10 Things Mare Owners Know
Hi everyone, my names Tayah and I’m delighted to be apart of Tottie this year as one of their #Select17 girls! I’m 19 years old and am currently based in the South Leicestershire area where I live and work. Horses are a huge part of my life and I have been riding since I was 8 years old, I currently have a beautiful gypsy cob mare called Arabella who I’ve had for the best part of 2 years now. We are mostly just happy hackers but this year we are hoping to get out and about a little bit and try our hand (and hoof) at showing.
10 Things you’ll understand if you own a mare:
Mares- you either love them or you hate them, but here are 10 things you’ll definitely understand if you own a mare!
1) Mood Swings
Horses, like humans, each have their own personality. You pick up their individual quirks, their likes and dislikes and you learn to work around them. Seems pretty simple right? Wrong. Mares get these little things called mood swings and just like humans, they tend to be hormone related. One minute she wants you to scratch her ears and the next minute she wants to rip your arm off. You bring out the polos and she’s all sweetness and light, that’s until you’re taking to long to open them and you receive a swift head butt which near enough sends you flying across the yard.
2) Messy Stables
Without gender stereotyping, you tend to think that mares will be tidier than geldings- sometimes this is the case but for those of you have a messy mare, I fully sympathise with you. Don’t ask me how she does it but pooing 6 foot up the wall is no problem, that nice clean bucket of fresh water? Its basically a poop target. Remember those nice thick banks you’ve built in your stable? Don’t hold your breath, they’ll be flat in the morning. I mean, “that’s a nice hay net, it’d be a shame if someone were to rip it down and pee on it…” *cough *my mare *cough *
3) “That” time of the month
Mares come into season every 21 days. Some mares you wouldn’t even notice whereas others turn in to a rider eating, fire breathing dragon! The mood swings sky rocket, the attitude stinks and the level of sass is unreal. “Oh you wanted a nice peaceful ride? Well think again, I’m going to take you to the rodeo!” * bucks before the saddle even touches her back * If you do manage to get the saddle on, everything and I mean EVERYTHING becomes a potential love interest; “that sheep was definitely checking me out, hold tight mum, I’m just going to flash him”. And if she’s not flashing anything that moves, she’s going to be peeing. You can track me on a hack, all you have to do if follow the pee splashes…
4) Fashion police- its SO pink!
I don’t know about you, but the urge to plaster your mare in pink from head to hoof is unreal. I don’t even like pink. It just sort of happens :D and did somebody mention hoof glitter? Everybody loves a bit of sparkle. Matchy matchy sets are a really big thing at the moment so the saddle pad collection is growing, but you can’t have the saddle pad without the matching boots and if you’re going to have the boots then you need the bonnet, it makes sense right? You end up leaving the yard like you’ve just stepped out of an equestrian catalogue!
5) Personal space- it’s a bit of an issue
“Oooh is that your foot I’m standing on? I totally knew that and now I’m going to press down harder.”
“ Ah I see you are trying to pick my feet out, let me proceed to wipe my face all over your back. “
“Its time to poo pick? Let me help… I’ll just rub my back side on the barrow until it falls over and then when it does, I’ll act like it wasn’t me.”
But it can go either way…
“Oh is that my head collar you’ve got hidden behind your back? Let me run you ragged for the next 20 minutes. But wait… is that a carrot?! Lets not be hasty here”.
* cautiously walks towards me, stretches as far as her body will allow her, takes carrot, proceeds to spin and gallop off when said carrot is eaten * MARES!
6) I’m not needy… but don’t leave me!
My mare is a real git for this, she’ll stand in the field all day on her own like the loner that she is. If another horse walks up to her and wants to socialise, she’ll just squeal like a little pig and go and find another corner to stand in. However, if you take the other horse away from her all hell breaks loose! There’s frantic whinnying and snorting, there’s legs and mud flying everywhere and just a sheer sense of panic. The horse goes back in and all goes back to normal, she’s just like “oh its you, didn’t even notice you were gone”
7) Is that a camera?!
The camera comes out and so does the inner diva. She’s either all up for taking photos and posing or she’ll just want to show you her bum. There’s absolutely no in between. Some days she’ll be all majestic and dreamy and other times she’d quite like to head butt the camera out of your hands whilst pulling the most ridiculous of faces.
8) White legs? What are they?!
Now this doesn’t apply to all mares, mostly just coloureds and greys. It’s a little TMI but for those of you who don’t know, when in season, mares will secrete an icky orange fluid that smells awful and stains like nobody’s business. If you get lazy and don’t bother scrubbing it off, you will have major tantrums when it comes to show season and it looks like your mare as sat in a tub of baked beans!
9) You want me to do what?
You’ve probably heard of the saying that goes “Tell a gelding, ask a Mare” This could not be more true. Everything seems to be a negotiation when it comes to owning a mare, you literally have to think before you speak because a simple instruction could end up with you eating dirt! If I want to jump my mare, I’ll have to walk her up to the jump at least 3 times to make it absolutely clear that she must go over it… she’ll refuse it anyway but the point is I have to spell it out for her! Muddy puddles? No thank you. “I’ll roll in them in the field but I can’t possible step over one on a hack”… sigh
10) You wouldn’t change them for the world
Despite them being hormonal, temperamental and just down right crazy, you wouldn’t change them for the world. The bond you form with a mare really is something special, you learn to grow with each other and to understand one another’s demands. Owning a mare really is an experience and hopefully one you’ll never forget!