What Is A Gelding Horse?

Last Updated on March 6, 2022

Have you ever wondered what is a gelding horse? The word gelding is used to denote the gender of a horse, and also to refer to a surgical procedure that is carried out on horses. Let’s find out everything you need to know about what is a gelding horse!

What Is A Gelding Horse?

A gelding horse is a male horse that has been neutered. This means that it has undergone a surgical procedure during which both testicles are removed. You may also hear veterinary professionals referring to this as castration or an orchidectomy.

The testicles of a horse have two main functions. They are a key component in the production of sperm, essential for reproduction when the horse mates with a female. The testicles also produce certain hormones, responsible for the masculine traits and behavior of male horses.

What Is A Gelding Horse

Once a horse has been gelded, this procedure cannot be reversed. The horse will never be able to sire a foal, and will remain a gelding for the rest of its life.

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Why Are Male Horses Gelded?

The main reason why male horses are gelded is to reduce the influence of the hormones released by the testicles, and remove the ability of the horse to reproduce. A male horse with his testicles, called a stallion or entire male, can be very excitable and difficult to handle. This is because the testicles produce testosterone, giving him the desire to find mares with which to reproduce.

This means that keeping a stallion with other horses can be very problematic. He will become difficult to manage whenever a fertile mare is nearby, and he may also attempt to fight with other male horses. For this reason, most male horses are gelded to make them easier to handle and manage.

A gelded male horse can live alongside mares and other gelded males without any problems. They tend to become more docile and calm, and will live a more stress-free life.

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Generally speaking, male horses are only left as entire male stallions if they are intended for breeding. One stallion can mate with many mares during the breeding season, so only a small number of stallions are needed within the breeding stock. It stands to reason that only the best examples of each breed should be kept as entire males for breeding.

Caring for a stallion, especially one used for breeding, is a tricky business and should only be carried out by experienced horse handlers. In the right hands, stallions can be used for riding and even horse competitions, but these examples are few and far between.

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Is Gelding A Horse Cruel?

Removing the testicles of a horse does not sound like a pleasant thing to do, and many people might think that gelding a horse is cruel. Whilst the horse will feel some discomfort following this procedure, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

When a horse is gelded, the veterinarian will ensure that he cannot feel any pain. The horse will be given sedatives and anesthetic, as well as pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication. This means the testicles can be safely removed without the horse feeling anything.

Following the castration procedure, the horse may feel some slight pain and discomfort, particularly if the surgical site becomes inflamed or infected. The risk of this occurring can be minimized by keeping the surgical site clean and free from flies. The horse should be encouraged to walk around to keep swelling to a minimum.

Gelding A Horse Benefits – What Is A Gelding Horse

Once the horse has fully recovered from the castration procedure, you will start to see the benefits. After several weeks the hormones responsible for stallion-like behavior will start to reduce, and he will become calmer and much more amenable. You will be able to turn the gelding out in a paddock with other horses, without the risk of fighting or inappropriate behavior.

The biggest benefit to the horse of being gelded is that he will no longer feel the desire to mate with female horses. This can be very stressful for a stallion, particularly during the breeding season. A gelding can live calmly and happily alongside mares, without feeling stressed and frustrated.

If a horse is gelded at a young age, he may never show any stallion-like behavior at all. Horses that are castrated later in life may continue to behave like stallions, even after they have been neutered. For this reason, most male horses are neutered before they are two years old unless they show the potential of being good breeding stock.

Gelding A Horse Benefits

What Is A Gelding Horse Summary

So, as we have learned, a gelding is a horse that has been castrated. This means that it has had both of its testicles removed, to make it calmer and easier to handle. This procedure is carried out on the vast majority of male horses unless they are intended for breeding.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on what is a gelding horse! Have you ever seen a horse being castrated? Or maybe you’ve got some questions about why horses need to be gelded? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!


How To Gelding A Horse?

Horses are gelded in one of two different ways. This procedure can either be done as a standing castration, with the horse sedated and local anaesthetic administered to the surgical site. Alternatively, a horse can be gelded under a general anaesthetic.

How Long Does It Take For A Horse To Recover From Gelding?

Most horses will recover from gelding within three weeks. If there are any complications such as infection or hemorrhage, the recovery time will be longer.

What Is The Average Cost Of Gelding A Horse?

The average cost of gelding a horse is from $200 to $500. The cost varies according to whether the horse has a general anaesthetic or standing sedation, or whether the procedure is carried out at the veterinary clinic or at the owner's premises.

What Is Gelding In Horse Racing?

Horses used for racing are normally gelded if they are not to be used for breeding. When a horse is gelded he will be more focussed on racing, and less easily distracted by other horses in the race.