View Full Version : Are there geldings that can't handle being out with mares (too attached)?

Apr. 17, 2011, 12:24 PM
So, has anyone had a gelding that they cannot turn out with mares? My TB gelding has been doing great turned out with my yearling filly (who has not started cycling yet). However, this past week I brought home a new 12 year old mare. We always have had to separate him to feed him since he gets quite a bit more grain than my filly but since bringing the mare into the scene, he just cannot handle being away from her. Normally I just hold him outside the pasture while he eats and then put him back (he could care less where my yearling filly is). Now when I take him out to feed him he will refuse to eat and just calls, stares, dances around, etc for the mare. I waited 30 mins for him and he does not even show the remotest interest in eating his grain. Yesterday since it was rainy out, I put him up in the barn and he didn't touch his grain at all. Just too worried where his mare was. He is on the skinny side and I cannot afford to have him lose weight so I don't want to wait too many more days for him to "come around" and start eating again. He barely touched his hay while in the stall, too (nice 2nd cutting).

So, are there geldings that get too attached to their mares to handle being out with them? He is my only gelding so the only option is to turn him out alone or out with my girls. Even if I turn him out alone, the pasture is adjacent to my mare. He was kept intact until last May (so he was a stallion until 3 years old) but he was never bred to a mare. He doesn't act studdish, just very keen on being with his mare (and both of them are lovebirds together with nuzzling, etc).

Apr. 17, 2011, 12:26 PM
Oops, I meant to post this in Horse Care but it ended up here!

Bayou Roux
Apr. 17, 2011, 12:34 PM
Yes, completely possible. We have geldings of all kinds-- those who can go out in mixed herds, with multiple mares and other geldings, ones who can go out only with other mares because they'll run the other geldings off, and some who just can't handle being turned out with mares, so they only go out with geldings.

It's as individualized as any other horse personality thing, or at least that's what we've seen!

Apr. 17, 2011, 06:57 PM
My gelding cannot go out with mares. He gets to attached and tries to herd them away from any other geldings. The first place I had him at it was just him and the mare but he would not let on in the half of the field that shared the fenceline with the geldings.
He was normally fine with a mare for a day or two but after that he gets stupid about leaving the mares. He doesn't sound as bad as your guy but it is enough that it is a pain in the butt.

Apr. 17, 2011, 06:59 PM
Absolutely the norm to my thinking!! My best gelding was pastured next to the mare field...double fenced...when we first moved to OK and he became a first class NUT!!! Darn near impossible to ride for the time before we got additional pastures fenced off. Yesterday my DD's best ranch gelding...old enough to have forgotten about hormones...was at a Team Sorting after sharing a catch paddock with a non-in heat mare for a couple of days and a 12 mile trailer ride. He was soooooo obnoxious they couldn't even use him for the sorting. A screaming, spinning whack job!!! Wasn't any better riding beside the mare than he was out of her sight!!!

We NEVER pasture mares and geldings together...ever. Not good for either one IMO!!

Apr. 18, 2011, 02:18 PM
my old man (36 and a gelding) thinks he's romeo when it comes to mares. always has and always will. when he was in his 20's i boarded at a barn that had group turnout. a new boarder came in but wasn't 'group' oriented. she was a beautiful grey arab mare and pretty low key. she and my boy would make googly eyes over the fence and stand side by side like smitten teenagers. this went on for a week, so we decided to turn them out together so she would have a buddy. well, that was fine for one week and then she went into heat and kicked the cr&p out of him. so, that was the end of that. he's still does the arched neck 'oh look how studdy i am' when my friend rides past my farm on her mare. silly boy.

Apr. 18, 2011, 02:48 PM
Yes, absolutely. I owned a gelding who was worse than a lot of stallions when it came to the gals. Couldn't handle shared fencelines, much less turnout with mares.

Sometimes even being in the ring with one that was in heat (God forbid she peed) was enough to send his mind into space.

Apr. 18, 2011, 02:56 PM
I have two out of three that can not go out with mares. The word herdbound would be too polite. The other could care less. Not sure why, it just appears to be the way some geldings are.

Apr. 18, 2011, 03:02 PM
Yes, my 27 year old gelding is like this. He lives with a mare and donkey. Luckily, they are all retired and so it isn't a big issue. He eats huge meals but since he is dominate over the mare, I can feed them all in the field with fence feeders and he gets the whole meal. Separating them for things like farrier and vet visits is a PITA!! He was never like this as a younger horse; it just developed when I put him out with the girls.

Apr. 18, 2011, 05:46 PM
I have two out of three that can not go out with mares. The word herdbound would be too polite. The other could care less. Not sure why, it just appears to be the way some geldings are.

I think it's because they are gay... :lol:

Apr. 18, 2011, 11:55 PM
I had a gelding that was over attached to some mares and but could go out with others without issue. He did best in a mixed heard with other geldings. But even then would sometimes "claim" a mare as his. All mares seemed to love him back!

Apr. 19, 2011, 09:36 AM
I would never turn my gelding out with mares. He gets way too studdy acting and territorial about them even just being in the barn or across fencelines from them sometimes. He was gelded at 1.5 yrs but sometimes he forgets ;) Usually it's only with certain mares though. Heck, he gets territorial about some of his other male pasture mates too so who knows what goes through his brain. I know geldings that could go out with mares with no problems though so it just depends.

Apr. 19, 2011, 09:58 AM
I've owned several geldings that did not separate from mares easily - I now do an all gelding group and an all mare group on opposite sides of the barn so they can't congregate at any fences - life is good!:yes:

Apr. 19, 2011, 10:12 AM
My guy can't go out with girls. He is slightly herdbound in his normal turnout situation with geldings only, he is unmanageable and completely beside himself when turned out with mares.

I also have to be careful with what he eats- low NSC- to keep his brain intact.

Apr. 19, 2011, 10:17 AM
We pretty much separate mares and geldings, the mares ahve the "back half" of the famr, the geldings the front half. Occasionally we may have a gelding with mare(s), my husbands old appaloosa gelding that was basically mostly blind from cancer was with two mares the last year of his life, he needed them to help him get around.

Apr. 19, 2011, 05:18 PM
A friend of mine has a blind horse that lives on his own in his own familiar paddock. She used to have a pony mare living next to him and he went berserk if the mare left.

Mare is now permanently gone and two geldings live in the neighbouring paddock. No separation issues anymore, they can come and go and as long as one of them is there the blind horse is fine.

Apr. 20, 2011, 06:42 AM
My "Studly" cannot be around mares without thinking he is hot stuff. I ended moving my mare to my friend's farm and taking in a gelding. He can smell a mare anywhere....We were around my friend's mare at a show a couple of weekends ago and his behavior was better (he is on estrogen...) but he still thought he was it....ears forward, looking her direction,....if he were not on the hormones, he would have gone crazy....

Apr. 21, 2011, 05:27 PM
The OTTB I rode in high school was like that with female herd mates. I think he was one of the only geldings on a 70-horse farm that was like this, and man was he a pain. Basically everything the OP mentioned... the worst was during a schooling show while he was living with The Girl. He saw her in their pasture from the warm-up ring. Oh he was awful. Move The Girl into a new pasture and he was awesome after a day or two.

Apr. 25, 2011, 01:02 PM
I have an old gelding and 2 younger mares in a 5 acre field and most of the time they get along pretty good. The mares pick on my guy and he is pretty cut up on the rump from their bites. He's learned to run away pretty quickly when the mares have PMS. I feed them in stalls because he gets alot more food than the mares. I try to separate them all regularly using my 2 other paddocks because if they are together all the time they get too attached to each other and when I take one out to ride the other 2 scream.
They all have been turned out alone until I got my farm two years ago so I think they might have been really happy to have horse friends. My neighbors have two shetland ponys. My gelding has gotten real attached to the ponys and stands next to them by the fence alot.
I never noticed that any one of my horses was more attached to the others than another. They all seem to get attached.

Apr. 26, 2011, 02:24 PM
I have a couple geldings that get very territorial with mares and one that drops and tries to mount them over stall doors. Currently, my mare is out with the pony gelding that could care less about her :D

Apr. 26, 2011, 10:04 PM
I think it depends on the horse. Yours may like the mares or may just really need any buddy. Both my palomino geldings are out with a chestnut mare. My oldest is with the daughter of my TB and my TB goes out with the other gelding. My TB always use to go out with the older one til she foaled about 15 years ago, then she fell in love with the new gelding. She is the one who will drive away strange horses if you try to put them in the same pasture. All four of those horses can go together though at any time without a problem. The geldings may cry a little if a girl goes, but the girls really scream if you take the boys, but never any spinning or not eating.

Apr. 29, 2011, 09:23 AM
Just to update - we put him in an adjacent pasture by himself and he seems to have settled really well. He acts confident and secure and ventures around by himself. He does not seem concerned with the girls at all now.

Wizard of Oz's
May. 2, 2011, 04:10 PM
We have a gelding at the barn where I board who became way too attached to the mare he was turned out to. They always went out and came in at the same times, so nobody discovered it for a while, and they are stalled in separate barns without issue. But about two months ago I went to get mare from turnout because I was being paid to bodyclip her. I got her out of the pasture and immediately gelding started calling to her and pacing the fence. I didn't stop to think about what might happen next, but the gelding jumped the fence when we were about 50 yds away from the pasture and galloped towards us. Having no idea what to do, I just stood there and braced for whatever he was going to do, but he just trotted up to her and wouldn't leave her side. Then I got yelled at by BO for not bringing them both in because gelding was way too upset over her leaving:winkgrin: Oops. But now they're separated in turnout, because he was WAY too attached!