This is not a joke. Have a Foundation gelded QH that everytime I prepare to saddle him, he starts to get an erection and actually simulates the thrusting movements of breeding. During a normal day of preparation for riding he will do this as many as 4 times. It only occurs when doing something with tack prep. He is always tied up to fence or trailer when this activity starts. I have used a whip on the erection and it seems to have not affect.
Interesting condition! I need to ask you a few questions in order to help.
1): How old is your gelding?
2): Have you owned him since he was a gelding?
3): Does this behavior occur before you saddle him, and if so, what happens when you put on the saddle?
4): Has he ever ejaculated?
5): Do you know his history prior to you owning him?
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX'm looking forward to hearing from you.
Additional Info: It appears that this can be activated by any close work. Started when putting on fly mask. Had Vet Check and sent Blood sample to Texas Lab. All results including testosterone were normal.
#1 9 years old
#2 He was gelded when purchased
#3 Can happen anytime while doing close work, may have overstated the relationship to tack.
#4 Have not seen an ejaculation, however there has been what appears to be dripings.
#5 This condition did not start until one year after I owned him. Have owned him 2 years. His Reg. papers show him as Gelding and previous owner stated that he was gelded at a normal time.
Hi Bueno, and thanks for getting back to me.
My first thought was that there was still a testicle present somewhere, but it looks as if you've done your homework on that. I am going to open this question back up for our behavior/training expert to take a look.
I do have a few more questions, however, to follow up on the answers you gave us:
-How do the episodes end (does he just lose interest)?
-Do you have mares on the property?
-Does he consistently perform this behavior every time you are doing work near him?
-Can you think of any type of incident that may have started all of this last year?
Thanks Bueno, you should be hearing from Donna soon.
I ran across this figure and I believe it is true - about 50% of all geldings exhibit some residual stallion behavior even if there are no abnormal hormones present. Since we don't know enough of the horse's background to figure out the why let's just focus on modifying his behavior.
You want to train the horse much the same way you would a stallion, which needs to know there is a time and place for everything and while he is being worked is not the time to have breeding on his mind. Many times all it takes is a stern voice command. Those who show stallions often use the word "dress," reinforcing the word with a sharp jerk on the lead rope. If the horse starts to drop in the show ring the handler can just say, "dress" and the horse is reminded.
I think in your case, which sounds more serious than normal, this is where some round pen work would help, but if you don't have a round pen any small, enclosed area will do, like a paddock or riding ring.
Take your horse into this area to saddle, groom or whatever activities trigger the behavior. Do not tie him. I would choose to groom if that will cause him to go into stallion mode, rather than saddling at first. As soon as your gelding drops his penis send him forward trotting laps around the pen. Use a longe whip or lariat to get him going forward in no uncertain terms. As soon as you see he is back to normal stop him and begin grooming again. Repeat this routine until he stands and accepts the grooming and close contact without getting an erection or otherwise exhibiting stallion-like behavior.
Do the same thing with saddling; being sure the saddle is cinched so the saddle doesn't slip once you start him in his laps around the pen. If you are not familiar with round pen work there are lots of videos out there by various trainers. Most tack shops carry the DVDs and videos, or you can order them from catalogs and online.
I have read that giving the female hormone progesterone along with the behavior modification helps. But, I am not one to mess around with hormones like that. I would only resort to hormone therapy in cases that are severe and dangerous.
The thing I like about this way of training is you can do it in saddle, too. If he starts acting like a stallion (squealing, talking to the girls, etc) just put him right to work in a strong trot. When he stops the behavior let him rest.
I hope this will help with your situation. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Donna C. Smith
Sorry I haven't noted the acceptance of your answer. Basically I was waiting to talk with the person I ride with and see his reaction. He won't be back until Tuesday. I accept and appreciate Dan and your answer and will click Accept your answers. I will make another contribution if I need to go farther with another question.
Good luck with your horse. Let me know how things go.