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Mares vs. Geldings: Equestrians Have A “Type”

Mares vs. Geldings: Equestrians Have A “Type”

I’ve owned geldings all my life. From the first naughty pony I got as a 12-year-old to the off-track Thoroughbred I’m training now.

I’ve always identified as a gelding person. I appreciate their tendencies to have puppy dog-like personalities and goofy natures. So when I had a surprising and rare opportunity to take on a mare, I wasn’t sure what to do in the beginning.

The mare in question was an athletic, striking Hanovarian schoolmaster. She was any rider’s dream – a total workaholic. But there were some pretty typical mare parts to her personality I had to get used to.

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So are you mare person or a gelding person? See which boxes you check in our handy-dandy list.

Gelding people

  • They want a horse that is basically just a big dog. The more personality, the better.
  • They’re secretly OK with their accident-prone goofballs, because they love doting on said “big dogs.”
  • Geldings are preferable because they don’t hold a grudge. They can be mad or stressed one moment, but totally forget about it in the next 10 strides.
  • A bond is easy to form. All it takes is an endless stream of treats, DUH.
  • Gelding people love to help their horse build confidence. There’s lots of “good boy” pats and praise after every single exercise.
  • Gelding people beam from any compliment they get on their horse, and they’ll remember it forever.
  • In all seriousness, gelding people appreciate the relationship they form with their horse, and all the heart their horse puts into what they do.

Mare people

  • You ask, don’t tell. Mare people are looking for an equal partner in a riding relationship, not a master/pet type scenario.
  • Unlike a dog – I mean gelding – a mare’s affection has to be earned. They are not so easily duped by treats.
  • Once you earn a mare’s respect, they will go to the ends of the earth to take care of you. Even from your own mistakes… but they’ll remind you – always – of your long list of failures when it’s convenient for them.
  • Mare people: No sheath cleanings. Ever. Never ever.
  • Mare owners are picky just like their mares. About everything. Feed. Hay. How much sun comes into their stall in the morning. Who their pasture buddies are.
  • Mare people are always dreaming and scheming about how they’re going to breed said mare. But .02% of owners are actually qualified to do so or will actually go through with it.
  • Mare people don’t need to hear compliments about their horse – they already know how fabulous their horse looks.
  • But in all seriousness, mare people appreciate their mares for their intellect, athletic ability, and the partnership mentality they build together in the tack.

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