"Hi, this little guy is a cutie but he keeps flirting with the mares and brings them into heat. He is 36 inches tall, about 9-10 years old, to old to be gelded! Would make nice back yard pet or a teaser stud. Its been 5 years since he has been riden, but then someone walked him. To aproved home only, utd on shots and worming, will need to pull a coggins as he never has left my property. I will also trim his hoofs before he leaves."
('cause heaven forbid you trim his hooves just because he desperately needs them trimmed!)
So let's talk about this common misconception that a horse can be too old to be gelded. First question, how early can you geld if you know you want to do it? That's easy - as soon as there are two testicles that have dropped. This could be by six months of age or it might not be until two years of age. Some people freak out if a yearling doesn't have two descended testicles and assume it is a cryptorchid and that one will never drop and that expensive surgery is necessary, but I have seen real-life examples of colts who dropped at 24-26 months so my call would be to wait a little longer to see if nature takes its course. (Given, of course, the fact that you two year olds and sometimes even yearlings can impregnate a mare, so you'd better be able to keep your not-yet-gelded colt safe and secure with only other boys for company!) The other consideration is the time of year. Many vets do not like to geld in midsummer because of the flies that will cluster around the wound, but the cleanest place to do the procedure is usually out on the grass, so spring and fall are the preferred times of year. Aftercare is not terribly complicated - you want to keep the wound site clean and make sure that the horse walks around for exercise for the weeks following the procedure - turnout is best but if he is stall kept. handwalking several times a day or longeing at the walk will help him heal.
What if you do encounter an older stallion who is not stallion quality or for whatever reason needs to become a gelding in order to find himself a good, new home? The idea that a horse can be "too old to geld" is pretty much a total old wives' tale. It is true that there may be more bleeding during the procedure and the vet has to be aware of that and keep the clamps on longer, but I have never seen any serious complications result. The benefits far outweigh the risks - yes, it does take a few months after gelding for all of the troublesome hormones to be gone, but once they are, you have a horse who can go out with the herd and who is much easier to sell/adopt out. It is true that some of them do remain kind of flirty with the mares but not to the same degree and I've seen geldings that were cut early that still were flirty and acted possessive with the ladies, so I think it's more of an individual personality thing than anything else. Most horses get gelded and a few months later - they're geldings, hanging out in a herd, no more screaming at the girls, and no more aggression if that was a problem before.
I have always liked this picture. These are two Serenity Training rescues, both old CBER feedlot horses. The bay is Romeo and the sorrel is Ace. They were both teenaged ex-stallions, gelded only a few months earlier in this picture. As you can see, no ill effects and not only did they both adjust quickly to herd life with no issues, but they chose to buddy up with the other ex-stallion! They both have loving homes to this day, homes they could never have had as grade stallions.
Bottom line, unless your veterinarian has diagnosed a specific complication that will interfere with castration (and I'd always get a second opinion), there is no such thing as too old to geld. Now, owners who are too cheap to geld and would rather pass it along to be someone else's problem? That's an epidemic!
"I had my mini stallion gelded when he was 20 years old. I had stopped breeding a few years ago, and he was all alone in his own paddock, depressed. The vet went over the risks associated, and I opted to do it anyway. He came through with flying colors, no complications. Since then he's become an all around happier guy, with his own group of mares he hangs out with."
"I bought a fourteen year old arab stallion, that they only kept a stallion so they could say we have an arabian stallion. I bought him then gelded him. He was the best gelding I ever had. After spending 14 years by himself, since they were afraid of him, after all he was a stallion. He wasn't even halter broke. I don't understand people sometimes. I think of all the time that little guy wasted when he would have been a really happy gelding at an earlier age. I didn't really want another horse at the time but I couldn't let me him sit there any longer. He is a great 4-h horse for a little girl now. People really need some brains sometimes."
"Just thought I'd pass along this little tale proving the fact that a horse is never too old to geld: My aunt had a nice Appaloosa stallion. He was good stock, had done some shows, and she was standing him at stud. She retired him from breeding when he was 25. He didn't take retirement too well, and every breeding season he'd get so worked up he'd lose weight, stress all the other horses out with his pacing and screaming, and finally, he injured himself in a desperate attempt to get to the mares on the farm. So, at 29 years old, he was gelded. He bled and swelled just a bit more than a young gelding, but after about a week of care, he was fine. Until he died at 34, he lived with a couple of retired broodmares who kept him happy (and in line). Thanks! Enjoy your blog. :-)"
"I read your blog sometimes. Occasionally I agree, sometimes I don't. I have had vets geld colts as young as 2 weeks old. I have had vets geld teenagers, like this years teenage stallions I gelded. One was an arabian Padrons Psyche son out of a daughter of *Aladdinn. Google those two names and you will see how difficult this decision was. However, I treat my herd naturally. Not neglected, just natural. The stallions (five of them) were gelded two at a time and turned out with the herd 24 hours after gelding. The stallions all ran together in a large arena sized pen with shelter prior to gelding. So, they were not real aggressive animals to begin with. I tied them up overnight after the procedure and gave them IV banamine that first day. Then I turned them out and just monitored them. I was done gelding them by the end of May. At the end of August they are staring to comingle with mixed groups and losing their stallion bahavior. They still pick favorites and "herd" the other horses away from their group. No one is injured, they are all settling into mixed herds and letting the geldings join them. The 9 year old Morgan stallion was the most "stallionlike" when first turned out. He is getting great to deal with. Just letting you know that you don't have to wait to geld stallions, you can geld them as very small babies and let their mommas exersise them."
"Thank you thank you thank you thank you for FINALLY addressing this issue (I've written to you about it before)! There is a local lady with an Appaloosa stallion, whom she still advertises extensively for breedings despite her claims she's not covering mares anymore. When I asked her why she doesn't just geld him (since she claims she's not breeding him anymore and she's told me of many instances when he broke through his fences and "accidentally" bred boarders' mares), she has repeatedly claimed her vet told her that to geld him at 15 years old (she's been saying this for at least 5 years now) would... get this... drum roll please... make him more prone to testicular cancer.
WHAT?! HOW THE HELL WOULD HE GET TESTICULAR CANCER IF HIS TESTICALS WERE REMOVED?! DUH! What a bullshit excuse to keep a stallion."
FHOTD in: That really IS a hoot!
"My boy Pan was a herd stallion for two years, with about 30 mares all his own. When I first sent him to a trainer, he was ferocious to the point of attacking people with teeth and hooves. He was then gelded, trained, and less than a year later is Mr. Mellow."
"Too old to geld my ass! Cute little pony but he is far from being to old to geld , just a lazy excuse to be cheap!
I have a ten year old stallion waiting for the ol' gelding knife this fall when the flies are less abundant. He has produced lovely correct foals , but I am tired of the separate fields and I want a gelding to enjoy and I want him to be able to enjoy his up coming old age with more company. We have gelded stallions at all ages , youngest being six months old , oldest being 20 , have not had an issue with any except one 5 year old TB who was still at the track at the time. He got a cord infection and it was hell getting him recovered but we did it. The vet who gelded him tied the ends of the cords , which I do not ever recommend . That was the cause of the infection and we had to go in and re-cut the ends,after that he healed very well.
By the way Fugly , your friend scored a gorgeous mare from the auction! I live in south eastern Washington state and if a mare like that came across our auction yard I wouldn't care what my hubby said she would have come home with me!"
"Folks who bred and raised Appaloosas went out of business in the 1990's. Their aged stallion - in late 20's - was retired and then gelded for health reasons. He did quite well afterward allowing him a good healthy quality of life."
"I used to breed and show top quality miniatures. When I retired, but still wanted to keep my favorite stallions as pets, I gelded one at 7, one at 10 and the other at 13 years old. All these horses were kept in private paddocks and stalls all their lives, used for breeding and show. Now all 3 live together in one paddock, share a fenceline with full sized mares, and are shown by 4-Hers at the county fairs. No complications, no issues at all!
On a different note, I adopted a 4 year old OTTB stallion last fall. He was never turned out with other horses and lived the racehorse life. I gelded him immediately after getting him, he bled terribly and had complications in healing. Now almost a year later, he is good with mares or geldings, but not mixed. He gets aggressive with geldings if there is a mare in his group. I think this is probably more of a social problem and may have always been there even if he were gelded at a normal age. With the mares, he is usually the one who gets picked on! Go girls!!!"
"A gelding that has formerly been a breeding stallion may remain more than “kind of flirty” with the mares. Some can and will continue to mount mares. I assume that would be the exception. Care should be taken when turning a former breeding stallion out with mares, even if he has been O.K. with other mares in the past.
Year ago, I made arrangements to board my two pony mares on pasture with the pony mare of the stable owner’s granddaughter. In the summer, the owner brought her former breeding stallion, now riding gelding, out to the farm to be put on pasture with the ponies, as had been done in summers past. He had never bothered the granddaughter’s pony. When one of my ponies came into heat, he decided she was the love of his life. He separated her from the other two mares and mounted her repeatedly. He had to be removed from the pasture. "
"OK, gelding. A subject dear to my heart. I have just dropped two off at the College to be done, one is a three month old foal, at foot of his mother. THIS is the best time to do them, no doubt whatsoever, they get cut, they go back and nurse and if they are feeling off that is all they do for a couple of days (of course I offer them their normal feeds and they usually eat just fine, but if they are feeling low, there is Mama).
The two year old is well down, do not have a problem with colts descending, if they are not down AT BIRTH you are in REAL trouble, believe me.
The problem is most people do not know that you have to get in there and rummage to be able to find them, colts do not usually, not at birth anyway, stick them in your face!!
So, I was running the two year old on to see if he would make a stallion, now I have decided to sell him, so he is being gelded as ....drum roll, if you will.......THIS IS THE RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO!!! The fact that it is an expensive thing to do does not come into it as the colt is MY responsibility, I bred him. Yes, gelding wipes out any "profit" (HAH remember that word?) I would make on him....how does this affect him in any way?? How is this his "fault" or responsibility?? Answer is of course, it's not.
Geldings actually grow longer than colts, as testosterone closes the growth plates on a colts legs at around 18-20 months, whilst tests show that a gledings plates do not close until around 36 months, so a gelding will make slightly taller than an entire.They do NOT need testosterone in order to "mature", they mature just fine as geldings, believe me, and if you want proof you can come and look at my lot!
Since no-one in their right mind would want a heavy cresty neck on a riding horse, there is nothing that testosterone can add that good conditioning and feed cannot.
If you have them as foals, GELD THEM AS FOALS. There is not one single breed in the world that would suffer from your excellent colt being turned into a world beating gelding.
"My old guy Harry's sire, Brusally al Azrak, was a sucessful breeding stallion into his mid twenties when he became sterile. He was gelded then and lived the rest of his years as a theraputic horse for children. No doubt Azzie's genes are why Harry (Zanhar) has always been such a sweetheart even though he was 4 when he was gelded - he is 33 now."
"Anyone remember "Diego" a CBER Arab stallion from about March 2006. Advertised as about 14, when the Vet arrived to do the deed, he says "oh-oh, more like 18-20"!!! Diego, now Taz, is now an English lesson horse for young girls......he's only about 13.3HH, but what a stunner, and SO well-behaved."
"I agree, never too old to geld, but many times too old to remove the stallion behavior. This is especially true when a stallion has been bred, and even more so when a stallion has been kept in a herd dynamic with mares. This is very specific to the individual. I gelded an 8 year old stallion I bred for many seasons and he settled into a herd with another gelding and 2 mares just fine after about 8 months. I also gelded a 17 year old akhal-teke cross of some sort (got knows why he was a stud in the first place) at age 12. He was never bred, and he maintained extreme aggressive and possessive behaviors.
So I think people should be aware that while gelding is a good thing to do to remove the possibility of accidental pregnancies and it will ultimately make any horse easier to handle, many times it cannot remove ingrained behaviors and not to expect that he will ever behave like a horse gelded at a younger age, although this can be true.
Also I had a 2008 miniature colt gelded at less than 3 months of age, because he ran around in an "excitable" state much of the time and attempted to mount his mother and any of my other mares who would tolerate his antics. I couldn't believe this behavior in such a youngster. Both of his testicles were palpable so our veterinarian gelded him! His mother is a 38 inch mini and his sire appeared slightly shorter, but I didn't investigate him too closely, as when I purchased the mare and they told me she had been running with him for just a week or two, I figured chances were she wasn't bred. Of course chances were I was wrong, but at any rate he was not any bigger than the colts dam. The point is, at 18 months of age the colt is now a full 2 inches taller than his dam and probably his sire too and substantially thicker as well. I know that early gelding will cause a colt to grow taller and not develop secondary sex traits, but this little guy is on track to get substantially taller than either of his parents. Just an interesting aside. "
"I bought a Section A Welsh pony several years ago, that had gone through an auction as a 12 yr old gelding and was picked up by someone who knew the pony. They were surprised that he had been gelded as he had been a breeding stallion just shortly before the auction and the fellow was positive he was older than 12. He then sold the pony to me and said that he had checked with the owner that had used him as a stallion, and found out that the pony was really 16 yrs. old. I had bought him in November and had turned him out off and on with some of the mares on the farm but had no problem with him. He would get a little silly every now and then but he quickly learned that bad manners were not acceptable. I just figured that if he had been gelded recently, it might take a while for the behaviours to stop. The following April, a boarder in our barn and my husband happened to be standing outside the pony's stall door when my husband casually glanced at the pony and was rather shocked at what he saw. He confirmed what he was seeing with the boarder and it was decided that the pony would no longer get turned out with the mares!!! Both testicles were down and in plain sight! All winter long he had tucked them up into his abdominal cavity and for all the world looked like a gelding!! Now we are not novice horse owners, by no means, so not knowing what to look for was not the problem. One month later the little guy was gelded at the ripe old age of 17. We had no problem with the procedure and he recovered very well. Now I had a pony that would keep his mind on his job and not be distracted by every other equine that came into view. He was a true example of not being too old to geld."
"I have to say, not one but two of the best school horses I've ever ridden were former studs. Tango, a black and white Paint, was gelded at age 10 when he just wasn't producing offspring with the color the owner was looking for, and was sold to a Girl Scout camp. He was 14 when I met him, and the number 1 steadiest horse on the property - great on the trail or in the arena, and kind and willing with riders of all ages and abilities. I'd hazard a guess I'm not the only person who remembers him fondly. At the riding school where I learned to ride, Red, a super pretty chestnut Quarter Horse, was gelded in his mid to late teens and was probably pushing 20 when I met him. From what I'd heard he'd had a successful career showing and at stud but wherever he was at just didn't have a place for an older gentleman such as himself. Again, he was great with all ages and a perfect gentleman at all times. Both these horses' lives were extended by being gelded, and I and the other riders who had the good fortune to know these former stallions had the benefit of learning from some great experienced horses. Not every former stud is going to be like these fellows, who had the benefit of good training while they were young, but gelding did them no harm and certainly (particularly in Red's case) kept them out of the slaughterhouse."
"If they leave the poor neglected thing in that pasture, paddock, junk yard area...he may just geld himself. I love the "to an approved home only" line too.....will that be judged against his current abode? If so, it won't be hard to qualify. I watched dozens just like him, only gelded go for less than $50 at the last horse sale I attended. Maybe if we televised the horse sales, people would figure this out. What am I saying.....probably not."
"I worry more about mud and the inability to properly exercise due to ice(not to mention laying them down) than flies,and have gelded in all seasons,just gotta adjust to the situation."
"Just wanted to say that my friend bought a mini horse stallion about a year ago, and had him gelded a few weeks before she picked him up. He was 18 years old then and a tiny little guy, about 28" at the withers I think. Now he's a wonderful sweet little guy that loves children. =)
"Here at MHARF we have had to geld many teenaged and even early twentys stallions.Our vet ALWAYS ligates the stumps,we usually have the older fellas done at the U of M or similar facility with a surgery suite so they can take a few days to recover (and be monitored by vets).The remainder of the recovery is at home and uneventful.Stallions kept in isolation prior to intake must be very carefully introduced to a companion as they are lacking in social skills.The testosterone levels drop rather quickly but learned behaviors can be long lasting.The myth that a stallion is infertile 2 weeks after castration should also be busted,new info says up to 2 months for mature animals.Youngsters here are typically gelded as early as 1 month after weaning ,or in the starvation cases,as soon as they are stable and have gained enough weight.Castration is done when the second tetanus shot is due.It is a wonderful thing to see an older stallion,incarcerated from an early age,learn what it is to have grass,freedom,and FRIENDS.I have never regretted a single castration."
"One thing I wanted to clarify... according to my vet, testosterone is made continually and the instant those testicles are gone testosterone is dropping. Within one day, it is *MOSTLY* gone. We are left with learned behaviors which can take awhile to lesson.
And, for what it's worth... I had a 5 year old, cryptorchid. The first vet wasn't able to get to the retained testicle. I then had to take him to a hospital and have it done laproscopically. It was pretty much a worst case scenario, but he was able to locate the retained one fairly quickly and my bill was right at $900. It was worth every penny and he's a great horse now - 5 weeks after surgery. Before that he was a screaming, rearing mess."
"That little stallion sure needs an upgrade in his living quarters! What a dump."
"Our senior stallion was always kid and beginner safe; he was a true babysitter. He was the first ride for beginners of all ages, behaved perfectly on group rides of all sizes, carried handicapped and failing "last time" riders with care and concern. He even carried me safely--bareback and using only a halter and rope rein--around and through our wooded, mare filled pasture one moonlight night when I came home from a party where I had enjoyed a bit too much vino, and he had his work cut out for him just staying under me, let alone avoiding a couple of horny, upset mares. When his son came home from a year's training absence, conflict ensued. Decided to sell Papa--but of course, no one was interested in him as a stud. Gelded him at age 22. He was the oldest stud our vet had ever gelded. I still remember him saying, as he sawed through whatever (I heard it, I couldn't watch), "Wow, this is really tough . . ." No issues, no problems, and a few months later he went off to be a child's first horse."
"I am the owner of the imported Sorraia stallion, Sovina . He is scheduled to be castrated on Sept 23rd of next mth. He is 10 yrs old and I do not believe any stallion that has bred mares and too old to be gelded. Alot has to do with how the stallion has been trained/handled, if disrespectful, the horse will be that way after castration.
I am gelding Sovina because I am done with breeding and wish to retire him without the frustration of not being able to breed, and not only that I do not wish to breed more crosses even the best breeding with him was with a Lusitano mare, there are NO Sorraia mares in the USA and what is the point when the Sorraias are doing well in Portugal. I knew a QH stallion that was gelded at 14 yrs old, and he was well trained before castration, became a much mellow horse during breeding session."
"For the record, my sister-in-law has a horse that was gelded in his late teens after being used as a stud in his youth. He is the most laid-back, sweet-tempered horse I've ever seen, and has no more interest in the ladies than any other gelding -- in fact, he has less interest than many that were gelded as babies."
"Cathy, for a pony it probably would not be a problem to geld at age 10. You should discuss this issue in greater depth with some board certified equine reproduction specialists. However, once past ten (and some even earlier) there are corollary issues such as tolerance for general anesthesia, difficulties with aftercare (some extreme). It isn't the casual walk in the park of gelding a 6-12 month colt. Among the challenges for gelding the older stallion is the high prevalence of serous cord, abdominal adhesions, increased risk of infection, slow healing, etc. These are magnified with the "regular" size horse. And I know about this because I have been there and done that. It is NEVER easy, it is fraught with danger, and I would not suggest the average horse owner tackle the problem especially aftercare.
FYI on the Pease problem, according to the Trot forum and the two Topics forums, the county in Kentucky that seized these horses are now adopting them out. Of course, there is no clear information anywhere on identities, ages, gender, handle-ability, health status, reproduction status, whether papers are available to transfer - not even the color of the horse. And no apparent screening of adopters. Whomever has $250 coming down the driveway at the right time, gets one. Unfrickin believable. Our tax dollars at work. I can only imagine how taken aback the caregivers must be knowing their hard work might go down the drain because some idjit byb takes home a for-cheap SB mare to breed god knows what off of. And it looks like the people who starved the horses in the first place are going to succeed in getting off completely or with just a "lunch money" fine. Big money and big lawyers succeed, the rest of us who really care about the horses, well, FAIL."
"My Mom had her 29 year old Arab stud gelded! She’d tried before (when the stallion was 22), but the surgery wasn’t completed due to anesthetic complications. When said stud tangled with a fence a few years ago, trying to get to a loose hussy filly, the vet came to tidy his (minor) wounds and told Mom the procedure could be done with the stallion standing and sedated. The horse is now 32, and still hanging out on the ranch. Losing his boys at a very advanced age was not a burden on his quality of life."
"Had a cute little pony colt that was not so cute by the time he was eight months old. Called the vet and argued a bit but he came the next day. In two weeks I decided he could live and I would not have to resort to murdering him. Became a very cute pony gelding and went on to become a child's first pony and is there still as far as I know. "
"I had my connemara gelded when he was 4 months old and still on his dam- he was done under local, standing and had his dam there to look after him - totally unproblematic and easy. I would always do it this way if the testicles have dropped. I'm glad I did as he's quirky enough as a gelding, he'd be a nightmare as a colt/Stallion - plus he is NOT stallion quality.
The only thing that a later gelding might have achieved is to keep his height down, as he is now a few cm over the height limit."
"A friend of mine has a newly ex-stallion that is registered, 16 yrs old, and EXTREMELY well bred. He was an accomplished barrel horse, and produced several talented babies. She decided to geld him not because of his personality or because he was hard to handle, but because the size of his testicles (which were HUGE) interfered with the way he walked, and it interfered with how he was running on the barrel pattern. Many people a “pooh-poohed” her, saying that they suck up and out of the way during performance time. She started video taping him and noted that he was moving different in all gaits, and his times were starting to show the same thing. She gelded him in early March – most of the snow was gone, early spring grass just starting to show, no flies, cool weather. The horse is back to performing and clocking, and they are both happy. (Karen V)"
"I just gelded my 21 year old stallion in May. Yesterday I turned him out on pasture across from an old gelding, his yearling daughter and two mules. He is loving it. I am hoping he and the old gelding will become pasture mates this Fall. I used a board-certifed surgeon at a wonderful hospital and they are all up to date on all the latest technology in gelding older studs. Cost me just over $600 (was more to have my dog's teeth cleaned and 4 pulled!) He barely bled, barely swelled, I exercised him twice a day for 10 days and he was in super condition afterwards. I just was done breeding (as in, we don't need any more foals out there) and I wanted him to have a life."
"Ok, I was for your blog for a LONG time, that is until it became AR motivated. Why not just slap a PETA link on the f-in page?
Yes, I agree, people have made animals a Throw away commodity, but honestly this blog has gone WAY down hill.
As for the pony stud, yah, his feet need a trim, but he is healthy looking overall, and honestly GIVE ME A BREAK…The horse can walk, can eat, and function…but…
HIS OWNERS ARE IGNORANT, is that all you have.
Geld a six month old, ARE YOU PLAIN INSANE…sigh, no…sorry that is like spaying and neutering 7-8wk old puppies, not the best decision FOR THE ANIMAL…but just because SOME teenage x-studs were gelded that seems to be the ONLY decision that is right. Should grade horses be bred, no, but in the end why not go after the moronic people that breed these studs to EVERYTHING, not the pony that drives the mares nuts….but doesn’t get to breed the crap out of everything.
Sad Sad Sad…don’t think I will frequent the blog anymore, it is nothing but propaganda anymore…Sad as it used to be the representative of responsible and ethical breeders and owners. Now you are the mouthpiece for the AR groups. A sad state all around."
FHOTD in: There's nothing wrong in my opinion with spaying and neutering puppies and kittens early. It is absolutely easier on them than doing it later - recovery time is minimal and they can then be adopted out without having to worry that an "oops" breeding will result. Our opinions differ on this. I'm not quite sure what issue you are alleging my view is so extreme on as to align with PETA, but I also don't think everything PETA does is wrong, either. They just need to stop talking about sea kittens and pretending horses are better off in the wild, 'cause they're not, unless your idea of "better" is starving to death or being eaten by a cougar because nobody can treat your injuries.
"I waited for the other “ball to drop” until Colty was 2 ½ years old. It didn’t so I scheduled the cryptorchid surgery for a crisp fall day. The vet sedated Colty for the pre-surgery exam and low and behold the second testicle dropped. He wasn’t a cryptorchid – he was just shy.
FHOTD in: What a well behaved horse for saving you money! :-)
"Attached is a picture of our ( one time ) Jr. Stallion, now gelding, PF Valjo. He was also featured on the Training blog " Have You Driven a Fjord....Lately ? " with his 1/2 brother PF Oslo, also our breeding.
Valjo sired 8 beautiful correct fillys before we gelded him at age 8. He was always an easy boy to handle, but I saw his future as a GREAT gelding, which he is turning out to be.
Trail ride yesterday with both boys, Valjo on the L, Oslo on your R.....thanks for a good topic! - Pedfjords"
"Six months, heck! We have gelded at a few WEEKS with even less problems than a few months. A certain percentage of colts are actually born with two in the bag, and if there are two gelding is possible and desirable.
OTO, my vets have always recommended waiting until the colt is fully 36 months to decide that surgery for a wandering gonad is necessary, unless there is some reason to go after it sooner (such as evidence of discomfort, severe behavioral problems, etc.). - AlphaMare"
"We have a 19 year old former world champion stallion who had a heavy breeding schedule in his early years. Now that his book has slowed down, and we have his swimmers on ice we thought about gelding him, let him have a normal life. We have had our regular vet say no, a large local clinic say no, and our state veterinary college say no. Because he was used heavily for breeding and due to his age they all say no."
FHOTD in: Interesting. I don't know how/why that would affect the decision? We geld the rescues not knowing if they were ever bred or how much.