Thursday, December 27, 2012

Poll Question: Mares

I'm looking for every one's opinion on mares. I WANT to be a mare person but honestly my 2 most difficult horses were mares. My first pony was a wonderful POA mare who took excellent care of me. To this day my younger brother says that all of my horses are POA's- Prisoners of Alanna.

My next 2 mares after her, with 2 geldings in between, were both difficult and I didn't have a lot of success with them. Granted, both were off the track racehorses with unknown upbringing etc. The first mare I was not even close to well matched with in terms of my skills at that time. Then she sustained a pretty major injury requiring 6 months of stall rest. Once she got done with stall rest she was never the same again, super duper spooky and just a little crazy. So it's hard to really blame that totally on being a mare.

Some of you were around for my time with the 2nd mare, Roxanne. She is a gorgeous thoroughbred mare with tons of talent but in the end we just couldn't make it work. I got her as a feedlot rescue when she was 5. She always had a lot of opinions and wouldn't hesitate to kick at you on the lunge line or throw her weight around a little bit. We did fairly well for a couple of years, and I totally loved her, but in the end everything was too much of a fight. It wasn't simply a matter of asking her to do something and her just doing it. Every new concept she came across required fit throwing until she figured out what I wanted. Because she was so athletic I didn't feel safe really disciplining her well enough because I was afraid that she would buck me off. It ended up being a downward spiral, but even then it was really hard to let her go.

I really think that if I had gotten Roxy as a young, not started horse, our story would have turned out differently, but then I wonder if that is just wishful thinking? I'd love to hear from the mare and gelding fans out there. Anyone with similar experiences? For me geldings just seem a little bit easier to get along with and a lot less opinionated (for the most part).


  1. I'm a gelding fan more than a mare fan because the only times I've rode mares they've been mardy and a pain in the ass and my first fall was off a stroppy mare, where as since i was 3/4 i was always riding Geldings! Think it's personal preferences.

  2. I am a big mare fan. I actually thought I would never get a geldingand am shocked to find myself madly in love with the young guy. The thing I love about mares is that we don't seem to need to keep going over things. Once they trust you and "get it" you are done. It is all smooth sailing. I do think there is more negotiation that has to happen with mares. You can't just tell them how it is, you need to have a constant conversation. They want to know you are listening to them at all times.

    That said I think people sometimes click more wiht one or the other. That is fine. If someone knows they like one gender better than the other it isn't bad to stick with that. However, I am glad that I kept my mind open.

  3. I'm a mare person. In fact, I'll be seriously surprised if I ever have a gelding. They are opinionated, for sure, but they are also a ton of fun. I love my girl<3

  4. I think you've got to take it on a case-by-case basis. Rather than deciding based on gelding or mare, decide based on your experience with the individual horse. You know my girl's got attitude, but then there's Shalee who is as sweet as pie. And I do think it makes a difference if you either a) get them young and do it yourself or b) know their previous history

  5. I'm a gelding person myself, but the chair of the equine department at my college who competed in international level endurance was a mare person. She said she always felt like there was just something "missing" with geldings - no pun intended - and her mares would stop on the trail and look at her and go "Are you really sure you want us to do that?" while the geldings would just go "Sure, whatever you say!" I think there's a little bit of self-preservation and a deeper level of thought that occurs in an animal still able to fulfill its biological reproductive demand, and some people like that while some people don't. Me, I prefer my always-game gelding who will never think of anything but what I ask him to do. Especially when I see stallions being ridden with against their bellies. Funny, but not something I ever want to deal with.

  6. I've always been a gelding person but my current horse is a mare and to be honest she is my favorite horse out of all that I've owned.

    She is not very marey though but can give me a bit of dirt under saddle which is where her sex shows. But I love it. :)

  7. I am very much a mare person.
    Some of the best horses I've owned have been mares.
    I find that mares put more heart into whatever they do. Sure sometimes that means they put all their heart into being a right opinionated **** but they also put their everything into competing or just being fantastic in any given ride.
    Sure they have their moments and I could just be being biased but I just click with mares a whole lot more than geldings.

    That isn't to say I don't like geldings, there are some super awesome geldings that try their hearts out too, but mares are just that bit more special.

  8. Thanks for all of the responses. I don't mind a little bit of attitude. Quite honestly, the two geldings I currently have are both sassy! I think my frustration with the two mares that I had is that they were not willing to work with me.


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