All about Steed Horses

Last Updated on August 8, 2020 by Allison Price

What is a Steed? Steed horses are actually used or trained for riding. The noun steed is an old-fashioned way to call a horse. In Middle English, a steed is usually known as a great horse, as opposed to a palfrey, an ordinary, everyday horse. So a steed was actually a warhorse that carried warriors into a battle called Destrier.

What is a Destrier? Destrier is a steed type of horse; the finest and strongest warhorse. Usually, these horses are stallions. They were usually bred and brought up from foal hood only for the needs of war. They had strong hindquarters that could spring and coil to stop, spin, turn, or run forward. They had a short back and well-muscled loin, a solid jaw, and a well-arched spine. Since the 16th century, the word Steed has been then used in literary contexts.

Is a Steed a Male or a Female Horse?

All mature horses can be then called as a steed. Thus, a steed can be a female or male horse. Steed is a spirited horse used for riding. When used as nouns, horse means a hoofed mammal often used for riding and draft work. Whereas steed means a stallion, especially in the sense of mount.

Different Names Referring to a Horse

  • The filly is a female horse or pony aged less than four years.
  • Colt is a non-gelded (castrated) male horse or pony under four years of age.
  • The foal is either a female or a male pony under one year of age. A female foal is usually known as a filly foal and a male foal is usually known as a colt foal.
  • Weanling is a foal that has been then weaned. Foals are usually weaned at their five to six months of age.
  • Yearling is a female or male horse that is between one and two years old. A female yearling is usually known as a yearling filly. A male horse that has not been then gelded or castrated is usually known as a yearling colt.
  • Mare is a female horse or pony aged four years old and above.
  • Stallion is a male horse or pony that hasn’t been then castrated or gelded. They are four years old above. Stallions are also called Entire, too.
  • Gelding, on the other hand, is a male horse or pony of any age that was already castrated or gelded.
  • Rig is a male horse or pony that either has undescended or preserved one or both of the testes. It can also be a male horse who has been then castrated. Rigs may show tendencies towards stallions, especially around mares.

How to Choose a Steed?

To get the perfect partnership with a horse, you have to consider many things first. Just like every rider, every horse is unique, and finding the right one for you can take some time.

Physical Attributes

First, think about your physical attributes like your height and weight. Pick a horse that is not too tall or too short for you. Steed type horses usually have an athletic build as they are usually used for riding. When it comes to your weight, Steed type horses can carry 15-20% of their own body weight. More than that, they may start to struggle and show signs of fatigue.

Riding Skills

You have to consider your riding skills. All steed type of horses is either trained or used as drafts. If you are an experienced rider, a young pony won’t help you progress to competition status. They can be quite unpredictable. If you’re starting out in the saddle, an older, steadier steed can make you feel more confident in an instant.

Gender Bend

Steed type of horses can either be male or female. It doesn’t matter what gender it is, a horse can be actually considered a steed type if it is usually used for riding.

3 Breeds known as Steed


These horses are usually known to be majestic creatures. They have a refined physique. They are strong and athletic which mirrors their speed and powerful physical capabilities. Their most common association is with horseracing. But, they perform well in jumping, dressage, hunting, and trail riding. They are also very ideal for advanced riders.

Arabian Horse

Arabian horses are one of the oldest purebred horses in history. They are intelligent, willing, alert, and sensitive to their surroundings. This makes them quick to learn, eager to please, and good in nature. These qualities form a foundation of a harmonious, intuitive relationship with their rider. Arabian Horses also have strength and endurance for carrying weight. They can travel long distances with the extra weight. This breed is usually ideal for beginners and advanced riders.

Welsh Pony

Welsh Pony is small yet has a hard and strong built. They were usually bred as workhorses. So, you will find them a sociable and trustworthy companion. Their adaptable nature makes them loyal and easy to work with. Like Arabian horses, they are ideal for beginners and advanced riders. They are also good with children and adults.

Some of the most common breed for ridings

Warmbloods are beautiful horses best for show jumping, dressage, and eventing. Examples of warmblooded breeds include the Halflinger, American Warmblood, and Holsteiner.

Coldbloods are popular for pleasure riders and beginners. This is because of their slow and steady nature. Examples of coldbloods include Shires, Percheron, Ardennes, and Clydesdales.

Hotbloods are usually streamlined horses. They make excellent racers. This is thanks to their speed and endurance but, they can prove a real challenge to train. Examples of these horses are Thoroughbred or Arabian horses.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!