Study: Mares Not “More Difficult” Than Geldings
What’s the best dressage horse: a gelding or a mare?
If you think a mare isn’t the best fit for dressage—or any other equine sport—you might be one of a large population of riders with a horse gender bias. In other words, you might think mares aren’t fit for some disciplines—such as dressage and eventing, for example—or that they are less reliable under saddle. But according to results of a new study involving more than 1,200 riders and their horses, mares don’t behave any differently under saddle than geldings.
“There’s always this qualifier when people describe mares, like ‘A good mare is hard to beat,’ or, ‘She’s a great mare, on a good day,’” said Kate Fenner, PhD candidate at the Sydney School of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, in Australia. “We keep believing mares are different, and we go into the horse-human relationship with these preconceived notions, and we can then jump to conclusions about her not behaving the way we want her to. But what we’ve found is that mares are no different under saddle from
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