Give Your Heart to a Gelding, Your Trust to a Mare

Dorrie as a filly with her dam, protecting her.

Dorrie as a filly with her dam, protecting her.

This afternoon I stood in the entrance of the barn and watched the sky darken. Threatening clouds raced across the sky as the wind whipped and chased at them. I had just turned the horses out into the lush, grassy pasture they rarely get to use, so “the boys” were head down, cropping grass as fast as they could swallow it. My mare, however, lifted her head and smelled the wind. She started running, back to the shelter, then returned to circle the boys. She made a few circuits before the first flash of lightening stuck. By now, the boys had lifted their heads and begrudgingly followed her to the run-in shed, just moments before the sky poured down on them and severe lightening lit up the sky. Personally, I would never want a herd of horses without a smart mare for a leader. Before this gal, another mare fulfilled that role of watching out for her charges, herding them to shelter, keeping constant vigil over their well-being. fergusandpony

Yes, mares can be more challenging. They’ve been described as the horse version of emotional, or moody, or overly sensitive. Maybe they are just more aware of their surroundings. Maybe they are hard-wired that way for survival, after all, it is usually the boss mare who socializes, disciplines, finds forage, and, well, does darn near everything to ensure the survival of the herd. Don’t get me wrong, I love my gelding and riding him is so much less complicated than the mare. It is a joy to climb on a horse that is basically the same every day without his own hidden agenda or fluctuating sensitivities. You must “win over” a mare, however, much more than a gelding, but it is so rewarding when you do. The trust of a mare who is a good leader, but who yields her leadership to a rider, is magical. Let’s hear it for the girls! BossMarehat


About lrtrovi

I am a writer in Howard County, Maryland who spends free time practicing the art of dressage on my horses, haunting the local bookstores and libraries for the next great read, and working on my own novels.
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