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Mare or gelding?

This is a discussion on Mare or gelding? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Is a mare or gelding easier to finish out
  • Are mares bad horses to own

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    01-31-2013, 12:02 PM
  #21
Showing
It's a personal preference, nothing more. I've ridden good horses of both genders.

I'm a gelding gal though, because it's easier on me not to have a mixed herd.
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    01-31-2013, 01:09 PM
  #22
Foal
I'm really enjoying the responses to this question and I do see my mare's traits (bonding, responsive, sensitive) in your honest answers! Thanks!
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    02-07-2013, 09:44 PM
  #23
Foal
I use to think I prefered gueldings but finally I always get along better with mares
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    02-07-2013, 10:25 PM
  #24
Green Broke
I've been told by some old-timers (ropers and such) that mares have more "heart" than geldings. That a mare will try her heart out to please you and won't be as likely to quit if the going gets rough.

Geldings they say are more lazy and won't try as hard.

I've always preferred geldings. I've certainly owned more geldings than I have mares. And I don't worry about the "heart" as I am a trail rider and don't push my horses to their limits. I am out to have a fun ride, not do the Tevis Cup. But I could see if you were really pushing a horse that might be more important to a person. (Which makes me wonder....are their any statistics that suggest mares ARE better as performance horses?)

Right now though, I have the most awesome mare! I have only seen her "in season" about twice in 3 years. It's a non-issue and she is such a wonderful girl. Really, I consider her to be almost the same as a gelding.

She does have a lot more "go" than my current gelding. But I have also had geldings with "go" so that is a personality trait more than a gender trait.

She is also extremely loving an affectionate. If I am cleaning pens, she will just come and stand near me and doze with her head near my shoulder. I adore that. But again, I have had sweet geldings too.

I would not hesitate to own another mare IF I liked her. There have been a few mares that friends have owned that I would NOT own personally. I don't like mareish mares. But I think the good mares outweigh the bad. There are quite a few mares I would love to own.
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    02-07-2013, 10:36 PM
  #25
Weanling
At one point (7 months ago) I would have said geldings, geldings, geldings. Geldings don't have to go into heat or be mare-ish or have to worry about walking past the stallion. But now that I've owned a mare for a little while I would say that it doesn't matter.

Yes, my mare is more stubborn, but she also tries harder than my gelding ever did. She's so much more affectionate and I feel like we've bonded. I'm sure you could bond with a gelding, but I'm just saying that in my case, my mare was easier. She has tried to protect me from the rest of the herd, has tried to groom me back when I'm brushing her, and always nickers when she sees me coming to get her. My mare refused to do any dressage work for my trainer until they spent a week just getting to know each other.

So in short: Geldings are easier to work with in the short run (they aren't as stubborn or opinionated). Mares are more rewarding, but you have to wait a little longer to get it (they are more sensitive, but will only try hard for the right person). This is just my experience with my 2 horses, and I'm sure things vary from person to person and horse to horse.
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    02-07-2013, 10:50 PM
  #26
Trained
Give me a mare any day. They do develop a deeper bond than a gelding if you ask me. You need to earn their trust and they are protective.
My favorites have always been the boss mares.
I enjoy that spirit and stubborness they may show from time to time.
Mares get my vote. Shalom
     
    02-07-2013, 11:13 PM
  #27
Foal
For sure my mare is a dream to me! I feel a strong bond with her. Love her "try" and her "go". I've read that in the past the bedouins of old would only ride into battle on their mares, which I think attests to mares and their determination and worth ethic. Polo ponies are most often mares, again because they really put themselves into it! Do I see a correlation here to men as opposed to women?? Hmmm...
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    02-07-2013, 11:27 PM
  #28
Showing
Like others have said, their ability on the trail greatly depends on the individual horse. Whether a person will get along better with a gelding or a mare also depends on the individual. I'm more of a gelding person. If given the option between 2 horses with similar bloodlines and training, I'll go for the gelding almost every time.

I've never really noticed a difference between the level of "heart" between the sexes either. IMHO, that also depends on their training. You do it right and they'll have courage and heart to do things you though were impossible; you get them pinched or get them stuck and they'll never give you an ounce ever again.
     
    02-08-2013, 06:06 PM
  #29
Foal
I personally like geldings better because they don't mind others getting in their personal space. All mare I've ridden have squealed and even kicked at others so I like my geldings :) easy going and I am still very attached to them.
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    02-08-2013, 07:12 PM
  #30
Weanling
I have always been a mare lover... I just tend to generally click with them better..

But I feel its a personal preferance, and it does depend on the horse.. I have known geldings I liked, and mares that I hated.. Just seemslike everytime I find one that I want in my herd- it a mare..
     

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