Episode 27: Mare-Gelding Bias

Listen to Episode 27

Episode 27 is an On the Fence segment. That’s where Jec and I meet on the virtual fence to talk about an issue or topic. Maybe it’s been bugging us or exciting us or simply asking us to give it a good run around the airwaves.

“On the fence” is sometimes used as a phrase to indicate undecided, which is funny because us two gals are pretty decided when we meet On the Fence.

In this segment, we kind of continue – tangentially anyway – with our Gender Gyrations project to talk about mare/gelding bias in the horse world.

Yep. Mares are mare-ish and geldings are not. Or geldings have studdy behavior. Or whatever.

And, yes, I’m using the word ‘whatever’ to draw attention to and maybe poke fun at the myriad ways in which we can discriminate against or judge horses by their gender. I think a lot of times it is fun. But it’s fun in the way making fun of someone from Texas is fun. It’s fun in the way making fun of someone who rides English is fun. Which is to say, it really just shows off how uninformed and maybe how ignorant we can be.

Blaming a behavior on gender is a good way to let ourselves NOT be accountable for learning the facts and appreciating the larger picture of who this horse is and what its needs are.

Jec Ballou

We thank Pharm Aloe Equine and Lucerne Farms for their continued support. Pharm Aloe offers aloe pellets and gel and other products to support horses’ GI health, immune system, and other processes.

Lucerne Farms is the fantastic forage company based in Northern Maine. Lucerne has an array of products for feeding your horses as well as Koop Klean, for chickens. They both come in handy bales. By the way, feeding forage is wwaayy better than feeding grain. That’s research based. But of course, your horses will tell you, too.

Also, we would like to thank Redmond EquineKate’s Real Food and Patagonia WorkWear for their continuing support. Please follow these brands and buy their stuff as they support us and what we’re doing.

Don’t forget to check out the Yeti/Nomadix giveaways.

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Thanks for listening y’all!

Listen to Episode 27

Posted in BestHorsePractices Summit, Gender Gyrations, Podcast, Research and tagged , , .


  1. We need to remember that a gelding is not a complete male. Studs do not lead the herd, but they do work to control it for breeding purposes.
    Mares are complete and all of their thoughtfulness is still in them. I ride a mare and believe that because of her protective instincts for her offspring she is more
    observant. I think as a result that mares size up situations better and are more alert. The one I have ridden for the past 17 years has shown this to me over and over.I let her choose the path and she always chooses the correct one. Mares just have more of their natural instincts, as do studs. Geldings are great, but they are not quite complete. More than their aggressiveness is lost in castration.
    Just a guys’ opinion.

  2. Chuck, very interesting. . There is more to this than we know that’s for sure. I do believe there are differences between them which sometimes shows up in their way of being…and I find that a good thing, not a negative in any way. I have observed some of what you mentioned.. Whether these differences are gender-based or just individual horse variants is an interesting topic.

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