Mares with geldings

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by Marsha Cassada, May 18, 2020.

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  1. May 18, 2020 #1

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    I read about an old time trainer that didn't allow his mares and geldings together. Has anyone heard pros and cons of this? It wouldn't be possible for me to keep my two apart (mare and gelding), but in a herd situation, would the dynamic be bad?
     
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  2. May 18, 2020 #2

    dalvers63

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    I've never had an issue with my mare and gelding together. They get along fine; Mike thinks he is in charge until Eden sets him straight :)
     
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  3. May 18, 2020 #3

    MajorClementine

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    I've never had a problem with mares and geldings together. My mares boss the boys around. They get into mild scuffles at times but no more than any two horses tend to get into. I do have one gelding that will try to "breed" one of my mares when she is obviously in heat. But he's always ignored the other mare...go figure. He only tries for a day or two then it's life as normal. I have more trouble with my two mares together than any other combination. But again, only minor scuffles.
     
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  4. May 18, 2020 #4

    chandab

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    I do keep my geldings separate, but I have several horses, and the boys seem to play harder than the girls. When I only had a couple horses, they were together and it worked fine.
    I've been places where there are mare herds and gelding herds. Some geldings seem to get very possessive of "their" mare(s), and can become difficult over it
     
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  5. May 18, 2020 #5

    Maryann at MiniV

    Maryann at MiniV

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    We have a large field where we turn out mares, fillies, and geldings and not had a problem.
     
  6. May 18, 2020 #6

    Ryan Johnson

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    Ive never had an issue either, though I have found my mares to be more bossy of the geldings.
     
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  7. May 18, 2020 #7

    Pitter Patter

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    To protect my mini stallion from an overbearing Welsh Cobb pony I have had to house the stallion with my mini mares temporarily. They put him in his place immediately. I was worried about him at first because two of the mares ganged up on him. He is very respectful now and there are no issues. He will be gelded VERY soon. At least one of the mares is already quite pregnant (she came to me pregnant). He is a beautiful little guy so if he does breed one of them it wouldn't be a bad thing. But I can't wait to get him gelded. In the meantime, he is very sweet and they all do mutual grooming now. He is much happier than being chased around by a larger horse and a very large goat. It's a sight to see your horse in a paddock who is smaller than your goat!
     
  8. May 18, 2020 #8

    Cayuse

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    I was just thinking about turnout issues. One of my geldings got out with another and they beat the bejeebers out of each other a couple of days ago. The mini, who started the fight, kicked and got his hind leg caught in the welsh pony's blankets leg strap and got dragged around all the while kicking like a fool. It was ugly.
    I have never had a horse that I could turnout with another in all my years of horse keeping. I wonder if it is because almost all my horses are geldings who were gelded quite late ( 5-10 year range). What do you guys think?
    Everyone else I know turns out their horses together, mixed herd or same sex with no problem. It all sorts itself out. What's up with mine?? They don't just have a squabble and figure out the pecking order, their out for blood.
     
  9. May 18, 2020 #9

    chandab

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    If you only or mostly have late gelded stallions, especially those that were used for breeding, so were kept alone prior to coming to you and being gelded, they do not know "horse etiquette" and how to behave in a herd, often times this type doesn't do well with other boys, it's ingrained, they don't know they are "geldings" and shouldn't care, because they already had hormones and habits, the hormones may go with castration, but often the habits do not. Many stallions hate all other boys, and that thought process seems to stick with them even after gelding. [And, I've lost my train of thought, if I get back on track, I'll post more.]
     
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  10. May 18, 2020 #10

    malriis

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    It's pretty common to separate mares and geldings. Particularly studish geldings will try to mate sometimes or might be protective over "their mares" etc. Obviously there is some risk of injury, which is compounded if you have multiple geldings. If you're a trainer or run a boarding facility and have a lot of horses on your property you might prefer to avoid the situation altogether. However, most geldings are gonna be fine living in a mixed herd.
     
  11. May 19, 2020 #11

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    That's probably the scenario indicated in the book I was reading. Geldings making a harem and being territorial. May not happen, but not desirable.
    I've had three geldings together and they got into a scuffle over me before. I was in the middle and it was somewhat dangerous. Luckily they were miniatures!
     
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  12. May 19, 2020 #12

    Cayuse

    Cayuse

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    So part of it is a lack of socialization?
    My vet told me that they had been gelded so long that they should be "over it" but I didn't agree. Of the four I have had, one who lived to be 33, no one has gotten "over it. They are such " manly men" lol.

     
  13. May 19, 2020 #13

    Cayuse

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    Marsha, thank you for staring this thread, it is timely and interesting.
    I was trying to break up one of those scuffles you mentioned this weekend. Not easy. Or safe!
     
  14. May 19, 2020 #14

    chandab

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    I would say yes, it's a lack of socialization. It also happens in race horses that were raised in stalls and kept separate, many (maybe it's only some) don't adjust well to herd life, as they've never learned to horse and how to communicate with others of their kind (so may need to always be kept in separate paddocks).
     
  15. May 23, 2020 at 2:22 PM #15

    MajorClementine

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    I think socialization has less to do with it than personality. Being a race horse and retired race horse owner I find that they crave a companion/herd after a life of solidarity. Their instinct is to be part of a herd. There can be an adjustment period when they are learning the language and order of the herd they are joining but in 30 years we've only had one horse that we had to be careful with. He was a stallion who was gelded at age 12 and had to be with other geldings without mares close by or with a herd of just mares. It could be any geldings or any mares.

    If I'm putting new horses together they get to share a fence line first. Then they get put on together after a week or two in an area with plenty of room to get away from each other. With big guys I make sure no one has shoes as they do a lot more damage.

    Come to think of it...I think the amount of space new horses have to get away from conflict is a big part of successful integration.

    Wow that was long winded. I'm glad that I've never had to deal withtwith of them just going after each other. Usually they get into it and one ends up retreating before much damage is done.
     

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