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Definition of Gelding

What is a Gelding

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Definition: A gelding is a castrated male horse. Unless a horse is to be used for breeding purposes, it should be castrated. Gelding can make horses more even tempered and easier to handle. A stallion who is gelded later in life will retain more stallion-like behavior. A colt may be gelded before it is one year old -- as soon as the testicles descend into the scrotum. Many owners feel that the earlier the better, so the colt does not develop any stallion-ish behaviors.

Geldings may grow slightly taller than they would if they were left stallions. Geldings are preferred by some riders who dislike that mares can be moody during their heat cycle.

Gelding is a relatively simple procedure carried out by a veterinarian. The horse is sedated and local anesthesia is administered for a standing castration, or a general anesthesia is used if the horse is to be castrated lying down. Caring for the horse after gelding usually includes allowing the horse light exercise, keeping the incision area clean, and administering antibiotics. Complications following gelding are very rare.

Pronunciation: g e l d (short e) (hard g)

Also Known As: castrated

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