Moody, tricky, stubborn — mares have to put up with a lot of bad press. But before we start feeling too sorry for them, Andrea Oakes meets the mares living up to their stereotype wholeheartedly

‘She just says NOPE!’

“I’ve owned my eventing mare for six years now. Normally she’s a complete cross-country machine, but when she’s feeling extra-mareish she sometimes just says ‘NOPE!’ In our last event of 2016 she refused the ditch part of a combination and then got in such a tizzy that she refused another couple jumps. This resulted in us getting eliminated for the first time ever. Embarrassing!” Mirelle Radley

‘Honey won’t take any rubbish’

“My 18-year-old mare, Honey, is an angel with people but won’t take any rubbish from any horse in her field. Her fieldmate Chloe started this by raising a leg, but Honey proceeded to handstand about six times in a row.”
Bianca Tella

‘The epitome of the comedian mareish mare’

“While everyone else had lovely show day photos of their horses at the Appaloosa Nationals, my mare Lavender decided to get down and roll on the rubber and sand surface. Lavender, also known as ‘Cowbag’ and ‘Spotbag’ by everyone who has met her, is the epitome of the comedian mareish mare – a tart to end all tarts and happy to get her own way, by hook or by crook. You can tell I love her to bits…” Jude Robinson

‘She would totally explode’

“My little palomino, Hope, is now backed, ridden away and going really well, but she would totally explode every time she had a roller on. She has actually turned out to be a very quiet ride, surprisingly.” Abby Barker

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‘She makes life a little more interesting’

“Misty, my very own moody mare, has the attitude of Attila the Hun with the disposition of a coiled cobra. Loving and sweet, if you like chewing lightbulbs, but she sure makes life a little more interesting…” Bettina Snowdon

‘I just laugh at her general sassiness’

“When Indie is feeling aggrieved, she kicks over her water, picks up the bucket and throws it over the door. She then picks up the tyre it sits in and throws that against the wall. I’ve learned that if you argue with her she’s only going to be the winner, so now I just laugh at her general sassiness. She once bit my iPhone from my hand as I was talking on it, but I wouldn’t trade her for the world.” Vanessa Murnaghan

Don’t miss our mares special issue, out today (2 February 2017), where we look at ways to help manage your mares and whether you have the right temperament to ride one