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Old 07-21-2010, 03:12 PM  
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Mixing mares/geldings...what do you do?

Hi everyone! I'm looking for opinions here...I've kept both mares and geldings together out of necessity mostly...and then I've worked where there were enough pastures/paddocks to keep mares and geldings seperated...

What do you do/prefer? Do you find injuries more/less/about the same by mixing/dividing groups? Right now on the place I am staying everyone is mixed and they just pick on each other and have lots of little bites/scrapes... I know horses establish their own 'pecking order' but just wonder if I could seperate mares from geldings if they would do better...OPINIONS wanted.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:19 PM  
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I have one mare, one gelding and one pasture. They do fine. Little nips from time to time, but mostly they get along okay.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:20 PM  
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Personal experience, more of a horse issue than gelding/mare.

Riley has been with geldings/mares/fillies/donkeys/jenny & Jack/donkey stud/minis. No problem.

Got my first mare back, problems. Had to let her go again. It is because of that one incident I won't get another mare.

My first mare was in with several geldings, no real issue. One gelding was very attached, but did not aggressive unless it was a strange gelding, and it was for short lived.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:20 PM  
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I keep mares and geldings together, but in one pasture I have 2 mares and 2 geldings. If they don't get along I move everyone around until I get the right mix. In one of my other pastures there are 3 geldings together, just kinda happened that way. In another I had 2 mares and 1 gelding. they worked just fine together. Really depends on the horse, they all have their own personalities and I make sure everyone gets along or else I fix it until I find the right combo
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:22 PM  
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I keep mine together and have never had an issue until I bought another gelding. He hurt my other gelding so mister man is in his seperate pasture. I even let my mare that has a 3 month old colt out with the others and there is no issue.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:29 PM  
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I keep mine together and have never had an issue until I bought another gelding. He hurt my other gelding so mister man is in his seperate pasture. I even let my mare that has a 3 month old colt out with the others and there is no issue.
'Mister man'...I love that I think on this farm there is a 'Miss Naughty' mare that needs some 'time out'...so the other horses can breathe!

I think all of you so far are right!! It is more the individual personality than maybe mare/gelding...I think I'm going to start doing some 'experimenting'...in the 'human' horse world I just hate to see horses all marked up from repeated kicking/biting and I worry about the 'one time' an on purpose kick may do unrepairable damage!
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:36 PM  
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Same here - I have always mixed mares and geldings, because I just do not have the fences to keep them separate. Growing up, the top horse was a big gelding. Now, it is my Morgan mare, who has been here since birth, and would like everyone to bow and scrape

When I had several mares and one older gelding, he was so far on the bottom, that it was pathetic, but he learned to stay away from flying hooves.

The worst problem I have now are the two geldings playing and scraping each other up. The mares don't participate, though one is on the top and the other on the bottom.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:15 PM  
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I think that it totally depends on the horses in question. I have 2 old geldings out with my mare and her 2 month old filly. No one is really in charge except when it comes to bringing them in. The mare decides. If she wants in, the boys let her go first...if not, no problem.

I do have an older mare that can be quite the pain in the bottom. SHE RUNS THE SHOW! However, she and the oldest gelding (age 29) get along wonderfully and the others just get out of her way. I do put her in with the others when they are out on pasture, but won't put more than one or 2 in with her if they have to share the run-in.

That same mare is a baby stealer. I can't put her out with foals less than a month old. She makes a very hearty attempt to separate the foal from the dam; ears pinned, snaking neck, the whole deal. That problem disappears when the foals reach a month or so old.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:30 PM  
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where I am right now my guy is with 3 other geldings and a mare. No one really picks on each other.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:12 PM  
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I keep mares and geldings together but after an introduction routine that I do with new horses in general.

I keep the new horse in a paddock that adjoins the pasture for about a week. Let them talk to each other over the fence for a few days.

Then I put out the top dog older horse into the main pasture and introduce the new horse. Then I wait for any fireworks or cavorting that may occur to be over. Then I introduce the next horse and wait, and so on.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:04 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilmorehorsemanship View Post
I keep mares and geldings together but after an introduction routine that I do with new horses in general.

I keep the new horse in a paddock that adjoins the pasture for about a week. Let them talk to each other over the fence for a few days.

Then I put out the top dog older horse into the main pasture and introduce the new horse. Then I wait for any fireworks or cavorting that may occur to be over. Then I introduce the next horse and wait, and so on.
This is very similiar to what I do...so far so good, only had them run through a fence once and it was the chasing horse that went through first not the ones being chased....he was very intent and forgot it was there I think but they also didn't have enough time over the fence so it was my fault
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:17 PM  
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I've had my horse (a gelding) boarded at places where thye were separated, and at places where they were mixed. I believe my personal preference is for having them separated. Fewer bites, scrapes, kicks. But now that I think back on it, that place also had very little turnover, so the herd stayed the same a lot. (20+ geldings in one pasture).

But it also hasn't killed him to be in a place where they are mixed. His willy seems to stay really nice and clean in a mixed environment. So as long as no mare moms get upset with me for his naughty behavior, I keep quiet about it. (It's just the two of us in here, right?)
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:17 PM  
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I have enough room that the mare and geldings are together, and i introduce a new horse in a holding paddock so the talking is done over a fence and than within a week newbie is outside with the rest. I love watching the herd dynamics and see who is friends with who than a week later it changes.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:12 PM  
 
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I keep them separate. I have a mare that will pick on geldings and a gelding that will pick on all other geldings if they have a mare in the pen.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:35 PM  
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I only have two geldings, and one mare, and they do okay together. The two that don't get along very well are my two geldings. One always bosses the other around. The mare seems to be the middle man who doesn't really care who she's hanging out with. One gelding is usually standing by himself, but other then that, they get along ok.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:41 PM  
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We have one stud colt (3 months), 3 geldings and 2 mares that all pasture together wonderfully. Now there was a bit of fanagling until the pasture order was figured out. Don't bug the old man, what he says goes... unless you are the colt then you can terrorize the burgesseres out of him and get away with it. Libby the mare with the colt at side runs the show and keeps everyone in line. My paint is a pansy and gets his butt beat by everyone... including the colt. The other mare and gelding push there luck every once in a while to see what they can get away with and get into trouble. But things run very smoothly in our pastures.

Now when we where boarding, totally different story! It was still a mixed herd but I think it wouldn't have mattered it it was separate or not. With the amount of turn around near the end it was always in flux and wholly slam the horses where beat to a pulp!
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:18 AM  
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Do you think a high turn over rate in a mixed herd at a boarding stable causes the horse alot of stress? My sister's gelding lost a ton of weight while boarding which was thought to be from a tape worm but he was losing before that. They were switching horses on average 2-3 times a week. He is lower than low on the totem pole
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:08 AM  
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Unhappy

Well I guess I do think that is stressful for a horse...
Looking at it from a 'human' view...if your friends came and went a lot you wouldn't know who you could hang out with for comfort and if new people were showing up all the time it would stress me out...of course with people some of the time it takes a while to know who your enemies are going to be.
Horses don't hold back their herd dynamics; it is what it is right away The hooves can start flying and the teeth start snapping... Thus a poor horse might lose weight stressing out and being on the move all the time to stay out of the 'boss' horse's way!

I brought my gelding here to the farm just about a month ago. He had already lost weight from the cross-country move and when I put him in with the herd he started getting beat up...now how can a fella gain weight when he's always on the move to get outta the way? I put him in with the mini-donkeys and even though they are the bosses...they don't beat him up and he can eat! Oh...he talks to me now too; in with the big herd he never said a word when he saw me coming.
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:58 AM  
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I've never given it a second thought. It's more the individual horse's personality than anything else. We had four mares when we moved here and had all sorts of problems. We now have two mares and one gelding and they get along great.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:42 AM  
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Both our two gelding are with the mares and foals. The only time we separate them is when the mares are due having their foals. About two months after all foals are born, the two geldings go back in the same pasture. The two geldings, my Buddy and his buddy...LOL are always together and don't bother the mares with foals. So, that works out well!
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