A Female Horse Is Called A...? All There Is To Know About Female Horses

Oluniyi Akande
Feb 29, 2024 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Nov 17, 2021
Beautiful horse foal chestnut filly with mare mother
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.3 Min

Humans have always had a range of words to describe the creatures that we interact with on a daily basis.

Cattle, steers, heifers, cows, ewes, rams, mares, stallions, and other animals are undoubtedly familiar to you. If any type of animal lives close enough to humans, you can guarantee that we will have come up with plenty of terms to describe it.

Horses with distinct reproductive situations are known as geldings and stallions. A horse has been one of the most closely associated animals with humans for about 4,000 years in documented history. The fundamental reason for horses' long and unbroken relationship with humans is their incredible capacity to assist humans in lightening their workload. Stallions, on the other hand, have played an important role in keeping horse numbers under check, as they contribute through their ability to reproduce.

Despite the fact that man and horse have had a long association, many people are unaware of the differences between a stallion and a gelding. Mares are usually older female horses or other equines. Typically, a mare is older than three, while a filly is an animal younger than three. In thoroughbred racing horses, a mare is typically older than four years. A stallion is used for reproduction, whereas a gelding is not. Geldings are more efficient than any stallion. Compared to a stallion, a gelding is more gentle and submissive. A stallion prefers mares to geldings and vice versa, whereas geldings show little interest in either.

A stallion is exposed to natural hormone levels, whereas a gelding is exposed to synthetic hormone levels. A stallion's testes are functional, whereas a gelding's are not. Geldings are more likely than stallions to accumulate dirt. Geldings are useful for working, while stallions (male horses) are important for reproduction. Let us learn more about the horse world.

If you enjoy reading about what a female horse is called, then why not take a look at some horse facts and learn about how to tell a rooster from a hen.

What are the different horse sexes?

Of course, a horse is a horse. Understanding the various terms and why they are used might be a little puzzling at first.

However, after you've mastered the correct terms, you'll be able to tell a horse's sex as well as its age. It might be difficult to know how to refer to a horse, especially if you are new to the horse world. It may be difficult to understand since there is so much horse terminology used to denote both horse sexes and ages. Each sex has three or more words that relate to it. It may appear perplexing at first, but understanding horse terminology also allows you to determine the age of a horse.

What is a young female horse called?

A mare is a female horse that is at least four years old. A female horse between the ages of one and four years is called a filly.

The term filly, or filly foal, describes young or baby horses. When a female horse reaches reproductive age, she may also be referred to as a broodmare or a dam. Mares are distinguished from geldings and stallions (male horses) by the absence of noticeable anatomical traits beneath their belly. If they are breastfeeding or have just nursed a foal, their udder may be visible.

This term comes from a word that means 'horse'. If you examine the word marshal, which means horse-servant rather than female-horse-servant, the masculine form does not exist in English. Stallions are more difficult to handle than mares. Many people believe, however, that geldings are simpler to handle than mares since mares may be temperamental. However, each mare is unique, and many have a placid demeanor.

Large brown female Clydesdale Horse

What is a female baby horse called?

An immature female horse is referred to as a filly horse. The age at which a filly horse becomes a mare isn't fixed. Even when they're four or five years old, some horses are still called fillies.

This has nothing to do with sexual maturity! Although fillies as young as two years old can theoretically produce a foal, this is not recommended. The name filly is usually reserved for an un-bred mare under the age of five. When a female horse reaches the age of five or has given birth, she is referred to as a mare. The terms filly and mare foal are sometimes used for other horses interchangeably. These phrases can be used to designate a female baby horse. Filly colt has also been used to describe a foal. Keep in mind that the name colt might be genderless for a small foal, while filly invariably denotes a female horse.

If a filly is under the age of one year, she is referred to as a foal horse. Because colts can also be termed foals, the term filly is used to distinguish a female foal. Although a filly can reach sexual maturity at the age of 18 months, many people do not breed a horse that early. Although some fillies are bred at three, it is best to wait until they are four to begin breeding. There is one more important fact that needs to be kept in mind. Various words may be used to refer to a baby horse, including fillies and colts. There are labels for each stage since a baby horse goes through so many changes in its first year.

A foal is a young horse, either male or female horse, that is less than a year old. A suckling is a foal that is being nursed. Foals are weanlings when they are weaned from their mothers and yearlings when they are one year old. Specific words such as colt weanling, colt yearling, filly weanling, and filly yearling horse may be heard from time to time. A horse is referred to by its respective designation after it reaches the age of two.

The various names for an adult female horse, such as dam or broodmare horse, are used at different times. The term mare horse may be used in any scenario. A broodmare is an adult female horse that is bred to produce more animals. When a horse is referred to as a broodmare, it usually means that she is not employed for work or show and instead spends her time producing and raising offspring. Even though many broodmares aren't trained as riding horses, this isn't always the case. If a horse is injured and is no longer able to compete despite being fit and young enough to produce foals, it may be retired to be a broodmare.

If we talk about a horse dam, in the world of horses, a dam is a horse's mother. This term is linked to the word 'dame', and the two words were once used interchangeably. You can no longer refer to a woman as a dame without seeming derogatory. Madam and damsel are two terms that are related. It is also important to know about adult male horses when getting to know female horses. Depending on whether or not he's been castrated, a male horse is termed a stallion or a gelding.

Stallions (male horses) were housed in stables and used to service mares. The name stallion came from ancient French words that meant standing or setting anything in its place. The word gelding comes from the old Norse word eunuch, which means 'castrated person', and is linked to the Norse words eunuch and wether. Castration is a term used to describe the sterilization of an adult male horse.

What is a mature female horse called?

A male horse is called a stallion or a gelding, and they are often used interchangeably. A stallion is an adult male horse over the age of four who is capable of reproducing. Many horse owners prefer to geld their horses to avoid the possibility of unintended breeding.

Gelding is a surgical technique that neuters a horse and prevents it from reproducing. Geldings are male horses that no longer have the potential to procreate; technically, they are like a spayed mare. Colts are young male animals under the age of four. There are other interesting terms used to describe horses like a pony. A female pony is a horse with a height of fewer than 14.2 hands. Ponies aren't little horses; they're just smaller, but they use the same vocabulary as horses.

Ponies and horses are the same species. The key distinctions between the two are that ponies are shorter and have a stockier frame. Ponies are notorious for being obstinate and fiery, yet there are also many ponies with a good temperament. There is one more word used to describe a father horse. A sire is a horse's father. The word sire also derives from an old French word for lord, which subsequently came to denote 'male parent'. It's connected to the term sir, as you may have guessed. To sum it up, a female horse (or mare) can be named in three different ways.

Humans who are horse lovers, into dealing with horses used for breeding purposes, or are involved with horse racing will know when a horse is called a foal, when it is called a filly, and what a colt foal means or a filly foal and so on. People will be able to identify whether you have baby horses or an adult, and even whether she is a mother, based on the adjective you select to describe her. A filly is a female under the age of four, whereas a mare is four or older. A dam can be any age, although a filly isn't normally a 'dam' because breeding doesn't start until a horse's age is five or six years.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'What a female horse is called', then why not take a look at 'Field mouse vs house mouse faceoff: rodent difference facts for kids!', or 'Finger monkey lifespan: new world monkey facts for kids!'?

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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