The geldings or the mares?

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The geldings or the mares?

This is a discussion on The geldings or the mares? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

View Poll Results: Which do you prefer?
Geldings 43 53.09%
Mares 33 40.74%
Stallions 5 6.17%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

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    05-27-2012, 05:09 PM
The geldings or the mares?

I've been asked this many, many times. Do you prefer a gelding or a mare? To beginner folks looking to buy I typically answer "You'll probably want a gelding but I hands down prefer mares..."

Mares think more. They are female, after all

Personally, I just get along with them better. I find some geldings to be rather annoying. I find that they seem to teeter on the edge of being so nonchalant (what everyone loves in a gelding) that they have too little personality for me OR that they are boarder line studdish and cause great disturbances in my herds. In addition (just something I've noticed over the years after working with many different horses, genders and breeds) the geldings stomp flies more, react to bugs on the trails and tend to be spookier. The logical non-stereotyping side of my mind says that's really not possible but the fact that I've worked with so many and taken note says its truth.

I own a stallion, two geldings and ten mares. One gelding is very smart, he takes fantastic care of his dam in the herd but is awful with everyone else. He is good for panicking about bugs on the trail, spooking when bored, busy behaving like a little boy in church and is stuck somewhere between colt and stallion mentality. He makes my stallion look like a total gentlemen at all times. The second gelding I wouldn't trade for the world. He's a great little fella to have around but when the first gelding isn't looking he will hop on a mare in heat and/or steal babies that he cannot nurse.

Mares on the other hand. I love them. In a "gelding free" environment once the pecking order is in place there is peace. No one is mounting anyone. No one is "herding" anyone. They have patience with the bugs and all look after the foals. On the trail when one of the mares are startled by something they will look, think and then just go. They seem generally easier to train for me. Faster learners. I have no herd bound horses, everyone can take a trail ride alone but when I train horses its the geldings that seem to want to give me the issues. "Not wanting to leave a new girlfriend" seems to weigh heavy on their minds.

As far as the tired and over used "mares are moody witches" saying? I've met a few genuinely awful mares in my day. Mmm maybe two. But a few rotten apples in the gelding and stallion genders also. Inevitable. For the most part I laugh at the moody mare statements, the only way you'll know my girls are in heat is when you see them peeing at the stallion. No misbehaving, "in heat" is not an excuse to a training issue. All in all I find the mares are sweet, quieter and simple. Like I said, IMO they think more. They also make great a GPS for when your lost. My mares always know where home or the trailer is, my geldings... one wants to keep riding and the other is running away from bugs

So, which do you prefer. And why?
VanillaBean and gigem88 like this.
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    05-27-2012, 05:12 PM
I had to vote Stallion. I've owned and worked with many of all three, but stallions just have this unbeatable work ethic. When you work with one that's been really well trained, it's fantastic.
New_image likes this.
    05-27-2012, 05:21 PM
Green Broke
I don't really have a preference. My geldings and my mare would all go for me till they dropped dead. They all have really interesting personalities and attitudes.
I will say that my mares like to question me more and don't just blindly follow commands haha but sometimes you want the good obedience and calm nature of some geldings

But if I really have to choose ill say studs. They just have this spark and they will test you, follow you, listen and make you laugh...and they are unbeatable when it comes to work and discipline...if you have a good trained one. Haha
    05-27-2012, 05:25 PM
New Image, I could of wrote what you did about the mares. Word for word. I find the are sweeter and tend not to be so pushy as geldings tend to be. For me, I just love that. I understand them squealing when another horse sniffs them too! I don't liked to be touched either lol!!
    05-27-2012, 05:34 PM
Lol! That last part reminds my of my husbands statement on the matter "Perhaps you like mares because you're just like them..."

I agree about pushy. My two geldings and the boarders geldings all want their grain NOW. The mares? They follow quietly or wait patiently where they should until their bucket is set on the ground below their noses. The geldings cannot fathom the fact that I say "NO, you may not rip this from my hands. NOW we are holding every ones breakfast up by me yelling at you.. again.."

My stallion is super patient and cordial regarding his feed. Just the geldings. They also like to chase others off their feed to see if they have something better. I think that's also just to annoy me...
Wallaby and f350girl like this.
    05-27-2012, 05:49 PM
I'm going to stick up for geldings on this one. I've only ever owned geldings, but I've worked with a lot of mares, and it general I've found that, where geldings tend to be more emotionally dependent, and want attention, and are more pushy, they are easier to motivate to want to work for you, and are just more likely to want to be friends with you, which I like much more than the aloofness mares have shown me. Admittedly, I have never worked with an individual mare for longer than six months, and that one had sweetened up to me by the end, so I think they're just pickier about who they're friends with, but I've come to appreciate how friendly my boys.

I have noticed that actually, if anything, geldings tend to be stroppier than mares. Mares don't like being bossed overly much, and it's easier to tell a gelding what to do to a point, but then they can become really grumpy sods rather than just testing you like a mare does. There are more days with geldings I think that you go in to work and have to give up and go for a hack, as he's not in the mood to give you anything extra. And they are so food-motivated it's unreal. I;d agree about the spooking as well, although I find geldings to be more competitive than mares, so mounted games/random galloping races/eventing I find more fun on geldings as they seem to want to win as much as I do!

I read this and think, why do I even like geldings... but then I've always gotten on better with boys (human ones) when growing up, and I cox men's rowing too, so I've gotten used to working with boys. At least they don't hold grudges, which I have noticed mares doing with different people (although thankfully I've never been not the receiving end of that...).
    05-27-2012, 05:56 PM
I own two mares, and three geldings. I always tell parents looking to get their child their first horse, to go with a gelding as I feel there's a better chance for an even temperament. That said, I MUCH prefer mares! Geldings on the whole seem to have less personality (though I have definitely seen exceptions to this) and the ones I know are not nearly so affectionate as the mares. My mare happens to be pretty dang pushy, but I have no problem being more pushy, and we work just fine together (though many people have said she intimidates them even when she's just standing there). My mare is NEVER boring! The other mare I own is so mild mannered that when my son was 4, he could lead her up to the paddock from the pasture with no problems. She'd even let him halter her.....
    05-27-2012, 06:08 PM
Green Broke
I've worked with mares and geldings, never have had the opportunity to work with a stallion.

I'm a mare person all the way. I know some people find mares difficult to work with and stubborn and all of the stereotypes... but in my experience, once you can get a mare to trust you, or get inside her head a figure out how she ticks, she's going to put so much try into everything you ask of her.
I have mares at my place that will honestly run themselves to death for you. In my experience with geldings, they will quit on you. Many mares I've worked with have no quit. They might have some stubborness, and silly attitude issues, but I've figured out how they work and hopped over that mountain.

The mare at my place I've spent the most time with is Squiggy. She trusts ME. But, I had to open the trust door first. My parents thought I was crazy, but in the end, it worked for me. She will not let my dad catch her or load her in the trailer. She won't load in the trailer for my mom either. I've had to do it every time.

I guess I just like all the heart mares have :)
roljess and f350girl like this.
    05-27-2012, 08:04 PM
Mares by far! Generally, they will test, telnd to be a bit more loving and get more attached. Therefore they are not for everyone - most mares will test a bit more than gelding, and whereas gelding tend to have a more stable mood, mares tend to keep you on your toes and rarely do they have a stable mood. It changes daily! For those that have experience in horses in would recommend a mare more. However, not all Arabs or TBs are sensitive, and I would take a kind gelding over a sour mare any day..
    05-27-2012, 08:20 PM
You know, I like mares too...they get more attached and are quite sweet. Geldings are good, though, because they're not so moody or emotional.

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