Grazing mares and gelding together

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29 July 2014
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We have only ever had mares and they are never marish and we never see them in season. We have the opportunity to buy a gelding and just wondering if him being in with the mares are likely to make them more marish. Has anyone any experience of doing this and the mares turning into raging tarts?
 

ycbm

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If the gelding is riggy it might cause lasting problems. Can you test him out near them before you buy?
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HashRouge

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I have kept a mare and gelding together as a two since 2013 and they are besties, but very pair bonded. Fortunately both are retired! We now have a second gelding in with them and they are generally pretty happy as a group. My mare and gelding are quite clearly still a proper twosome though, although they do seem to like their friend too.
 

Asha

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We have 2 geldings and 4 mares. Ive always mixed them and never had a problem. The only time one of my mares went hormonal was when this years foal was born. She had a crazy couple of seasons. First being almost colicky , 2nd one being very broody to the extent she tried to steal the foal . both things where for a day only and she returned to normal. Im wondering what will happen with her next season.

ETA , one mare likes the boys when shes in season and ignores them the rest of the time. But its never affected her behaviour. In fact it was rather handy when we where trying to get her in foal. The day she winked at them, i whipped her over to the vets and hey presto ready to cover,
 

Tihama

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I wouldn't - my poor mare was "covered" by a riggy gelding (blood found 😓) she'd been turned out with him for months at this stage with no issues.

Also she was chased around one day by a different boyo who jumped into the field to get to her - he came off worse as she was much faster & fitter than him - he was on his last legs when someone finally caught him apparently 😏
 

eggs

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I have mares and geldings in together but it is a very stable herd as they are by own horses so no changes to the group for over 8 years. As long as they are introduced carefully it shouldn't be a problem.
 

PapaverFollis

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I have a mixed herd. 1 gelding 2 mares. Very bossy gelding. They're fine. Good in fact. Gelding is happy with his harem. Mares are happy with each other mostly ignoring him. Perfect family life. 😂

No excessive seasons noted. Although big mare will flash her bits at the gelding she is no different to handle or ride and gelding is just confused.
 

ycbm

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I have owned a riggy gelding who mounted mares and damaged one, leaving her with a permanent haematoma on her bum. I was not popular! I now graze two geldings and a mare with no problems but I would never assume that everything will be hunky dory without a careful test as a watchful eyes until the mares have been in season at least once.
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Lipglosspukka

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I have always mixed and normally had no issues at all.

Have only ever found an issue once with a particularly riggy gelding who would mount the mares and beat up the other geldings. He was a sod.
 

windand rain

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We have one gelding in our herd of mares none ever show any sign of being in season with him but god help us if a gelding comes for breaking in the field next door
 

Mrs Jingle

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I have always kept both together and never had any issues with it, nor did I expect to. I can only ever remember mixed herds right from my childhood - is this keeping them separate a relatively new idea, in recent years I have heard of livery yards who won't have mixed herds and it does puzzle me somewhat.?

I only ever had to remove one horse (a very old gelding) from another very young gelding who just wanted to play with the poor old boy all day long - he was exhausted and really didn't need the young whipper snapper pestering him all day long!
 

Renvers

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Have had mares and geldings live together quite happily both in small and large herds. The personalities fo the horses were more of a concern just as they would be in same sex herds.

If you suspect the gelding is riggy it might cause issues. Have you any reason to believe he will be?
 

meleeka

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I have 3 mares and 2 geldings together. The mini is a gelding but doesn’t count which leaves 1 gelding and 3 mares. He’s pretty laid back and has no “urges” ever so it works well. i have two quite marish mares but they do seem to share his affections (or rather he’s too lazy to object to their dramatics!)

I think it could cause an issue if the gelding was a bit riggy, but I think most of them are like most men, can’t really be bothered with all that as long as there’s plenty to eat.
 

Willowbankstables

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I currently have a mare and gelding living together and they are fine; quite pair bonded, tbh. I've always kept them in mixed herds when we were on livery yards (now on sole use yard) and never had any problems, until the last time we moved to a yard with one other gelding and a mare. The gelding must have been a bit riggy as he was very aggressive to my gelding, trying to chase him away from my mare (who he is bonded with so this was very upsetting for both my mare and gelding). We had to separate them using electric fencing and we moved elsewhere as soon as possible. We were told AFTER the event that the existing gelding had a history of behaviour like this, so I guess it depends on the horse! My gelding couldn't be less interested in females; he only cares about food hahaha.
 

oldie48

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Generally I've never had a problem but I do think it depends on the mare and the gelding. Rose got on well enough with her gelding sect A companion until she came into season and then there was mayhem. He wanted to mount her and she was quite happy to oblige. She loathed the next companion (sect C gelding) so they lived within sight of each other but that was near enough until she came into season and then she liked to keep him close but was quite likely to give him a kick if he came too close. She's better with other mares as long as she's top of the pile. We've had two mares before and tbh we had none of this with them.
 

Cocorules

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I mixed my two mares with a gelding. They spent a few weeks next to each other in separate fields. Mixed them and the gelding was absolutely vicious and really hurt one of my mares though he tried hard to get them both. Immediately separated them and the gelding's owner found somewhere else to keep him.

The gelding had been bullied before and there was definitely something wrong with the way the was wired. I would never mix again. However, if I had a much bigger group I wouldn't be so worried and had previously had one of my mares in a big mixed group quite happily.
 

meleeka

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Nobody else here got a right trollop of a mare then? Ours is a relentless s*x pest and winds the otherwise dormant geldings up to distraction!
One of mine traps the gelding in the shelter! He’s too scared of her to move so just waits it out. She wants her wicked way with him but he sighs and carries on eating 😂
 

NLPM

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Difficult to say as it really does depend on the individual horses... That said I've mixed all of mine for 20 something years without problems. I currently have one mare in with a group of geldings, which I know is not at all what the textbooks recommend, but it works just fine for us (I think I am quite lucky though in that my horses do like a quiet life). All very innocent - no raging tart behaviour here! When it's very sunny, the little 6.3hh gelding does use her for shade... That's about as scandalous as it gets.
 

DizzyDoughnut

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I've had 1 mare and 2 geldings together there was no problems at all, they've also been out in larger mixed herds without a problem, mine gets excited when he first meets a new mare and prances round like an idiot showing off for her, after a while he gets bored of them and couldn't care less about them after that.

My ponies field neighbour now is the most overdramatic tart of a mare I've ever met, she starts squealing and squirting if he so much as looks in her direction. He found this hugely exciting at first (every other mare has just told him to get lost when he tries to show off) and would spend hours mooning over the fence at her and showing her his moves, he quickly got bored of her and now just glances at her and walks off to find something to eat. She's the only mare I've come across that I wouldn't like to turn mine out with because she's such a tart she'd harass my geldings and she's very dramatic and handy with her feet.
 

DabDab

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I've never witnessed an issue with it, but there does seem to be much more of a trend to keep separate these days so presumably there is something driving that trend, so dunno 🤷.

My gelding was kept with just a gelding and then a gelding and a mare in the couple of years before we came here and then for the last 4 years has lived with my two mares without issue.

I did have a mare once who couldn't really be mixed with anything else except for one particular mare, but I'm not sure that was a sex issue, more of a personality issue. I have also known a couple fairly dominant geldings who could only be kept with a fairly laid back gelding companion, but the fights I saw each of them pick with the 'wrong' gelding companion were as much of a worry as them bothering mares tbh. With both of those geldings you could tell as soon as you met them that they had a bit of an...um...edge to them, so the way they behaved with other horses wasn't much of a surprise.
 

Fransurrey

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I've always mixed and had no issues. My old boy used to take a fancy to a mare if she was very hormonal, but in general he just treated them as he did geldings. My mare couldn't care less about boys. I've come across a few geldings and mares in my time that simply can't mix, though, so before buying I would find out more about his current set up and history of mixing.
 

motherof2beasts!

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I previously mixed but wouldn’t now, think years ago most lived in mixed herd but with more now in pairs grazing ive gone right off herd turn out. We have 4 out all geldings one mare joined and was tarty , blew their brains all became riggy and fought. The mare left and mine are ok with another horse or 2 max over that they become a bit feral charging around pulling shoes, kicking , biting etc !
 
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