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Thoughts on mare vs gelding

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  • Why mares are not as good as geldings
  • Are mares or geldings better performers

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    05-19-2011, 09:42 AM
Originally Posted by gigem88    
The term "mare-ish" always irked me. I think it's just a way to cover for bad training.
Naw. It is the term for moodiness. And some horses are for sure moody. And some mares it can be associated with their cycle.
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    05-19-2011, 09:42 AM
As was said before people get to blame a mares cycle for all the holes in her training and poor handling. I have ridden mares and geldings in a variety of situations and there really isn't a nickels worth of difference between the two. If you allow your mare to squeel and kick at other horses then she will but if you never allow it and don't make excuses because of her cycle then she will behave just the same all the time.

Top performers in all disciplines ride mares as well as geldings but for some reason the casual two-ride-per-month horse owner thinks they can't deal with the "mareish" attitude.
    05-19-2011, 09:44 AM
I am not saying there are not people who use it as an excuse. I am just saying that cycles can cause moods that have to be dealt with.
    05-19-2011, 09:46 AM
Green Broke
Loved iride’s synopsis!

It all comes down to personal experience I guess, I am an avid mare lover. Then again I am not one to put up with bad behavior/manners from any horse – mare, stallion or gelding so I treat bad behavior as an entirely separate issue from gender.

If a mare behaves badly I do not attribute it to her being a mare, in my eyes it is simply bad behavior and is treated as such. Once I am handling/riding them they have to be respectful no matter how might they feel on any given day and so far I am yet to have trouble with a mare during any stage of her cycle, they are welcome to squeal, pee, prance and kick out in their pasture on their own time.

In my personal experience, the mares have been much tougher to win over but when you do it really is a strong partnership.
    05-19-2011, 09:55 AM
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
I am not saying there are not people who use it as an excuse. I am just saying that cycles can cause moods that have to be dealt with.
Exactly. Hormones are stronger in some horses than others. Geldings can still acty studdy. Heck, I have a mare that acts studdy.

Boils down to the horse. Age, sex, color, height, breed - as individual components only matter if you have a specific goal. You can't show a QH at an Arab show.

For me the bottom line would come to two things - Does their personality fit yours - and the others (human, horse, dog, cat, etc) that they must live with? Can the horse do what I want it to do? (trail, cut, pen, jump, etc)
    05-19-2011, 09:57 AM
Rather it's kids or horses or dogs they can be in whatever mood they want but they MUST behave regardless of thier "mood". I completely agree that the term "mareish" is synonomys with poor training and handling. The same can be said for "studish" or "muleish".

Many people have only been around a few horses and they draw conclusions based on extremely limited experiences. Much like if the two smartest people you knew had blue eyes so you decided that everyone with blue eyes was very smart. There are plenty of dumb, blue eyed people but you are basing your opinion on your limited experience and not thinking it through.

Mares usually only cycle in the spring and early summer when the light and temperature is right so if your mare is acting bitchy more than about 6 times per year you should blame yourself instead of her uterus.
    05-19-2011, 10:02 AM
Mares can some times get "witchy" when they are in heat, But I have owned and ridden mares that have no change in attitude when in heat, I think mares are sometimes more bold than geldings and more personable. It all depends on the horse though!
    05-19-2011, 10:12 AM
The saying 'Ask a stallion, Tell a Gelding, and Discuss it with a Mare' is going through my head :) This is true in my opinion from the experience of riding different horses, but like Alwaysbehind says, moods can be worked through, but if the horse does what you ask and you like the horse, then there is no reason you should choose one over the other ased on sex alone (unless you plan to breed at some point down the road). You can get an extremely hot gelding just the same as you can a mare.

I have a mare, and even though she goes through her heat cycles, you make them work through it and eventually they get over the attitude when in heat and it stops affecting the work. Just the same, I suppose as a female, she eventually learns not to be crabby at work when she has PMS because she'll lose her job :)
    05-19-2011, 10:21 AM
I'm lucky to even notice when my mares cycle. Unless I get them around a stud, I don't see any difference in their gender. If it's a good horse, go ahead and get her.
    05-19-2011, 11:36 AM
I much prefer mares. I think geldings are rather boring. The moody mares keep things interesting.

Abby is mareish..when she feels like it. Like, "eh. I don't feel like being ridden today, so I'm going to be grumpy about it." She'll listen, but she's just moody and not eager to go do something. When she was in heat, I wouldn't have even noticed if this other gelding across the barn wouldn't have kept calling. She called back and flipped her tail up and to the side and was throwing her butt around. I lunged her and rode afterwards. She was sooo lazy.

Some mares are really mareish. Some aren't at all.

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