Battle of the Sexes: Mares vs. Geldings

“You tell a gelding, you discuss it with a mare.”

“You don’t scare me, I ride a mare.”

“I don’t need a boyfriend, my gelding is sweeter than any human guy.”

Any of these look/sound familiar? Everyone seems to have an opinion on why geldings are the best or why everyone should ride mares. I’ll admit that I’m still on the fence.

I learned how to ride on an old mare that would cart me around as I bumped up and down on her back and stood still while I braided her tail. Jumping came a bit later on a big gelding named Mr. Snuffleupagus who good-naturedly carried me over glorified ground poles. Camp horses always ended up being spunky fun mares to gallop around with. My first horse was a studdish gelding who tossed me more times and won me more blue ribbons than I can count. Addy, as you know, is a lady-like mare who’s re-teaching me the ropes.

I’ve had so many amazing horses in my life and few of them met the stereotypes. There have been plenty of quiet gentleman-like geldings that passed through, but my boy Star was anything but gentlemanly. His ground manners were atrocious and he would not let a missed distance go without throwing a bunny-rabbit-hippity-hop temper tantrum. He had the most personality of any horse I’ve ever met- not your typical easy-going gelding.

There is a home video showing this guy bucking me off roughly 15 minutes after this picture was taken.
There is a home video showing this guy bucking me off roughly 15 minutes after this picture was taken.

There have been a few quirky mares too. But Addy has never shown a hint of being “mare-ish” in the months that she’s been at the barn, and I never have to discuss things with her. She’s willing to listen and follow in ways that geldings from my past wouldn’t.

Addy hasn't indicated that she even knows how to buck
Addy hasn’t indicated that she even knows how to buck

My vote for the mares vs. geldings debate: both! Give me a horse that I can play with and learn with, and I don’t care about anything else. I’ve had too many old-soul mares and fussy geldings to buy into a stereotype.

What do you think? Mares 4eva or geldings + u = ❤ ?? Why?

21 thoughts on “Battle of the Sexes: Mares vs. Geldings

  1. nbohl 02/24/2015 / 2:29 pm

    My mare was the sweetest most affectionate horse I’ve ever known. I think she would have protected me from anything and kept me safe doing anything. She was incredibly bonded to me and would pin her ears being ridden by anyone else. I think mares have a deeper capacity to bond with their one person than geldings do.

    My gelding loves me, but he also loves everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hellomylivia 02/24/2015 / 2:59 pm

      I think you’re totally right- once a mare decides that you’re her person, you’re totally in. Geldings seem to discriminate less!


  2. Lauren 02/24/2015 / 2:39 pm

    I prefer geldings, but have met several mares that I have really liked.


    • hellomylivia 02/24/2015 / 2:59 pm

      I always thought I was a gelding person, but when I love a mare I reeeeally fall in love 🙂


  3. Holly 02/24/2015 / 2:44 pm

    I love my mares! Coorina was a princess diva to the highest degree – she could be a WITCH, but when she was on, she was truly unbeatable. Lucy isn’t mare-ish at all, but she just has a the most loving personality, like she would move in with you tomorrow and curl up in your bed and snuggle. I think that’s why I’m struggling so much with SnowPony, because it’s almost an emotional thing where I feel like he’s constantly aloof to me and couldn’t care. I need teddy bear horses! I need to be needed and wanted and loved!


    • hellomylivia 02/24/2015 / 3:01 pm

      I’m the same! I don’t care if I have to resort to bribery, I want that pony to come right up and snuggle with me. I think those “chill geldings” are a blessing and a curse in that way!


  4. CallyJumps 02/25/2015 / 7:14 am

    I love a mate, because IMO, when you have a good one working with you, they’ll give 120%, in a way I haven’t experienced with geldings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hellomylivia 02/25/2015 / 8:30 am

      I think you’re right- a lot of geldings I know are perfectly happy to do their job, but when you have a mare on your side, they want to do their job better than anyone else!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicole Sharpe 02/26/2015 / 9:53 am

        I really can’t believe that this is more than a personality thing. Probably there are just a lot more geldings out there than mares (what else are geldings going to do than be riding horses? Mares can also be broodmares), and that if you look at the upper levels mares and geldings are probably pretty equal.

        I also know that my personality influences who I’m working with/riding. I love Murray’s pasture mate, a mare, because she bosses him around appropriately but not meanly. I hated Murray’s temporary pasture mate when we went away because she would do inappropriate shit like chase him away from the water — why, bitch, why? I love Murray’s gelding BFF because they are so sweet together and Connor tries really hard for his owner, but I hate Murray’s gelding neighbor because he rams his stall door when Murray tries to peek in. Hmmm, are we seeing a theme about who I love and hate?!

        I also think that now that Murray is on board, he will give me 120% — if we’re jumping, at least. In fact, I know he gives a lot, because when I screw things up he fixes them for me!

        In conclusion, I think I’d be happy the right mare or the right gelding; for me a good personality match is more important.


      • hellomylivia 02/26/2015 / 10:50 am

        I’d never thought about that- there are so many more geldings that we probably do see a wider range of personalities. I did have a gelding who was as bossy, loyal, and full of heart as any mare, so I know what you mean! And I always like the horses that are nice to my pony 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Annye / AnAmishWarmblood 02/25/2015 / 8:49 am

    I agree with the other commenters! I’ve always read that (in general) mares are more work but are more rewarding. I’m banking on that fact, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hellomylivia 02/25/2015 / 8:53 am

      Agreed, I’ve always felt that it takes more time and effort to get a mare on your side, but once you do then they’ll give you everything they got!


  6. FromtheHorsesMouth 02/25/2015 / 10:36 am

    I couldn’t agree more! I have owned 3 geldings and 2 mares in my life, and I don’t think I will ever own another gelding. I just don’t connect with them the way I do with mares. Once you get a good mare on your side, there is nothing better. They will give you their absolute everything and have such big personalities. You have to be willing to work for it, but if you can appreciate them for what they are worth, THERE IS NOTHING BETTER. As I always say, mares make the best partners. There is no “I” in mare ;).


      • FromtheHorsesMouth 02/25/2015 / 1:16 pm

        Thanks! I have been talking about this topic a lot recently and came up with that. I think it might be meme worthy ;),


      • hellomylivia 02/25/2015 / 1:55 pm

        Maybe something a little like this?? 🙂


  7. Tracy 02/26/2015 / 1:49 pm

    I’m more of a gelding person, but I have (somewhat successfully) ridden a lovely chestnut Thoroughbred mare too!


  8. lauracoburn1111 05/15/2019 / 7:54 am

    I’m more of a gelding person. I did own an appyX pony mare ( stubborn x3) as a kid and she was pretty awesome, but hella stubborn and opinionated! I haven’t met a mare yet as an adult that I clicked with, so I’ve steered clear of them! I now have 1 sweet but kinda dumb gelding and a bossy old gelding with more attitude than you would expect. 🙂


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