Have you heard a lot of people talking about gelding scars lately? Do you know what they are and whether your gelding is affected – or how he might be affected?
Basically, any operation will result in scar tissue, and scar tissue is much less flexible / elastic than non scar tissue. It has less blood supply, and it can also adhere to surrounding tissue.
According to Karen Allwright,
Any scar, no matter how small, leads to restrictions in the fascia. Gelding scars frequently lead to lumbar spine restrictions, fascial tension, restricted movements through the hind limbs, TMJ restrictions, digestive disorders and eventually WHOLE horse osteopathic disorders.
From the Bowen method –
If your horse has difficulty urinating after castration, or shows troublesome behaviours like bucking or bolting – adhesions and restictions from being gelded could be the culprit.
General indications of an issue with a gelding scar are things like bucking, issues changing gait or travelling on one lead, trouble with lateral movements or lifting legs over poles etc.
According to the Osteopathic Vet, a third of geldings will have some issue relating to the castration scar. Apparently in the United States 2 out of 5 horses (40%) have been found with gelding scarring adhesions or testicle tube origin scarring. I was told anecdotally that the number appears to be a much higher percentage in Australia, of 50%.
So, I thought I’d check out the stats on gelding scars using my pendulum – a quick way for me, as an animal communicator, to get a volume of data and feel for current numbers.
I conducted the survey here (excuse the dorky thumbnail, lol).
How the surveys work –
Owners send me a photo and the name of their gelding. I tune in energetically with the picture, and ask 2 questions. Does this horse have a gelding scar? And, to what extent is he adversely affected by it? It’s unscientific, and pretty woo, but for me it’s a great way of getting bulk info and opinions from horses. Obviously if you’re concerned about your horse’s health, or want a professional hands on opinion as to whether your boy’s gelding scar is bothering him, you should consult your vet.
(You can read more of my pendulum surveys here.)
To date I’ve checked 57 horses, mostly from NZ and Australia – here are the results so far.
I recorded the percent that each horse was adversely affected by his gelding scar, in 5% increments.
30% of horses were affected 40% or less;
70% were affected 55% or more.
Only 4 horses out of 57 (7%) tested as 0% affected.
7 of the 57 (12%) tested as 100% affected
The majority of horses (33, or 58%) were in the range of being affected 75-100%.
Whilst obviously this isn’t ‘scientific’, the numbers would indicate that even more geldings are affected by gelding scars than is currently thought.
So, what can you do?
The main thing is to act early. If you’re having a colt gelded, get them moving after gelding to help prevent the problem. Your vet should be able to advise on this at the time.
Later / other options:
- If you suspect an issue with a gelding scar, consult your vet for verification and advise on what steps can be taken to fix or alleviate the problem. (There are vets who do internal releasing / adjustments, though it doesn’t seem to be common.)
- Get your equine bodyworker to work on the area, to release fascia tension and increase mobility.
- I guess also make sure that you are able to handle the area yourself 😉
Checking for, and releasing gelding scars is now something I do routinely in my Horse Communication & Healing sessions, and my Energy Balancing sessions, so if you’re interested to see if that could help your horse, do get in touch.
Are you worried about your horse, but can’t quite put your finger on what’s going on? Have a look at my 6 page pdf, What’s Wrong With My Horse, for my insights and advice.
Interested in learning how to use a pendulum with your horse? Check out my Video Workshop.
Keep connecting with your horses,
You can read more of my pendulum surveys here.
Trisha Wren has been an equine professional for most of her adult life. She rode, competed, and taught Western Riding for 15 years in Scotland, then horse and rider bio-mechanics in New Zealand and Australia for 10 years. She’s been a full time horse communicator and healer since April 2016, and also runs regular Animal Communication online workshops. Find out more about Trisha here.