What is a male horse called?
What is a male horse called?

What is a Male Horse Called?

When it comes to horses, there are various terms used to describe different genders and ages. One of the most common questions that arises is, “What is a male horse called?” In this article, we will delve into the world of horses and provide a comprehensive answer to this query.

Understanding Horse Terminology

Before we dive into the specific term for a male horse, it is essential to familiarize ourselves with some basic horse terminology. This will help us better understand the context and significance of the term we are exploring.


A horse is a large, hoofed mammal belonging to the Equidae family. Horses have been domesticated for thousands of years and have played a crucial role in human history, serving as transportation, companions, and working animals.


A gelding is a castrated male horse. Castration involves the removal of the testicles, which eliminates the horse’s ability to reproduce and reduces certain behavioral traits associated with intact males. Geldings are often preferred for riding and work due to their generally calmer temperament.


A mare is an adult female horse. Mares are capable of reproducing and giving birth to foals. They play a vital role in horse breeding and can also be used for various equestrian activities.


A foal is a young horse, typically less than one year old. Foals are adorable and require special care and attention as they grow and develop. They are often seen frolicking in pastures alongside their mothers.


A colt is a young male horse, usually under the age of four. Colts are not yet fully matured and may still exhibit some juvenile behaviors. As they grow older, they will eventually become stallions or geldings.


A stallion is an adult, intact male horse. Stallions have not been castrated and retain their reproductive capabilities. They are known for their strength, presence, and sometimes challenging behavior. Stallions are often used for breeding purposes and may require experienced handlers.

What is a Male Horse Called?

Now that we have a solid understanding of horse terminology, we can address the main question at hand: What is a male horse called?

A male horse is called a stallion if it is an adult and has not been castrated. Stallions are known for their distinct physical characteristics, such as a muscular build, a prominent crest on their neck, and a more pronounced masculine appearance.

It is important to note that not all male horses are referred to as stallions. Young male horses, typically under the age of four, are called colts. Colts are still in the process of maturing and developing both physically and mentally. As they grow older, their behavior and physical attributes will change.

Once a colt reaches adulthood and is castrated, it is then referred to as a gelding. Geldings are often preferred for various equestrian activities due to their generally calmer temperament compared to stallions.

Characteristics of Stallions

Stallions possess unique characteristics that distinguish them from other horses. Understanding these traits can provide valuable insights into their behavior and care requirements.

Physical Appearance

Stallions typically have a more muscular build compared to mares and geldings. They often exhibit a prominent crest on their neck, which adds to their majestic appearance. Additionally, stallions may have a thicker and more luxurious mane and tail.


Stallions can display more assertive and dominant behavior compared to geldings and mares. They may exhibit territorial tendencies and can be more challenging to handle, especially around other horses. Proper training and handling are crucial when dealing with stallions to ensure the safety of both humans and other horses.

Reproductive Capabilities

Unlike geldings, stallions have the ability to reproduce. They possess intact reproductive organs, including testicles, which allow them to sire offspring. Breeding stallions require careful management and controlled breeding programs to ensure the health and well-being of both the stallion and the mares.

Uses of Male Horses

Male horses, whether stallions, colts, or geldings, serve various purposes in the equine world. Let’s explore some of the common uses of male horses:

  • Breeding: Stallions play a crucial role in horse breeding. They are selected based on their bloodlines, conformation, and performance records to produce offspring with desirable traits.
  • Competition: Male horses, particularly geldings, are often trained and used for various equestrian competitions, such as show jumping, dressage, and racing.
  • Work: Geldings and some well-trained stallions are utilized for work purposes, such as pulling carriages, plowing fields, or herding livestock.
  • Riding: Geldings and some well-behaved stallions can be ridden for recreational purposes, trail riding, or as companions for riders.


In conclusion, a male horse is called a stallion if it is an adult and has not been castrated. Young male horses are referred to as colts, and once they are castrated, they become geldings. Stallions possess distinct physical characteristics and behaviors that set them apart from other horses. Understanding the terminology and characteristics associated with male horses is essential for anyone interested in horses or involved in the equine industry.

Whether you are a horse enthusiast, a rider, or simply curious about these magnificent creatures, knowing what a male horse is called is just the beginning of your journey into the fascinating world of horses.


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