7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips: Choosing the Gender of Your Horse

The purchase of a horse is an extraordinary adventure that requires careful consideration. When embarking on such a project, various criteria demand attention, such as age, level, and notably, the gender of horses.

How does one choose between a mare, a gelding, or a stallion?

  •   Is it better to get a boy or girl horse?
  •   What gender of the horse is best for beginners?
  •   Which horse is more friendly male or female?
  •   Do horses prefer female riders?
7 Horse Shopping Tips Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips Choosing the Gender of Horses (5)

The choice between a male (stallion or gelding) or female (mare) horse often depends on individual preferences, the horse's temperament, and the intended use. Here are considerations for each question:

Is it better to get a boy or girl horse?

There is no definitive answer as both male and female horses can make excellent companions. The decision may depend on personal preferences, the horse's temperament, and the specific needs of the owner.

What gender of horses is best for beginners?

In general, many beginners find that a well-trained, calm, and experienced horse, regardless of gender, is suitable for learning. The individual temperament of the horse and its training are often more important factors than gender.


Which horse is more friendly, male or female?

Friendliness is not strictly determined by gender but rather by the individual horse's personality and early life experiences. Some mares, geldings, and stallions can be equally affectionate and friendly. Early socialization and positive interactions with humans play a significant role in a horse's friendliness.

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

Do horses prefer female riders?

Horses do not inherently prefer riders of a specific gender. A horse's response to a rider is influenced by the rider's skill, confidence, and communication. Horses can form strong bonds with riders of any gender based on consistent and positive interactions.


When choosing a horse, it's essential to consider the following:

  •   Temperament: Look for a horse with a calm and trainable temperament, regardless of gender.
  •   Experience: Beginners often benefit from a horse with some training and experience, regardless of whether it's a mare, gelding, or stallion.
  •   Personal Preference: Some people may have a preference for one gender over the other based on their experiences or individual comfort level. It's essential to choose a horse that matches the rider's skill level and comfort.
  •   Training and Socialization: A horse's early training and socialization can influence its behavior more than its gender. Evaluate a horse's training and experiences when considering its suitability.

the best horse for an individual, whether a beginner or experienced rider, matches the rider's skill level, temperament, and intended use. Working with a knowledgeable trainer or equine professional can help match riders with horses that suit their needs and preferences.

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

We provide some insights to help you make the right decision!

Why Buy a Gelding?

As you likely already know, a gelding is a male horse that has been castrated, rendering him incapable of reproduction. However, be aware that this doesn't eliminate his instinct to mate, especially if he has done so in the past.


Geldings are reputed to be more docile and calm compared to their counterparts. This is because castration prevents the hormonal surges experienced by stallions and mares. Exceptions exist, though, especially if the castration procedure was poorly executed.

Geldings are often chosen for school and equestrian center cavalry due to their ease of management. Among geldings, harmony prevails, simplifying logistics during lessons and paddock time. Given their milder temperament, these horses are generally entrusted to beginners and young riders in equestrian centers.

For a novice, purchasing a gelding appears to be a sensible choice, particularly if you've never owned a horse before. However, it's worth noting that at an equivalent skill level, a gelding may be more expensive than a mare or stallion due to the costs incurred by the previous owner (or breeder) for castration.

Why Buy a Stallion?

Firstly, it's crucial to define what a stallion is. A stallion is a male horse selected for breeding by competent authorities. An uncastrated male horse is not always a stallion; in such cases, it's referred to as an "entire" male. An entire male is a non-castrated male horse that hasn't been approved for reproduction.

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses


Due to their hormones, stallions can be more muscular and robust than geldings. However, they may also possess a more spirited temperament. Handling a stallion or an entire male requires assertiveness and the ability to set boundaries.

If you're considering a stallion, extra caution is needed around mares, especially during their heat cycles. Keep a reasonable distance as controlling your horse might prove challenging!

These horses defy generalizations. Some entire males are gentle and easy to handle and work with. Nevertheless, opting for an entire male or a stallion is not recommended for beginners. A minimum level of expertise in handling both on the ground and under saddle is necessary.

Imagine working with a stallion in an arena surrounded by three mares, one of whom is in heat. While it may go smoothly, it could also pose challenges. Experience in handling horses is essential to navigate such situations!

The real challenge often lies in accommodation. Not all stables accept stallions, or they may confine them to stalls throughout the day. This is problematic as stallions, like other horses, require regular turnout for balance and a pleasant demeanor. Some stallions adapt well to herd life, whether or not mares are present. It's a matter of habit.


If you're considering buying an entire male or a stallion, survey the stables near you first. This ensures that your horse can be housed under favorable conditions before making the purchase.

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

Why Buy a Mare?

Rarely sterilized, a mare is essentially an entire female, akin to a stallion. She undergoes a more or less regular hormonal cycle that can influence her temperament.

In some mares, heat cycles can be painful, making them exceptionally sensitive. These are referred to as "ovarian" mares. During heat, a mare may be challenging to work with.

She might seek attention from any passing male or, conversely, become highly temperamental, intolerant of any equine approaching too closely. Others may exhibit no signs of discomfort during this period.

With often more character than a gelding, a mare, like a stallion, can be as challenging to manage and sometimes unpredictable. The saying goes that a mare can give you everything one day and nothing the next.

This potential variability can be advantageous in competitions!

Bear in mind that these are generalizations. At times, mares are much easier to handle than certain geldings prone to imaginary threats.

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

Buying a mare also opens the possibility of breeding her one day, whether for breeding purposes or merely to have a foal from your beloved mare. It's a compelling factor to consider!

Still Hesitating?

Despite our explanations, if you're still uncertain about choosing your horse's gender, perhaps it's simply not the most crucial criterion!

It's always preferable to buy a horse that perfectly suits you (or close to it) rather than choosing between a mare or a stallion, even if it's not an ideal match. Just like us, each horse has its unique personality. Given this, it's challenging to precisely determine which gender is suitable for which rider.

Our advice? When trying out a horse, listen to your feelings and trust your intuition. Don't hesitate to try it several times to confirm your gut feelings. It's the best way to avoid regrets later. Perhaps your feelings will guide you toward a gender you hadn't initially considered!

If the horse's gender is genuinely important to you, reflect on the horses that left an impression on you in the past. Were they predominantly mares, geldings, or stallions? This reflection might assist you in making your decision.

In any case, seek guidance during the horse-buying process. Consult experienced riders around you for advice. While the horse's gender is significant, don't forget to pay particular attention to other criteria such as your horse's health and background.

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

Are racing horses male or female?

Both male and female horses participate in horse racing. In Thoroughbred racing, one of the most prominent types of horse racing, both colts (young males) and fillies (young females) compete. There are races specifically designated for each gender, as well as races where both males and females compete against each other.

Here's a breakdown:

  1. Colts (Males): Male horses that have not been gelded (castrated) are called colts. Colts compete in various races, including those exclusively for males and mixed-gender races.
  2. Fillies (Females): Female horses are called fillies until they reach the age of four. Fillies have their races, and they also compete against colts in certain races.
  3. Mares (Females over four years old): Female horses that are four years old or older are referred to as mares. Mares, like fillies, may compete in races specifically for females or against males in certain events.
  4. Geldings (Castrated Males): Some male horses are gelded, meaning they have been castrated. Geldings are not used for breeding and are often known for their calm temperament. They can also participate in various races, including mixed-gender events.

Horse racing organizations often organize races based on age, gender, and sometimes experience levels. Major horse racing events, such as the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, include races for both male and female horses.

Each gender has its own set of prestigious races, and some events, like the Breeders' Cup, feature races where the best horses, regardless of gender, compete against each other.

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

The inclusion of both genders in racing reflects the diversity of talent and performance among horses, irrespective of their sex.

Are American Quarter Horses Good for Beginners?

Yes, American Quarter Horses (AQH) are often considered excellent choices for beginners due to their gentle temperament, versatility, and calm disposition. Here are several reasons why American Quarter Horses are well-suited for beginners:

  •   Temperament: American Quarter Horses are known for their even temperament and calm nature. They are generally easygoing and patient, making them well-suited for riders who are learning and gaining confidence.
  •   Versatility: AQHs are highly versatile and can excel in various disciplines, including Western riding, trail riding, pleasure riding, and even some English disciplines. Their adaptability makes them suitable for riders with different interests.
  •   Intelligence: Quarter Horses are known for their intelligence and ability to quickly learn and understand cues. This trait is beneficial for beginners as they start to communicate with the horse through basic riding commands.
  •   Sturdiness and Strength: With a solid build and muscular structure, Quarter Horses provide a stable and comfortable ride for beginners. Their strength can instill confidence in riders, especially those who are new to handling horses.
  •   Smooth Gaits: The breed is known for its smooth gaits, which can enhance the comfort of the rider, especially for those who are still developing their balance and riding skills.
  •   Ample Training Opportunities: Due to their popularity, American Quarter Horses are often readily available and come with various levels of training. Beginners can find horses with basic training to more experienced horses suitable for novice riders.
  •   Patient Nature: Many Quarter Horses exhibit a patient and forgiving nature, making them well-suited for riders who may make mistakes or require time to build their riding skills.

When considering a horse for a beginner, it's essential to assess the individual horse's temperament, training, and overall suitability for the rider's experience level. Additionally, working with experienced trainers or instructors can help match beginners with the right American Quarter Horse and provide guidance as they develop their riding skills.

Male Or Female Horse: The Pros And Cons Of Each

The choice between a male (stallion or gelding) and a female (mare) horse involves various considerations, and both genders have their pros and cons. Here's a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of each:

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

the gender of horses, Male Horse (Stallion or Gelding):

the gender of horses, Pros:

Geldings (Castrated Males):

Calm Temperament: Geldings are often known for having a more even temperament as compared to stallions.

Easier to Manage: Castration typically reduces hormonal behaviors, making geldings more manageable and suitable for various riders.


Potential for Breeding: If breeding is a consideration, a stallion provides the opportunity to produce foals.

Athleticism: Some stallions are chosen for their exceptional athleticism and may excel in certain disciplines.

the gender of horses, Cons:


Limited Breeding Potential: Geldings cannot reproduce, which might be a consideration if breeding is a goal.

Varied Temperaments: While geldings are generally more even-tempered, individual personalities can vary.


Hormonal Behaviors: Stallions can exhibit hormonal behaviors, such as aggression or distractibility, especially around mares.

Additional Training Required: Managing a stallion requires experienced handling and additional training.

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

7 Horse Shopping Tips & Choosing the Gender of Horses

the gender of horses, Female Horse (Mare):

the gender of horses, Pros:

Reproductive Potential:

Breeding Capability: Mares can be used for breeding and producing foals if desired.

Motherly Instincts: Some mares display strong maternal instincts and make excellent broodmares.

Consistent Temperament:

Steadier Temperament: Mares, especially those that are not in estrus, can have consistent and steady temperaments.

the gender of horses, Cons:

Reproductive Considerations:

Estrus Cycles: Mares go through estrus cycles, which can sometimes result in mood changes and distractibility.

Potential for Heat Behavior: Some mares may exhibit behaviors associated with being in heat, which can be distracting.

Breeding Responsibilities:

Pregnancy and Foaling: If a mare is used for breeding, there are additional responsibilities associated with pregnancy and foaling.

It's important to note that individual temperament, training, and health are critical factors that can override generalizations based on gender.

A well-trained and suitable individual horse, regardless of gender, is often more important than focusing solely on gender when selecting a horse.

 Additionally, the specific goals of the owner, such as breeding, competition, or recreational riding, should also influence the decision. Working with experienced professionals, such as trainers or veterinarians, can provide valuable guidance in selecting the right horse based on individual needs and preferences.

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