What is female horse called?
What is female horse called?

What is a Female Horse Called?

When it comes to horses, there are many fascinating aspects to explore. One common question that often arises is, “What is a female horse called?” In this article, we will delve into the world of equine terminology and provide a comprehensive answer to this query. Whether you are a horse enthusiast, a student, or simply curious about the animal kingdom, this article will provide you with all the information you need.

Understanding Horse Terminology

Before we dive into the specific term for a female horse, it is essential to have a basic understanding of horse terminology. Horses, like many other animals, have specific names for each gender and various stages of life. Here are some key terms to familiarize yourself with:

  • Horse: This term refers to the entire species, regardless of gender.
  • Stallion: A stallion is an adult male horse that is capable of reproducing.
  • Mare: A mare is an adult female horse that is capable of reproducing.
  • Gelding: A gelding is a castrated male horse that cannot reproduce.
  • Foal: A foal is a young horse of either gender that is less than one year old.
  • Colt: A colt is a young male horse that is less than four years old.
  • Filly: A filly is a young female horse that is less than four years old.

The Female Horse: Introducing the Mare

Now that we have a solid foundation of horse terminology, let’s focus on the specific term for a female horse. A female horse is called a mare. Mares are an integral part of the equine world and play a crucial role in breeding and the continuation of the species.

Characteristics of Mares

Mares possess unique characteristics that distinguish them from their male counterparts. Here are some notable features of mares:

  • Mares have the ability to reproduce and give birth to foals.
  • They typically have a more rounded and feminine physique compared to stallions and geldings.
  • Mares may exhibit hormonal changes during their estrous cycle, commonly known as “heat.”
  • They can form strong bonds with their offspring and other herd members.
  • Mares are known for their nurturing and protective nature.

Roles of Mares in the Equine World

Mares play vital roles in various aspects of the equine world. Let’s explore some of the key roles they fulfill:

1. Breeding

One of the primary roles of mares is breeding. They are responsible for carrying and giving birth to foals, ensuring the continuation of the horse population. Mares are carefully selected for breeding based on their lineage, conformation, and overall health.

2. Performance

Mares are not only valued for their reproductive abilities but also for their performance in various equestrian disciplines. Many mares excel in racing, show jumping, dressage, and other competitive events. Their athleticism, agility, and intelligence make them formidable competitors.

3. Companionship

Mares can also serve as trusted companions for humans and other horses. Their gentle and nurturing nature makes them excellent therapy animals, providing emotional support to individuals in need. Additionally, mares often form strong bonds with their pasture mates, fostering a sense of camaraderie within the herd.

Other Female Equine Terminology

While the term “mare” specifically refers to a female horse, there are additional female equine terms worth exploring. These terms are used to describe female horses at different stages of life or in specific circumstances. Let’s take a closer look:

1. Filly

A filly is a young female horse that is less than four years old. This term is commonly used to refer to a young, immature mare who has not yet reached full maturity. Fillies are often trained and prepared for future equestrian endeavors.

2. Broodmare

A broodmare is a mare specifically used for breeding purposes. These mares have proven their reproductive capabilities and are selected for their genetic qualities. Broodmares play a crucial role in producing offspring with desirable traits, ensuring the improvement of future generations of horses.

3. Dam

The term “dam” is used to refer to a mare who has given birth to a foal. It is similar to the term “mother” in human terminology. The dam plays a vital role in nurturing and raising her foal, providing it with essential care and guidance.

4. Maiden Mare

A maiden mare is a female horse that has not yet been bred or given birth to a foal. This term is often used in the context of breeding and reproductive discussions. Maiden mares may be bred for the first time or used for other equestrian purposes.


In conclusion, a female horse is called a mare. Mares are an essential part of the equine world, contributing to breeding programs, excelling in various equestrian disciplines, and providing companionship to humans and other horses. Understanding the terminology associated with horses allows us to appreciate and communicate about these magnificent creatures more effectively. Whether you are a horse enthusiast, a rider, or simply someone seeking knowledge, knowing the correct terms for each gender and stage of life enhances your understanding of the equine realm.


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