Rig? Is this possible?

Nessa4

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This may be a numpty question!

A new horse has arrived on our yard which is supposed to be a gelding, but when it gets stirred up, or when certain areas of his belly are groomed, he gets a full erection!! He also shows fairly dominant behaviour (with other horses and people). Is this possible in a gelding? I was always under the impression that gelding a horse removed sexual desire and the abilit to gain and sustain an erection.

Or is he likely to be a rig?

Owner is going to investigate and consult vet - just intersted, as it I and my fellow owner have never come across this before. (We have about110 years experience between us!!
 

Auslander

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This may be a numpty question!

A new horse has arrived on our yard which is supposed to be a gelding, but when it gets stirred up, or when certain areas of his belly are groomed, he gets a full erection!! He also shows fairly dominant behaviour (with other horses and people). Is this possible in a gelding? I was always under the impression that gelding a horse removed sexual desire and the abilit to gain and sustain an erection.

Or is he likely to be a rig?

Owner is going to investigate and consult vet - just intersted, as it I and my fellow owner have never come across this before. (We have about110 years experience between us!!

Mine isn't a rig - he's been investigated. He has a vast repertoire of stallion chat, can and does get it up, and will shamelessly hop on board and show the girls a very good time, if I don't keep a careful eye on who's in season and change my groups around accordingly! He's been gelded for 15 years, but no-one showed him that particular memo.
 

MagicMelon

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Yes, thats what a rig is - one thats been 'gelded' but retains a testicle up inside basically. We had one on loan once who turned out to be a rig, he was a nightmare sadly - very very aggressive to other geldings, he actually jumped a wire fence to get in with my other gelding to attack him :( He was also a handful to handle when round mares. He was only 13.2hh but acted like a 16.2hh stallion some of the time. I dont know how you'd "fix" it or even if you can? Maybe you can operate to get the other testicle out, I really dont know - we returned him to the owner so never needed to look into it!
 

old hand

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I had one that was gelded late and after one of his escapades ( he covered a mare over an electric fence four feet high) he was tested and was a gelding. He looked and acted like a stallion and we treated him as such. He even chased some workmen out of the field to protect his herd of geldings once. He was fine when I was around but prowled the boundary the rest of the time. The vet said that if he had been used as a stallion that the brain patterns would be set and that she had come across it before. Keeping the farm mare free was the best option for him and us. he was also very sensitive under saddle but quite the bravest horse I have ever ridden and always kept me safe no matter what happened.
 

be positive

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Yes, thats what a rig is - one thats been 'gelded' but retains a testicle up inside basically. We had one on loan once who turned out to be a rig, he was a nightmare sadly - very very aggressive to other geldings, he actually jumped a wire fence to get in with my other gelding to attack him :( He was also a handful to handle when round mares. He was only 13.2hh but acted like a 16.2hh stallion some of the time. I dont know how you'd "fix" it or even if you can? Maybe you can operate to get the other testicle out, I really dont know - we returned him to the owner so never needed to look into it!

If the horse has a retained testicle then it needs to be operated on for two reasons, 1 it may well be fertile and capable of getting a mare in foal, 2 it will be at risk of getting cancer in the retained testicle, that said many geldings are aroused by grooming, can and do take an interest in mares and some are aggressive to other geldings.
I have a pony gelding who was a rig, gelded under GA who is fine with mares, lovely with people but will on occasion attack another gelding if they are sharing a field with a mare, I now don't put him in the situation where he feels the need to protect "his" mare.
 

Roasted Chestnuts

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My gelding have very stallion like tendencies when it comes to mares, he is however a complete star to handle and ride around them and only shows these tendencies in the field. He will mount and fully engage with mares with full erection but after 15 yrs of this activity I've yet to have any mares including my own get in foal by him.

He is 25 now and is still at it, not a rig and in no way overly aggressive, he will however dominate his herd and fully protects it against other horses and dogs, people he knows are well above him at all times.
 

Micropony

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My old gelding could, would and did when given the opportunity, show the ladies a good time, and if turned out in a mixed herd at this time of year was a menace to other geldings and very dominant. I don't think it's that unusual. Even my current horse, who was gelded at 2, has been known to have an erection during grooming.
 

MrsNorris

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My gelding is the sweetest, kindest easiest horse imaginable in all respects, but he does mount mares and serves them. Oddly he only started doing this at the grand old age of 17, when he moved to a yard where he was the only gelding with his own little herd of mares. He's very gentle about it, even carefully lifting their rugs out of the way! The girls all love him, and nobody on my yard seems to mind his antics, so we just let them get on with it.
 

Merrymoles

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Mine is a gelding and is completely uninterested in mares, although he does on occasions get an erection and can be seen slapping it against his belly :0.

The only time he has displayed stallion-like behaviour was when turned out with a (very cheeky) young gelding and he gave a real stallion "roar" and then beat him up when he was sick of him - he's usually mild mannered with other horses and low in the pecking order. He is also "coltish" at times in hand (neck snaking and biting, although the biting is now under control). We think he was gelded late but I have no reason to believe he may be a rig, particularly given his lack of interest in the ladies.
 

fatpiggy

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At my old yard, the neighbour rang the YO to say a stallion had got into her field and was covering the mares. She went outside and found one of the old geldings (25 at the time) having a lovely time. She'd had him since he was a few months old so knew full well he wasn't a rig. At my last year, we had donkeys and I watched one of them giving the jenny the benefit of his sausage. There are certainly ahem, technical things which happen to these parts of equines during mating, and when he got down he showed every sign of it. He went off and had a nice snooze afterwards too. I spoke to his owner and she said that absolutley he was gelded and laughed her head off. Dirty little devil he was!
 

Orangehorse

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Well, as everyone says, some geldings are like this and can be very protective of mares they are turned out with, but that doesn't make them a rig. It is a matter of degree to some extent. That is why many livery yards insist on separate fields for mares and geldings.

There is a condition where some tissue was left behind when the colt was gelded which can lead to riggy behaviour but a true rig is one where the gelding was improperly done or there is a retained testicle. Real rigs can be a real nightmare. In years gone past some people would try a DIY gelding on, say a low value pony, and end up with a pony rig.

If there is a retained testicle it means an fairly large operation for the vet to delve inside the horse! One very famous show cob had been a rig, I know the people who bought it originally, from Ireland I guess. They had it operated on, and sold it on to a "well known producer" and it went on to win lots.
 

Nessa4

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Thanks for all the replies - I will pass the information on and hopefully put her mind at rest!! Just something I'd not come aross. That's one of the things I love about this hobby/obsession - you learn something new all the time!!
 
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