Horse Genders: What is a Colt, Gelding, Mare, Filly & Stallion?

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price

Horses can be described using multiple terms to distinguish males from females. It is essential to be familiar with the terms used when working closely with horses.

Although it may be confusing to understand the different phrases and their meanings, it is not difficult. Once you are able to understand the correct phrases, you will be able to identify a horse’s gender and their age.

You will often hear the terms colt and stallion when discussing a horse’s gender. There are general terms that can be used to describe both male and female young horses, in addition to gender-specific terms.

Horse Genders

Colt, Gelding, Mare, Filly & Stallion

What is a Colt Horse, and how do you define it?

A colt is a uncastrated male horses who is less than four years old. Although a colt can be used to breed as soon as 12-14 months old, many prefer waiting until they turn three years of age or older.

A colt under one year old can be called a foal, which is also used to refer to all baby horses. All foals can be considered colts, but not all foals under one year.

What is a Stallion?

stallion refers to a male horse who is older than four years old and has not been castrated. They can be used for breeding because they have not been castrated.

Stallions are best for people who intend to breed them. Although stallions can be aggressive towards other horses, they will not attack people. Stallions are more muscular than mares and geldings, and have a cresty neck.

Studs are male horses used for breeding. A sire is a stallion who has conceived a child.

What is a Gelding horse?

A gelding refers to a male horse that has been castrated and is no longer able to reproduce. Stallions are more difficult to work with, while Geldings tend to have calmer temperaments.

A colt can be gelded from 6-12 months old, provided his testicals are clean. A horse can still be gelded up to their teens. A rig is a male horse who has been incorrectly castrated or has never had his testicals descend.

What is a Filly horse?

Filly refers to a female horse who is less than four years old. Some people consider fillies female horses until they turn five years of age.

If a filly is less than one year old, she may be called a foal. A foal can also be identified as a filly by using the term filly.

Although a filly can become sexually mature in 18 months, many people don’t breed them that young. It is best to wait until the filly is four before you start breeding. However, some horses can be bred as early as three.

What is a Mare Horse?

A mare refers to a horse who is at least four years old, although some may say it is five or more. Because mares are rarely spayed, there is no specific term for them.

Stallions are more difficult to manage than mares. Many agree that geldings are easier to handle than mares because mares can be temperamental. Every mare is unique and some have calm dispositions.

What is a Broodmare Horse, and how do they work?

Broodmare is a mare used for breeding. A dam is when a mare becomes a mother to a male horse.

While broodmares typically range in age between 4-16 years, some mares can still be bred later. Broodmares can have only one foal per year since the average gestation time for a horse is 11-12 months.

What is a Yearling Horse?

A yearling horse is any horse between the ages of one and two years. It doesn’t matter if the horse’s a gelding or a colt, they become a yearling when they turn one.

Between their first and second birthdays, yearlings will experience significant growth and development. Although yearlings will gain weight, they are too young to be bred or ridden.

What is a Pony?

Pony is an equine with less than 14.2 hands. Ponies are not baby horses. They are smaller than horses and can use the same terminology as horses.

Horses and pony are the same species. They are shorter and have a stockier build. Although ponies are often stubborn and finicky, they are also known for being very calm.Foal

Horse Gender-Neutral Terms

There are many phrases that can be used to describe a baby-horse. These phrases can be used for fillies as well as colts. There are different terms that can be used for each stage of a baby horse’s life.

A foal is a horse with a younger than one year of age. A foal that is nursing is known as a suckling. Foals are yearlings when they reach one year of age and are weaned from the mothers.

You may sometimes hear the terms colt weanling or colt yearling. Horses are usually referred to as their gender once they turn two.

Understanding the Difference

It will be much easier to identify horses if you are familiar with the different phrases for the genders of horses. These terms are especially important if you’re looking to purchase a horse.

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!