stallion vs mare

Understanding Horse Behavior: Mares vs. Stallions

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Blog

You know as well as I do that when it comes to horse-talk, we have our unique lingo. A “mare”, that’s a female horse over three years old, and a “stallion”? That’s a non-neutered adult male horse. These aren’t just fancy terms; they’re clues to understanding our horses’ behavior patterns. Trust me, it’s all about the biology and hormones.

If you’ve got anything to do with horses – owning them, training them, or just adoring them – knowing how mares and stallions behave is essential. I’ve found that this understanding doesn’t just help in training or handling them; it also helps in forming a strong bond with these splendid creatures.

The ABCs of Horse Behavior

Now, every horse, mare or stallion, is a social animal at heart. They have their own way of communicating – body language, vocal sounds, even gentle physical interactions. As someone who’s spent a lotof time around horses, I’ve had to learn their language. It’s interesting to see how their instincts as prey animals can make them perceive certain situations as threatening, leading to anxiety and, at times, fear-based behaviors.

Related: Gelding vs Stallion: What’s the Difference and Which is Right for You?

If you’re curious about this, check out “Horse Behavior Explained: Origins, Treatment, and Prevention of Problems”. It’s a wealth of information, offering some fascinating insights into why horses behave the way they do, plus it’s got practical solutions to common behavioral issues.

All about Mares

Alright, let’s talk mares. They’re often more complex and sensitive than the boys. They’re fiercely protective of their foals and form close bonds with other horses. But here’s the kicker: their behavior can swing wildly throughout their hormonal cycle.

Ever noticed a mare getting unusually moody? That usually happens during her fertility periods, a phase us horse owners affectionately call “marish”. It’s a roller-coaster ride that we need to strap in for.

A supplement like Happ-E-Mare Equine Supplement could be your lifesaver here. It’s a mix of vitamins and minerals that help keep mares calm. A real boon, if you ask me.

What about Stallions?

Stallions, on the other hand, are generally more dominant, territorial even, driven by their instinct to breed and assert their status. But, they can also show their sweet side, forming bonds with their owners and trainers. A true Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation.

Stallion behavior is largely testosterone-driven. High levels of this hormone can turn up their aggressive behaviors, especially around mares. So, managing these testosterone-fueled antics is crucial.

A product like Quietex II Pellets – Horse Calming Supplement could be a real game-changer here. It helps keep stallions calm and reduces unwanted behaviors. Phew!

Mares vs Stallions: The Showdown

Both mares and stallions have plenty in common as horses, but their unique biological and hormonal characteristics set them apart. Mares with their emotional, maternal nature can be mood-variable due to their hormonal cycles. Stallions, with testosterone as their co-pilot, can display dominant and territorial tendencies. But, each one of them has a depth of complex behaviors that reveal their intelligence.

Knowing these distinctions can help us tailor our approach to meet each horse’s needs. I’ve found that being patient with a mare during her “marish” periods, or devising a training program for a stallion to channel his energy safely, can lead to more effective training, better horse care, and stronger bonds.

Looking to learn more? Try reading “Understanding the Ancient Secrets of the Horse’s Mind”. It offers some awesome insights into the psychological aspects of horse behavior.

The Magic of Training

Training, done right, can do wonders in shaping a horse’s behavior. It can redirect their natural instincts into useful behaviors, nix those unwanted actions, and forge a strong bond between horse and handler. Trust me, training methods that respect the horse’s natural instincts, communication style, and individual behavioral quirks can create a calm, confident horse.

One resource I swear by is Clinton Anderson’s Downunder Horsemanship. It’s a comprehensive training program that covers everything from understanding horse psychology to troubleshooting problem behaviors, useful for both mares and stallions.


Over my years with horses, I’ve learned that understanding their behavioral patterns isn’t just bookish knowledge. It’s about empathy, respecting their natural instincts, and adapting our methods to suit their unique behaviors. When we get this right, we create an environment where both mares and stallions can flourish. And isn’t that the endgame? Happy horses, happy us!

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Emily Wilson</a>

Emily Wilson

I'm from the very heart of Kentucky, you know, the place folks think of when they talk about horse love. Had the luck of growing up smack dab in the middle of some of the most awesome horse spots you'd ever see. Can't imagine starting my day any other way than being in that homely barn, waist-deep in horse stuff. My routine? It's a bit of everything really - taking care of the horses, bonding with them, you name it.

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