Monthly Archives: April 2012

Sex and the Single Horse

When I started this I had intended to blog weekly, but unfortunately I got sidetracked last week by a health issue that may make that problematic. Please do check back and I’ll try to not go too long between posts.

There is an old horseman’s saying: You can tell a gelding what to do, should ask a mare and must negotiate with a stallion.  I think something similar can be said about dealing with people.

A gelding is a male horse that’s been neutered. As such, he’s no longer ruled by his hormones and tends to be more even tempered. Most horses are gelded when they are quite young and often remain “child-like” with a relaxed and playful attitude toward life. Of course, breed and personality influence things too. Some are bred to be hot and excited, such as the thoroughbred, and some are bred to be laid back and cooperative, such as draft horses. But in general, a gelding is easier to deal with.

A mare, on the other hand, is quite influenced by hormones. From early Spring to late Fall, she comes into season about every 21 days unless she is impregnated. For some this is a big deal and they can be unpleasant or irritating to deal with. Most just get a little touchy and distracted. And just like with people, when someone isn’t feeling their best or isn’t attentive, it’s not wise to try to force an issue. Also because of the biological imperative to have babies, mares tend to have a more serious attitude toward life. This means they can get insulted quite easily. That can provoke a sullen shutdown, fearful withdrawal or determined resistance depending on their personality. But their mothering instinct is also a big plus. They want to cooperate and please and most will try their hardest for you if you ask nicely.

Stallions have one purpose in life – to breed and protect their mares and babies.  They are the ultimate alpha males. As such they can be quite difficult to live with and that’s why most males are gelded. Given how powerful and determined they are, you don’t want to provoke a fight. It won’t end well. All horses need to be taught to respect and obey humans, and this is vitally important with a stallion. The scent of a mare in season can turn an untrained stud into a dangerous time bomb and be a potent distraction for the well-trained. So, you have to take into account the forces driving them and figure out how to negotiate their cooperation. The results can be spectacular.

Do these descriptions remind you of people you know or characters you are writing about? Who are the happy-go-lucky people in your life? How do you handle the moody characters? Any alpha males that need kid gloves?

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New Beginnings

When I was a little kid I had no fear of horses.  In fact, I would get furious if someone tried to convince me that they could hurt me. This lack of fear was reinforced by my mother allowing me to play with a herd of mares and foals that lived in a field near us. The mares recognized that I was a baby and were very careful around me. And the foals let me pet and play with them even though they wouldn’t let anyone else near. Of course now as an adult and with lots of horse experience, I think my mom was crazy, but she didn’t know any better at that time.

A few years later, the horse my sister was riding kicked at my horse and got me instead. I have a small scar on my left leg as a memento. However, this didn’t change my mind about my equine friends. I knew he wasn’t trying to hurt me. I just got in the way. But I did learn to be more careful around them. Oddly enough the same thing happened again about 15 years ago. A nasty tempered beast let fly at my horse, got me instead and almost put me in the hospital. I still love and have horses–but I won’t get near that kicker.

As a result of working around horses, riding trails, competing in various events I had very little physical fear, unlike most girls my age. That gave me a confidence to try new things and an openness to new ideas. Unfortunately, my experience with people made me less willing to reveal these ideas to others. It has taken a long time to develop the guts to expose myself. And of course, that is what this blog will do.

I’ve always loved to write and was good at it. I worked as a technical writer for software and I’ve done magazine and newspaper articles. But now I’m putting myself out there with my first love–fiction. I hope my stories will be well received and others will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.




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