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With many different terms used to describe Horses, and it can be confusing for those who are new to the world of equine. In this blog post, we will clear up any confusion by discussing the correct terminology for Horses, providing a brief explanation of each term. So, whether you're interested in horse riding or just want to learn more about these gorgeous creatures, read on!

What is a Foal?

A Foal is a young horse that is less than one year old. The term Foal can also be used to describe the offspring of donkeys, and mules. This is the general term for a new-born horse, before being classified according to the gender categories you will learn more about below.

View all young stock and foals here

What is a Colt? 

A Colt is a young, uncastrated male horse that is less than four years old. 

View all Colts here

What is a Filly?

A filly is a female horse that is under the age of four, and therefore still too young to be called a mare. In some countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, the horse racing authorities state that the cut-off age to be defined as a filly is five years old.

View all Fillies here

What is a Yearling? 

A Yearling is a horse that is between one and two years old, whether male or female. Yearlings are in the process of maturing and have not yet reached full physical maturity. They are considered too young to be breeding stock despite the fact that they may be in the early stages of reproductive maturity.

What is a Weanling? 

A weanling is a young horse that has just been weaned off (or is gradually being withdrawn off) of it's mothers milk. The term is generally used to represent a foal that has been weaned, usually between six months and a year old. The horse is known as a yearling when it reaches the age of one.

What is a Mare?

A Mare is a female horse that is over the age of three, however, some horse racing authorities define a mare as being more than four years old. 

View all Mares here

What is a Stallion? 

A stallion is a non-castrated male horse that is over the age of three. In comparison to castrated male horses, stallions have a more muscular physique as a consequence of the presence of hormones such as testosterone. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, a stallion must be four years or older to be used for breeding purposes.

View all Stallions here

What is a Gelding? 

A gelding is a castrated male horse (can also be a pony, donkey or mule) of any age. Geldings are generally seen as being more docile than stallions due to the elimination of hormonally driven behaviour, and as such, they are often considered to be more suitable for everyday work.

View all Geldings here

What is a Broodmare?

A Broodmare is a female horse that is used for breeding purposes. A mare must be physically mature and have had at least one foal before she can be classed as a broodmare. 

View all Broodmares here

What is a Stud?

A Stud is the name allocated to a stallion that is of high quality and therefore sought after for breeding purposes.

View all studs here

What is a Sire?

When a Stud produces offspring, the father of the foal that has been produced is referred to as a Sire when describing the family tree, or genetic make-up of that offspring.

What is a Dam?

If a mare produces offspring, the mother of the foal that has been produced is referred to as a Dam when describing the family tree, or genetic make-up of that offspring. 

We hope that you have found this guide useful generally and in determining what horses are on our site, as well as giving you an indication of the sorts of horse that would suit your ownership requirements. Discover more about the right horse for you by taking a look through our Equestrian Advice and Guides section of the Horsemart Community Blog

Looking for a horse but don't know where to start? Take a look at our latest horse ads here to kick-start your search!

Alix Burchell - Horsemart
Horsemart Content Team
Published on 22-07-2022
Alix is the marketing manager for Horsemart. She'll keep you up to date with all the latest industry news and provide you with helpful guides and advice.