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According to research, male horses were preferred over females, starting at 3900 years ago. (Article attached)

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    According to research, male horses were preferred over females, starting at 3900 years ago. (Article attached)

    This is fascinating!
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    thanks for posting
    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


      I expect they kept the mares for breeding.


        Well, yeah, give me a male for riding any day.
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          Originally posted by danceronice View Post
          Well, yeah, give me a male for riding any day.


            I actually prefer mares. My mares are more complicated to ride but they will give me 100 percent. My gelding only makes a 50 percent effort. My mares will do just about anything for me and they really try to please me. Honestly I think perhaps my mares are just smarter than my gelding. I've often wondered if he is just a bit slow. Sort of with people, you have some that are extremely intelligent and others that just do enough to get by. He just hasn't shown much ability to think his way through things, certainly not like my mares who already have a game plan.

            ​​​​​​ I have a friend who keeps and rides stallions. She said she gelded one of hers and he lost his spirit and playfulness after that and she hasn't wanted to geld her others for that reason. She likes their fire and spirit. And i have to admit they are really nice stallions...


              I read once that the maximum urban horse population in Europe and America peaked in the last half of the 19th century between the invention of railways and the invention of motor cars. The trains were bringing increasing amounts of goods and people into quickly expanding cities but once things arrived all the transport and delivery was by horse.

              Urban dray horses had a short working life, the broke down in about 5 years. They were all geldings. The mares were too valuable and necessary as breeding stock.


                The Spanish still do this for the most part, but I have noticed more mares being trained and ridden. The mares were for breeding, and the stallions ridden. Spanish horses were often gifted to kings or other nobility. Someone of such high rank, should only ride a stallion. However, such individuals didn't necessarily know how to ride. Therefore a well mannered stallion was a necessity, and this is why most intact Spanish horses are quite reasonable to deal with. I know several ammy riders with nice stallions.

                I've ridden stallions, geldings, and mares. I prefer a stallion or mare, but I own a gelding, of course I just find the stallions and especially the mares to be more bold, brave, and workmanlike. Geldings are such fools!


                  I am surprised that the article did not comment more on the use of mares milk as a food source, which is still practiced today. Mares were valuable assets and with the practice of harem breeding, males become expendable and more readily available any time
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                    I believe in the middle East, Arabian mares were ridden into battle and also kept inside the family tent at night as well if necessary. I think they may also have milked them, not sure. Polo players also like mares.


                      I far prefer mares and wonder what on earth I was thinking getting a gelding this past fall after I had sold my previous one.
                      Wouldst thou like the taste of butter ? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?


                        I have had an equal number of both mares and geldings over the years. I have an older mare and a yearling gelding right now and see so many +s and -s on both sides . I can't decide which one is better.


                          Mares for polo - they say. Mares seem to be my lot in life and I've loved them. My Dad had polo ponies and then the one he let me ride all the way to the other end of the field ran away from me - I was just a little kid then. His name was Seymour.
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                            My BO helped me with horse shopping almost 20 years ago. I wanted a Paint gelding. She said I will get what will work best, even if it's a little bay QH mare. I got lucky and found a terrific big Paint gelding. A bunch of geldings has way more fun playing together in their turnout. The mares stand around looking bored. BO has an uncanny ability to pick mares that don't get mare-ish. They make great lesson horses. In all the years I've known her she has never had to send a mare to new home because of behavior issues.
                            "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019


                              I've had all of them and the least complicated are geldings by far. Stallions can be showy but also lazy and easily distracted; often more trouble than they are worth. A good mare is worth her weight in gold, but so many are temperamental and hormonal; bond heavily to pasturemates and lose their minds when separated. I do currently have one mare and she has her moments but is generally sweet as pie. Out of the 6 horses I currently own, 5 are geldings and 1 is a mare, if that tells you anything.

                              I was following several of the kill pen rescues on Facebook and like 80% of the horses winding up in kill pens seem to be mares. I don't know if that's a breeding thing and they are the first to be culled; a temperament thing because they can be more complicated; or a combination of both of those.
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                                Geldings for least complicated, can be made to work consistently and work hard. A mare that gives 100% but only when asked the right way and has her days? Not a valuable horse unless what the horse was doing was a luxury. We forget, most people had no reason for a romantic relationship with the horse until the 20th century. It was a tool, a piece of equipment. And quite honestly, that meant you wanted the tool to be uncomplicated and you were going to drive it as hard was needed for the job (as you likely drove yourself too). You took decent care of it, but in the same way you take decent care of a piece of equipment.
                                Also, the mares needed to be kept for breeding. As the article says, the males were simply more disposable.
                                Last edited by B and B; Jul. 22, 2020, 03:49 PM. Reason: accidentally chopped a sentence off...


                                  If you are buying a project horse for a potential sale, choose a gelding ... certainly not a red mare. People are funny with their prejudices. A good horse is a good horse (but give me a mare, personally - I seem to understand them.) Brentina and Sapphire are the poster girls for red mares. Used to be one would never see a mare in dressage. Things have changed these days.
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