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The Correct Terminology: Age/gender

There are many different names for each type of horse which you may not be familiar with. We don’t mean the breed, but the names for whether it is an adult female, or a baby male. You will see words such as gelding and yearling across the site describing the gender. If these terms are unknown or fuzzy to you, we want to clear them up to make sure that you read a horse's information correctly.

There are many terms across all ages and genders, and it can get confusing so we want to lay it out clearly and exact.

 

  • Foal – This is the term for either a male or female horse that is under the age of one year (can be either gelded or not gelded). This is the generalised term for a newborn horse, before being categorised into gendered phrases like below.

 

  • Colt – A male horse that is under the age of four. More specifically, in thoroughbred racing terms this is a male horse older than two but up to the age of four, that has not been castrated.

 

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  • Filly – A female horse that is under the age of four and therefore not old enough to be a mare. The age range is sometimes different across the globe and in the US and the UK, racing federations express that fillies can be up to five years old.

 

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  • Yearling – This a horse older than a foal but too young to be a colt or filly. As it is said in the name, a yearling is a horse that is a year old. They are still a yearling all the way up to their second birthday.

 

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  • Weanling – Sometimes known as a ‘weaner’, is a horse that is often between half a year and a year old. They are classed as a weanling once they no longer rely on their mother’s feed and are being introduced to a proper diet.

 

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  • Juvenile – A juvenile horse can cross over into colt/filly classification, but is traditionally a horse at the age of two years old.

 

  • Mare – In standard terms a mare is a female horse that is over the age of three (4 or older). However like many of the other terminologies, the racing world has different interpretations and see’s a mare as being over the age of four (5 or older).

 

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  • Stallion – This is adult male horse that isn’t castrated, meaning the presence of testosterone is visible. This makes stallions quite muscular and dominant in appearance.

 

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  • Gelding – This is a stallion that has been castrated so they can no longer  breed or inseminate. When a horse is gelded they also have their hormone levels buffered, meaning they will behave in a much calmer and controlled fashion.

 

  • Broodmare – A female horse over the age of three, that is kept for breeding purposes.

 

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  • Stud – These are un-castrated stallions of the highest quality that are sought after for breeding.   

 

  • Sire – If a stud produces offspring, the male horse will be referred to as a Sire in this context (A horse’s father).

 

  • Dam - If a mare produces offspring, the female horse will be referred to as a dam in this context (A horse’s mother).

 

  • Get – An offspring from a Stallion

 

  • Rig/Ridgling – A stallion or colt that has not been castrated

 

  • Aged – this term can be used to describe a horse of over 15 years of age

 

You should now be up to speed with all the equine related jargon when it comes to identifying the type of a horse. This will be really useful for identifying what horses are on our site as well as giving you a good idea of what types of horse are suitable for your needs.

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