Mares and geld­ings

EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

I was get­ting my Horse­mas­ter’s De­gree and In­struc­tor’s Cer­tifi­cate when EQUUS 1 came out in 1977, and I’ve read ’em all.

I have a cou­ple of com­ments about “Cop­ing With a ‘Ma­cho’ Geld­ing”

(Con­sul­tants, EQUUS 476). Kather­ine Houpt, VMD, PhD, DACVB, ex­plained quite thor­oughly why some geld­ings ex­hibit stal­lion-like be­hav­ior. But I dis­agree with her on a cou­ple of other points.

For one, she states that, “Most males are dom­i­nant to mares.” I have not found this to be the case. Typ­i­cally, in a herd, there will be a “lead mare” who will have dom­i­nance over the other horses. It doesn’t mat­ter if the herd is 30 horses or three---there will be a boss, and it will be a mare.

Sec­ond, Houpt ad­vised the writer to keep mares and geld­ings apart. I know a lot of sta­bles do this, and I’m sure it keeps the peace. But I’ve al­ways held that mares and geld­ings have to in­ter­act on the horse trails, in the arena, at shows, in the barn aisle, etc., and they should learn the proper be­hav­ior in the pad­dock or pas­ture where they are free to ac­qui­esce or to as­sert dom­i­nance.

Thanks. I’m look­ing for­ward to even more years of read­ing EQUUS. Joanie Al­brecht-Stene Day­ton, Min­nesota

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