Castrating a Horse in the Field

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price

Castrating a male horse is called gelding. It can be done at a vet hospital, but it is more common to do this in the field. The horse can be gelded on the same premises as his owner and can then wake up in familiar surroundings, rather than in a restricted area. Field castration rates are low if the area around the surgery site is well disinfected.

Standing castration is when the horse is put to sleep but not laid down. Standing castration has one disadvantage: it is more difficult for the veterinarian and to maneuver. However, there are many advantages to standing castration. The horse is able to feel the testicles, the wound drains easily, and the horse doesn’t need to be as sedated. Therefore, the horse returns to a conscious state faster.

Castrating a Horse in the Field

Another option is to anesthetize your horse so that he lies on the ground. He can be placed on one side and the hind leg of his upper arm pulled out. You can also roll the horse on your back and support him with straw bales along his ribcage. After disinfection, the testicles and scrotum are inspected, an incision is made through their skin. The first testicle of the testicle is removed and clamps are applied to the muscles and ducts. The clamp is called an emasculator and it crushes blood vessels and spermatic tubes. First, remove the testicle. Then repeat the process for the second testicle. After several minutes, the clamps are taken out and the crushed vessels are examined to ensure that there is no bleeding. The incisions are then stretched to allow drainage to take place over the next few days. Blood is rinsed from the horse’s skin, and an antibiotic injection given. An injection can be used to reverse the effects of the anesthetic. The straw bales are removed and the horse is allowed back to consciousness.

Some swelling, drainage, stiffness, and tenderness can be seen in the days following gelding. Hand-walking the horse is a good idea. The horse should then be encouraged to walk on his own. The surgical site can be washed with cold water to reduce swelling and drainage. When there aren’t many fly around, it is best to fund the incision during cool seasons.

It may take a few months for male hormones to subside enough that the horse’s behavior is no longer stallion-like after gelding.