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I don't know if it's a more general fact, but in most stables I visited, I have observed that there were more mares than stallions or geldings. Typically in a group of ~7 horses I'd notice one or two males, the rest would be females. I think the only place where stallions outnumbered mares was a stallion stud farm, where this was a kind of focus/purpose of the establishment, and I wonder if this is just my confirmation bias or result of some artificial selection, or are horses naturally more inclined to produce female offspring.

Can someone confirm or debunk and explain this observation?

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    $\begingroup$ Did you do any research on this, and can you share what you found? I only know from a couple of horse trainers I know that stallions are harder to control. Hence the prevalence of geldings. $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2017 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ It's often the case, as mentioned, that stallions are harder to control, even dangerous - and so people elect not to keep as many (or have them gelded). For breeding purposes you don't need as many stallions as you do mares, since one is easily able to service several mares. $\endgroup$
    – Joe Healey
    Aug 5, 2017 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ I can attest to these claims. My grandparents have a (Rocky mountain) horse farm, and he only keeps one stallion (named "Prince") from where it's so aggressive and territorial. No other horses are pinned in the same field as the stallion, and he kind of just does his own thing. Much more difficult to take care of, given these behavioral habits. $\endgroup$
    – user22020
    Aug 5, 2017 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeHealey: I'm specifically seeking male:female disparity; I know the number of ungelded stallions is low, but I'm finding male population in general to be small. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Aug 5, 2017 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse: female: male populations: Zabierzow stable: about ~8f:3m. "Pegasus" riding club stable: ~7f:2m. Private stable in Kokotow: 3f:0m. Rudawka Rymanowska: 4f:1m. Wernejowka: ~12f:4m. Stable south or Tarnow: 8f:2m. "Natural Horsemanship" stable in Krakow: 6f:1m. Private stable near Lomza: 4f:1m. State stallion stud in Klikowa was a big stable with ~120 horses had about 60% male population but that's a rough estimate, I didn't count. That's different breeds, different purposes, I'm bundling all stallions+geldings as 'male' $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Aug 5, 2017 at 16:59

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My guess is the same reason you see a 30 chickens in farmer brown's backyard coop, but only one rooster.

Because, like joe Healy said, stallions and roosters both have testosterone, and that gives them a short fuse.

Also, because a stallion can mate a horse any day of the week, but mares can only have sex when they're not already pregnant or infertile.

Consider the reverse situation. If there are a ton of stallions and one mare, and the mare gets impregnated by one of the stallions, all the other stallions have to wait for the baby horse to be delivered before they can mate again. With one stallion and a bunch of mates, though, you can get as much baby horses as there are mares!

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  • $\begingroup$ This would be a possible reason if horses were more popular as meat stock; but especially with the new restrictions on transport horse meat industry is a small margin (and I haven't heard of euthanizing male foals - meanwhile on egg farms, newly hatched chickens are sorted and all males are ground up into feeder, almost immediately after hatching.) So while the economy could suggest this bias, that doesn't explain where all these unwanted geldings go. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Aug 8, 2017 at 13:19

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