What Is A Group Of Horses Called? Have You 'Herd' The Word Before?

Deepthi Reddy
Dec 01, 2022 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Group of three young horses on the pasture.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

The relationship between horses and humans dates back millennia ago.

These hoofed animals have been on this planet for more than 50 million years. All the horses we know today have descended from their wild ancestors.

The horse belongs to the family Equidae and species caballus of the animal kingdom. There are about 400 breeds of horses known to us in the world today that engage in various types of activities. Ever since horses were domesticated, about 4000 years ago, they have remained an integral part of many human societies as a means of travel. Emperors and conquerors have used them as a mount and a faithful companion in wars. Only after the invention of engines, the use of horses as a mode of transportation diminished. There is something very interesting about equine behavior that makes them fit so well in human lives. We all know that horses are incredibly powerful animals with far more physical strength than humans. Their speed and agility are something to be awed about. Yet, humans are privileged to domesticate them. Horses are very intelligent and social creatures and have needs for safety, camaraderie, and affection. When domesticated, they are gentle, loyal, and willing to be understood by their masters.

Horses are herbivorous animals characterized by strong, big crowned teeth ideal for chewing and feeding on plants, hay, and grass. With 205 bones in their body, horses boast of having one of the most robust skeletons among the animals. They have strong legs with sturdy hoofs that let them achieve incredible speed while galloping.

In the wild and even on the ranches and barns, horses live in groups. There are many collective nouns used to refer to a group of horses. In this detailed guide, we will answer the question 'what is a group of horses called?', and you will get to learn about it all.

If you enjoy reading more about horses, read our articles on how fast can a horse run? and how much does a horse weigh?

What do you call a group of wild horses?

Several other terms are in use to refer to a group of horses. Some collective nouns for a group of horses are more popular than others. One of the most commonly used terms to refer to a group of horses is herd. This is because horses are social animals who exhibit herd behavior; they interact with other horses while roaming outdoors, while grazing and they move in groups when traveling from one place to another. The basic needs of horses are fulfilled when they live in herds; it helps them stay safe by avoiding danger. It also helps in mating and giving birth to healthy foals. They can raise foals better in a herd setting. Herd life needs co-operation, and horses understand each other in the team and communicate and guide via subtle body gestures. Like the word herd, there are many other collective nouns used for horse groups. We will learn about terms like team, rag, harras, used to refer to a group of horses. A horse group is also called a team. However, there is a catch about when the collective noun team is used for a group of horses. The word 'team' is primarily used for horses when they are part of some team activity like pulling something together or some sporting event. It is a popular word to refer to a group of horses and has been used for ages.

Horses lived in the wild before being domesticated. When referring to a wild horse, you may come across another term, feral horse. However, a wild horse and a feral horse are not the same. A feral horse is a free horse that lives in the wild but comes from domesticated stock. So, you see, it is not exactly a wild animal. However, feral horses live in groups in the wild in a self-sustaining way and are often referred to as wild horses. A group of wild horses is referred to as a herd, mob, band, or harem.

What is a group of baby horses called?

Do you know what baby horses are called? Young male horses are called colts. Female baby horses are known as fillies.

Do you know what we call a group of colts? A group of colts is referred to as a rag. Yes, who knew a word like rag can be used to refer to a group of baby horses!

What is a group of female horses called on a farm?

A male horse is known as a stallion, and a female horse is known as a mare. A baby horse that is less than a year old is called a foal, and once it turns one, it is referred to as a yearling. The term foal is not sex-specific. However, there are other names for male and female baby horses. A male baby horse is called a colt, and a female baby horse is a filly.

When a group of horses is kept in a group solely for the purpose of breeding, we call the group of horses a stud. The word 'stud' has its origin in the Old English word 'stod' which means a 'herd of horses'. The term is used for both female and male groups of horses.

The word stud is also used to refer to a group of mares on a farm. In animal husbandry, an establishment where livestock is kept for breeding is known as a stud farm.

Have you ever heard of the term 'string' in the context of a herd of horses? When a group of horses is owned by one person or used by one person, the group is called a string of horses. String is also used for a group of ponies.

We are not done yet with the collective nouns for a group of horses. There are more, so brace yourself and read on.

In the ranches of many English-speaking nations, a group of horses is also known by as harras. Yes, harras is an unusual term for horse groups, but it is what it is. It makes us wonder who in the world came up with the term 'harras' for horses.

Now we know a place where horses live is called a stable, but did you know that a group of domesticated horses and put up together in a stable is also referred to as a stable of horses?

We are sure you must have used the term troop to refer to a group of horses, but, when do we get to use troop as the collective noun for a horse group? A group of horses that serve as horse guards or are a part of the army is known as a troop of horses. 

How many horses are in a herd?

Another common question often asked regarding a herd of horses is about the number of horses in a herd.

A herd of horses is usually territorial, and you see, it can be of varying sizes. It may consist of many small bands that co-exist in harmony in a particular territory. In some cases, a herd of horses might have just two horses, while in some herds, it can have 25 individual horses. It usually consists of some mares and their babies and a couple of stallions.

How long should a horse be kept in isolation before introducing it to a new closed group of horses?

Horses are social animals. Wherever they live, they like to have company. However, it would help if you were careful while introducing a new horse to your barn or farm.

When adding new horses to your barn into an already existing herd, it is vital to keep the new arrivals in a separate area for at least 21 - 30 days. The isolation period is essential to keep a check on the spread of diseases in the equines.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what is a group of horses called, then why not take a look at how tall is a horse, or mustang horse facts?

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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