What is the difference between a gelding and a stallion: definition, concept, classification, differences and similarities

What is the difference between a gelding and a stallion: definition, concept, classification, differences and similarities
What is the difference between a gelding and a stallion: definition, concept, classification, differences and similarities

Many people think about the difference between a gelding and a stallion. Does the character of the horse change? And in what direction? Does the stallion become more accommodating or, conversely, too violent. Is animal trust in humans changing?

Expert Opinion

Real horsemen love to remember the words of the great Pat Parelli, who once said: "To me as a young stallion, from me as a gelding." These words show deep respect and pride in their work. A young and unbridled horse with indefatigable energy comes to a person. And leaves - a proud, stately and majestic gelding. Horsemen believe that you will not find a better friend than a gelding even among people.

noble horse

Let's see, gelding and stallion - what's the difference between them? Lovers of proud animals know that a gelding is a horse that is distinguished by such a set of qualities that allow him to work most closely with a person, especially in sports.

"Stallion": the meaning of the concept

In the mythology of the ancient Scandinavians, the stallion personified the strength of a warrior. He was compared to the sun, was a symbolsupremacy, and among some nationalities it was considered the keeper of the fire of destruction and prevented the end of the world. A stallion is a breeding horse capable of producing strong and he althy offspring. Thus, the basic meaning of the word "stallion" is an uncastrated male horse capable of fertilization.

Who is a gelding?

The absence of genitals is different horse-gelding. The stallion is operated on and the most important thing is taken away from him - the ability to conceive offspring, then he becomes a gelding. But in fact, in the modern world, this is a completely planned and familiar operation, which was done many centuries earlier.

The castration procedure has been known since the time of the first nomads (6-3 centuries BC). With the advent of the cavalry, changes were needed. To understand how a gelding differs from a stallion, you need to remember that a horse is a herd animal, where the leader is a stallion. His main instinct is to guard mares and offspring. In the herd, where there are many other ambitious males, fierce fights begin, as a result of which there may be a danger to the he alth and life of other animals or people. For the army, this was unacceptable. Therefore, all animals in the cavalry were castrated, which was a common practice in those days.

Pedigree stallion

The gelding is always more obedient. He has a complaisant character, he easily gives in to the commands of a person and becomes his faithful assistant. Entering into battle, the man and the horse must become one, this is exactly what the riders sought in training. The same thing is happening in today'sworld, only concerns not military operations, but sports competitions. Due to hormonal changes, geldings become very hardy, they are not afraid of adverse external factors. They are noted to be more graceful and majestic.

The gelding and the stallion: what's the difference?

You need to understand that stallions are specially castrated so that they become kind and obedient, turning into geldings. However, many horsemen are not ready for such an operation of the ward. Therefore, the matter must be approached seriously, weighing well the pros and cons. Each horse has its own character, so each needs an individual approach. There are times when stallions behave much more docile and calmer than geldings, then the question of castration is no longer needed.

Arguments "for"

1. Geldings are more industrious. If you imagine a situation where several horses work in a group, then the stallions always stand out from the crowd. They are nervous, distracted, all the time trying to escape or push someone. This causes the animal to become overtired, and instead of working for the good of man, he becomes tired of his own exertion. Geldings are devoid of nervousness, so they behave much calmer.

2. Hippotherapy is the treatment of disabled children by communicating with horses. Stallions are not suitable for such purposes, because they are absolutely unpredictable. Geldings are calm, so they can be allowed around children.

black horse

3. Excited stallions are dangerous not only for others, but also for themselves. Animals with a rare relationship withrepresentatives of the opposite sex, hitting the wall, breaking stalls, mutilating themselves. In such cases, the question of castration is resolved by itself.

4. Animals must look perfect for an exhibition. But stallions, as a rule, do not eat well, they are picky in food, do not allow themselves to be washed and combed.

Arguments against

1. You can not maim stallions that have a noble pedigree or a unique breed. They should become successors of their kind.

2. Stallions with outstanding leadership qualities, capable of leading a herd, are highly valued by horse breeders, so they are afraid to spoil their character. The same goes for the unique abilities of sport horses. In history there was a case with a stallion named Cotton. This horse did not differ in strength or growth, but it jumped above all. After the castration, he stopped surprising the public, and his fate ended sadly.

obedient friend

3. As for fate, almost all castrated horses after the end of their sports career remain crippled and do not live long. Therefore, champions are left able to breed.

4. Be that as it may, but the character, performance and success of the horse largely depend on the person. Gelding and stallion have minor differences in this regard, especially for horsemen who know how to cope with them. An experienced rider, trainer and a competent approach can turn any skittish horse into a humble helper without surgical intervention. Therefore, before any operation, you need to weigh everything well, becausethe consequences will be irreversible.

Life Stories

It is not uncommon in horse communities to hear heartbreaking stories of stallions maiming people. In the state of Arizona (USA), a young he althy male tore his mistress's larynx with one blow of a hoof. The poor woman could not be saved. And how many grooms were left without fingers as a result of the bites of the aggressors! And it is certainly impossible to count the myriad of injuries from tail and hoof strikes.

Working with a horse

One groom in California, who bred expensive breeding horses, came up with his own system for removing excitement from stallions. Each of them was led to a long labyrinth, at the end of which a tied mare was waiting for him. Thus, the male splashed out energy twice: while he was getting to the goal and while, in fact, he was fulfilling this goal.

Be careful

When delving into the question of how a gelding differs from a stallion, many grooms prefer the former. Only real daredevils are ready to educate their aggressive wards, risking every day to fall victim to their excited state.

Stallions can be handled safely as long as:

  • they have not reached puberty and are not interested in mares;
  • you don't stop them from achieving their goal;
  • you do not interfere with his leadership inclinations and desire to become the head of the herd.

Why aggression happens

Let's for a moment imagine ourselves in the place of the simplest stallion who lives on a farm. He has a master, but with no one else butpeople, he can't communicate. What is the life of such an animal? Every day, follow the orders of his master, work humbly and never see a representative of the opposite sex. Would such a life be to the liking of a man, if he were in the place of a horse? Probably not.

Saddled a stallion

A horse, like a person, has its own character, its own needs and its own views. And the owner does not always understand this, because he does not know how to "speak" her language. The groom begins to punish the stallion for disobedience, beats, uses chains and muzzles. But from this, the aggression of the horse only intensifies, and the result of such relationships is crippled destinies. In this case, castration is considered the most humane way to protect yourself and the horse from unpredictable situations.

Life in the herd

Another thing is life in the herd. When young individuals communicate with their own kind, they learn. They watch what the elders do, how they behave in different situations. Adult horses will always punish their young compatriot for misbehavior. There, everyone obeys the rules of the herd.

In order to subdue a stallion, you need to play by his rules. His main fun is to jump, bite and bounce. Thus, he looks closely, observes the behavior of the groom. And if the owner behaves aggressively, begins to punish and curse the stallion, he will find a real enemy.

Merin is the best friend

There is no single rule or advice on how to tame a wild beast. You need to study the methods, read the literature andlisten to the advice of experienced grooms. Only in this way will it be possible to achieve success in raising a noble horse without castration. And of course, give free rein to his instincts.


No matter how accommodating a horse is, it always remains an animal whose natural instincts are very difficult to predict. But you still need to understand how a gelding differs from a stallion. The first one will never be able to have offspring, which means that hormonal changes occur in him, he becomes more calm and docile.

There are cases when a stallion killed his beloved master with one blow. For beginner horse riders, the best option is to immediately castrate the animal at a young age. And for those who can "speak" the language of a horse, it is important to understand the needs of the horse and deal with difficulties. Then the stallions become not only helpers, but also faithful companions, remaining he althy successors of the family.

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