Mare for trail riding??
 
 

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Mare for trail riding??

This is a discussion on Mare for trail riding?? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Mare vs gelding for trail horse
  • Mare or gelding for trail riding

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    08-06-2012, 02:25 AM
  #1
Foal
Mare for trail riding??

I am into trail riding and wanting to sart looking towards competitive trail and/or endurance trail. I will also be going on a lot of group rides. I'm looking to getting a new horse specifically for this in the future. My question is about owning a mare as a trail horse only because I know some geldings misbehave around mares in heat so I'm just wondering how that would go if she was in heat on a group trail ride with mixed genders. I find mares easier to bond with for me but a good horse is a good horse an would never be biased against a gender, I would go solely on the horse unless it would be a problem to do group rides with a mare in heat. Does anyone have experience with this? Is it a big enough factor to not consider a mare?
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    08-06-2012, 03:20 AM
  #2
Super Moderator
I board in a trail riding facility and we have several mares. They go in trails with geldings just fine and they never act up if the mares are in heat, always listening to their riders. It really depends on the level of respect a horse has for his rider/trainer, so I think you will be okay. I have even ridden stallions in trails with mares participating, and some of them in heat, but the stallions were so well trained that they were ridden in just rope halters and didn't even flinch an ear to any of the mares. Get a mare and enjoy her! :)
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    08-06-2012, 03:31 AM
  #3
Green Broke
Other peoples horses acting up around common things is THEIR problem, not yours.

Saying that mares seem to be pretty common in endurance. From what I have seen I would say even better than geldings. Mares seem to be much pushier and agressive when it comes to eating and drinking. That's a good thing. I think they do a better job of taking care of themselves. While I have never crunched the numbers to see if they really are better. I have never heard or seen anything that would make me think they are worse. If you prefer mares get one.
     
    08-06-2012, 05:28 AM
  #4
Foal
Well I have a gelding right now and he's a great horse but our personalities don't mesh and I'm sure everyone knows what that's like. I don't really have a preference either way. I'd really just like to go look at horses regardless of mate or gelding and see how we work together and decide on that. I'm glad to know though that more often then not it'll be fine to take a mare with a group of geldings, if she's well trained it won't be as bothersome if they even do act up because she will have respect for me and I can control her. My dream is to do endurance and cross country with the occasional competitive trails thrown in. Hopefully I won't need 3 different horses for that :P
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    08-06-2012, 09:54 AM
  #5
Green Broke
I ride a mare on trails and she's always an angel. While she doesn't prefer being leader, she will do fine if I ask it of her. The geldings I rode on trails were a bit iffy-er in their training, so I can't say mares are better than geldings based off my experience.
Though, I've had both mares I've ridden give me more effort than the geldings. Dude especially had his own agenda, he'd only run full-out if we were racing in the field with others (he'd always end up last, lol), and while he'd give me more effort in the arena than any of his other riders, it was never his all. He was rather spooky on the trails too, no matter where he was in the group.

Personally though, I think it all depends on the bond the horse/rider has, not really the gender. I've had bigger blow-ups when I started working with the mares, but I appreciated that they were all headstrong and came around with a bit of work as opposed to the geldings who did everything half-heartedly when I started working with them with fewer blow-ups that had a lot less "umph".
My friend has a gelding that will do anything that's asked of him by anyone whole-heartedly though, and that's just his personality along with his training. Any sex will give it's all with training and a desire to please or is doing what it likes. Example being, Dude gave more in the arena working on barrels/poles than he ever did on trails, because he obviously liked it more.
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    08-06-2012, 10:01 AM
  #6
Trained
Not all geldings go nuts over mares. My silly gelding has been turned out to pasture with broodmares in heat and got confused when they flirted with him. He still does even though he's only out with geldings (current place separates by gender).

Honestly, if a gelding goes mad over a mare that isn't your fault nor your responsibility. The owner of said gelding shouldn't bring their horse into a mixed group if they aren't going to train their horse.
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    08-06-2012, 02:30 PM
  #7
dee
Started
The first time I rode my mare on a trail ride, she was in full blown heat. She's the dominant mare in our herd, and daughter was just sure there would be trouble. However, Dancer has never made an issue of being in heat - she demonstrates the physical attributes of being in heat, such as winking, but she rarely pees under saddle. Honestly, the only way we know when she is in heat is when our neighbor rides by on his stud, and he's the one that is calling and acting like a fool. Dancer is interested, but since there is a fence between them (and she's too lazy to jump it) but other than looking up with pricked ears, she pretty much ignores him.

Anyway, on the trail ride, Dancer was a gem. Our friends were very pleased at how well she took to the trail (it was her first time being ridden outside of a pasture.) Dancer ignored the antics of the lone stallion in the group, and the geldings and other mares pretty much dismissed Dancer's "issue" after a few minutes - the view on the trail was much more interesting...
     
    08-06-2012, 05:39 PM
  #8
Yearling
I have a mare. Heat cycles have never been a problem and we have ridden literally thousands of miles together.

If you prefer mares, then find yourself one to be your trail partner!
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    08-07-2012, 07:23 AM
  #9
Green Broke
I wouldn't trade my mare for anything. She's a wonderful trail horse.
     
    08-09-2012, 09:33 AM
  #10
Weanling
It is true a mare or stallion can be trained to behave and never act up, But why spend the extra time it takes to do all of this training, when it is automatic with most geldings. We gave up riding mares a long time ago, too much extra work.

I don't see that a mare has any more to over than a gelding. It is the individual make up of the horse that makes them the type of mount they become.
     

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