Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Geldings are from Mars...

Today, as my recovery from spin class torture, I took it easy on myself. I didn't head out to the barn and plan to work my heart out on all three horses; instead, I loitered around the house until my double dose of advil kicked in and I could even begin to contemplate trying to get down the steps on my front porch. I did work Delight, but then contented myself to a hard core grooming for everyone else.

Delight was pretty darn good today (which was a plus, because every muscle in my body was still moaning- which was an improvement over the screaming that was happening this morning). Sure she was a little lookey n the 'scary' corner, and she was a tad on edge because there is a new horse in the 'lower' board turnout, so all of the group turnouts were running around and hollering. But, she relaxed and we had several good canter transitions, a very nice shoulder in to both directions at the trot and an excellent half pass at the walk. Oh, and her trot was nice and relaxed! Delight for the win!

Then, because I had the stamina of a limp noodle, I brushed and brushed and brushed. Delight leaned into the curry comb-until I started on the lower half of her belly, then she made that nasty 'mare face' and started to squirm til she figured out that I wasn't gong to let her boss me into only brushing her itchy neck and shoulders.  She fell asleep when I started pulling her mane. Her lower lip drooping, ears at half mast as I ripped hand fulls of hair out of her neck (but she looks so much better now). RC leaned into the curry comb for about the first five minutes, then he wanted to lip the brushes I had lined up on the stall or nose my back or chew on wood... Pretty much anything but stand still. He tolerated me picking out his tail and got really fussy when I tried to pull a hair or two out of his mane. Good thing he's follically challenged so that mane pulling will never be a top priority for perfect turnout. Tilly was last. She's not shedding yet, so she just got the body brush and lght currying to work out the dandruff and dead skin. She fell asleep, hip cocked, resting a leg, huge ears lopping to the side. She didn't move until I returned her to her pen.
 All of this grooming got me started thinking about the difference between mares and geldings...

You hear it all the time "Oh, I'm a gelding person" or "Oh, she's just being marish" or the ever popular "Oh, she's in heat; that's why she cant do XYZ".
Does the gender really play such a pivotal role in their personalities? Or is that just who they are and happen to be either mare or gelding (or stallion)?
Now, I like to think that I've been around quite a few horses in my life, and using that sample size... I'd say that it's just luck of the draw.
London pouts when he's being ignored and fusses when asked to work hard. He's sweet as pie on the ground.
Opie is bossy. Consistantly bossy. And will do anything to get the job done... Maybe not how her rider thought that the job needed to get done, but she'll get it done.
RC is pushy, but not an alpha horse. He's also not much of a thinker, if you know what I mean.
Delight is a loner, preferring people to other horses (read: RC). She prefers to work hard and will get a little silly if underworked. She's the one who will run to the fence to see you when you pull up after work.
Tilly is still somewhat of an unknown. She's very submissive, but tries very hard and is so proud of herself if she knows the answer.

I think gender is just a convenient excuse... At least for mare owners.

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