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post #31 of 44 Old 01-05-2016, 10:22 PM
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I'd want to know what the mare is like when in heat. One that is sweet or at least not wild eyed and wooly would be okay with me. Geldings can be real jerks in a herd too, it really depends on the horse.

Any way you can sort of find out the personalities before making a decision? If so that seems more reliable than going off gender. To me at least.
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post #32 of 44 Old 01-07-2016, 06:08 PM
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I know you have lots of replies already, but it's always fun to add your own story in right? ;)

Like many others have said, I have always heard that Geldings are easier to deal with, but I have not found (so far) that this is true. Though, they definitely are driven by different brains.

I grew up riding Mares, that's all we ever had (except for the occasional Stallion), my Grandpa lived in an area and era where you needed to have breeding stock, and it just carried over to my childhood. I loved almost every one of those Mares. I started riding on my mother's old show Mare, JoJo, and she was possibly the best horse to begin on. She took care of you almost like a mother would. She knew we were small and fragile and carried us as such. I moved on to an old sway back mare, a little after my mother's died. She had a little more of an attitude and made me learn how to deal with riding being hard. I also learned to ride bareback on her because she had a "built in saddle". I started showing on a mare out of JoJo. She had a mind of her own, but once you figured it out she was a piece of cake. I swear she was in heat 24/7, she wasn't cranky, but was a little to friendly with others, and as a child I had to hang out with my friends at shows, because of that she would get buddy sour when separated from horses she didn't even know. She eventually got passed on to my brother when he started showing and I had to go through a few more mares.

I ended up with my gelding after my Grandpa saw that we had clicked. He is out of our stud we had at the time and a mare Grandpa traded for. He was supposed to be sold, but Grandpa instead papered him to my name for my 11th birthday. This boy is an odd duck. He was so easy to start. He is the first and only horse so far I have broken to ride. Nothing phased him for the first six years of life, he had no get up and go and little if any buck. But that all changed haha. I love him more than I have ever loved another horse, and I certainly don't miss the cycling aspect of the mares, but some days I would swear he's in heat. He squeals and pins his ears and even bites at other horses, I have to stand by myself at horse shows. He lived in a herd of mares (obviously, because he was the only gelding we had ever owned) and I think it rubbed off on him. He has by far taught me the most about riding, because he is the emotional one and changes moods so quickly. Sometimes he's grumpy, sometimes happy go lucky. Sometimes he's pokey, sometimes he's so wound up it's ridiculous. Some days he's scared of the garbage can by the arena, sometimes he's not. I NEVER know what he will spook at (or won't) day to day. I still have yet to figure him out totally, even after 13 years.

If you click with one horse more than the other, go with that horse (even if they are kinda weird, like the above mentioned horse ;) ). In the end, for me based on my experiences, I would be willing to purchase another gelding and give it another go. I know many, many people who will only own geldings. But I won't really be making my decision based on gender. I would need to take a good look at their personality. Though maybe subconsciously I will keep picking mares, I just bought a mini mare hehe (she has a wonderful personality though).

Sorry that got so long...... I wish you the best of luck with your decision!
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Last edited by KLJcowgirl; 01-07-2016 at 06:17 PM. Reason: wanted to add a little more thought
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post #33 of 44 Old 01-07-2016, 06:25 PM
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This sounds rather odd since I've got 5 mares - but all in all I'd say that I've had less trouble with geldings than I have with mares - mostly because I've currently got two that are awfully flirty when in season and it just makes for turmoil amongst the whole 'herd' - its so nice to have a horse that's a 'constant'
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post #34 of 44 Old 01-07-2016, 09:18 PM
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One can only answer this question with a generality. I like mares, and have shown mainly mares, never used hormone treatment. I have also shown and loved several geldings.
Having said that, generally, geldings are recommended for amateurs and youth, as all things being equal, they are never under the influence of hormones, like mares, and while some mares show little difference in behavior, while in heat, others can be a challenge.
You will see the majority of show horses for youth and non pro are geldings
Of course, that doe snot mean a bad mannered gelding should be picked over a good mannered, well trained mare!
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post #35 of 44 Old 01-08-2016, 07:17 AM
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I've never had a problem with mares and geldings in the pasture. A mare will make you a better rider IMO and have more personality. I prefer riding mares to geldings.
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post #36 of 44 Old 01-08-2016, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by KLJcowgirl View Post
... some days I would swear he's in heat. He squeals and pins his ears and even bites at other horses, I have to stand by myself at horse shows. He lived in a herd of mares (obviously, because he was the only gelding we had ever owned) and I think it rubbed off on him. I
Absolutely! The herd broodmares taught him to be that way. I have owned mostly geldings out of the 35 horses I have owned over the last 30 years. (We bought and sold a lot when I was teaching lessons.) My geldings that I kept were not vicious. Only my very good herd leader was a bully, and HE learned it from a pony. Horses learn from other horses and bad company brings both bad habits and bad luck for the horses unfortunate enough to learn those bad habits and become largely unmanageable. "Tyke", (QH/TQH, 1970-1998, RIP) was a babysitter horse, so I could forgive his bossiness. "Corporal", my 3rd in line, learned from Tyke, but wasn't much interested in fighting horses he didn't know. My 2nd was my 13.2hh, big barrelled pony, "Toma", (1970-2004, RIP), and he was always 2nd, even after Tyke passed on, and Corporal became my herd leader. Herd Dynamics are fascinating, because horses are just so smart!
My mare was the omega in the herd where she lived before I bought her. The man who sold her to me was very fond of her, and so was his wife, so I don't contact them very much, else I get more comments that he sold his (non-horsey) wife's favorite horse. Still, she LOVES not being beaten up or picked on by other mares. My geldings push her around with food, but they hang like a gang most of the time, and sometimes will all three take up running rings around my rectangular, 3 acre North Pasture.
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post #37 of 44 Old 01-17-2016, 05:27 PM
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My boy is chronically lame and was getting run by the geldings who were by and large being big naughty boys. He could not keep up and was getting beat up. So we moved him and his one gelding friend in with the mares. BIG MISTAKE. THe other gelding immediately ( like as soon as they were put in the pasture with the mares!) started acting very studdy, running his former BFF off if he even tried to wander to the water if the girls were over that way. Then he would charge any gelding who so much as walked /was ridden down the fence line. I could not even go in and get my boy... or my mare... safely. It was not a good situation. Clearly he thought he was in charge of the mares. Ended up moving him out and leaving just my boy in with the girls. Bottom of the totem pole always so no real drama. I think the girls just stood around and talked behind his back. but no bites or kicks for the most part.
As for mare or gelding... i WANTED another gelding... ended up with my mare... and she has made me 100% better rider. She is a good girl, but she THINKS all the time. SHe is not the horse who you can ride and text at the same time. Rarely spooks... but not the same 'dorp' as the geldings seem to have. We come up on a downed tree on the trail... She will figure out the safest way around.
I agree with the poster who said to ask about how she is in heat. ( assuming the owners will be honest about it) That is the downside of mares. Rosie is mainly distractable, but some are witchy and crabby. Had a friends who's mare tossed him at a whim when she was in heat.
While overall most geldings I know are the same horse every time you ride them... and you may not know just WHICH mare you have when you pull up... if you have been riding mares I think you already know all of that!
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post #38 of 44 Old 01-17-2016, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cebee View Post
While overall most geldings I know are the same horse every time you ride them... and you may not know just WHICH mare you have when you pull up... if you have been riding mares I think you already know all of that!
Yikes to your examples!
Yes I ride mares, but the 2 I really enjoy I never have been able to tell they were in heat... they seem pretty level headed all the time! So, probably anomalies.... My mare (the one I sold) could throw tantrums... I never really detected that it was connected to her cycle, but it certainly could have been.
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post #39 of 44 Old 01-17-2016, 05:43 PM
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My barn mixes mares and geldings in some paddocks and others are just geldings on their own. They base the groups off of how they get along rather than gender.

Again, geldings are known for being easier to deal with but there is always exceptions just like there is exceptions to the typical mare rules. You should look at both and try riding both and which ever horse makes you feel the most confident you should go with.

People are also saying that if your barn refuses to mix mares and geldings then a mare is your only option. That being said I don't think you should settle for a mare if what you really want is a gelding just because your barn says so.

Get the horse that is best for you and the rest will fall into place.

P.S. all horses will be stubborn at one time or another no matter what gender... they all have bad days just like people do.
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post #40 of 44 Old 01-18-2016, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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An observation

After searching for months, the only real leads I've gotten are for mares! There seem to be many more of them out there for sale. Craigslist seems to be full of ads for mares in the 'trail riding' category (though when I dig deeper or actually go try them, they aren't suitable). So, I'm left to conclude that either people hang onto their good Geldings and won't let them go (thus the lack of candidates), or the mares simply make better trail horses (just kidding ) , or people are trying to unload their somewhat broke brood mares as trail horses...... Sigh. Just getting weary of the hunt.
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