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Mares, I likes 'em

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  • Mares, I likes 'em

    I see so many threads about how difficult mares are. How they just can't seem to work through their heat cycles, what hormones/drugs/items to use to stop their cycles.

    I've never had an issue! I've had 8 mares over the years and we've always just ridden as usual. Sometimes we don't even see they are in heat!

    Wonder what I do that is so different. You'd think that at least ONE in the 8 would have been difficult to some degree if it's really a "mare" thing.

  • #2
    Hum, my mare is "good" through her heat cycles, easy to ride and handle.....

    but, this spring she had to be "in" (in a stall and paddock) rather then out in her pasture when her first heat of the year hit.

    Oh man........ I was wishing I had a gelding! She was in a frenzy, tail up over her back, just about all day long... and drinking... and pee'ing, and pee'ing and pee'ing.

    I was going through AT LEAST 3 bags of pelleted bedding a day, (that is 21 bucks a day to try to keep a stall dry!?!), not to mention the work it took to clean the thing (shovels of dripping bedding any one?)

    She was really making just a disgusting mess out of her stall Every Day. I was really glad when her heat was over, and she was back to using the corner of her stall a few times a day.

    Never had that issue with a gelding...
    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


    • #3
      I'm with you. Mares are tougher than stallions, braver than either stallions or geldings, and usually smarter than the people who own them - hence, the bad rap.

      I'll take a good mare over anything else. And it seems like, the more stubborn they are at the beginning, the better they end up once you gain their trust. A good mare will walk through fire for you, if you treat her right. And I always treat mine right.

      Hmmmm,............I think I've just talked myself into a mare for my next horse!
      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
      A life lived by example, done too soon.


      • #4
        I like 'em, too. I'd guess that 8 horses is a smaller sample than that represented by the CoTH faithful, so it's probably not that strange that you've had good fortune with yours.

        We've got 8 on the farm right now, and only one is markedly "different" when cycling, but we've known many of either kind-- the "hardly know the difference" kind and the "I see where the term nightmare comes from" kind.

        Personally, I love their fierce, passionate, kind fortitude. But on a day when I'm not up to par, I'll take me a gelding just as quickly. The mares ask me to be a better rider/handler/horseman. The geldings, well, they don't make me work that hard.


        • #5
          I enjoyed my mares. Their personalities changed a bit during their heat (read: slutty), but they were never a problem and it just made them more interesting.
          The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
          Winston Churchill


          • Original Poster

            "She was really making just a disgusting mess out of her stall Every Day"

            the gelding my daughter has is a pig, but I really think it's because of anatomy, he simply doesn't have any way of peeing in a corner!


            • #7
              Originally posted by ESG View Post
              I'm with you. Mares are tougher than stallions, braver than either stallions or geldings, and usually smarter than the people who own them - hence, the bad rap.

              I'll take a good mare over anything else. And it seems like, the more stubborn they are at the beginning, the better they end up once you gain their trust. A good mare will walk through fire for you, if you treat her right. And I always treat mine right.

              Hmmmm,............I think I've just talked myself into a mare for my next horse!

              Absolutely right on target! I have a foundation QH mare. She my horse and we have a special bond.
              The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.


              • #8
                We love the girls, would choose a mare over an equal gelding any day. We just go with "It is work time, get over it" and disregard heat cycles. We do give breaks in work more often, for a pee break. Otherwise they can be wanting/needing to urinate, not paying attention with the distraction need. Some of the mares are lighter in signals, some sluggish, during their cycle. They all work ANYWAY, turn in a respectable workout that day. New mares seem to catch on pretty quick, are willing to be workers, not airheads for us.

                I get really tired about hearing "slutty, Ho, tramp" titles given to mares in season. It is NOT like the mare is responsible for her hormones!! However for the lesser skilled, impatient rider it does make a good EXCUSE for them not not being able to have a good ride. Mares are just animals, do not plan these behaviours, not "out to get you" when they come in season. If you don't like how they act, buy geldings and quit with the nasty remarks!


                • #9
                  I grumble about mares, but its because I really enjoy them. I've a chestnut thoroughbred mare. My friend says she's a Baskin Robins, 32 different personalities and you never know which one you're going to get! She's very lovable when she's in heat actually. Have to carry a crop though or she does tend to stop. Its a nice change of pace though on a usually forward horse


                  • #10
                    I've always been a mare person, even when I was a kid first learning to ride. I don't know why, but the horses I really liked as horses were nearly always mares. Geldings are mostly cuddly and goofy and in some ways much easier, but mares have a dedication about them.

                    My current mare is not extremely mare-ish, thank g-d. Her cycles are often nearly silent and she rarely gets in a mood. She is still all girl though, very smart... sometimes too smart
                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                    • #11
                      Count me in the Mare Lovers clique...of course, you could probably tell by my screen name, eh?

                      Oddly, I always had ridden geldings (and a stallion for a short while) and when it came to finally owning my own horses, I ended up with a QH and OTTB gelding.

                      I had always had two "rules" --- never a mare and never a white horse(GOD knows why or where I came up with them! At some point I MUST have my head examined...).

                      Well, last year I needed to find a new riding horse as my VERY aged QH has extreme arthritis in his spine and cannot be ridden at all anymore. Sooooo, I go horse shopping.

                      Second horse I see an ad for is this white (on the surface she looks white, but she is a Shadow Paint which means she has an Overo black and white pattern covered over by a silver white coat) mare...I move on. Then I go back again to the ad, look at the video, oh my she's cute, what a build, so athletic, and lookie, she goes English and Western and oh my she's only 9 and wowsers look at the affordable price!

                      Sighhh, so I go to see this mare. And, in less than ten minutes with her I am SMITTEN totally! Oddly, it was mutual...she kept coming over to me, wrapping her neck around me giving me hugs, went like a charm for me in a 27 mph wind no less! The owners kept repeating that they were amazed at how affectionate she was to me and that she wasn't like that to them...well, they could have been lying, but something told me they were not lying...it was just one of those rare experiences when you meet up with an animal and it really is a true bond.

                      Since the first meeting went so well, I go for a second tryout, do the PPE, she passes...I can afford her, and sooooo, I buy her.

                      One year later I am utterly in love with this mare...like some of you say, in her strong heats I know she's cycling because she seems somewhat more distracted and a bit edgy, but she NEVER truly misbehaves. She has quite a bit of turnout (I have my horses at home and am able to do so) and so she's very happy with her stall/turnout times. It may help her to be less anxious, I don't know.

                      I also agree with the poster who said a good mare will walk through fire for you...there's something truly brave and strong about this girl...I suppose from what I am reading here that many of you find your mares have a different kind of nature than the geldings?

                      Now, to be fair to my two boys, they are both very sweet and willing and good horses, not nasty or flighty or balky in any way. I love them both and as I still ride the OTTB I can say I really like him, too.

                      But, my mare is my heart horse...she is so totally special and our bond is VERY tight. She really gives her all and I find our "communications" are really quite at a different plane than what I have with teh geldings. Truly once in a lifetime kind of thing. I feel so honored by her connection with me and I'm really glad I broke my "no mares, no white horses" rules! Look what I would have missed!


                      • #12
                        Have always had good mares from my youth on up. Love them.Currently have a very nice QH mare ( a "redhead" no less!) that I bond with more and more every day. For a former "broodie" she is doing so well on the trail, tough, smart and all heart.


                        • #13
                          The eponymous Lola is a TB mare. She's such a good girl (actually, old lady now at 24). Really wants to please. I think a lot of mares are like that. Of course, there are the nasty witches, but IMO they're the exception rather than the rule.


                          • #14
                            Give me a gelding any day of the week! However, that said, over the years I've had some nice mres and di everything from showing to roping to trails and giving lessons. Actually, I think it prob has/had more to do with their bloodlines than being mare. If they were grade, all you can go on usually is what you see is what you get.

                            Still, I'll take a gelding who is just happy to be alive. Strange, tho, my last 6 horses have all been MARES!!!
                            GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


                            • #15
                              I had mostly geldings in the past with the exception of one OTTB. She was a little difficult, about things like loud speakers at shows or would sometimes get in a snit about group trail rides. I currently have a chestnut TB mare that I purchased as a late yearling. I did all her ground work training and then my trainer at the time did her saddle training. She is 16 this year and my heart horse. She is the best all around horse, we dabble in dressage (won a low level CT at a schooling show a few weeks ago), trail ride a ton, go camping, hunter pace, have tried fox hunting, done a team penning clinic, parades. I rarely know when she is in season. Will I purchase another mare, you betcha- in a heart beat...hehe.


                              • Original Poster

                                "Actually, I think it prob has/had more to do with their bloodlines than being mare."

                                You know, I just bought a young mare in January. She came here because the trainer "clashed" with her. She was supposed to have an attitude in the stall and be unpredictable.

                                Don't know where she has managed to stow all that baggage, but I haven't seen it. I've seen a calm, young mare who is interested in the world, who probably needs to learn that water won't make her legs fall off but other than that, she's sweet and kind.

                                Now I'm sure, that if I picked a fight with her, she'd give back what I dished out, but I'm not going to fight with her and so she feels no need to fight with me.

                                And I'm thinking her bloodlines must have a rep for being tough.....I've seen comments on 2 threads about them, and both were less than complimentary!


                                • #17
                                  Loff my mares! I have 8 of them ranging in age from 3 to almost 40.
                                  4 of them are chestnut as well.

                                  There is one gelding here and he is the pissy moody one. Thankfully he doesn't belong to me.
                                  Last edited by dawglover; Apr. 20, 2011, 07:01 AM. Reason: typo
                                  Save lives! Adopt a pet from your local shelter.


                                  • #18
                                    I was ALWAYS a bay gelding with minimal white person, all OTTBs.

                                    My 2 current? Chestnut mares with BLING, one OTTB and one Oldenburg. Go figure.

                                    I really really like the OTTB. Smart, sane, great work ethic. The Oldenburg is a bit of a flighty twit, needle phobic, clipper phobic, mane-pulling phobic... we have our work cut out for us. But she too is smart as a whip and I think just needs a JOB as well.


                                    • #19
                                      I was a confirmed gelding owner for years. I never had mares. Then I bought an $800 half Arabian pinto mare as 'resale project.' 18 years later, the 'resale project' had done more in the show ring than any other horse I'd owned, earned her Legion of Supreme Honor (/+) mostly by showing in recognized, all breed dressage, and given me....two fillies, who are now 11 and 6. I recently earned my USDF Bronze medal with the oldest. I love my mares. And oddly enough, the 'resale project' and both her daughters never, ever show in heat. I have no idea when they're in season, and they are never moody, difficult, etc. They live with geldings, too. Maybe it's an inherited factor?

                                      I think a good mare will work harder than a gelding ever would. But you have to earn their respect and keep it. One of my mares, I refer to as my 'war mare.' She is the horse you want to be on when your life depends on it. Recently at a clinic, the rider after me was getting on her horse and he spooked. She got dumped and the horse went careening around the arena for at least ten minutes. I was on my 'war mare' and everyone was telling me to jump off. I knew I was safer ON her than OFF her. She stood planted in the middle of the arena. When the loose horse even looked like he was heading our way, she gave him the MARE face and pinned her ears flat against her head and he changed direction.
                                      Donerail Farm


                                      • #20
                                        <3 mares, the bond with you is an incredible experience. I think its easy to blame "hormones" for every behavioral problem when its a mare. Kinda like we do with women. Some clearly have strong heats and respond to them, but many do not! They can learn how to handle themselves, and we can learn how to manage them. I love my mare's expressive personality. Its interesting and engageable. She is SO brave and smart, she is often ahead of me, and I like the challenge. At the same time, she takes care of me, and the "team" feel is beyond what I have ever had with a gelding.

                                        IMO, if mares are too sensitive, smart and you are unable to bond and work with them, get a gelding. Don't knock them though! Many of us love the extra challenge and bonded relationship!