Understanding the Mare... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by myQHpaul View Post
.............but I am sure there are mares out there who are as lovable as geldings :)
They do exist, honest! I was a die-hard gelding owner until a good mare came my way. And since then I have met a few others as well. In general, I think geldings are easier to get along with. Less hormonal stuff. But not all mares are hormonal messes. Just some of them.
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post #12 of 19 Old 03-10-2012, 12:01 PM
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Mares are from Venus, and geldings/studs from Mars? Couldn't resist.

I have had more mares than geldings by a small margin, Not b/c I prefer one or the other. I think the whole gender difference thing (excluding studs) is a bit overdone. It is just like people, you can find "lead mare" like personalities in humans..but that doesn't mean all women are confident, bossy, take charge, and aggresive. Or to the opposite extreme, docile and matronly. I think mares can have a bit of pms sometimes, but I have had geldings that I loved dearly that seemed to have it 24/7 :)....so, that whole thing is also overblown. But, I have known a lot of people that prefered a gelding b/c of it. I have had geldings that would be the "guardian" of other animals...something you would expect of a mare. So, overall and in general, I see no real diff w respect to human interaction.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #13 of 19 Old 03-10-2012, 12:20 PM
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I'm on the opposite side of things. My family has always owned mares, and now I find myself working with our first gelding... who happens to be a mustang colt.

I think that no matter the gender there are amazing horses out there. Being a feral horse, it took me a little while to establish a relationship with my colt, much like people have said of their mares. Now that I have that trust, he's the first horse I've owned who has regularly walked to meet me at the gate, and who has allowed me to walk up to him while he's lying down. He's also the first horse who has learned to listen to my tone and my words when he's about to have a freakout, takes my word for it that everything is okay, and settles down.

How much of this has to do with his being a gelding? I don't know. How much of it has to do with his being a mustang? I'm not sure. How much of it has to do with his being a 2 yr old? No idea. This is just what my experience has been.
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-10-2012, 12:36 PM
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I like to just stand back and observe the horse in it's own environment at first, to see how it moves. If it seems like a real quiet horse I'll ask the owner to catch it then as I run my hands over it I'll work my way to the hindquarters and lift the tail and drop it. If there is little resistance I may suspect it's been tranquilized. I will lift the tail to the side and examine the nether parts to see if things look tight or appear flaccid. Flaccid and no tail resistance are definite indicators of drugging or it's quite old. The teeth would cofirm if quite old. Training issues don't concern me and they can be fixed. I'm looking for soundness. Have the owner trot the horse briskly, either by leading or in the saddle. Ask for a tight turn in both directions. Look for shuffling movement. If in doubt, ask again. This often denotes some soreness. If the horse has a nasty temperment and displays it, that's always good for knocking the price down. That too can be fixed. But it can also indicate soreness.
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-10-2012, 12:37 PM
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I love my opinionated, silly mares. I even love 'em when they're in heat. Ok, maybe not so much when they're in heat in Feb....LOL! I have 1 Gelding, 3 Stallions and 6 mares. My main riding horse, or 'go to' horse is a mare and she is the most opinionated, bossy one of the entire lot. She's also the most loving, to me, and will follow me around like a puppy dog just hoping for a scritch. I've taught her all the bad habits I've never taught another horse, like to back up to me when she wants her butt scratched with the apple picker. She'll chase me all over her stall, backwards, when I'm in there with the picker. If she gets impatient, "Patti, I swear I'll scratch your butt when I'm done picking your stall.", she'll take one big ole hoof and knock the wheel barrow over and stand there and look at me. I give in. Mares are HILARIOUS the ways the get you to do things for them. They're manipulative. Some are snuggly, some are stand-offish, some are independant, they're all different.

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post #16 of 19 Old 03-10-2012, 12:48 PM
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There's a difference from dealing with a mare and dealing with the alpha mare.

I have all mares here, 10 to be specific, and I ride the alpha mare. She's a little bit of a big mean hag, but she will not even think about touching or looking at another horse funny if I'm there. Why? Because I'm her alpha mare and when I'm there, she knows what's up and that she had better behave. Or else. ;)

And then, on the total opposite end, there's the bottom of the totem pole. Those ones rely on trust more than respect, I've found. You have to work on confidence with them. Those are the ones most likely to follow you around like little puppys. But, then again, I've found that age makes a difference. My 4 year old was the bottom of the bottom last year, and then she figured out how to use her back legs and she's somewhere in the middle now.

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post #17 of 19 Old 03-10-2012, 01:29 PM
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I would watch her out in the pasture with other horses and see how she ranks.

I've had really docile mares and then complete terrors. While I find the terrors to be the better riding of the two they can reek complete havoc in the herd. My mare now is boss hog and she has no problem running another horse through the fence, into a tree (poor Rick now has a terrible scar because of her), she attacks through the fence, but out in the field she loves on me and lowers her head to my feet for scratches... I got her number! She also keeps the others away from me if I go out, so that can be a problem. I am alpha mare and she'll back down when I ask but I have to keep on my toes. The geldings just want fed and loved on, they'll stand side by side so I can get them both at the same time, not with her around. She's in right now and doesn't get moody with me, more lovey dovey.

My first horse was a mare and she was pissy at best. Hell on hoof when riding, we could do anything but she'd jump a fence when in and go visit geldings in "hope".

So I'd just watch her turned out, ask how she acts when in, and then do all my other checks. Stands quiet, watch for ear pinning, have the owners lift all her feet and walk around her close, saddle and ride. Good Luck!

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Last edited by FlyGap; 03-10-2012 at 01:34 PM.
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post #18 of 19 Old 03-10-2012, 02:52 PM
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Mares are great, different, and special. Geldings are predictable. I am at a point in my life where I will only own geldings, nothing wrong with mares, I just happen to be into "boring" right now.
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post #19 of 19 Old 03-10-2012, 09:41 PM
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I think that the personality of the horse matters more than the gender. I own two non-mareish mares and adore them both. I've known more geldings to be PMSing than mares.

But yeah, I base things off of the horse itself and not so much the gender. Stallions are fairly predictable in how their hormones work, but then again, their reactions to things will still be on whether or not they're of a headstrong/gentle/timid/etc. nature.

"He doth nothing but talk of his horses."
~William Shakespeare
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