Tuesday, July 20, 2010

OH, that mareish squeal!

Mares or geldings?

I have always had mares, always loved mares and appreciated their attitude and yes, even sympathized with their hormonal issues. After all, I have the same issues: Attitude, bitchiness and extended hormonal moments that amount to extreme moodiness.

I've always assumed I'll never have anything but mares. When I was looking for another horse after Star died, I was looking for mares. I didn't give geldings a passing glance. The experience I'd had with geldings amounted to horses that were overly compliant, slow and maybe a little on the dumb side. You could ask them to jump off a cliff and they would.

Mares, on the other hand, present a challenge. You ask a mare nicely, sometimes you even have negotiations with a mare. You never tell a mare without repercussions. They resent unfairness and tend to hold grudges. I like that in my horses. I didn't want a horse that was predictable all the time. How boring and mind-numbing is that?

But when I saw Gabe it was over. Gelding or not, he was the one and I knew it instantly. I almost didn't even go look at him because he had the wrong "parts." I'm glad I did. I knew he was different than the other geldings I'd had experience with. He is a gelding with a bit of a stallion attitude. He presents just enough of a challenge to keep me on my toes, but at the same time, he is different than a mare. I pretty much know what to expect from him from day to day. There are no mood swings or bitchiness, there is the occasional teen-like attitude from him, but if you finesse him a bit and point him down the right path, he complies with little grumbling. He's just testing his boundaries I do believe and I don't mind. He isn't the type of gelding I've run into in the past...he isn't the typical "tell a gelding" kind of guy. We have negotiations and discussions but they are reasonable. He just asks that I be fair and I just ask that he put in a good effort and as long as both sides understand the rules, we get along fabulously.

I don't have to wash his tail and back legs every other month due to mare-ish grossness. But I really can do without the sheath cleaning...ewww...stinky!

The more I watch Calypso out in the pasture really being bossy and bitchy to both geldings, the more I don't want to have one in my little herd of boys and the more I understand why so many large barns keep their mares and geldings separated. Mares are shit-disturbers. I've seen her go out of her way to chase Gabe around. We have fairly good-sized pastures and she'll go all the way to the OTHER side of the field just to move Gabe around, not because he's wandered too close, not because he's being obnoxious towards her, but simply because she can. I think that once she is taken out of the herd the two boys will get along fabulously. She's an instigator, she's a hussy with no qualms about playing both sides of the proverbial fence...she's buddy-buddy with Gabe one hour, the next hour, he's getting the stink eye and she's rubbing all over Chief like he's all that and a bag of chips.

I still love mares. I still like their personality and their attitudes and their witchiness...but I think I'm at a time in my life when I need a little less drama in the arena and on the trail, and right now, Gabe is my perfect match.


  1. Ohmigosh, I know EXACTLY how that is. Yes yes and yes! I always found geldings a bit aloof, dumb and wayyy too compliant. All throughout my "lesson horse years" I rode just a few geldings, but I couldn't really bond with them. I mostly rode mares, which was a huge challenge, but I can honestly say I never had a dull moment. We currently have four horses (looking for one more :] ) but the three that are listed under my name are mares. I love them to death, but I will say that I have begun to bond with my dad's gelding because he can put up somewhat of a fuss sometimes, but he's also a "you can count on me to make you feel safe" kind of horse. :] I will always be a mare advocate, but I am keeping my eyes out for the special gelding individual.

  2. I'm primarily a mare person - we have 3 - but I love geldings too - my sweet Noble is the perfect gelding!

  3. Awww, what a sweet tribute to Gabe! I love my wicked mare, but sometimes I wish I had a sweet snuggly gelding...

  4. Jenn...I LoooVVVED this post about the perfectly matched rider and her steed...a gorgeous grey gelding!

    I was so cracking up at how, to- the- T, you had the mares down..so true. The other mare on our property..such a shit maker/disturber/flinger! You gotta watch her like a hawk ..even when you are with one of "HER" geldings...she makes a ruckus for you- moving them away from you- it's like she is jealous! She has even tried to get me run down by them!

    I loved my Cody Arabian..he really had a keen mind..and that boy could move! Someday with out Wa mare..when ever that comes, I am open =for what horse asks to be my partner!

  5. A unique blog! It was a joy to visit.

  6. I have the opposite issue- I get along better with geldings than mares. My geldings always test me, so I guess you could call that the "stallion attitude" but I hate the bitchiness of mares. The hussy problem tends to annoy me also- and anyone who owns a mare will know what I mean by that.

  7. I think it's interesting that you mention that you'd like to not have a mare in the "herd" due to the bossy behavior. We are currently toying with the idea of bringing in a mare to set the geldings straight, they're all getting a little big for their britches and an alpha mare would take them all down a notch. I think that whenever possible establishing a natural herd dynamic is very beneficial to our horses ability to respect authority, be it ours or other horses.

  8. Interesting (and fun) insights into the gender differences. I like mares too, but I've only had experience with a couple of them and both were postive. Misty is my 2nd mare. I got lucky with her. She's smart and alert, but no crankiness that is noticeable (knock on wood). I will probably buy a gelding next because I know Misty prefers the boys. That is one thing I've noticed from boarding her for a year. She will find a best gal-pal when she's in an all mare pasture. But when in a mixed pasture, she will buddy up with one of the boys. And when Marley was here, she got a long great with him and only gently bossed him around when she needed to.

    Gabe is beautiful. I'm glad his parts didn't deter you.

    Aw, my word verification is chett...a good gelding name.

  9. So, I know this is one of your older posts, but I had to comment...

    Miles is my first gelding. I've had two mares previous to him, and I loved, loved, loved my girls, for all the reasons you stated you loved mares. Yeah, they could be difficult, but they seemed to have smarts that a gelding just didn't. My TB mare wasn't going to go running backward down a trail out of her mind because a turkey ran out of a bush. Smarts.
    Then, like you, I found the RIGHT gelding. He was gelded late, which may be why I love him so much, but he really is smart, along with being THE most personable horse I've ever met. He is a jock, a total hammy goofball, and loves his (human and horsey) ladies. I guess what it amounts to is I can't consider myself a mare or gelding person anymore. I've had the best of both:)