What is a Male Horse Called?

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price

A colt is a male horse that is less than four years old, while a uncastrated male horse with a height of four or more is called an stallion. A gelding is a castrated horse that is older than four years. A stud is a horse used to breed, and a sire is a horse that has been bred.

A stud is a male horse used for breeding. However, colts aren’t as often used for breeding. The term sire is most often used to refer to the father of a horse’s pedigrees.

Male Horse Gender Terms

What is a Male Horse Called?


A gelding is a male horse that has been castrated so he cannot be used for breeding. Stallions are more difficult to work with than Geldings, which is a common trait.

Castration can be done on horses as soon as they are 6-12 months old. A colt can be safely gelded as long as his testicles are not yet dropped. You can also geld horses well into their teens.

It is a good idea not to geld your horse if you do not intend on breeding them. Some horses have had their testicles removed or are incorrectly castrated. These horses are known as rigs, even though they are rare.


A stallion is a male horse who has not been castrated. Because they are not castrated, stallions can be used for breeding.

Stallions can be hard to manage so most people keep them for breeding purposes. Stallions can be aggressive towards horses but are not aggressive towards humans. Stallions have more muscle than mares or geldings, and often have cresty necks.

Stud and a Sire

A stud is a horse that is used to breed a male horse. A horse that is standing at the stud means your mare can be bred to him after you have paid a stud fee.

A stallion who becomes a father is known as the sire of his offspring. People often say that a horse is the father of a foal after he becomes a father.


Colt is a term used to refer to a uncastrated male horse under four years old. When a colt is less than one year old, he may be called a foal.

Our horse genders guide explains that a colt may be sexually mature at 12 to 14 months of age. Many people consider that too young to breed, so they wait until the colt turns three years.

Colt vs. a Foal

Both foal and colt are used to describe baby horse. Foal is for both male and female baby horse.

If a colt is less than one year old, you can call him a foal. It is wrong to call all babies horses colts, as this refers to the male gender.

Facts about Male Horses

  • Horses that are most commonly used for riding include the Geldings.
  • The middle ages saw knights riding large, well-trained stallions called destiers into battle.
  • Although they can be shy at first, colots often mature physically faster than their female counterparts.
  • Stallions are not allowed in many breeds because they can be unpredictable.
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!