Mares v geldings

Desert_rider

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 September 2014
Messages
111
Although my current loan horse is a gelding and he's great, I have always been drawn towards mares and seem to have more of a connection with them, for want of a better word.

At a show today I noticed that around 80 percent of horses and ponies were geldings, and it got me thinking. Are people put off mares by their reputation for being moody and hormonal? Although some undoubtedly are, I have come accross just as many grumpy geldings!

Does everyone have a preference for one or the other, and if so why?
 

First Frost

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 June 2015
Messages
62
A good horse is a good horse regardless of whether it is a mare or gelding. When I am looking at horses it is the last thing I am interested in. They are different but I like both.
 

milliepops

Wears headscarf aggressively
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
27,451
I LOVE mares, i really do, if there were 2 similar horses to choose from i would choose a mare over a gelding as i just enjoy the relationship more. they are all different, some are more hormonal than others - some of mine are tricky and others are just the same all year around.
at the moment i have 5 unridden mares and both my ridden horses are geldings, it is a bit weird after years and years of all mares to have these 2 boys but one of them is the biggest drama queen of them all so he fits in well :p
 

Peglo

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 June 2021
Messages
817
I prefer mares although haven’t personally had a gelding. The gelding in our field was supposed to fight with other geldings so always got mares to keep him happy. It’s an odd thought that when he’s gone I could shop for either.
 

Horses_Rule

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 September 2008
Messages
132
I’m a mare lover , I’ve had 2 geldings and couldn’t get on with them no idea why just couldn’t . Love my mares always have but wouldn’t turn down a good horse regardless. I do know lots of people that won’t touch mares with a barge pole and those that have tried have just gone on and on about their hormones and had them live on regumate. Each to their own!
 

SEL

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 February 2016
Messages
8,618
Location
Buckinghamshire
I have two mares and a gelding. One of the mares is the kind of drama queen that puts people off mares. I call her my teenage daughter because if she could storm off to her bedroom, slam the door whilst yelling that we all hate her then she would. She'd then be soppy 20 mins later and want a hug

The other mare is much like the gelding. No dramas whatsoever.

I don't have a preference but I can see why many competitive people often want geldings. It's no bother for me if we have a diva day but if she was expected to earn a living it might be more frustrating
 

stangs

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 September 2021
Messages
1,473
I find it very ironic that most amateur equestrians are in this country are women - who would rightly get upset if someone were to call them dramatic/moody because of their sex, or said they were being a diva when on their period - and yet those words still get thrown around so much in regards to mares.

Personally, most of the horses dear to my heart have been mares but I wouldn't say I have a preference, just a lot of sympathy towards mares in season. One mare I really loved had been deemed very marish, but it turned out most of the "drama queen" traits were stemming from severe KS. I suspect she would have been treated sooner had she been a gelding.
 

Cob Life

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 December 2019
Messages
814
I love mares. I would never say no to a gelding purely in that fact but ever since I was young I’ve been drawn to mares.

ETA I like quite opinionated horses, who will tell me in no uncertain terms if they aren’t happy with something and I feel mares tend to do this much earlier than a gelding will
 
Last edited:

millikins

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 March 2011
Messages
3,357
I always think I prefer mares, I adored my little driving mare but I love my boys too, it depends on their personality. I'm into my natives, I think the OP might see fewer mares out and about as decent mares are often making babies.
 

ILuvCowparsely

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 April 2010
Messages
13,579
Although my current loan horse is a gelding and he's great, I have always been drawn towards mares and seem to have more of a connection with them, for want of a better word.

At a show today I noticed that around 80 percent of horses and ponies were geldings, and it got me thinking. Are people put off mares by their reputation for being moody and hormonal? Although some undoubtedly are, I have come accross just as many grumpy geldings!

Does everyone have a preference for one or the other, and if so why?
I prefer mares always will

I have had.....................still have


1 conniex Anglo Arab mare
2 donkey mares
1 connie mare
1 welsh pony mare
1 id x tb mare
1 pure ID mare
1 tbx mare

The only gelding I have I had no choice in his sex as I bred him

If I was buying now it would be a mare only I would search for

Also found Insurance companies can go that extra mile with mares as they know the owner can breed from them.
 
Last edited:

ponynutz

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 December 2018
Messages
695
I've part loaned both, only owned a mare and I think I'd buy a gelding if I ever get myself a horse. Not particularly partial for any reason I just think they're a bit calmer but that could be just the ones that I've known.
 

Bellaboo18

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 October 2018
Messages
1,792
I find it very ironic that most amateur equestrians are in this country are women - who would rightly get upset if someone were to call them dramatic/moody because of their sex, or said they were being a diva when on their period - and yet those words still get thrown around so much in regards to mares.

Personally, most of the horses dear to my heart have been mares but I wouldn't say I have a preference, just a lot of sympathy towards mares in season. One mare I really loved had been deemed very marish, but it turned out most of the "drama queen" traits were stemming from severe KS. I suspect she would have been treated sooner had she been a gelding.
I couldn't love your post more!
 

J&S

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 June 2012
Messages
2,039
I like mares, have owned mostly mares but I did have the ride on a wonderful gelding for 5 years, he was outstanding in all ways so he has rather redressed the balance for me.
 

Cob Life

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 December 2019
Messages
814
I’ve had both, loved both, but it’s true what they say about a good mare being the absolute best thing ever, and if you form a relationship they will do anything for you.

Some people personalities just don’t gel with mare ones though.
The one I ride would jump the moon if I asked her, the gelding might but you’d have to give him a reason
 

Caol Ila

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 January 2012
Messages
5,585
Location
Glasgow
I had a mare for 21 years and currently have one of each. They are different, for sure, but I can't sit here and write that the gelding's personality is A, B, and C, while the mare's is X, Y, and Z, and that's attributable to their sex. They bring different energy to the table. The mare is more feminine, and the gelding is more of a bloke, but it's not because she is more opinionated or dramatic than he is (and she is neither). It just feels different, in an ephemeral, indescribable way. There's a whole discussion to be had -- which stangs touched on -- about the way we ascribe traits like bitchiness and opinionatedness to female horses, in a perjorative way. Not dissimilar to the way that language is used to attack loud, opinionated human females.

I have met plenty of geldings with a flare for the dramatic, but no one ever says, "He's being gelding-ish."

However, mares (most of them) are entire, and there is that part of them you will never have. That deep part of them, buried in the reptilian part of their brains, that screams 'reproduce!!!' My old mare had very strong seasons and would lose her mind for a couple days, once per month, in those early months of spring. Some individuals are more affected by their seasons than others, and you just have to deal with the horse in front of you.

Of course, I joke that my PRE is such a girl, because she hasn't met a grooming implement she didn't like, and her favourite thing in the whole world is getting her mane and tail brushed. If she was a human, she would be one of those lasses who goes to the salon every week to get their hair done (and can't stay away from the lads, clearly). My Highland doesn't mind being brushed, and he drops when I use the soft brush so I think he's a fan of that one, but generally he's a bit more indifferent. So that's me tacking some western gender stereotypes onto my horses.

And the one thing you can be 100% sure of with any gelding or stallion is that he won't be pregnant.
 
Last edited:

DabDab

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 May 2013
Messages
11,461
I have two mares and a gelding now. The gelding came first but I have always preferred mares.

One of my mares is a fairly textbook example of what people describe as mareish - some days you get down to the stable and she is furious at you just for existing. But of all my horses she is the one I can throw on the lorry, take to a new place, ask her to do a new thing, and she will always give me 100% with a smile on her face. And at home when she scowls and bares her teeth at me I cuddle her a tight hug around her neck and brush her tail, and then usually the world isn't so bad anymore.

My other mare is defined more by being a native pony than a mare tbh. All hair and attitude along with an amazing work ethic and non-nonsense type approach to things

My gelding is a tit. I love him dearly but some days he has taken his silly pill and there is absolutely no reasoning with him when he is in that mood. He also has the stereotypical gelding issue of getting Hangry. Like I say, we love him dearly and he is my OH's best friend, but he is the least consistent and least generally useful of my horses by quite a margin (despite being the oldest and having had a lot more dedicated training).
 
Joined
18 July 2021
Messages
24
I love both, and agree that the diversity among mares is as wide as it is among geldings in terms of personality and attitude. However, thinking back, all of the serious injuries I have suffered have been from interactions with mares, usually on the ground. Perhaps I should stick to geldings?
 

Wishfilly

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 March 2016
Messages
2,187
Honestly, I am never really convinced by the stereotypes of mares. Some horses are grumpy/moody (especially in certain situations) but I wouldn't attribute it to their gender. If I took someone to the yard I livery on and asked them to guess which horses were geldings/mares based on interactions in the stable etc, I think you'd get a lot wrong!

My gelding is also a massive flirt- he has never met a mare he doesn't like, and always wants to show off to them and interact with them (even, perhaps especially, if they aren't interested). He also will pull faces in the stable, especially with people he doesn't like, or if you're doing something he's not keen on. And he knows how to throw his weight around if you want him to do something he doesn't like! If he was a mare, people would probably describe him as mare-ish, actually!

(to be clear, he has loads of good points too, and is generally very easy to do!).
 

05jackd

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 January 2014
Messages
115
I have 4 mares and 3 geldings. They all have their own personality but the geldings are all definitely happy go lucky. ‘No problem mum’ types. The mares although not hormonal are a lot more ‘I’ll think about doing what you ask’. Having said that my top mare is so competitive because she does have a mind of her own and is able to think herself out of a pickle.
The right mare is a real gift!
 

TPO

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 November 2008
Messages
8,276
Location
A ray of sunshine 🌞
I always had mares and was definitely a mare person. I bought a gelding that I felt sorry for and people assured me how much "better" a gelding would be because they were consistent and the same every day. That wasn't a lie; he was the spawn of Satan* daily.

I still had mares and sold him on. Then after losing all my mares and looking specifically for a mare I ended up with a gelding and moved to a geldings only yard. Then my mum bought a gelding from that yard having always been a mare person too. When I bought a youngster he had to be a he too to stay on the yard.

Now the horses are at (my parent's) home buy last ex racer was quite riggy so got a gelding companion.

It's kinda a done deal that it's males only. If I was to get another youngster I'd probably keep him entire too.

*it wasn't all his fault. He was half starved, ulcers, dental issues, physio issues and sore feet. Got him all fixed up and he chilled out massively.

ETA: whilst I've had some very sensitive and sharp geldings overall, IME, mares require, and do better with, more of a relationship and adaptive riding/training/handling. I do think, generally speaking, that mares pick up on a lot more from the rider/handler. I've only ridden and trained one stallion but he was the most laid back out of any horse I've known so not sure if it's an entire ting with mares?
 
Last edited:
Top