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To geld, or not to geld, that is the question.

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  • To geld, or not to geld, that is the question.

    I have two VERY nice colts by the KWPN stallion Wynton. One is out of my GOV mare Olivia (Don Kennedy-Argentinus), born 3/17/09. The other is out of my KWPN mare Preference (Jonggors Weyden), born 6/13/09. Although they are both very well behaved and have nice manners, both definitely know they are boys now and are getting pretty big. The older colt is already 16.3h, the other is 15.3h and in the middle of a growth spurt.

    I have been told by several people that they might be good stallion prospects but although I do love them, I DO NOT want a stallion and our farm is not really set up to keep stallions if I did want one. I definitely want to sell them soon, but I am not sure whether I should geld them first or offer them intact and give the new owner the option of keeping them as a stallion.

    The older colt in particular has demonstrated a fondness and talent for jumping thanks to his Argentinus lineage, so I am worried about him jumping our 5 foot fences (again, since he has already jumped out once...cleanly with nice form I might add...the day he turned 1 year old) to "visit" my mares and fillies now that the hormones are really kicking into high gear on both sides of the fences.

    The colts are kept VERY separate from the mares and fillies on the far side of our 40 acre property with a whole empty pasture in between them and the mares. There is absolutely NO contact over the fence, but I am still not really comfortable knowing the one colt can fly. I cannot put any other horses in the "neutral zone" pasture, so that makes rotating grazing areas more difficult. We do also frequently have to lead them back and forth through the "mare zone" when they are brought over to the arena for training or to the main barn for vet, farrier, etc.

    I know gelding them will absolutely fix the problem of having to keep the guys on the other side of the property away from the mares as well as prevent the worrying about whether one of my mares or fillies will be unintentially bred by one of the colts. My question is: will gelding them enhance or detract from their marketability?

    Anybody care to voice an opinion or offer a suggestion?
    Tricia Veley-First Flight Farm
    Boerne, Texas
    830-537-4150 phone/830-537-4154 fax
    FFF Page on Facebook: Become a fan!
    FFF Channel on YouTube: See videos

  • #2

    It will ENHANCE marketability. Most folks do not want to deal with a stallion for the same reasons you don't want it either...
    Breeding & Sales
    Facebook | YouTube


    • #3
      I always feel like if you have to ask the question, you already know the answer. There are so few instances that you wouldn't geld that they are hardly worth mentioning.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home


      • #4

        Both your boys are incredible! BUT unless you're getting some fantastic offers from some top riders willing to campaign these two guys I would geld them and enjoy them.
        Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
        Originally Posted by alicen:
        What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


        • #5
          Another vote for gelding. Gelding broadens your market, and in the event that you don't sell them soon it will still make your life easier.
          Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


          • #6
            I am in the exact same place with a Idocus/Flemmingh two year old colt. I thought I may take him to the KWPN-NA keuring at two when the committee will evaluate for the possibility of continuing as a stallion. That would be my basis, my "professional opinion", on whether to continue on with him as as a stallion. It does limit your sale market considerably.

            A well known stallion handler dared me to do a market test by advertising a horse both as a gelding and as a stallion to see which responses would be higher. I never did. And it is very expensive to promote the stallion on through the stallion testing and licensing. However, I would like more choices in the KWPN-NA stallion book.


            • Original Poster

              Do you know when and where the KWPN-NA keuring is going to be held this year in our area?
              Tricia Veley-First Flight Farm
              Boerne, Texas
              830-537-4150 phone/830-537-4154 fax
              FFF Page on Facebook: Become a fan!
              FFF Channel on YouTube: See videos


              • #8
                I think usually by spring of the 2 year old year you can tell if a colt is going to be a legitimate stallion prospect (obviously there are exceptions). You can ask another experienced breeder or someone from the appropiate verband/registry to evaluate the colts if you need help evaluating. I think stallion prospects are usually an arm and leg above the rest . .meaning they really stand out as being superior in every way . . .type, conformation, movement, bloodlines, etc. Again, there are exceptions.

                After that, I do think geldings are more marketable and especially a VERY NICE gelding. Most very nice horses are very nice geldings.

                All that being said, if you have a legitimate stallion prospect that is really in a league of his own as a 2 year old, I would not geld him but reach out to other breeders or trainers that might be willing to take on a stallion. I would also advertise him as a stallion prospect - and have exceptional video of him. I, for one, would look into an exceptional stallion prospect located in the USA. (In my opinion, be aware that there are lots of horses advertised as stallion prospects, when they really are not . . as well as horses advertised as FEI prospects, when they really are not . . )

                However, I think most very nice horses and very nice 2 year old colts are more likely not stallions prospects but rather extremely nice riding horse types. And always helpful to get a second opinion and evaluation of a 2 yr old colt before gelding . . .


                • #9
                  I would say if they are causing you to worry now that the hormones are kicking in - geld.

                  They will be happier and easier to manage as geldings and the bloodlines are not so rare as to make them hugely desirable to U.S. breeders. Nice bloodlines for sure - but fairly easily available in other stallions or via frozen.


                  • #10
                    The farm that hosted keurings previously in our area of Texas, Silver Hill Stables, has not bred in recent years. The KWPN-NA Office looks to responses from breeders in their membership surveys to plan for locations for the keuring tour. Maybe we need to get together and try to put one together.


                    • #11
                      Gelding definitely enhances marketability!
                      'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by E D View Post
                        The farm that hosted keurings previously in our area of Texas, Silver Hill Stables, has not bred in recent years. The KWPN-NA Office looks to responses from breeders in their membership surveys to plan for locations for the keuring tour. Maybe we need to get together and try to put one together.
                        We had to submit our application to host a keuring by early February last year, but they had a stricter schedule due to the WEG. Contact the office to see what the deadline is, that is your best bet.
                        Silver Creek in OK has hosted the KWPN in the past, and may be doing so again this year, check with them.
                        Tracy Geller
                        Find me on Facebook!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tveley View Post
                          I definitely want to sell them soon,
                          Then I would geld them. Maybe your vet can offer a two-for-one special.

                          Seriously, the market for stallion prospects is extremely small, if not impossible, particulary now. Add to the fact that they are "prospects/young" shrinks your market futher.


                          • #14

                            They (and you) will have a much better life. Geldings are much more marketable. They may seem like good boys now - but this spring when mares are in season you will probably see a change. Their life in general as far as stabling, turn out, shows, etc. is much much easier for them.
                            Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                            "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ise@ssl View Post

                              They (and you) will have a much better life. Geldings are much more marketable. They may seem like good boys now - but this spring when mares are in season you will probably see a change. Their life in general as far as stabling, turn out, shows, etc. is much much easier for them.
                              I agree with this but if you have the right people managing your colts/stallions it can be very rewarding for everyone including the horses.
                              All our stallions have to behave like gelding in order to earn their Stallion parts.
                              We have a 5 y/o stallion who is a GP prospect who already has temp licensing. He can stand in the cross ties next to a mare and mind his own business now if that mare was in heat winking at him I don't know what would happen LOL but we would never put him in that difficult position to have to find out.
                              Yes marketability for geldings is higher and I have been known to say a good stallion makes a great gelding.
                              It really depends where you are financially also. Having a stallion is an instant business and a great source for tax deductions at the beginning but if managed right becomes a decent source of income and an instant choice for who to breed your mares too.
                              Also you do not have to stallion test your stallions in the 100 day testing to get them licensed! You can also continue with a standard showing career and they can receive their credentials to breed based on show record that would cost the same if he was a gelding except in the business it is a tax deduction for the stallion business and you would additionally have the same type of inspection for conformation and movement that the mares do. I wouldn't want to breed to a stallion without proof of athletic ability so even if you do the 100 day you still have to show him.
                              It is best to talk with someone who does this as a business to give you better options.
                              As a stallion owner/manager/trainer/marketer who also has a ton of geldings in the barn. I think that the decision needs to be very well thought out if they are that nice. You can't glue them back on!
                              Dacia Peters-Imperato
                              Standing FOR PLAY, Hanoverian Stallion - Style of a Hunter, Scope/Power of a Show Jumper, Balance/Cadence of a Dressage horse. California


                              • #16
                                I don't think our sport horses are different from their TB cousins, so we keep them intact and educate them accordingly.
                                Except for the rare horses that have a disturbed mind, those need to be gelded, at best.
                                But I can understand that some breeders and most amateur riders don't want to follow this path.
                                If the horse have real talent find a good pro and make a deal to have him train and compete the horse for a % of ownership.
                                "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same"
                                Rudyard Kipling
                                Quartz Rouge


                                • #17
                                  Stepping Stones - I do own the pony stallion Popeye and I know it is the stallion owners responsibility to have them at a farm that has the facility, staff and experience to handle, promote and manage a stallion. That is why he stands at Hilltop Farm in MD.

                                  But colt owners have to look at more than nice colts standing in front of them. They have to consider with the pedigree - what are they bringing to the market that will attract mare owners. If the Sire of the colt is still standing and there are any sons approved and standing - very few mare owners will opt for the unproven youngster and go with the sire or siblings who have been licensed and have foals on the ground.

                                  Many individuals with fancy colts have NOT done the math for stallion ownership. I always suggest to people they should sit down and put pen to paper on what it will cost them to stand a stallion. Facility is primary - nice little boys do grow into big boys that require higher fencing. Marketing is extremely costly and this is a big country so trying to hit the entire market costs a lot of dough. Collection - if you don't plan to be at a Stallion facility you will have to buy numerous Equitainers, have a local Veterinary facility to collect and have your boy available when a customer calls. And oh yes - you will have to have the time to take calls, inmails etc and have lot of markting packets ready to send out upon request. We read all too often on here about mare owners contacting stallion owners without response or never receiving any information when requested.

                                  If you plan to license your stallions and I feel anyone who stands them and doesn't is irresponsible - you will have to spend the money on the licensing process. Prepping them for the Inspection which will include under-saddle, free-jumping and in hand work. Training for a Stallion Test and attending the stallion test or training/showing for Performance.

                                  CHA-CHING - this is a huge investment. And consider that if you keep waiting to cut your colts the possibility of complications increases as they get older.
                                  Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                                  "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thank you all for your input. I think (as do most knowledgable people that have actually seen them) that my colts are really nice, but then I know that there are lots of nice colts out there. I know I do not want a stallion as I am already busy enough with my mares and foals. I do not have the time or energy left to campaign and/or promote a stallion. At this point I am leaning toward gelding them.

                                    I have another KWPN foal due in 3 weeks (Ampere x Preference). That one should be exciting. I hope it is a filly so I do not face to face the gelding issue again. All my foals other than these two subject colts have been fillies. We just got a beautiful filly 9 days ago (Connery x Olivia).

                                    As far as a KWPN keuring, I would not be opposed to hosting one here (we already host the GOV Inspection). It is alot of work to host the event, but at least I do not have to haul my horses someplace else. That is work too! I have a new covered arena, a large barn with available stalls and we are convenient to several reasonable nice hotels, restaurants and are located only 1 mile off IH10.
                                    Tricia Veley-First Flight Farm
                                    Boerne, Texas
                                    830-537-4150 phone/830-537-4154 fax
                                    FFF Page on Facebook: Become a fan!
                                    FFF Channel on YouTube: See videos


                                    • #19
                                      We just gelded our very promising two year old colt who was 3rd nationally in hunter breeding last year and 4th nationally his yearling year. "Promising" sounds lovely, but the road ahead is very, very long to "make" a stallion that breeders will continually use. A hunter needs to win at the 4' level consistently AND show he can reproduce himself, ditto for a show jumper at Grand Prix level, ditto for a dressage horse at FEI level. Long, long road with huge expenses along the way. Really makes one think...........!
                                      Diane Halpin - Facebook


                                      • #20
                                        If the Sire of the colt is still standing and there are any sons approved and standing - very few mare owners will opt for the unproven youngster and go with the sire or siblings who have been licensed and have foals on the ground.
                                        What Ilona says here is VERY VERY important - and a lesson I learned the hard way. I will go further to say that a stallion is either "hot" or it's "not" and sometimes what makes them "hot" defies both explaination and reason.

                                        You can have a stallion with all the checkboxes marked - and he will still be roundly ignored (Think the recently deceased Tiamo here)
                                        "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin