Do some horses prefer men over women riders and vice versa?

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Do some horses prefer men over women riders and vice versa?

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    01-09-2012, 09:53 AM
Do some horses prefer men over women riders and vice versa?

I'm still working with my 9 year old 1/2 qtr horse 1/2 arabian. He's very nervous (barn sour, buddy sour). He bolted on me Saturday and we went for a very scary ride. I managed to stay on him, but was shaken nonetheless.

My male friend rode him Sunday, with very little problems. He mentioned to me that he thinks my Joey is a "man's" horse. My question: is there such a thing? Do horse have a preference over who's handling them? My vet tech friend said it was bull. Bad manners are bad manners no matter who is on their back. Just want some feedback from other horse people. I've never heard of this before and just want some opinions! Thanks!!

Joey's previous owners were both male.
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    01-09-2012, 09:58 AM
I don't think that they are focusing more on if your male or female. They will test everyone who gets on their back. Joey may respond better to your male friend because he can handle him differently. Maybe your riding is different? Do you spend a lot of time with him??
    01-09-2012, 10:02 AM
I think its a load of poop :) it is bad manners.

But... I do think some horses have a preference. My older mare has always liked kids. Prefers kids over any adult and will chose a kid over adult in the field to catch her. I also know my friends horse hates males. So I do think it is possible. But no matter if the horse has a preference he should work for anyone. Which leads to bad manners.

Ground work and leadership by you will resolve these problems :)
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    01-09-2012, 10:07 AM
Thank you for responding. Yes, my friend is much more assertive with handling him and also a more experienced rider. And my friend is pretty fearless in that he'll jump on any horse and ride them the crap out of them! Joey and I have definite 'trust' issues and I work with him alot, both on the ground and in saddle. He's excellent in the indoor arena and in the round pen. He's very well trained, but just so nervous when I try to ride him off the farm or away from his buddies. I know alot of it is me and I'm working through that, as well. I had just never heard of a 'man's' horse vs a 'womans' horse.
    01-09-2012, 10:13 AM
Thank you for your response! I agree with everything you said. It's nice having some positive reinforcement. I do work him as often as I can and have every reason to believe he and I can work through this. It will also help when it's spring/summer and we can ride outside more often. He really is an awesome horse, I'm pretty sure I'm the one who needs the guidance!
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    01-09-2012, 10:20 AM
As kait18 said, I think it is probably the fact that your gentleman friend is a more assertive rider. How much experience do you have? Sadly there is no quick fix to confidence issues, but it sounds like you are definitely on the right track to getting it worked out with him!

That said, I do believe some prefer men or women, my own gelding MUCH prefers women to men, but that may have something to do with the fact that he was raised and trained by me, and has had very limited contact with men. The only man to ever ride him hopped on after Jack blew up on me at a show and I sprained my wrist, he needed to be ridden through it and I was hurting so he rode it out for me. IMO it has to do with their past experiences.
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    01-09-2012, 10:32 AM
I agree with the past experiences. He was left out in a pasture by himself for almost 3 years. So, he really doesn't like being alone or away from his buddies. I have a great support network of horse people around me. My horse riding ability is sound, my horse training ability needs some work. I think the bottom line is I need to establish that I'm the herd boss and that he can trust me. Also need to not push him when I can tell he's going to blow. Baby steps.
    01-09-2012, 10:39 AM
You are already in the right direction :) you know what needs work and where you want to go :) have fun with your project soon your horse will be a one person horse ;p joking of course :)
    01-09-2012, 11:15 AM
Green Broke
I think my colt prefers just random people. He is in love with my boyfriend, and just about wanted to kill my farrier. Dusty pinned his ears the moment the guy took his lead rope, tried whatever he could to kick at him. Needless to say, just got taught a lesson ;)
    01-09-2012, 11:17 AM
Personally I have no problem in accepting as a generalised statement that men deal with their horses differently to women. And some men may ride more boldly than some women. But that a horse can from a distance detect a man from a woman is pushing my credence, unless all women go round wearing overpowering perfume. Being a male who lost his sense of smell years ago, I can nowadays only tell the difference in the sexes by the shape of the butt and the hair style. Although the presence of a beard is a pretty good indicator.
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