being able to access the mother but be "near" her.

When he has that dominated maybe I can start working my mare around him (starting with 500 - 1km distance) and add distance? Idk haha
This sound is best to have them out of sight out of mind, but if not...yes another area, that is bullet proof is best....but a few hours here and a few hours there is not to make it a clean cut and have it done and over with in a month or two or three....make sure the mare is dried up. As others mentioned on here, you have to geld the colt otherwise he can breed his mom even at a young age. My one colt breed a mare at the age of get him gelded asap.

3,296 Posts
I also have a colt I'm a bit reluctant to geld. Unless I breed my mare again, that's the last of her line. The plan is to leave him intact until he's 2 years old and decide at that point, (or if he's unmanageable beforehand), if I'm gelding him or not. Most definitely will be gelding him at some point later on... Just have not put a date on it.

Testosterone closes growth plates earlier, so gelding them early results in a taller horse.

How do intact colts do, if just turned out with a gelding for company?

My friend's 18 month old colt, bred her 22 year old mare. The resulting foal was named Oh-no. But it turned out to be a good thing, as she lost her mare not very long after weaning the colt.

5,384 Posts
I understand what you are asking as far as gelding early.
Studies have found, especially in large breed dogs, that early neutering may not be the best for them. They are more prone to hip dysplasia and sometimes other diseases. Lack of proper hormones play a big part in this.
I have two 60 lb dogs and did not spay my female until she was about 18 months, shortly after her first heat to allow hormones to shut down her growth. The male is still intact and always will be. I see no valid reason for neutering him as he displays no bad or annoying behaviors related to him being intact.

I don't think that they have done any studies too extensively with horses on this matter. If you think that it's better for your colt to leave him intact for a bit, then that is what you do. Although, horses don't really finish growth until about six years of age. The plates in the hocks finish at about four years of age. Young stallions may stop growth a little sooner between five and six.
My mare, who is now fifteen, grew one full inch in height somewhere between the ages of six and eight. She developed more prominent withers but also got taller in the hip as well.

28 Posts
Horses be horses. Lots of good commentary here for you to sort through. I'm just going to toss in my experiences, xD I was raised on a horse farm. My mom raised Appaloosas, we stood two senior studs (Prince's Jim and L.A. Colt 45, a son of Colida,) and three junior stallions for when the old dudes kicked off. Every year we had a foal crop of 5 to 15 bebbes. Et Cetera, et cetera.

Geld when you want. There are pros and cons to early and late. But, a colt is usually fertile when a testicle reaches 2" (51mm) in diameter. Obviously there are outliers, so, use that measurement as an idea. Also, get ready to explain to the neighbors what in heck you're doing crawling around under there measuring your colt's jimmies, lol My mom would toss any ungelded colts into their on bachelor pasture when a testicle was about 1.5" across.

Colts are turds. They put their mouths on everything. They nibble, bite, flirt, chew, bite, gnaw, bite. Don't let them, it isn't cute, and can be downright dangerous. As my mom discovered with her first horse, a mutt TW x Saddlebred colt she got when she was 14. She spoiled him rotten, and Dad shot him when he was 11 because he nearly killed 5 year old me. (this was half a century ago in Central Florida; no one rescued jerk stallions.) Don't even let them think about it. Stallions flirt by nibbling a mare's neck and behind her knees and hocks. If he's nibbling your knees, he's a naughty boy.

Tie a rope round the mare's neck, put a strong halter on him, and run a rope from him to her 'necklace', just long enough that he can't get behind her. Unless you want a rodeo when the rope slides up under her tail, xD Then go riding. Let her take the brunt of his shenanigans. When he rears at you, swing her butt into him. Or walk her off. That rearing also isn't cute. Nothing like riding your mare and two forelegs come down on each side of you.

Weaning; there's as many opinions on it as there is on gelding. And mares also have their opinions. One of my own mares kicked her filly off the teat at three months. Done wif dis crap, take yo teef elsewhere! Well, her sister also had a filly the same age, and she swooped in and took on nursing both! Some mares love babies, some don't. Just like us. I let her nurse both until they were 7 months old. Finally I couldn't afford her feed bill any more! Such a cow!

Separating them was hard. The first filly was a brute and jump-plowed through every gate between her and her auntie nurse maid. Followed by the other filly daintily picking her way over the rubble. Fillies can also be turds, xD I ended up having to string two strands of hot tape on every fence and gate,... Kept them apart for two months. Worked for the adopted one, and sorta worked for the other one. Mamma made it to 28 before kicking off, her filly is now 17. And the joke was that Mamma would still lift a hind leg so her 17hh daughter could have a snack. Both were always model citizens. Nursing late didn't ruin anyone.

And finally, (thank goodness you say?) Horses are herd critters. Regardless of weaning or not, if you separate any two horses, there's going to be a lot of hollering like the world is ending. Horses are very dramatic. Extra, even. xD If you know someone with another foal, goat, donkey, llama, pony, gelding, camel, zebra, Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog you can borrow, toss the colt and the visitor into their own pen together. And ignore the theatrics. Reduce her grain for a week. That also helps.

Welcome to the adventure!
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