Group of Horses: Common Nouns and Terms

Last Updated on June 15, 2020 by Allison Price

Several terms used to call a group of horses. The most common term that many use to call them is a “group”. The term “Team” was especially popular when referring to horses pulling items together. The term maintains its popularity today. But there are terms called for different groups of horses. We will go through the specifics in this article.

What is a Group of Horses Called?

There are a lot of terms in use today. Some of which are more popular than others. Names also vary depending on the context. It depends on the gender of horses, and other factors like the purpose of the horses. The location of the horses is also a factor.

  • Rag – a group of horses, made up of colts
  • Stud – a group of horses owned by a single person; solely kept for breeding
  • String – group of horses used by one person; this term is use to refer to ponies
  • Harras – this term is rare. But still heard on ranches in some English-speaking countries
  • Stable of Horses – a group of domesticated horses in a stable
  • A troop of horses – a group of horses serving in the Army; horse guards

Herd of Horses

The term “herd of horses” is seldom used. It refers to horses interacting with each other outdoors while grazing. This term is also used to describe horses engaging in other herd-like behavior. Behavior like moving from one place to another in a group.

Horse Gender Definitions

There are various terms used to describe male and female horses of different ages. Check these horse terminologies used to state a horse’s gender and age.

  • Filly – female horse or pony under 4 years old
  • Colt – a male horse or pony under 4 years old that has not been gelded (castrated)
  • Foal – a male or female horse or pony below 1 year of age; female foal is known as a “Filly Foal”, a male foal is called a “Colt Foal”
  • Weanling – foal that has been weaned; foals are typically weaned at 5 to 6 months of age
  • Yearling – a male or female horse between 1 to 2 years old. A female yearling is called a “Yearling Filly”. A male yearling that has not been gelded is called a “Yearling Colt”.
  • Mare – female horse or pony that is 4 years or older
  • Stallion – male horse or pony 4 years or older that has not been castrated. They are also known as “Entire”.
  • Gelding – male horse or pony of any age that has been gelded
  • Rig – male horse or pony who has either one or both testes retained. Also, a male horse that has gone through improper castration. Rigs can play stallion tendencies when they are around mares.

Popular Horse Breeds Types of Horses

There are over 350 breeds of horses and ponies. Each horse has its special qualities. From racing to casual riding and equestrian competition. But there are five particular breeds and five general categories of horses. They stand out and capture the hearts of horse lovers.

American Quarter Horse

This horse is embraced by beginners and professional equestrians all around the world. American Quarter Horse is famous for its agility, submissiveness, and athleticism. They are originally bred from English thoroughbreds and American Chickasaw horses. It has the largest breed registry in the world. These horses shine on the trail and in the show ring.


It has the oldest horse breed registry in the world. In fact, every light horse breed can trace their ancestry back to the Arabian. Although it can be a spirited horse breed, it can also be loving and loyal.


Horses with this breed are the most popular racing horse in North America. This breed is considered a “hot-blooded” horse. They are known for their agility, speed, and spirit. They are fine multi-purpose horses. Most often, they have a career in other equestrian competitions. Aside from racing, they are also good in dressage and jumping. They can also be a companion animal.


The colorful spotted Appaloosa was originally developed for hunting and battle. People believed it to be a descendant of wild horses mixed with Thoroughbred. Also, American Quarter Horse and Arabian. Appaloosa horses are hardy and versatile. They are great for herding, pleasure riding, long-distance trail riding, and more.


The strength and elegance of Morgan made it a popular horse breed. During colonial times, the muscle of the Morgan was used for clearing New England farms. Today,

Morgan horses are popular for driving and riding. They are surefooted over the rough trail and dignified in the show ring.


In the equine world, the terms “hot-blooded,” “warm-blooded,” and “cold-blooded” are familiar. They categorize the temperament, size, and origin of a horse. Medium-sized horses are considered warm-bloods with a European heritage. They have a touch of the temper you get from lithe, hot-blooded thoroughbreds, or Arabians.


They are another popular category of horses. A horse that is fully grown at 57 inches or less is considered a pony. With their short stature, they are excellent horses for children.

Grade Horses

These are horses of no particular breeding. This term is the fancy one for the musts of the horse world. They are different from crossbreeds. Because crosses are the result of known pedigreed horses that are intentionally bred. They may not have a distinguished pedigree. But they can be as versatile and loyal as any other horse. Also, they generally lack many of the genetic diseases that pass through purebreds.

Gaited Breeds

This category contains horses that have been selectively bred for a smooth ride. They tend to go at an intermediate speed with a four-beat movement.

Draft Breeds

Draft breeds are cold-blooded and heavy horses known for doing work like pulling heavy loads. They were used in battle to carry the weight of heavily armored soldiers in early times. They have thick coats and manes that enable them to endure cold weather. Also, draft horse crossbreeds can be ideal first horses. Because they are often submissive and loving.


As human beings belong to a tribe and category, it is also the same with horses. They are categorized depending on their age, gender, and breed. The different terms are used to specify which group they belong to. The next time we encounter or hear these words, we already have the knowledge. We know where our horses belong at a certain stage of their life.

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!