Why Don't Barns Have Mixed Gender Herds?? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 23 Old 09-09-2011, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Why Don't Barns Have Mixed Gender Herds??

The barn I board at is a dude ranch with 24/7 outdoor board, and all the fields except for the dude string are in same sex herds. Are there reasons behind the seperation? There are 21 duders all together, 11 of them are mares and I have never seen any sort of problem.

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post #2 of 23 Old 09-09-2011, 09:12 PM
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I think in many cases it means less conflict between geldings when a mare is in season, and less likelyhood a gelding will get his face kicked if he goes sniffing after a mare. They may not have their goods anymore, but they often still have interest.
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post #3 of 23 Old 09-09-2011, 09:22 PM
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^ This.

Many times geldings and mares will get too attached to each other and become herd bound when separated for work. Also, geldings may fight with each other over who gets to "claim" mares.

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post #4 of 23 Old 09-09-2011, 09:34 PM
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Pretty much what the other posters said.
I prefer to keep my mare away from geldings as much as possible because she is a little hussy and gets ridiculously hard to mange around males because, you know, they're so attractive (even when they're 37....hahaha). They might not be attached to her at all but she's attached to them! For instance, one time I caught her with her favorite gelding cornered, licking his shoulder tenderly. The poor guy just sat there with a "help me?" look on his face. It was downright pathetic.
So, for the sanity of all geldings involved, they stay separate. Haha
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post #5 of 23 Old 09-09-2011, 10:21 PM
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Be thankful that you board in a place where the operators understand herd dynamics and have your horse's best interest at heart by keeping segregated herds. I have segregated pastures and won't ever go back to a mixed one. I never have bite and kick marks on anyone (other than boys playing). I no longer have the problem of being threatened or attacked by a gelding when I take "his" mare out. Meal time is more peaceful. Mixed herds invite alot of bs on the part of the dominant mares and geldings.
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post #6 of 23 Old 09-10-2011, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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I see what you guys are saying, it just that I know A LOT of people with mixed herds and not once has there been a problem.
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post #7 of 23 Old 09-10-2011, 08:46 AM
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I've seen it both ways. When they are kept separate, I think they are looking out for the horses best interests for reasons previously mentioned. However, there was an aggressive gelding that did get deities into the mares pasture. By switching him, he was kept at the bottom of the totem pole and subdued his aggressiveness. Personally, we keep our 3 geldings and 3 mares together. We don't have any problem taking one or the other away from the herd.

I think it would be easier with having the sexes segregated. If you're looking for a mare, you'd go to the mare pasture and a gelding in the gelding pasture
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post #8 of 23 Old 09-10-2011, 07:04 PM
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The first barn I went to where the genders were separated there were two dominant mares who got into serious kicking battles at least once a month. The BO refused to separate them because "they're mares." But in the wild a group of all-males is natural; a group of all-females is not.
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post #9 of 23 Old 09-10-2011, 09:36 PM
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Our barn keeps all of our school horses in one pasture, then the rest of the mares and gelding are seperated by gender. It's very obviouse which pastures get along the best. The geldings all get along almost perfectly, the mares generally are well behaved- although every now and then we'll find a nip or so on one of the lower ranked mares (it's going to happen no matter what) and the lesson horses...they're just terrible. Not only because of the constant biting, shoving, and kicking- but because our two geldings are attached at the hips to our mares. They're extremely buddy sour and will call to their mares when doing lessons if we don't use the mares, or will refuse to listen to their riders and stay right by their mare's sides when everyone is being used.

If at all possible, I firmly believe that seperating the genders is the best way to go. Even if there is only a piece of fence seperating them.

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post #10 of 23 Old 09-10-2011, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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The situation at my barn is that the mares are nuts, the geldings act like perfect gentlemen (unless someone gets out of line) and the dude horses have the same dynamic as the geldings... I just want to know peoples opinion on this as the mare do not get access to grass because of the lack of fields and the large number of geldings.
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