This week TheHorse.com posted an article about illegal horse castrations going on in New Zealand. Not surprisingly, snickers rose from the company's Production Department as everyone wondered, "Who does that?"

In the article, the local district compliance manager stated, "It has certainly been a veterinarian-only procedure (in New Zealand) for more than 50 years so there are no excuses for anyone being unaware of its status."

We know that you mostly only see veterinarians performing castrations, but does that mean we really know, and understand, that this is a procedure only to be performed by vets?

In Norway, castrating dogs is frowned upon because they believe it is best practices to have better obedience training of the dog than to use castration as a behavior modification.

In the United States, most cattle and pig farmers perform their own castrations, as well as sheep farmers, using tools such as banding, the emasculator, etc. In North Carolina, it is illegal for anyone (other than a licensed veterinarian) to castrate animals other than male food animals. In Kentucky there are no laws prohibiting individuals from performing castrations on animals they own. Perhaps we need to have something written on paper?

In my collegiate equine science class we were shown exactly how to do castrations--both standing and with the horse lying on the ground. We were instructed how the emasculators worked and where exactly to make the incision. I don't recall any of my classmates in the pre-veterinary line of classes, so we were all just in the animal or equine science classes. I didn't get a chance to practice gelding a horse that day, but if I had stuck around that summer I might have been able to have a chance to work on our foal crop.

With the current economy around the world, you hear many stories of horse animal owners are trying to cut costs. Here at TheHorse.com, we've done our best to show horse owners the best ways to save money while taking care of their horses without cutting valuable veterinarian-supplied services like vaccinations and health check-ups.

Handling castrations on your own really isn't the way to go about saving money because, in the long run, you might end up spending more in follow-up vet visits because of infection, etc.

I know it's not something that would pop up into my head one boring Sunday morning: "I think I'll go geld some horses today..."