Can You Neuter Horses and Ponies?
Male Horses and Ponies
The neutering of male horses and ponies is quite common. The procedure of neutering a horse is called gelding, after the surgery you would also refer to the horse as a gelding.
Horses are gelded because of their behaviour rather than for birth control purposes. Stallions can be tricky to handle and can be dangerous. If a stallion is gelded then he will tend to calm down and become easier to look after and ride.
It is typical for a colt to be gelded before his second birthday as this is generally when the horse’s hormones kick in.
Gelding can be performed standing or laying down, and with the anaesthetic the horse won’t feel a thing.
A strange side effect of castration tends to be that geldings tend to grow taller than stallions. When you castrate a horse you are taking away the main source of testosterone and this has an effect on the growth plates in the horse’s legs. Stallions tend to end up stockier in build than geldings.
Female Horses and Ponies
Female horses can have an ovariectomy but this is far less common than gelding. This is usually only done if the horse has ovarian tumours, a diseased reproductive tract or behavioural problems. In a horse only the ovaries are removed.