If I wait past 4 months to geld a horse, and he DOESN'T breed, will he still..?
If I wait past 4 months to geld a horse, and he DOESN'T breed, will he still have his mindset of breeding even if I get him gelded later on?
- ?Lv 68 years agoFavorite Answer
The onset of puberty depends on a lot of things, and you can control at least one of them.
I knew a colt that bred a mare when he was 9 months old. He was kept in a mare band, and I guess his mama wasn't especially bossy and the mare he bred was probably one of those 'hotsy mamas' that is always ready for any fella who comes along.
At the other end of the continuum, I bought a colt at 18 months that had zero concept of his own 'manhood' because he'd been raised in a herd of old geldings who kept him in a juvenile state. His testicles didn't drop until he was 2, and even then he had no studly characteristics except that he would bite people, and he didn't seem able to learn not to. He was gentle and calm and easy to handle in every other way, but he would bite. He never developed any of the stallion physical attributes like the heavy, jowly head or muscling (He was QH and Appaloosa). I am ashamed to admit it now, but I kept him in a stall for his first few months and intermittently after that, so he still didn't get any social interaction with the ladies.
It's been proven in species from horses to elephants to humans, when young males lack a strong adult male presence, they go through puberty earlier and lack social skills. When well-intentioned managers moved female and juvenile elephants to new ranges that lacked a resident bull, the 'colts' went through puberty early and they often went rogue because they had neither their own mental maturity nor a strong bull to keep them in line. Think about it, with no adult males in the area, there would be no new crop of babies for the next breeding cycle, and Mother Nature is not going to let that happen, so the youngsters' onset of breeding capability is pushed up to ensure the next generation.
Lesson for anyone raising a colt that you don't want to get studly - once he's weaned, keep him in a bachelor band of geldings.
ETA: If a stallion never breeds a mare, he will be more likely to lose any sexual thoughts after the hormone levels have dropped after gelding - even if he reaches adulthood with his masculinity intact. This is not to say he'll be a perfectly behaved gelding - that depends on how he has been handled as a stallion and as a gelding. Gelding any time in his first year should head off any breeding tendencies, unless of course he's the only boy or the oldest/most dominant boy in a mare band.
Another consideration - If you want him to mature taller, geld him earlier. High testosterone levels cause earlier closure of growth plates in the long bones, so a stallion and an early-cut gelding of the same genetic height potential will mature to different heights. I think the difference can be a couple of inches. Keep this in mind when starting him under saddle, too. For more info, search "The Ranger Article" by Dr. Deb Bennett.
- CDogLv 78 years ago
Testosterone is what causes stallion behavior. Every horse is different and some colts will exhibit this behavior at a young age, others are mellower and act more like geldings. It just depends on the horse.
- Jeff SadlerLv 78 years ago
Many people wait until anywhere from 6 months to two years. But in general the earlier the better, but serious stallion behavior won't start until closer to two years. At four months or a little later he should be fine.
- EmuraLv 68 years ago
Until he is gelded he will want to breed every time he smells a mare. It is all hormones and instinct.