pasturing mares and geldings together - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-08-2012, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy pasturing mares and geldings together

Why is pasturing mares and geldings frowned upon? I have my 12 year old gelding pastured with 2 mares, one 20 and the other 14. Haven't had any problems at all. Is it a preference or a rule?
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-08-2012, 11:32 AM
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I think it's just preference, especially with the bigger boarding facilities. I guess t could also make mare owner's feel more secure that a gelding (who could possibly not really be a gelding) is in a different field than their mare.

I know the horses at my barn are all mixed in. One field has just a gelding, one field has 3 mares and a gelding, one field has 2 mares, and one is currently open for the cattle coming in this spring. Never had an issue, aside from trying to put the new gelding in with the one that's currently alone..decided electric fencing and gates were worth the trouble to get to the mares. But there's never been an incident just because one is a mare and one is a gelding without a fence between them, so I would call it just preference.
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-08-2012, 11:43 AM
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I have never heard of such a thing against pasturing mares with geldings!? I have 2 mares and 2 geldings that are pastured together. It'll be interesting to see what others post...
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-08-2012, 12:00 PM
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My barn has a gelding's field, mare field, senior field, and the owner's field.

If the gelding can't make it in with the other geldings from being beat up, we put them in with the mares. There are currently 2 geldings in our mare's field, and there isn't a problem.
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-08-2012, 12:02 PM
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Geldings will get along better with out a mare turned out with them as a general rule....but not always.

All the ranch geldings were turned out together, about 50 head. Then we only had 3 mares for saddle horses and they were kept separate.

When we went to cow camp in the summer we had 20 something geldings and one mare turned out with them... because of lack of fencing. I could tell the difference, they were always kicking the crap out of each other. They got mothered up to that mare pretty fast and didn't want to be away from her. If I wrangled on her, all I would have to do was stand at the top of the hill, she would hollar at them and they would all come running up to the corrals. If I was on a gelding and she was turned out that day, if I didn't get her to latch on to my horse and follow the geldings wouldn't come either. She liked to peel out and take everyone with her. That gets a little old at the end of a day, and you have to chase them around on several hundred acres. There was times I would have to get a rope on her and lead her up to get everyone in.

I had a boss that would say "If you want to ruin a good gelding, turn him out with a mare". I thought that was a little much, but I can tell the difference.

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post #6 of 24 Old 01-08-2012, 12:10 PM
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I have one mare and one gelding. They share the same pasture. I have never had a problem with them. My gelding is the "alpha" horse and bosses my mare around...but all in all it works out great.

Before we had two geldings (one of them the same gelding I have now) and one mare in the same pasture. The mare was the "alpha" and neither of the geldings ever challenged her.

I have never heard about any reasons not to pasture them together. I would be curious to find out why it is a bad idea.
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-08-2012, 12:29 PM
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my cousins mare and gelding were always together

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post #8 of 24 Old 01-08-2012, 01:03 PM
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I have 3 mares, a gelding, 2 weanling fillies, and a stallion in the same pasture, please note the stallion and gelding have been together since the stallion was a yearling and have been together for about 11 yrs now. I have no problems, the stallion and gelding are buddies, they play hard but don't hurt each other, one of my mares is alpha she runs the herd, the stallion bows to her. My gelding is a paint and my stallion is an Icelandic, the gelding is 2 hands taller and outweighs the stallion by about 400 lbs. The Icelandic is much stronger than the paint and if there was a real fight the paint would lose. My gelding is no threat to the stallion. My old cowboy neighbor thinks I'm crazy for this arrangement, thinks all stallions should be housed separate and only let out to hand breed. I personally believe a happy stallion is a less dangerous stallion, they are herd animals and need the interaction with the herd. I did have them separated for a short time and it cost me a fortune in panels, my stallion would just destroy them to get back with his buddy. This may be a rare exception, I can ride this gelding with my other stallions without issues, but I couldn't pasture them together.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-08-2012, 01:17 PM
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If you have a situation where you only have a few horses, having a mixed herd is going to be easier to manage and will eliminate having horses by themselves. When you get into larger groups or in a boarding situation, I feel it's safer for both the horses and the handlers to keep them separate. Geldings can be very possesive of "their" mares and mares can be just as bad about their "man". You see alot more aggression, chasing, biting in a mixed herd. I have a herd of 12 geldings and 15 mares and have never had a problem assimilating a new horse into the herd. Never run through the fence, no vet calls, no scrapes other than the normal gelding tussling. If you've ever been challenged by a gelding when you were taking one of his girls away, than you can see the problem. When you're running a boarding operation, you need to feel confident that the owners, no matter their level of experience with horses, can go out and catch their horse with no problems. What if you owned a mare and noticed a gelding mounting her, knocked her to the ground with a death grip on her neck, tore up her back with his shod hoofs to the point you couldn't ride until the wounds healed, maybe penetrating her and giving her who knows what? Would you put up with that? What if the BM witnessed it and did nothing about it? An ounce of prevention.... When you've managed your herds in segregated groups and you've experienced all the benefits, than you get it.
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post #10 of 24 Old 01-08-2012, 02:00 PM
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I've never found any validity in it. Some people even put their stallions out with geldings, which I think is great.

But like Left Hand said, big herds tend to have problems. I don't think it's just the gender mix, I think it's too many horses together in a confined space. We had that exact problem at my old barn. All the horses on the property were turned out together. It was a mess - there was constant bickering, the timid horses weren't getting enough to eat, and it was extremely dangerous to go out and catch a horse by yourself. It was stressful and unsafe for the horses as well.

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