So I'm getting a horse soon so I wanted to know.... Male or Female??
Is one or the other better for beginners?
What are the Pros and Cons of each?
What sex was you're first horse
Personal experience you could share
Well if you can help then thanks!!! All opinions are welcome as long as they are said in a respectful way..
Sorry if I repeat somethings. I'm a bit of a hurry so I'm not going to read what's been posted (should probably just skip this all). Just logged on (for the love of me I don't know why) to read a message I'll have to answer later.
1. Better for beginners. There is a little bit missing....beginners at what? (are we talking about for a first time rider. Someone who knows how to ride, but getting their first horse. Someone who's dealt with horses, but now looking to start with a new horse from scratch).
If you're just starting to ride the only gender that I'd say is virtually always a bad idea is a stallion. As I like to tell the non equine types who ask me about horses (most thinking about getting one after seeing and maybe sitting up on one of my mares). Think of a horse as a lot of muscle and power with an attitude. If it's a stallion take that equation and increase it by a exponentially by a factor of 2 (for those non math types...look it up
). They are stronger (more muscle), bigger (relative to their non stallion peers) and a LOT more attitude. I would not recommend a stallion (even a well trained one) for the "uninitiated". (that being said, I do love them and if I were a younger man and felt like dealing with it I'd own one again right now....no horse will work harder and give more than a well trained stallion that wants to do the job for you...but no horse will kill you quicker than a stallion that doesn't want to).
2. While this is not a hard fast rule. The general consensus will be that for the outright beginner a good gelding is likely your best bet (that's what my father would have told you
) and there is a lot of truth to that it must be remember, that like people, each horse is an individual so if we removed stallions from the equation (and we have...trust me you don't what a stallion if you're a beginner at ANYTHING to do with horses) you can find some mares that are better than some geldings that are better. It will depend a lot on the individual horse (but in general, all things being equal, a gelding is easier). The reason that geldings are generally preferred is that they've had a lot of their attitude "removed" (the little jokers that pump out most of the attitude enhancing hormones aren't there anymore) and as a result they also don't have the massive extra muscle mass they'd have had if they remained a stallion. Mares can (and often do) tend to have more attitude than a gelding. Basically you can look at it like a Stallion is a mare....on steroids. To generalize (always a dangerous thing to do) mares tend to have more attitude than geldings and can be a bit more challenging. As I use to point out when my father and I would be at odds over what horse is best (a mare fan vs a gelding fan
) I always pulled out my one "ace" card.....you are far less likely to find a mare that gets turned into a "plug" than a gelding (my answer to his ace card "a gelding is less likely to have an attitude problem"). His father use to find it our "discussion" quite amusing. He went to his grave with his opinion and I'm sure I'll go to my grave with mine.
3. My first horse (I'm referring to the horse I started with for training....not the first horses I ever rode or learned to ride on) was filly I was given at 14 when I returned from Germany where I spent most of my younger life. I do need to qualify that I was surrounded (pretty much "literally" not figuratively) by men who had experience in dealing with horses. Some started out life in an era when the horse was the transportation (that or walking). Automotive transportation was rare and roads were often wagon roads (I was still riding on the remains of some of those old roads back in the 70's and 80's). That being the case I'm not the best benchmark to use for a "first" horse. Considering that the second horse I was given to break was a stallion. When you have the readily available knowledge and guidance of men for whom dealing with horses was second nature it's not the same as for what most people are faced with today (mores the pity). I will say that my opinion on the horses I prefer have almost certainly been influenced by the horses I started out working with. Have I had geldings? Yes of course (remember my gelding loving father?
), but to this day I still prefer mares. My first mare was one of the best working horses we had. She could move cattle almost without a rider. Could ride 40 miles today and be ready to work all day tomorrow. Could bushwhack and hunt through an overgrown river basin. Yes, it had a LOT to do with her training, but she was a mare and always had that "I'm up to the task" and had the ready to go attitude. (but if I wanted to have a nice 20 mile ride for shear fun of riding....I'd have jumped on our TWH stallion....not as good with the cattle, but a great ride).
All that being said. If you're new to horses. Not much experience riding. Don't have experienced horse people on hand (I'm talking about experienced....not some certified "natural horse training" person who learned at some canned training Clinique put on by these NH training people who think you can "sell" how to train a horse). Then my personal suggestion (for what it's worth) would be to get a horse that is already trained (take someone very knowledgeable about the riding you plan to do and have them check out the horse). Gender will be less important than the horse itself.
If you're not new to horses and have some experience and are looking to move up to starting your first horse....I say do the same things as above
If you have the experienced people readily available who have successfully trained more working horses than they can keep track of then with the exception of a stallion the gender won't matter, because you'll have the experts on hand to help you deal with the long list of potential issues you might encounter.
Just keep in mind what I said earlier. A horse is basically a 1/2 ton of muscle with attitude. It can hurt you. It can kill you. Read my signature line (one of many things my grandfather said) which was true 100 years ago and it'll still be true 100 years from now.