Kelly-Anne with her youngster gelding, Zeus.

As you start to ride more horses, you will eventually start to pick up on the common characteristics of a gelding and a mare. Taking into consideration these diverse traits, horse owners continually pose one prominent question when looking for a new horse: should I buy a mare or a gelding?

Whilst each horse is an individual and each rider will have their own preference, SPILLERS has explored certain behaviours between both mares and geldings to help you decide which gender of steed is best suited to you!

What do the team at SPILLERS think?   

SPILLERS Finance Specialist, Kelly-Anne, admits “I have always preferred geldings as they are consistent, trusting and uncomplicated. I always know where I stand with my youngster, Zeus, whereas with mares you never know if they’ve woken up on the wrong side of the stable!”

Dominique Raisin

Dominique riding her mare, Raisin.

“Team Mare”

Mares are often considered spirited, highly dominant and feisty but in the grand scheme of competing, are these necessarily bad traits?

“A mare will work harder for you than any gelding will” says Dominique Winpenny, SPILLERS Nutritionist. “I own both a mare and a gelding and although mares can be fiery and unpredictable, they are extremely competitive and brave. My gelding, Colin, is often spooky, anxious and unwilling whereas my mare, Raisin, knows her job and is a machine when we go out hunting and eventing.

Rachel with her mare, Paige.

Rachel with her mare, Paige.

Unbreakable bonds

Agreeing with Dominique is SPILLERS Digital Marketing Manager, Rachel, who explains “My warmblood mare, Paige, is extremely loyal and truly values our bond. Geldings I have owned in the past are happy for anyone to look after them, whereas Paige will only run over to me when I call her from the field. It’s the small things like that which make having a mare worth the mood swings!”

Clash of the hormones!


Gina and her gelding, Gally.

On the flipside an uncooperative, stroppy mare is about as bearable to some owners as flies are in summer! Someone who struggles to tolerate the hormonal outbursts of a mare is SPILLERS Nutritionist, Gina. “From my experience, a gelding will eventually give in. I love how cuddly and easy-going my Trakehner, Gally is” says Gina, “He loves nothing more than a good grooming session and a scratch on the bum. I think there would be a big personality clash between myself and a mare!”

“You can tell a gelding but you have to ask a mare”

Having owned both geldings and mares in my lifetime, I find that geldings are considerably more reliable, affectionate and generally cooperative. On the contrary, I’m a firm believer that although a good bond with a mare is quite rare to come by, once you have that mutual trust and respect, you can just about conquer anything!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, are you team mare or team gelding?

Let us know in the comments below!