Gelding Vs Stallion: What Are The Differences?

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  • Post last modified:May 7, 2023
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If you are someone who has always loved horses but never gotten down to learning more about them, you would often have come across terms that refer to them that could make you wonder at all of them. 

There is the stallion, the mare, and what some call a gelding. Do all of these refer to horses? 

To be precise, a stallion is a male horse, a mare is a female horse, and a gelding is nothing but a male horse that is castrated. 

Plan on getting a horse? Gelding vs Stallion: which one should you go for? That depends. Read on to see. 

Gelding Vs Stallion: Comparison of Gelding and Stallion

DefinitionA male horse that has been castratedA male horse that has not been castrated
TemperamentOften considered more docile and easier to handleCan be more aggressive and difficult to handle
TrainingOften used as riding or work horses due to their calm demeanorOften used for breeding or competing in shows due to their energetic nature
Physical CharacteristicsDevelop a smoother, more muscular appearance over timeTend to maintain or develop a more robust, muscular appearance
Reproductive AbilityCannot reproduce due to castrationCan reproduce and can produce many foals
Health ConsiderationsLess likely to suffer from some health concerns such as behavioral issues, prostate problems, and certain types of cancersMore prone to certain health issues such as testicular tumors and aggression-related injuries
Age ConsiderationsGeldings can live a healthy life well past 20 yearsStallions are typically gelded at a young age or retired from breeding by the time they reach their teens
UseOften preferred by beginner or inexperienced ridersUsed by more experienced riders or for breeding purposes

Gelding vs Stallion: Is Stallion Or Gelding Better?

So, now you are trying to determine which of the two is better. If you are a beginner when it comes to riding horses, a suggestion would be to start with a gelding. 

Why? This is because these horses have fewer mood swings for you to put up with. 

As a new rider, this was your one source of worry, wasn’t it? In the end, horses are emotional beings, and their “neigh” can trouble you when riding.

Hence, if you are a new rider, go for a gelding.

What Is the Advantage Of A Gelding?

Gelding Vs Stallion: A girl horse rider on a Gelding.

As seen above, a gelding is better behaved and easier to control, so a rider will not have to worry about any difficult moments that can happen when on a stallion. 

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Why Are Male Horses Gelded?

Male horses are gelded for several reasons, one of the most common among them being the prevention of aggression. You just saw above how geldings have fewer mood swings, which is one reason for this. 

Here are some other reasons as well:

  • Health Reasons: Gelding can reduce the risk of certain health problems, such as testicular cancer, hernias, and some types of colic.
  • Population Control: If a horse owner does not want to breed their horse, gelding is a way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the horse population.
  • Performance: It can also improve a horse’s performance in certain sports like racing, as it can reduce their distractibility and aggression.

The gelding is typically done when the horse is young, and it is a relatively simple surgical procedure that is performed by a veterinarian.

What Is the Risk Of Gelding A Horse?

Gelding comes with risks too. In other words, a horse that is gelded can undergo some complications as a result of being castrated. 

Some symptoms include bacterial infection (especially in the sperm cord), scrotal swelling, hemorrhage, and edema. 

All this can be very painful for a horse, and an owner needs to take it to the vet for its treatment immediately. 

What Is the Best Age For Gelding?

Gelding Vs Stallion: Black and gray baby horse standing on green grass.

This has perhaps left you curious as to the best time for the gelding, and so the answer to your question is six to twelve months, that is, before your horse completes a year. 

However, you need to wait for six months so that the testicles reach a decent size that makes them easier to castrate. 

On the other hand, gelding a horse at a later age could lead to a long-term impact on his behavior. 

All this makes it very important to keep age in mind when gelding a horse.

Can A Stallion Be Ridden?

Yes, a stallion can be ridden, but riding one may not be as easy as riding a mare. You need to have some practice with handling his emotions and his mood swings. 

However, don’t let this scare you. Horses are not difficult animals and love human beings. You don’t need to mount him with a whip, for he is going to cooperate as he takes you on rides with him. 

It’s just that riding him is not going to be as easy as riding on a gelding. 

Can A Stallion Live With A Gelding?

Stallions are often made to live with mares, and you will know the reason for this. However, it may not be a good idea to keep stallions with other stallions. 

You can place them with geldings instead, as they are calmer and will live with them peacefully. To answer your question, a stallion can live with a gelding, and the credit for this goes to the more peaceful gelding. 

Do Horses Grow More Once Gelded?

Snow-covered gelding horse.

Yes, and this is more likely if the gelding happens when the horse has been experiencing a growth spurt. 

In other words, if you geld a horse before he is two years old, chances are he will become a big and tall horse.

If this is what you want, geld him at the earliest, before he comes of age.  

Why is My Gelding So Aggressive?

Geldings are usually not known to be aggressive, but if you have one that is showing signs of aggressiveness, then perhaps he is going through a moment of physical arousal. 

A little time is all he needs before he gets back to normal. Geldings are gentle, friendly beings, and it is not always that you are going to see them this aggressive. 

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Can A Gelded Horse Get Hard?

Yes, gelded horses can still get hard at times, maybe not as much as a stallion or stud, but he will still have his moments, during which you need to be patient with him. 

You can afford to do that once in a way, can’t you?

Can A Mare Get Pregnant By A Gelding?

Good question. If a gelding has his moments and then comes across a mare, should you worry?

Yes, chances are the mare can get pregnant, so this is something to be cautious about if this is something you don’t want. 

Sometimes geldings can act like stallions, mounting mares and pursuing them. It happens, just so you know. 

Will A Gelding Mate A Mare?

A Pregnant Wild Mare in a Field.

Yes, but they are much calmer than stallions. However, donkey geldings are far more active in this and can sometimes mate with a mare, and this is where you have the animal known as the mule, the offspring of a donkey and a mare. 

Are Mares Braver Than Geldings?

Yes, mares are braver than geldings. And they work harder, and they can be fiery and competitive. 

Notice that fiery is one of the words used to describe the mare, and so again, if you are a first-time rider, don’t get carried away by its competitiveness. 

It would be wiser for you to stick to a gelding. 

Are Mares More Loyal Than Geldings?

And the debate between mares and geldings goes on, does it? Let’s find out who is the more loyal of the two. 

Mares are loyal, but again, don’t get fooled, for their emotional nature can also make them unpredictable. As a new rider, you may not know how to put up with one when it gets temperamental. 

Geldings, on the other hand, are more forgiving and won’t put up a tantrum for little things, so it is again wiser that you choose these gentler beings. 

They are not that bad, after all. They will take your corrections and can easily be trained to become reliable.

Which Is Better, Gelding Or Mare?

Just as when you consider a gelding and a stallion, a gelding is better; in the same way, when you compare a mare or a gelding, again, a gelding is better. 

You seem to love mares. If that is the case, you have lots of time to own one sometime in the future, but for now, perfect your riding by practicing on a gelding. 

Can You Tell If A Horse Is Gelded?

This may be hard to know at a glance. In other words, you can’t have a look and know whether or not a horse has been gelded. You are going to need some expert help with this. 

One way to know this is by conducting a hormonal diagnostic test, where the level of testosterone in the blood is tested, letting you know whether or not a horse has been gelded. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Gelding vs Stallion!

Q1. What Gets Removed During Gelding?

Ans: Both the testicles of a horse are removed. This is a painless process of surgery done after a horse has been examined and found suitable for the gelding. This is why gelding a horse is also known as castration. 

Q2. Can A Stallion Reproduce?

Ans: Of course, if they can mate, they can reproduce, and the same holds for a gelding. 

Q3. What Is the Difference Between A Stallion and A Gelding?

Ans: A stallion is nothing but a male horse and is often used for breeding. When it is used for breeding, it is referred to as the stud. However, once it has been castrated, it becomes a gelding. That is the simple difference between a stallion and a gelding.

Q4. Can A Female Be A Stallion?

Ans: No, a female horse is known as a mare. You learned something about horses and their gender today. Share this with someone when you have an opportunity next.

Q5. Can A Male Horse Have Babies?

Ans: Yes, a male horse can have babies if he is a stallion. He can mate with a mare and get her pregnant and produce offspring. If he is a gelding, chances are few but not altogether impossible.

Closing Thoughts: The Stallion, the Mare, Or the Gelding? 

This should have answered all your questions on the mare and the stallion and the gelding. Which of the above have you chosen? If you are a first-timer, hope it is a gelding, for a stallion, though strong, would be a little too much for you, and the same holds with a mare. 

A gelding, on the other hand, is going to enjoy being with you and you with him so much that you can sit on his back and ride to Timbuktu.