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alp3206

Genders of horses and intelligence.

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I've always heard that geldings are dumb but dependable. Mares are smart but crafty and conniving. Stallions are smart but dangerous.

What do you think? What gender was the smartest horse you've ever been around? What's the basis for this "stereotype?"

I've had 4 mares, one gelding. Mare was my first horse- couldn't catch her, evil mare, but once you got on her, she was as smart as can be. Neighbor's stallion jumped the fence got her pregnant. Filly. Stupidest horse I've ever been around. Sweet as can be, but stupid as all get out. Had another filly she was crazy when she was young. Now she's a little girls horse. Bought my barrel mare. Temperamental, stubborn witch, but she was too smart for her own good.

My current horse is Lasher, the only gelding I've ever actually owned. He's the sweetest thing, well-behaved, and SMART. He's playful, crafty and intelligent. But, stubborn when he wants to be.

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My mare is smart. Loves my attention. She would do most anything for me-except cross a foot wide stream. Took half hour and I won! She can be a little stubborn. My husband said we were made for each other [Huggy]

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The hardest-trying, AND craftiest horses I've ever ridden have been stallions. You get a good one and you have found the creme de la creme of rides.

If you can get a mare to try for you, you are not far below the rider on the compliant stallion.

But give me a dumb gelding every time. A GREAT gelding will generally beat a mediocre mare or stallion. And GREAT geldings with decent attitude and the ability to do their prescribed job safely and with some level of competence are much more common than mares or stallions that EXCEL at their profession.

So basically, I think mares and stallions have the propensity to be better, but the steadiness of a gelding evens out the field to a certain extent....

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My gelding is the friggen craftiest thing I have ever ridden, my chestnut mare was the biggest trier ever who required much less special treatment than the gelding. I think these stereotypes are just that.

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The things that mares and stallions have that geldings dont have are hormones lol. Geldings (generally) dont have a side agenda like mares and stallions do. That said, I am and always will be a mare person. I have owned 8 mares and 4 geldings, out of them I have had 1 mare that was basically unmanageable, and 1 gelding that was too. I have a mare now that is not the most plesant horse on the ground, but she truely has a heart of gold. Even as smart and cunning as she is, I trust her with the most novice of riders and the smallest riders. I am not a stallion person, out of the many I have met, there are only 3 I actually felt safe standing with in a few feet of lol.

[ 02-02-2008, 06:43 PM: Message edited by: audrey-mae ]

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I've never ridden a stallion and actually expected it to learn anything, so I will leave them out of my evaluations.

But I guess with that said, I am a fence sitter! [big Grin] My gelding is my heart, but he's not the smartest horse. He's not dumb, I've just known more crafty ponies in my time. My mare is the absolute most willing horse I've ever seen. If I had to put one above the other in intelligence.....I'm not sure I could pick. They are both....just different. I don't think gender has much to do with it.

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quote:

Originally posted by city-gal:

Why do I have the feeling this actually represents humans too?

That's proubly true, although I've never really meet a castrated man before so I couldn't say for geldings.

It proubly has something to do with the hormones. Testosterone make them more agresive, and all the million hormones mares, and women, have make the more likely to be moody and unpredictable. But of course there is exceptions.

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The 3 smartest, most willing, hardest working horses I have ever owned were my 3 Arabian stallions. The sneakiest, worst to handle, smart but completely unwilling horse I have ever had to deal with (and still do, every day) is a QH/Paint gelding.

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I don't think a horses intelligence has anything to do with it's gender. I've seen smart ones and dumb ones of all 3. Just like people. That would be of the "2" sexes with people...

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I don't agree with that. If those stereotypes are true, then I have a gelding who is a mare/stallion combo. He's absolutely not dumb; more like crafty and conniving. He's very smart and knows how to get out of things. He can also be very stallion-like. You really don't want to get into a battle of wills with him. He will always always win. He's very headstrong and will fight you and fight you until it's over.

He absolutely doesn't fit until that typical gelding stereotype.

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I agree its just a sterotype (sp?) All of my best horses have been all 3 My gelding now was a great stallion i kept him a stud till he was 3. He was and still is willing, smart and will give you his whole heart the only differnce in him now that hes a gelding is hes not worried about mares around him like others have said he doesnt have another agenda. The one mare i have ever owned was a great horse gentle willing and smart and all so coniving (sp?). every horse i have owned that my dad got me as i was growinng up were all geldings. very gentle easy going and smart. I just dont get how people say that when you geld a stallion that it turns the horse dumb? how so? its the same animals isnt it? just doesnt have other things on its mind and a little more willing to give you all of there attention.

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In my experience, geldings are extremely intelligent - they're just more mellow, so are compliant.

Both Dusty and Hunter are smarter than you'd imagine - they catch onto things quickly, they can solve problems (like, how to get out of their pens and open the other ones [Roll Eyes] ), and they're very quick learners under saddle.

The difference between those two and my mare, Sassy, is that they'll use those skills FOR me and do what I ask - whereas she'll sit there and MAKE me force her to do something.

What's that old saying? You tell a gelding, ask a mare, and discuss it with a stallion. Holds true in my experiences.

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I've known some pretty smart geldings. Like smart enough to act totally compliant, but then pick the lock on the feedroom door when you leave the room. (or almost)

I have seen that stallions seem a lot more aggressive (haven't worked with any myself, only observed), but some were also very stupid while aggressive.

Mares seem "lunatic" as the french say and doesn't exactly mean crazy- it means moody, tendancy to change in behavior from one day to the next.

Those things seem to be explained easily by hormone levels. But not having much to do with intelligence.

Something I have heard said of mares, and that I would agree with, is that it is hard to win them over, but once you do, they will give you all they've got.

But that might be true of any horse that has a strong personality.

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quote:

Originally posted by ozland:

The 3 smartest, most willing, hardest working horses I have ever owned were my 3 Arabian stallions. The sneakiest, worst to handle, smart but completely unwilling horse I have ever had to deal with (and still do, every day) is a QH/Paint gelding.

i don't understand you and your breed agenda. most of the "breed fights" that i've been in have had you right at the center. the only person on this whole post to even mention breeds, when we're talking about gender.

enough said about that.

i have a gelding with "big dumb gelding" syndrome. when i can honestly say that it's the opposite. he's smart and crafty, and i call him dumb because it means more work for me. [big Grin] i probably will always call him dumb, though, so that just feeds the stereotype.

everyone's posting such varied results that i actually don't think the stereotype exists at all.

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I've dealt with all genders and agree with everyone that the stereotype really doesn't fit every horse. I've owned two mares and like Bluesma said once you win them over they'll give you their heart. Most people, in my opinion, don't want to take the time to win them over and that's where they run into problems with their mares. I've also owned three geldings and only one fit the "dumb" stereotype. He's as willing as anything, but just doesn't seem to have that extra "heart" that my mares do/did. The other two were smart and probably the most conniving, playful, funny horses I've ever run across. I've dealt with a few young stallions and they are chalk full of personality and intelligence and provided you aren't trying to force them to do anything and they understand what it is you want them to do, they seemed to be willing enough to give it a try. Of course all of this is only in my experience and there's no way I could speak for every horse out there.

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I don't think gender has anything to do with it, it's just each animal. [Confused]

Stallions are indeed, pretty darn smart but they are not always dangerous.

The mare we leased could spot her farrier's truck all the way at the end of the road, although other trucks like that came in all the time. You see, he gave her lots of cookies [Wink] We always knew when he was coming because she would tell everyone so [big Grin]

Once, at a wet rainy cold show, we had her in a stall with a cooler on and, as newbies, weren't quite sure about leading her in the driving rain and wind to the trailer. We cautiously got her out of her stall, then she, at a trot, dragged Katy over to the trailer and jumped in saying "Take me home to my warm dry barn!" [ROTFL] In many ways, she taught US how to take care of her. [Not Worthy]

There's lots of geldings at our barn, and some of them are pretty smart [Razz]

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quote:

i don't understand you and your breed agenda. most of the "breed fights" that i've been in have had you right at the center. the only person on this whole post to even mention breeds, when we're talking about gender.

Huh? [shocked] Um, lemme see, I've been around this site for about two years and have yet to see a breed "fight" much less one that has Oz at the center of it.

quote:

enough said about that.

More than enough.

Getting past that, I don't think gender has anything to do with intelligence. Ability to focus, concentrate, maybe, but not intelligence.

Breeding (and that may include breed) has much more to do with intelligence than just about anything else.

JMO

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OUr gelding very smrt, learns quickly respect us.Very wel lmannered.

Our bay mare- is also very quiet,smart, inteligent, verywell mannered but simore crafty thatn our gelding.She is the houdini.

OUr othermare blm mustang is very samrt, veryalet, around her surroudings ,is the boss, she can be very cagey, but is verysweet tempered, well mannered as well.

Our Filly ,thebaby loves attentions, is also a very quick learner.., calm msot of the tiem can get impatient that is due to her being 2 yearsold.

All our horses are smart...each in their own way..

all are very repsonsive

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i love dumb and dependable! lol i mean i love my gelding....

i would call him dependable...not so much dumb but he definitely isn't conniving. he enjoys the simple things in life and has no plans to complicate things. he will try anything i ask with his whole heart definitely dependable.

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Count in my field:

12 mares

2 geldings

I don't know if it is intelligence or something else, but mares tend to be more suited to polo. It is a contact sport and it seems that often geldings tend to back down to the mares. Not always, but often.

The mares know what is going on all the time and my geldings spend their time playing bite face with each other.

[Confused]

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I'm getting to ride a trainer's stallion sometime in the next month or so... I told him I'd never ridden a reining horse and so he's gonna put me on this massive beast, who by the way is a sweetheart when I visit his stall.

I know they have alternate agendas, but stallions seem so bright most of the time.

I don't know about the dumb part about geldings, but they seem duller to me. I've trained a couple and they just don't seem to get excited about doing anything. Not fighting excited, like happy excited.

The mare's I've trained, if you can get them to listen to you for a little while and get them to love their job, they are wonderful. IF they don't ever do that, forget it. THey're not going to come around. They may do their job, but they'll be miserable doing it.

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I have owned numerous mares & one gelding. Give me a gelding any time! My gelding is smart, & would run himself in the ground for me or walk thru fire. I just cannot say enough good things about him. I also have 2 mares at this time, my mare that I trail ride sometimes, is sweet & loving & stuborn ! I will never own another mare.

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IMO, it isn't about intelligence, it is about motivation. I think horses who are more hormonally driven (mares and stallions) often seem smarter because their hormones drive them to "act", where as a gelding may be just as smart if not smarter but he has less instinctual drive to put that intellect into use.

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I posted a while back about "What Makes One Horse Smarter Than Another"

And I decided - in the end - that "smartness in a horse" seems to be quite difficult to quantify for the most part.

Even when I read here the words that people are using to "describe" the smartness of their horse or lack thereof.

"try"

"heart"

"willingness"

Is that how we would figure out if a HUMAN is smart or not?

I'm thinking that if you scrape away all the peripheral stuff - what you're left with for the most part is how well the horse and rider match.

I actually match quite well with a dumb horse [Crazy]

"Dumb" in my mind being a non-confrontational non-testing it's position in the herd do what you're asked methodical beast with light sides.

[Wink]

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Both my mare and gelding are smart.

But my mare is more crafty and puts more effort into finding ways around things I think.

They are smart in different ways, but I would have to put my mare on top.

It's been the same through the years, I HAVE found my mares "smarter"

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