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Tell me about Mares!

4 replies

FanFckingTastic · 29/10/2020 12:14

Hi all, So my long search for horse number two seems to be drawing to a close and we've found a very nice (but green) well bred horse who will be potentially be joining our family if all goes well with the vetting. The only thing is that she is a she!! I've only ever owned geldings so am clueless when it comes to mares. Anything I particularly need to consider or any tips on having a girlie-horse would be much appreciated!

OP posts:
maxelly · 29/10/2020 15:38

Mine are both mares but have never really been 'mare-ish' so not sure how much help I'll be. Dealing with seasons/hormones is the biggest difference compared to a gelding I suppose, but it really varies between individuals as to how much of an issue it can be, mine you would barely know they've been in season whereas some do have quite drastic behavioural changes - if this becomes problematic (e.g. aggression) I believe you can get hormonal control supplements which help. Some mares can definitely be dominant and like to be the 'herd boss' and can in particular bully geldings a bit (for this reason some yards insist on mares only turn out) and even fight/kick/bite cause injuries to others, but again this is by far not all mares, mine are both quite chilled in the field and have been turned out with geldings no problem. As always it tends to be while herd dynamics are sorting themselves out or when new horses are introduced you can have an issue but so long as this is carefully managed you'll be fine.

Some people say that mares have different personalities to geldings and tend to respond better to gentle handling as opposed to being dominated by the rider, some say all mares are stroppy and have to be asked rather than told, but TBH I think that's too much of a generalisation, like people they have individual personalities and I've known very sweet mares and very stroppy geldings so I'd just judge the horse in front of you rather than making assumptions TBH.

I suppose one issue you could (in rare cases) have with a mare you definitely wouldn't have with a gelding, is a surprise pregnancy/BOGOF... obviously you'd hope with a responsible seller that there's very little chance of this but 2 separate friends of mine have ended up with foals they weren't expecting/wanting, one it was not 100% surprising as it was a young mare who'd come from a stud farm where the owner was a little casual in how/where she kept her ungelded colts, but the other where it was a reputable professional seller/dealer who swore blind she had absolutely no idea how it had happened, there had never been a stallion or colt anywhere near the yard etc etc - obviously it wasn't a virgin conception so it must have happened somehow Grin but you honestly wouldn't have thought it at all likely from this seller so it must have been some kind of freak occurrence so do question your seller even if you trust them!

slavetothenhs · 30/10/2020 22:16

Myself and 3 friends keep our horses together, they are all mares with no geldings in sight. To be honest, none of them are mareish at all and they're not massively different when they're in season. They are kind respectful horses (definite, immovable pecking order in the field though) but they don't take kindly to being told - however if you ask nicely they'll do anything for you.
I love my mare, she's great fun and a keen bean about all aspects of life. I've only had one gelding and a few mares since and to be honest he just seemed a bit thick in comparison! My mare challenges me, not in a bad way but she won't do things "just because", she has made me a better owner and rider because of it. I'm a big mare fan.

HebeJeeby · 31/10/2020 17:35

We bought a green mare and at first it was awful but only because she was really unsettled when she got to us. Two years later she’s the most chilled out pony you could wish for. She wasn’t mare-ish but she did have opinions and could be stubborn; however, you couldn’t find a more genuine, willing pony. Once she realised she was staying she gave us everything and my daughter had so much fun on her. I’d never be put off buying a mare but to echo a pp we did have to be gentle with her, she was quite sensitive and didn’t respond well to being told. Definitely a case of having to ask. Go for it.

RatherBeRiding · 02/11/2020 15:43

I have a chestnut mare. She is rather .....opinionated! But compared to my nice-but-dim gelding, she has a lot going on between the ears. If you form a bond with her, she will do anything for you. If you get on the wrong side of her, she will just dump you!

I love her to bloody bits!

Mare, like stallions, are 'entire' with all the hormonal stuff going on unlike geldings, and so the more sensitive ones definitely respond better to more sensitive handling.

Personally I think a good mare will give you her all, but you have to work for it!

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