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Discussion on Should mare be turned out with geldings?

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Becky Little (Beezle)
Posted on Monday, Jul 9, 2001 - 2:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have had only geldings for the past 5 years. We just acquired a mare. We introduced her gradually into the pasture with the 2 geldings, and everyone got along fine, they were basically dis-interested in each other. Now the mare is in heat and has turned into a real 'floozey', and the geldings have forgotten they are gelded! She teases them (backs up to them and raises her tail). One of the geldings has mounted her.
I am not sure if it is better to keep them separated when she is in heat (and have 3 sexually frustrated horses), or just put them out together and let them have at it....
What are everyones thoughts?

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Linda Antipala (Alika)
Posted on Monday, Jul 9, 2001 - 7:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We have one mare with two geldings also. However, we keep the lady and one gent together with the other gent by himself (pasture is cross fenced). We've found over the years that the most trouble is actually between two or more geldings with just one mare. Do your geldings fight each other over who is more dominant with the mare? We've had some bad kicks and bites to patch up from the gelding wars. And yes, our geldings do try mount her (to no avail of course), but the worst she's suffered is a superficial scrape or two down her rump from their shoes. Of course, it all depends on your geldings and how aggressive they can be. We've found the geldings are more likely to get hurt than the mare.
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Suzanne Moore (Suzym)
Posted on Monday, Jul 9, 2001 - 10:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My little mare "flirts" shamelessly with my gelding when she's in heat. She does everything she possibly can to get him interested :O He's interested all right, but doesn't know what to do about it except nibble on her face LOL! They are TOO funny! He never tries to mount - much to her disgust!!

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Sherri L. Hueser (Tangoh)
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 10, 2001 - 11:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My husband's mare runs with my gelding, and she too flirts like a hussy with him when she's in heat. He does however, sometimes 'try' to mount, usually only to be met with a high pitched squeal of disapproval and her hooves in his face or chest. She's a bit of a tease. Poor Tango. He's a little confused I'm sure. But other than these infrequent and harmless shenanigans, they cohabitate very nicely and are best friends.
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Bevin Valentine
Username: Aeowen

Post Number: 4
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, Sep 27, 2002 - 3:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I know I'm incredibly incredibly late on this topic, but I wanted to share a little story with you...

I had an ex-broodmare who was WONDERFUL with my gelding when they were together. Yea, they were in love and there was some separation anxiety when they were apart, but most of the time they were home together and if anything I took one or the other to a show or out riding with other problems.

Then one day I had two friends who wanted to ride, and only one had her own horse. This horse and my gelding had been out together on many occasions and got along fine...

Until that fateful trail ride. My Gelding FREAKED because this guy was getting near "his mare". The other gelding had to stay 10-15 feet behind my gelding and my mare, and any time he got any closer than that my gelding would "stallion scream" and lash out with whichever foot happened to be closest. It was mildly unpleasant at least, very dangerous at worst. The whole ride he was prancing and he had his neck arched and snorting.

I think about it now and kind of chuckle, because he was such a weenie 9/10ths of the time and he was really strutting his stuff that day...

However, I don't know that I would let that type of situation occur again, which might have meant to keep them separated even during the "normal" times so that they wouldn't be quite so...attached. I can't imagine what would have happened in a show situation where I wouldn't have any control over where the other geldings were.

For me now and forever it's separating the geldings and the mares...
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jim vinoly
New Member
Username: Jvinoly

Post Number: 1
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Friday, Sep 27, 2002 - 6:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am so glad to see a post again about keeping mares and geldings. We had 2 geldings on free range pasture, then added a mare this spring. The geldings are 5 and 6 yrs, the mare is 6. When we first introduced them, the boys acted as if the most incredible thing in the world had arrived. Now when she is in heat we have wars. One gelding is quite dominant and larger that the other. The little one is always getting bites and kicks. I am ragging on my husband to build fences to separate them before we have major injuries, but until then I don't think there is much we can do. One of our worries is if we part them, are we going to have downed fences? We are afraid if we keep the mare in a separate area she will really stress out. Any other thoughts on this?
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Leilani Clark
Username: Leilani

Post Number: 10
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Friday, Sep 27, 2002 - 7:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think you have to take it case by case or horse by horse. My mare was at a ranch for 6 years and during that time was in with geldings, mares, donkeys, a mule, cows and sheep. There were alway skirmishes, but everyone seemed to get along fairly well except one mare that my mare did not like at all. That mare was raised without other horses and did not seem to understand the dynamics of a herd. Everyone else had been at the ranch from birth or shortly after.

Now, she is at home with me. I have tried an older mare from the property below us; that didn't work out. I also tried a mare from the ranch and it worked out so so. Geldings seem to be the only ones she doesn't get bossy with, or they don't let her.

So, give a situation a try and if doesn't work out try something else. Horses always seem to surprise us.

Good luck.
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Username: Dres

Post Number: 127
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Friday, Sep 27, 2002 - 7:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

interesting topic... i have a 3 year old gelding that is turned out with his 1 year old sister, i have had him out with sister and mom from the beginning.. boss mare mom would make sure that gelding did not get to close to her or her food but could really care less about sister.. think she welcomed sister not pestering her .. anyway long story longer... boss mare mom is no longer with us.. but brother and sister still live together... what i find interesting at this point is sister is starting to test her brother.. how much will he take from me... like they play this backing into each other game to see who gives first.. (chicken)... she always gives in when brother raises a hind hoof to 'threaten' to kick.. * he has, to this point, never hurt her*.. lately tho.. she is standing her ground to him and threatening back.. neither one ever kicks and up to now both end of quitting about the same time.. but what i find interesting is mares are usually the boss in a herd.. i am wondering if they stay together.. ( she is for sale) if the roles will change and she will be the head boss...

i find watching the herd to be so interesting and educational...

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Linda Antipala
Username: Alika

Post Number: 186
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, Sep 27, 2002 - 7:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We have two geldings and one mare. Our pasture is separated with a cross fence, just four strands of wire - which I'm sure the horses could have knocked down long ago. However, the fence is fine because we put the less dominant gelding alone on one side, with the "bully" and mare on the other. The quieter gelding can see and have over-the-fence contact with the other two, but most often he just grazes off by himself. You might want to consider that type of arrangement. The pasture war kicks and bites can certainly cause serious injuries and you may be taking a calculated risk by not getting the fence up quickly.
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Heather Matthys
Username: Equus

Post Number: 82
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Saturday, Sep 28, 2002 - 2:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It's not a tried and true rule, though. Each herd dynamic is different. I have a gelding and mare who were/are best friends. He protects her, but won't put up with any nonsense from her. We recently added a large pony gelding to the mix. Aside from the usual pecking order skirmish at the very beginning, we've had no problems. She is in heat right now in fact (and shameless about it)but all that has happened is that she is a little more interested in the pony right now than usual. Generally they "argue" over who is the big gelding's best friend and second in line, but right now they call to each other and seem to be friends.

It never gets ugly with any of them---in heat or not---so two geldings and a mare CAN work.
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Karen E. Arrighetti
Username: Karene

Post Number: 23
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Saturday, Sep 28, 2002 - 7:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

This tread reminded me of a time I went out riding with some friends. One mare and 2 geldings. My very laid back, willing gelding wasn't going where directed. Figured out he was trying to keep his body between the mare and the other gelding ;o) I really lost it laughing when he insisted on stopping and pooping over the spot where the other gelding had just gone. I knew dogs did that but horses...?

My gelding's name is Dusty but when he's showing off for the mares I call him Studly Do-Right! Haven't had anything more than minor scapes and bites when my gelding's with my mares. He's always the one carrying any "battle scars."

At my last barn the mares and geldings were separated by an electric tape fence (live). Even though a couple of the geldings acted like they weren't (gelded) and the mares were absolutely shameless in sticking their butts as close as they could over the fence, no one ever went through the fence.

Personally, I love watching my Studly Not Stud show off for the girls. But my gang's been together for 3 years and (fortunately) the squirmishes are minor.

Good Luck!
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