GR24, it's called the epididymus and the term is "proud cut".
I drove a "rig" (proud cut horse); Cementhead (I didn't name him lol) was stallion-y in every way, but yet manageable enough for the most part. The vet said that "he had some testicular material" left in him. Wonder if he was dumbing down the medical lingo for me, or is there a diff between "material" and the epididymus?
My gelding tried to mount ME in the field one time. He was out with a blanket on, and I was reaching in front of him to unbuckle the front. He had his head on my shoulder, and sort of nibbled my shoulder/back. He's a snuff/wuffer kind of guy and so I thought he was just doing that. Next thing I know I feel his front legs start to lift and him get heavier in me. I whipped back and unleashed my best Satan impression and he quickly backed off. But I was kind of freaked out!
The epididymus is a basically a sperm storage vault. It does NOT produce testosterone. The testicles are the testosterone producers. If they are completely removed, then all circulating testosterone is coming from the adrenal glands.
Horse's brains (like ours) are masculinized well before birth. As early as 6-8 weeks, the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome (SRY gene) causes the undifferentiated gonads to form testes. These then begin producing androgens like testosterone. The brain is masculinized (defeminized?) later in development than the gonads, but suffice it say, our geldings ARE boys and many of them are quite aware of that fact, even after their testosterone factories have been closed down. I've heard vets say that approximately 50% of successfully gelded horses will display stallion-like behaviors to one degree or another throughout their lives. While many of these behaviors can be modified or subdued with training, just as they are with stallions, their behavior in turnout with other horses is the most resistant to modification.
OP, IF this horse has a source for testosterone production other than his adrenal glands, it is NOT his epididymus. It would have to be testicular tissue that was left behind at the time of gelding. More likely than not, he's in the group of geldings that just behave as if they were intact. Behavior modification through training and hormone therapy are pretty much your only shots at changing his behaviors and management is key to protecting other horses on the property, i.e. turnout and buddy changes.
Last edited by JackieBlue; Apr. 28, 2013 at 12:12 PM.
WOW everyone thanks again for all of the information!!
Spacytracy I would have loved to see the look on his face when you geeked out.... But mom I LOVE you?! hahaha That actually reminds me of a stud at on of my past farms the guy only had 2-3 of us that were allowed to mess with him and I remember getting the disclaimer to watch out because he'd love to mount anything other than the mares, so watch yourself, the gates, the geldings, and even the dog; and for godsake be careful bending over to put on his bell boots! (he was special horse.)
and Michael I totally love the name cementhead, It describes more than one horse in my past
No testicles, 1/2 a testicle, 5 testicles.... Doesn't matter. It's unacceptable behavior and should be treated as such.
I cannot agree more. I am absolutely 110% with you.
Owner is out of state at the moment so I was only able to cliff notes our day to her vix txt (I hate txting) and all I got back was a "K do way you need to do, I'll see you when I get back" Which basically means feel free to beat him silly if need be (dear cothers please don't freak I am not nearly strong enough to wield a 2x4)
I would like a hormone test just to know but at this point he's on my watch list and will be handled as such. I have no issue making myself the alpha and I feel like with work, a lot of work, this horse has the potential to be a really nice horse, just maybe not the kind you ever hand off to a 5yr old kid to hold for a minute while you walk away
Not to that degree but I've had totally gelded geldings fall in love with mares/fillies and act all bad when separated. But this one takes the cake! There must be something going on. I've heard that some Arab show geldings aren't gelded all the way to give them 'presence' in the ring. I can't spell the name of the little 'organ' which is left to bring on the silliness. Epi-something. Don't laugh at me if I got this wrong, I heard it from Arab owners. ??
I've owned and shown (and gelded) enough Arabs to know this is not the case.
And the tissue you're thinking of is the epididymis, a convoluted tubular structure adherent to the outer edge of the testis proper, and a conduit/storage area for spermatozoa.
There's folklore to the effect that not removing it during gelding will provide some residual testosterone. Rubbish.
Testosterone is produced by the interstitial cells of the testis; none is produced by the epididymis.
"It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay
For the life of me I don't know how you can leave testicular tissue behind. I've helped castrate (admittedly few) piglets before and at least in piglets they are a self contained unit like a kidney bean. You either have both or you don't. I suppose careless cutting could slice the testicle but it's still something you would KNOW. And horses usually aren't gelded in an assembly line fashion - or are they on certain farms?
Getting back to studdy behavior I like Jackie Blue's post. There are many instances of humans being inadvertantly castrated and as long as they had a chance to go through puberty they often have enough sex hormones being produced by the adrenals to successfully become aroused and maintain a safisfactory sex life. What I recall reading about it indicated that returning veterans had a good chance so long as they had a supportive partner.
Well, yeah, I've heard of assembly-line gelding. "The vet gives them all a nice shot and they're all lying in a row in the grass, and just one after another..." described to me earlier this week, about TB racehorse colts getting gelded.
I also can't imagine having some part of testicular tissue left behind at a castration. (We make plenty of steers.) It comes out, or it doesn't. And the epididymus won't produce testosterone.
If a horse has a tumor (and it could be a MARE, with an ovarian tumor) on hormone-producing glands such as the adrenal, there can be testosterone production and stallion-like behavior. But that is really uncommon.
A not-completely gelded horse would have a testicle retained in his abdomen, and that is a chryptorchid. They are not likely to impregnate a mare, because sperm are supposed to be produced at a lower temperature than body temp. A chryptorchid can produce sperm, just not fertile ones.
So you may be dealing with learned stallion behavior, or a chryprorchid stallion, or both. Best idea is to separate this gelding from your mare.
My guy is very studdy. First it was cannot turn out with mares, now cannot turn him out with other horses period, he has hurt other geldings. I had all the tests done and nothing but nothing remains - it is just his personality. He was gelded late, at 3 and 1/2, never bred a mare. It is a PITA but I love the guy, and he LOVES the ladies! Has never misbehaved under saddle or exhibited any aggression whatsoever towards me or any other human. But you have to be more careful, he is full of himself.
What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!
All three tests came back normal levels and negative to the AMH after the surgery. His behavior improved to where he was not whinnying at other horses from the ring.
I spoke several times with the vets and the head at UC Davis' endocrinology lab and we originally thought with the positive tests it could be one of the following; testicular tissue, testicle behind the abdominal wall (we did second blood tests before we did another surgery to look behind the abdominal wall to rule this out). Or could be an adrenal gland issue.
Although the sample test results were negative; the vets believe the tissue samples are done in slices and felt there was tissue causing the positive blood results. It was a very interesting case indeed. The vets know the horses I have brought to them over the years have always proved to be very special!!
Train like you have never won and show like you have never lost!!!