What Is A Baby Girl Horse Called? (Solved)

The gender-neutral term for a baby horse is a foal. A female is called a filly and a male is called a colt.


  • A baby female horse is called a filly. A female horse can be referred to as a filly until she is four, though some people will use the term filly until the age of five. People will use the term filly to distinguish a foal as female.

What is the name of a baby horse called?

A foal is an equine up to one year old; this term is used mainly for horses, but can be used for donkeys. More specific terms are colt for a male foal and filly for a female foal, and are used until the horse is three or four. When the foal is nursing from its dam (mother), it may also be called a “suckling”.

What’s a baby pony called?

Ponies are diminutive like foals, but they stay small throughout their lives. A baby pony is called a pony foal. A full-grown pony may be the same size as many horse foals, but they are adults and the offspring of other similarly sized ponies.

What are baby girl and boy horses called?

All baby horses are called foals, regardless of their gender, until they’re one year old. Males foals are also called colts, and female foals are fillies. These terms are used until the horse turns four years old.

What do you call a pregnant horse?

A mare is pregnant. We say, “A mare foaled” when she gives birth. The foal is the young horse after birth. The newborn male is a colt and the new born female is a filly.

What is a pony vs horse?

A pony is 14.2 hh (hands high) or smaller, while a horse is anything taller than 14.2 hh. So, a pony is any equine 58 inches at the wither or shorter, and a horse is anything taller than that.

What is baby of donkey called?

Donkey definitions Foal: A foal is a baby male or female donkey up to one year old.

What is the name of baby camel?

Baby camels are called calves. The newborn calf is able to walk within 30 minutes, though the two won’t rejoin the herd until around two weeks later. Camels become fully mature when they are 7 years old. Camels live around 17 years.

What are monkey babies called?

Like human babies, baby monkeys are called infants. A group of monkeys would be called a tribe or a troop.

What is a bronco horse?

A bronco is a type of horse, not a species or a breed. American cowboys borrowed the lingo from their Mexican counterparts to describe untrained or partially trained horses. Originally, cowboys probably used the term to refer to breaking wild horses, but today’s broncos are not feral.

What is a fixed female horse called?

Spaying of female horses is very uncommon in the horse world. If you encounter a mare that has had the procedure, “mare” is still a proper term to use. You can also use the term “ spayed mare” to describe the mares gender.

Do female horses get periods?

The estrous cycle, also known as “season” or “heat” of a mare occurs roughly every 19–22 days and occurs from early spring into autumn. As the days shorten, most mares enter an anestrus period during the winter and thus do not cycle in this period.

Do horses have periods and bleed?

A female horse undergoes the same cycle over a slightly different time period. But instead of menstruating, a mare will reabsorb the uterine lining as it breaks down. You’ve probably heard of estrogen and progesterone. These are two of the hormones that control a woman’s – or mare’s – reproductive cycle.

What Is a Baby Horse Called? When Do They Stand and More.

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! In order to show my granddaughter his “baby horses,” we traveled to a friend’s ranch, where he pointed to a handful and referred to them by various names. My perplexed granddaughter inquired as to why he does not refer to them as baby horses. Until they reach the age of one year, all baby horses are referred to as foals, regardless of their gender.

These words are used until the horse reaches the age of four years.

A baby horse is called a foal.

An approximately two-month-old male Thoroughbred foal is seen in the photo above. A colt is the name given to a male foal. As a result, he is classified as a foal colt, colt, or stud colt. A filly is the name given to a female foal. Our use of the terms colt and filly isn’t all that unlike from the way we refer to our offspring as boys or girls. When a horse reaches the age of four, however, these teenage names are no longer used to describe them. Aside from using the word foal, additional equestrian terminology categorizes horses based on their age or stage of life.

  • Foals normally finish weaning when they reach the age of six months.
  • A yearling horse is a horse that has reached its first birthday but has not yet reached the age of two years and six months.
  • Yearling colts are male horses who are over one year old but have not yet reached the age of two, while yearling fillies are female horses that are over one year old but have not yet reached the age of two.
  • Male horses become stallions at four years of age, while female horses become mares at the same age.
  • There are no hard and fast rules in this situation.
  • Everyone who had the opportunity to spend time with her referred to her as a mare.
  • We still refer to him as a colt, which is understandable.
Baby Horses Foal Colt (male) Filly (female)
Male Horses Colt Stallion Stud Gelding
Female Horses Filly Mare Broodmare

Horses that are predominantly utilized for breeding are identified by special terminology. A stallion used for breeding is referred to as a stud, while a mare is referred to as a broodmare if she is utilized to produce foals. A foal (baby horse) can be created either via “live cover” or artificial insemination, depending on the circumstances.

Horses mate in the wild or on pastures in a natural way. Domesticated horses, on the other hand, are frequently selectively produced in a controlled setting under the close supervision of a veterinarian or the horse owner.

“Baby Horses” Can Stand Within One Hour of Birth.

Your foal should be able to stand within an hour if it is healthy. In the beginning, a newborn foal is full of life and energy; it has brilliant eyes and a whitish coat that will change color as it grows older. During the first hour, the infant should be able to stand and nurse. He should also be able to pass his first stool within the first two hours after being born. The “1-2-3 Rule” refers to the sequence of steps that must be followed. The foal’s mother instinctively understands the necessity of colostrum to her foal’s development.

The capacity of sucking on the mare’s teat is there as soon as the mare is born.

Keep an eye on your colt; inability to suck from her mother on a consistent basis is a warning indication of a problem in the making.

Following the birth of your new foal, you should maintain a close eye on the foal and be able to answer the following questions about the foal:

  • For how long did the foal stand up after being born? How frequently does the foal nurse? Is the size of the mares’ udders decreased after they have fed the foals? Check the udders before and after nursing, and see if the foal has milk on its nostrils and cheeks. If so, when did he have his first bowel movement? It is possible to provide one enema to your foal if it has not had its first bowel movement. Consult a veterinarian if the medication fails to relieve your foal’s symptoms

When to wean a baby horse.

The majority of foals may wean at three months, however this is not a hard and fast rule. The best timing to wean a newborn horse is a matter of controversy among horse owners. First and foremost, in response to the specific issue, foals can be safely weaned after three months. An adult foal’s diet is likely to be sufficient by the third month of his life, if he is foraging enough grass. Since the foal has been provided with additional nutrients from other sources, he no longer need his mother’s milk in order to thrive.

  • She hoped that weaning her child would help her to regain some of her previous strength.
  • This is the point at which we reach the gray area.
  • The appropriate time range for weaning a foal is a matter of controversy.
  • An adult foal’s diet is likely to be sufficient by the third month of his life, if he is foraging enough grass.
  • In addition, the mare might benefit from a respite from caring for her baby.

Exposure to other horses makes weaning easier.

Having other horses around the foal throughout the weaning process is beneficial because it helps to lessen the anxiety connected with the colt’s departure from his mother. A few barren mares and foals should be included in this group of horses, if possible.

The foals serve as playmates for the mares, while also teaching them discipline and good manners. Separate the mare and foal so that they cannot come into physical contact with one another. Ensure that the horses are kept apart for at least one month.

You can’t ride a baby horse.

It’s natural to question how old your horse should be before you start riding it if you’re thinking about getting into equestrian riding. According to the response, the majority of horses are over two years old before they are trained to ride. With a few exceptions, it’s a good idea to hold off on riding until your horse is a bit older since their bodies are not yet grown enough to properly support a rider. Before putting high weight on a horse, it is necessary to ensure that their bones are capable of supporting the burden.

  • The length of time it takes for a horse to physically mature to the point where you can ride it is dependent on a number of things, including the breed of the horse and the animal’s physical development.
  • Thoroughbreds are broken at a similar age as Standardbreds.
  • Prior to riding, you must ensure that your horse has reached a specific level of physical development, regardless of its breed.
  • It is possible for your horse to suffer significant limb injuries if you ride him too soon.

A foals’ mother is called a dam or broodmare.

Adam is the name given to the mother of a horse. Females above the age of four are referred to as mares, while females under the age of four are referred to as fillies. Thedam is the term used to refer to the mother of a horse in a horse’s pedigree. Thesire is a term used to refer to a horse’s father. Many breeders place greater emphasis on the lineage of the dam than on the pedigree of the sire. Some successful broodmares have produced horses that have won numerous stakes races. (See this page for more information on stakes races.) Secretariat, the legendary racehorse, was the father of several successful broodmares.

Mares that have achieved success on the racetrack frequently make the transition to life as a broodmare following their racing career.

Mares can have a lot of babies over their lifetime.

Over the course of her life, a mare may give birth to roughly 16 children. To have 16 offspring, a mare would need to begin breeding when she is four years old and continue to be fertile until she is twenty years old. The fact that just one baby may be born every year is related to the fact that horses have a long gestation period. Given that horses have an eleven-month gestation period, the number of kids born each year is limited to around one each year. There are certain circumstances under which a mare may be able to have additional foals during the course of her life.

For example, a mare may give birth to twins in one year or may stay fertile until she is 25 years of age. The likelihood of either of these situations occurring is, however, extremely low.

Horses’ gestation cycle is eleven months.

In most cases, the gestation period is eleven months long. Every birth, just like every human being, will be unique in some way. It is fairly uncommon for horses to give birth to their calves a few weeks early or late depending on their age. In order to have a foal born as near to the beginning of the year as feasible, horse breeders strive to achieve this. A breeder want an early birth since the horse’s age is computed using January 1 as the horse’s universal birthday, and the breeder desires an early birth.

A mares’ udders stay full shortly before giving birth.

When a mare is about to give birth, her udders are an excellent sign of the situation. In the course of pregnancy, particularly in the final month, a horse’s udders will periodically swell up and then shrink down to their normal size. If you see that the udders remain full throughout the day, it is likely that the kid will arrive soon, and you should keep a watch on your horse. Even though it is more difficult to observe, the baby’s tummy will decrease as he adjusts into a position to depart his mother and enter the outside world.

  1. These are subtle alterations that might be difficult to detect in certain horses.
  2. When beads of colostrum emerge at the end of a mare’s teats, this is known as waxing.
  3. Your horse may also have milk leakage from her nipples in the weeks leading up to delivery.
  4. The milk or colostrum produced by your mare should not be lost in considerable quantities.
  5. Consider collecting and freezing excess colostrum in case your horse is losing a considerable amount of it for later use.
  6. Symptoms of restlessness and irritation may be displayed by the mother.
  7. It is also important to note that during the final 24-48 hours before giving birth, the mare’s vulva begins to enlarge.
  8. Excessive sweating is frequent during the course of childbirth.
  9. Her water bursts, she lies down, and the two front feet start to come out as soon as she is ready to give birth.

The foal is born in a relatively short period of time, generally within 15 minutes of the commencement of contractions. Within an hour after the foal’s birth, the mare should be able to discharge the placenta.

Baby Horses: The Struggles They Face

Was it ever brought to your attention that newborn horses endure several challenges? They may be little and adorable, but they must face several obstacles in order to survive. To live, they must first learn to stand up and sip from their mother’s breast milk. Baby horses, in contrast to adult horses, are unable to consume hay or grass. However, kids may encounter obstacles even before they are born into the world.

Difficult births

At birth, newborn horses weigh around 50-60 pounds on average. Other animals, such as dogs and cats, who normally weigh approximately one pound at birth, appear to be dwarfed in comparison. This makes it harder for them to be delivered, resulting in issues for both the mother and the newborn horse over the course of the labor and delivery process. Dystocia is the medical word describing a difficulty with foetal development. It is a life-threatening ailment that can result in the death of both the mare and her foal.

Typically, a large foal or a foal in an uncomfortable posture is the cause of this condition.

Signs that foaling is not proceeding in a typical manner:

  • There has been no delivery of the foal after breaking water
  • There is no progress being made with the delivery, and the mare is in intense labor. Only one of the vulva’s legs may be seen protruding from the vulva. a crimson mass forms at the vulva, and the mare’s water does not appear to have ruptured

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should call a veterinarian right once. Get the horse to stand on her hind legs to help calm the uterine contractions down. When a crimson mass appears before the water breaks, this indicates that the placenta is about to be expelled. It must be cut open in order for the foal to be able to breathe.

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Baby horses may not nurse.

A small percentage of newborn horses are unable to nurse; in this case, you must bottle feed the foal colostrum, which is the first milk produced by a mare after she gives birth. It has a high concentration of nutrients and antibodies, which assist to protect the newborn against illness. A typical difficulty with newborn horses is that they do not want to nurse at first. Foals should nurse at least 30 times each day in order to meet their nutritional requirements for the day; this is critical to the development of a healthy foal.

Abdominal distension

Abdominal distension, produced by gas collection in the intestines, occurs in certain foals as well. This produces bloating and is uncomfortable for the foal. Abdominal distension can be caused by nutritional colic, or it can be caused by sepsis, which is a life-threatening illness caused by infection that can induce abdominal distension. Baby horses will occasionally consume feces, which may cause concern in some people; nevertheless, scientists think that this is done in order to obtain beneficial bacteria that will aid with digestion.

Straining to defecate

Some foals may pass meconium, which is the equivalent of their first poop, within a few hours of birth, while others will not until a few days later, which is not uncommon. In most cases, young horses pass their first feces within 36 hours after being born. Stool impaction might result in the need to strain in order to defecate. You might try administering a phosphate enema to see if it helps to loosen the feces. Impaction is the most prevalent reason for having to strain to defecate, although it is not the only one that might cause this.

It’s possible that the foal is suffering from colic or other serious issues that require veterinary intervention. If you have any reason to be concerned, contact your veterinarian immediately since there are potentially significant consequences to a delayed passage of meconium in some animals.

Limb abnormalities or deformities and lameness;

A number of foals are born with limb abnormalities, including as twisted joints, constricted tendons, and muscles in their legs or feet, which can be life-threatening. These conditions can be corrected surgically if necessary, but they must be identified early on since there is occasionally a hereditary component to them that cannot be corrected with orthopedic operations. It is possible for a foal to be born with a variety of various sorts of congenital limb abnormalities. Flexural tendon laxity and flexural contractures are two of the most commonly seen issues.

Consult with a veterinarian who has expertise treating foals that are suffering from orthopedic difficulties.

There are many differences between ponies and baby horses.

The difference between a baby horse and a pony is that a baby horse will grow to be above 14.2 hands tall and will therefore become a horse while a pony will remain a pony. A pony will always be a pony, no matter what. horses with a height of 14.2 hands or more, and ponies with a height of less than 14.2 hands. There are horse breeds that are not ponies but are not higher than 14.2 hands and are not considered to be pony breeds. These short horse breeds are not classed as ponies since they do not possess the additional features that distinguish ponies from other horse breeds.

Horses and ponies have a number of distinct characteristics that are listed below:

  • The height of horses is more than 14.2 hands, whereas the height of ponies is less than 14.2. Confirmation: Horses and ponies have different bodily systems, despite the fact that they look identical. Ponies have short legs, large chests, robust bones, thick necks, and a tiny head. They are also known as pony horses. These qualities are in stark contrast to those of the majority of horses. Ponies have thick coats, manes, and tails, whereas horses have much lighter coats, and their manes and tails are considerably thinner. Ponies are more rugged than horses, and they can withstand colder weather conditions more naturally than horses. Ponies are more intelligent than horses in terms of intelligence.


Baby horses are born with no teeth, but they swiftly develop them as they get older. This article may be of assistance to you if you want to understand more about baby horses’ teeth: Is it true that baby horses are born with teeth?

Do baby horses change color when they get older?

Almost every infant animal has been given a name, and for the majority of animals, there are just two names used to distinguish between their younger and older ages. Horses, on the other hand, are distinguished by the fact that they are given distinct names when they are younger and during the many phases of their growth. And this may lead to many people questioning, “What is the proper name for a baby horse?” Please bear with us while we answer this topic and delve a little further into the world of newborn horses, so that you may better comprehend these wonderful creatures and interact with other equestrians in a more efficient manner.

What to Call a Baby Horse

  • Until it is twelve months old, a baby horse is referred to as an afoal. As is the case with many animal baby names, “foal” is a generic term that may be used to refer to either a male or a female juvenile. Baby horses are also referred to as weanlings. However, this word is primarily used for younglings who have just quit sucking, which normally occurs when they are approximately four months of age. The majority of weanlings are fed the standard horse weaning diet
  • Some people refer to them as baby equines or yearlings. A yearling is a young horse that is between the ages of one and two years old. It has completed weaning and is capable of feeding itself.

The juvenile equines’ gender will become more clear as they grow and mature, and you will be able to refer to them by their gender-specific names at that point.

  • A colt is the name given to a male baby horse. The youngster will retain this title until he reaches the age of four, at which point his name will be changed to stallion or gelding. The capacity of a male horse to breed will determine whether he is classified as a stallion or a gelding. As with men, a female baby horse is termed a filly until she reaches the age of four
  • However, this does not apply to male fillies.

When is a Baby Horse Weaned?

Weaning refers to the process of gradually transitioning your young horse to an adult equine diet while simultaneously removing its mother’s milk. When is the best time to do this is controversial. The procedure is performed by some after the second month, by others after the fourth month, and by others when the foal is nine months old. What precisely is the optimal time to wean a baby horse, you might wonder? After the third month, you should be able to successfully wean your newborn horse. This time of year, the horse is most likely consuming enough grass to maintain a balanced diet.

Weaning the foal will help the mother to regain some of her previous strength.

Consult with your veterinarian to determine the optimal timing to wean your newborn horse.

A veterinarian will evaluate the foal to see whether or not it has any health issues that are likely to manifest themselves if it is weaned too soon. A good weaning method, such as allowing the foal to mingle with other horses, can lessen the trauma associated with being taken from the mother.

Can You Ride A Baby Horse?

No way, not at all! It is necessary for horses to be four years old before they may be ridden. Prior to this, their bones have not fully formed, and riding them will only increase the likelihood of their suffering an injury. Before you place a big load on your horse’s back, you should make sure that the horse’s physique is capable of supporting the load. Have the veterinarian examine the growth plates in the horse’s knees to determine whether or not it is capable of supporting the weight of a rider or any other significant weight placed on its back.

  1. The length of time it takes for your horse to reach complete physical development and become rideable is dependent on a variety of factors, the most important of which is the breed.
  2. When these horses are yearlings, they are frequently completely formed for riding and will be ready to begin intense training as early as two years of age.
  3. When it comes to larger horse breeds such as the Shire and Clydesdale, they are not completely grown for riding until they are four years old.
  4. Another factor that might cause your horse’s growth and development to be delayed is his or her overall health.

Can You Breed Young Horses?

In no way, shape, or form is this true. For riding, horses must have reached their fourth year of life. Riding them before to this point will simply put them at danger of injury because their bones have not yet fully formed. Make certain that your horse’s physique is capable of supporting the weight of the load before placing it on it. Obtain a veterinarian’s opinion on whether or not the horse’s growth plates are strong enough to support the weight of a rider or any other significant load placed on its back.

  1. Several factors, the most important of which is the horse’s breed, influence how long it takes for your horse to fully grow physically and become rideable.
  2. When these horses are yearlings, they are frequently completely prepared for riding and will be ready to begin intense training as soon as they reach the age of 2.
  3. When it comes to larger horse breeds such as the Shire and Clydesdale, they aren’t completely grown for riding until they are four years old.
  4. Another factor that might cause your horse’s growth and development to be delayed is his or her overall health and wellbeing.

You can expect your horse to mature more slowly if it has been unwell for the most of its life. This means you will likely have to wait a few more years before you can ride or teach your horse.

What Is the Mother of a Horse Called?

No way in the world! Before horses may be ridden, they must be at least four years old. Prior to this point, their bones have not fully formed, and riding them will only increase the likelihood of their suffering an injury. Before you place a large load on your horse’s back, you should check to see if its physique is capable of supporting the load. Have the veterinarian examine the growth plates in the horse’s knees to see whether it is capable of supporting the weight of a rider or any other substantial weight placed on its back.

  • The length of time it takes for your horse to reach complete physical development and become rideable is dependent on a variety of factors, the most important of which is its breed.
  • When these horses are yearlings, they are frequently completely formed for riding and will be ready to begin intense training as early as two years of age.
  • Larger horse breeds, such as the Shire and Clydesdale, are not completely formed for riding until they are four years old.
  • Another factor that might interfere with your horse’s growth and development is his or her health.

Why Are My Mare’s Udders So Full?

The first indicator that your horse is preparing to give birth is when his or her udders are completely full. Throughout the course of the pregnancy, the udders of your mare will periodically fill, but they will return to their normal size after a period of time. If you are in the final month of pregnancy and your mare’s udders are remaining full throughout the day, you should be aware that the baby is on its way, and you should avoid leaving her alone. Additionally, if you pay close attention, you will notice that the baby’s tummy is beginning to shrink as it prepares to exit the mother’s womb.

  1. Immediately following the birth of the kid, your mare may begin leakingcolostrum from her nipples.
  2. Assist the newborn horse in getting to the teats so that it may nurse.
  3. This foremilk is rich in the vitamins, antibodies, and nutrients that a foal requires to grow and be healthy throughout its life.
  4. Continue to monitor your mare to see whether the leakage has stopped after a period of time.

What is Gelding When are Male Baby Horses Gelded?

Gelding is the procedure of castrating male horses in order to make them more consistent in their temperament and simpler to handle. After undergoing this procedure, the horse is referred to as a gelding. The behavior of a male horse that has not been gelded is similar to that of a stallion, and it may exhibit aggressive stallion-like characteristics. The castration of male equines is always recommended, unless you want to utilize your horse for breeding reasons in the near future. Ideally, this should be completed before the horse reaches the age of one year.

Testicles are responsible for the production of testosterone, which is the hormone responsible for the development of stallion-like physical characteristics.

Geldings, on the other hand, are often easier to teach.

They are the safest horses for people who are just learning to ride. Apart from resulting in a calmer and more well-rounded male horse, gelding also has the additional benefit of preventing undesired progeny due to geldings’ lack of interest in mares.

Common Problems in Baby Horses

Several issues can be recognized in a foal throughout its early growth years, and these issues can be addressed. The following are the most often encountered:

Refusing to Nurse

Newborn horses should be nursed every one to two hours until they are weaned. Whether a foal is not sucking as frequently as it should or not sucking at all, it is possible to have a problem. The consumption of nutrients is extremely vital for any young child since it guarantees that the child grows up healthy. If a foal does not appear to be interested in nursing, a strategy for providing it with the essential nourishment must be created.

Failure of Passive Transfer (FTP)

Sometimes a foal will nurse well but will still fail to receive the nutrition it needs to grow. One of the primary reasons for this is the use of poor-quality colostrum. Have the serum of the foal tested by a veterinarian for levels of the immunoglobulin gene (IgG). Levels of less than 400 mg/dl are considered hazardous and should be addressed as soon as possible. You may avoid this problem by immunizing the mare a month before she gives birth to the child.

Stomach Pains

Abdominal aches in a newborn horse might indicate that the horse is suffering from a digestive issue. Additionally, it might signify a burst bladder. Consult with a veterinarian about it.


It is possible to have constipation if you are having difficulty passing feces. This can occur as a consequence of impaction or as a result of major conditions needing the attention of a veterinarian, such as colic.

Leg Deformities

Some foals are born with limb anomalies that may make it difficult for them to live their lives to the fullest extent possible. Some of these conditions, such as flexural contractures and flexural tendons, should be handled as soon as possible in order to ensure that the foal’s limbs develop strong and healthy as a result. If you discover any abnormalities in the limbs of your baby horse, consult with a veterinarian who is familiar with foals’ orthopedic difficulties.

How to Care for a Baby Horse

  1. Immediately after delivery, check to see if the foal is breathing normally.

A newborn horse should be able to breathe on its own within a few seconds after being born. Using a cloth or a small piece of hay, gently touch the nostrils of your foal to encourage it to breathe more readily.

  1. If the newborn horse is having difficulty, direct it to the dam’s teat.

The majority of foals will stand up and begin suckling within two hours of being born into this universe. If your child is having difficulty discovering the mother’s teat, assist them in locating it.

  1. If the ground is moist or slippery, place additional hay near the youngling.

Within fifteen minutes of being born, a baby horse will attempt to stand up on its own. Even if it looks to be struggling, do not assist it in standing since you will do irreparable injury. Instead, spread more bedding around it to ensure that the ground does not get slick.

  1. Within 24 hours after the foal’s birth, take it to a veterinarian for examination.
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Having your foal examined by a veterinarian as soon as it is born will assist you in identifying birth defects that you may not be able to detect on your own. Keep track of any major milestones that occur during the first three hours of your pet’s life, since the veterinarian may inquire about them.

Are you in charge of rearing a young horse? What are some of the things you are doing to maintain it in good condition? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

What Is a Baby Horse Called? (With Pictures & Facts)

All animals have a distinct phrase for their young and offspring that they use exclusively. Horses are no exception to this rule. But knowing what to name a baby horse may be tricky because the industry uses a variety of terminology to describe various sorts of horses in different stages of their lives. Throughout this post, we’ll go over all of the terminology so that you may use it with greater confidence while discussing the horse age period. In this section, we’ll look at the basic language for newborn horses, followed by more particular terminology that pertains to age and gender.

What Do You Call a Baby Horse?

It is referred to be a foal if you encounter a baby horse that is younger than one year old. It makes no difference whether this baby horse is a male or a girl. The term “foal” simply refers to a horse that is less than one year old, indicating that it is a newborn foal that is still under the age of one. If only things were as straightforward as referring to a baby horse as a foal. There is more vocabulary that you should be familiar with in order to address a horse with greater confidence based on its age and gender: Image courtesy of Paul Steven/Shutterstock.com

Horse Age Terminology to Know:

Term Definition
Foal Baby horse under the age of one
Weanling Foal who has recently stopped nursing, under the age of one
Yearling Foal between its first and second birthday
Colt Male foal who is not yet 4 years old
Filly Female foal who is not yet 4 years old
Stallion Adult male
Stud Adult male for breeding
Gelding Castrated adult male
Mare Adult female
Broodmare Adult female for breeding

Weanling vs. Yearling

A weanling is a horse that has just ceased nursing, as opposed to a foal, which is a horse under the age of a year. This usually occurs when the foal is between six and twelve months old, depending on the breed. A yearling is a horse that has reached the age of one and has celebrated its first birthday. When a horse is referred to as a yearling, it signifies that it is older than one year but younger than two years. Males and females can both be referred to as weanlings and yearlings, depending on the context.

The names weanling and yearling merely indicate the age of the horse and the stage of life in which it is now participating.

Male vs. Females

Foals are also identified by the gender of their offspring. The horse will experience this whenever he is between the ages of two and four. During this stage, the horse is still not a fully grown adult, but it is old enough to have graduated from the infant stage. Colts are male horses that are between the ages of two and four years old and are still growing. Females in this age bracket, on the other hand, are referred to as fillies. Although it is legally possible to use this language before the horse reaches the age of two, you will most usually hear it used when the horses are between the ages of two and four.


When horses reach the age of four, they are considered to be fully grown adults. At that stage, male horses are referred to as stallions, while female horses are referred to as mares. If the male has been castrated, he will be referred to as a gelding. Males used for breeding are referred to as studs, while females used for breeding are referred to as broodmares.

More Information About Foals

Image courtesy of rihaij and Pixabay.

Foals, on the other hand, are pretty intriguing. Here are some interesting facts about foals and horse breeding to share with you:

  • Foals can begin walking as soon as an hour after birth. The majority of horses are older than two years before they are ridden. In the case of horses, the gestation period lasts eleven months. Breeders make every effort feasible to have their foals born as near as possible to the beginning of the year. The age of a horse is determined by using January 1st as the animal’s universal birthday. If the mother is having a difficult birth, this is referred to as dystocia, and it can result in the death of both the mother and the baby, as well as a barren future for the mother if she survives. Foals and ponies are not the same thing
  • They are different species.

Final Thoughts

For the purpose of referring to all baby horses under the age of one, you may simply refer to them as foals. In order to reflect the horse’s growing maturity, the nomenclature changes from weanling to yearling. Then you begin to hear terminology that are exclusive to a certain gender, such as colt, filly, stallion, stud, gelding, mare, and broodmare. Don’t be concerned if you aren’t utilizing these phrases exactly as they should be. As you may guess, these words are used far more freely than you might think.

  1. When a horse reaches adulthood, it is capable of reproducing and racing.
  2. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Horses are the subject of 32 of the best songs.
  3. He has a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Adelaide (who declined to be pictured).
  4. Ollie has since discovered a new passion for working online and blogging about animals of all kinds.

Foal – Wikipedia

The term “Foals” links to this page. See Foals for further information on the English rock band (band). A foal that is going to be weaned Afoalis anequine refers to a horse or donkey that is less than one year old; this phrase is most commonly used for horses, although it may also be used for donkeys. Colt and filly are more precise words for amalefoal and afemalefoal, and they are used until the horse is three or four years old. When a foal is nursing from its dam (mother), the foal is referred to as a “suckling.” Once it has been weaned from its dam, the animal is referred to as a ” weanling “.

  • When a horse reaches the age of one year, it is no longer considered a foal, but rather a “yearling.” For young horses older than a yearling, there are no unique age-related terminology to refer to them.
  • A filly under three (four in horse racing) is referred to as a foal.
  • The word “spayed mare” is used to refer to an aspayedmare because there is no precise name for it.
  • Body proportions, on the other hand, are drastically different.
  • Horse- or pony-sized foals are distinguishable from adult horses by their exceptionally long legs and tiny, slender bodies, regardless of whether they grow up to be horses or ponies.
  • Ponies, with their broad foreheads and tiny height, have some characteristics of neoteny, although their body proportions are comparable to those of an adult horse.

Pony foals are proportionately smaller than adults, but, like horse foals, they are leaner and have proportionally longer legs than their adult counterparts.

Early development

Foals are born after an agestation period of around 11 months, following which they mature. Horses give birth swiftly, which is consistent with their role as predatory animals, and they give birth more frequently at night than during the day. Labor that lasts more than twenty-four hours may be a symptom of medical problems. Horses, in contrast to the majority of predators, which are altricial (born helpless), are precocial, which means that they enter the world relatively mature and mobile. Only a few hours after birth, healthy foals are able to keep up with the rest of the herd and become independent.

  • Healthy foals develop rapidly, gaining up to three pounds (over a kg) or more every day in weight.
  • During the first few weeks of life, the foal receives all of the nutrition it need from the mare’s milk.
  • The mare need more water to assist her in producing milk for the foal, and she may also benefit from additional nourishment.
  • It is possible for a foal to begin eating solids as early as ten days of birth; but, by eight to ten weeks of age, it will require more nourishment than the mare’s milk can provide, and additional feeding will be required.
  • As a result, one of many different development abnormalities may be triggered, which may result in long-term health concerns.

Weaning and maturity

When under human supervision, a foal will breastfeed for at least four months before being weaned, and in the wild, foals have been known to nurse for up to a year. Foals under human control are typically weaned between four and six months of age, while under natural settings, they may suckle for a longer period of time, sometimes even until the following year when the mare foals once again. Because the mare is less likely to conceive another foetus while nursing her foal, some foals can nurse for up to three years in captivity.

After around four months, mare’s milk is no longer a substantial source of nourishment for the foal, yet it is not harmful to a healthy mare for a foal to suckle for an extended period of time, and it may even be beneficial to the foal psychologically.

Children that have been weaned are not capable of reproducing themselves.

Some juvenile horses are therefore capable of reproducing before reaching complete physical development, though this is not typical.

It is sometimes done on purpose to breed two-year-olds, albeit doing so, particularly with fillies, places an unwelcome amount of stress on their still-growing bodies. Breeding young horses before they reach the age of three is generally thought to be an undesirable practice.

Early training

Although a foal is growing rapidly, he is still too young to be ridden or driven. Foals, on the other hand, often acquire just the most fundamental horse training in the form of being trained to tolerate being led by people, a process known as halter-breaking. Additionally, they may be taught to accepthorse brushing, foot clipping by a farrier, having their hair clipped with electric clippers, and to get comfortable with activities that they will have to perform throughout their lives, such as loading into an equine trailer or wearing a horse blanket.

  1. There is a great deal of disagreement over the appropriate age to begin teaching a foal.
  2. Another school of thought holds that a foal is more ready to bond with a human partner when it is taken from its mother at the time of weaning, hence some horse breeding businesses wait until after weaning.
  3. In either event, foals that have not formed a strong attachment with their mothers will have trouble adjusting to pasture life.
  4. It is possible that other horses will have difficulties communicating with the foal and may ostracize it since it speaks a different “language” than they do.
  5. Foals require more rest and need to lie down more frequently than adult horses.
  6. Even though many racing horses are put under saddle as “long” yearlings in the fall, yearlings are typically too immature to be ridden at any point in their lives.

Generally speaking, young horses begin training under saddle around the age of three, which is the most frequent age. A few breeds and disciplines do not begin training until the animal is four years old.


  • Lyons, John, and Jennifer J. Denison are co-authors of this work. Bringing Up Baby is a difficult task. It describes techniques of training a baby horse from birth till it is old enough to ride. Primedia Enthusiast Publications, 2002. ISBN1-929164-12-2. Miller, Robert M., “Imprint Training of the Newborn Foal,” Journal of Equine Studies, vol. Imprint training of newborn foals in the early days of life is explained in detail in this book by Western Horseman Books (ISBN1-58574-666-5).

What’s a Baby Horse Called & 4 More Amazing Facts!

Date of publication: December 13, 2021 Alla-Berlezova/Shutterstock.com Baby horses, commonly known as foals, are one of the most endearing things to experience in person. The fact that they exist at all is astounding, and there are other intriguing facts concerning them. It might surprise you to learn that foals are born nearly as tall as they will be when fully grown. Let’s take a look at five fascinating facts about baby horses, as well as some gorgeous foal photographs, to get us started.

1: Baby Horses are Called Foals

Yearlings and foals are the terms used to refer to young horses. Photograph courtesy of Erica Hollingshead/Shutterstock.com A foal is a term used to refer to a young horse. It should be mentioned that newborn horses are known by a variety of names. The terms foal, colt (male), filly (female), and yearling are among the most often used. Furthermore, newborn horses aren’t the only animals whose names are derived from these words. For example, baby donkeys are referred to as foals in some circles.

However, the terms filly and yearling are normally reserved for referring to the horse’s newborn foal.

2: Mothers Play a Huge Role in a Foal’s Life

Horse moms play an important part in the lives of their foals. Inesmeierfotografie/Shutterstock.com Probably no one is surprised by the fact that mother horses are incredibly significant in the lives of their offspring. After all, few animals are born without some degree of dependence on their mothers as newborns. Foals, on the other hand, are particularly reliant on their mothers for life and development. Of course, foals are classified as mammals. In order to develop into large and powerful adults, kids must rely on their mother’s milk for food and sustenance when they are still babies.

Father horses do not take a part in the lives of their offspring once they have been conceived.

Mother horses will teach their calves how to feed, run, and even how to defend themselves against predators while they are young.

3: Foals Have Seriously Long Legs

Horse foals are born with leg lengths that range from 80 percent to 90 percent of what they will have as adults. Photograph courtesy of Marlinda vd Spek/Shutterstock. It’s likely that the words “height” and “baby” aren’t words that you regularly employ in the same phrase. After all, most newborns are well-known for being little, shorter copies of the people from which they were conceived and raised. But when it comes to the baby horses, “short” is not a term that can be used to characterize their stature.

  • Yes, you read it correctly — baby horses are born with their legs 80 percent to 90 percent of the height they would have as adults when they mature.
  • Foals struggle to get to their feet during the first thirty minutes to an hour after they are born.
  • However, if a horse takes more than two hours to stand, it is at risk of dying since it has to be fed as soon as possible after birth in order to live.
  • It may take a foal several attempts before he or she is able to stand on its own.

It is normal for them to make their first try approximately 15 minutes after birth. They, on the other hand, are no strangers to tenacity, and they will attempt to stand over and over again until they succeed. That is a significant amount of effort!

4: Foals Sleep Standing Up!

Sleeping positions for horse foals can include both standing and lying down! Pictureguy/Shutterstock.com When you think of sleep, you usually picture yourself curled up in a warm, comfortable bed. This is not the case, however, with regard to newborn horses. Did you know that newborn horses sleep with their legs straight out? Additionally, they can sleep laying down — which position they choose appears to be determined by their mood! Their sleep posture isn’t the only feature that distinguishes them from other people.

See also:  How Much Is A Black Stallion Horse?

Rather of receiving eight to nine hours of sleep in a row, they sleep for shorter periods of time many times during the day instead of all at once.

As the newborn horse grows older, it will begin to sleep less frequently.

When a baby develops into an adult, he or she will only sleep for a total of around three hours in a single day, which will be divided into several short naps throughout the day.

5: Baby Horses Make Lots of Saliva

For horse kids, three litres of saliva every day may seem like a lot, but it’s not! Alla-Berlezova/Shutterstock.com For a young horse to survive, saliva is critical to his or her well-being. The material is produced by the salivary glands located behind a horse’s jaw, which aids in the digestion of foals’ food. A foal’s saliva also serves to buffer acid in the stomach, which can create severe ulcers that require surgery if left untreated. Saliva is vital to the survival of foals. Because it is so important to their health, foals consume a large amount of it during their development.

Last but not least, the initial set of horse teeth are referred to as “milk teeth,” and they are retained until the horse is around two years old.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the proper name for baby horses? A foal is a phrase that can be used to refer to either a male or female baby horse. A female horse is referred to as a filly, while a male horse is referred to as a colt. What is the average weight of a newborn horse? On average, newborn baby horses weigh between 35 and 55 pounds when they are born. What do newborn horses consume when they are young? Baby horses are able to thrive on their mother’s milk for the first year or so of their lives. Following that, they consume a herbivorous diet consisting primarily of grass, fruits, and vegetables.

Every continent, with the exception of Antarctica, is home to baby horses.

What a Baby Horse Is Called (And More Fun Facts!)

Hin Health & Horse Tips was posted at 09:00 a.m. It might be difficult to know what to call a baby horse because there are so many different names that are used at different phases of a horse’s growth. Being well-versed in correct horse terminology is essential, especially if you are a rookie rider starting out. You will be able to communicate more successfully with other riders and equestrians as a result of your efforts. What is the proper name for a baby horse? A foal is the term used to refer to a newborn horse, regardless of its gender.

Contrary to common belief, a baby horse is not referred to as a filly or a colt; these titles are reserved for horses of a specified gender.

Due to the abundance of amazing facts surrounding young horses, we thought it would be interesting to share a few of them with you.

Baby horses are without a doubt one of the prettiest creatures on the face of the world.

They are definitely a sight to behold, with their knobby knees and shaky footing, and they are truly a miracle to witness. There are no words to adequately express the pleasure of witnessing a foal mature into a magnificent horse.

What Do You Call a Baby Horse?

A foal is the most correct term to use when referring to a newborn horse. When referring to a horse under one year of age, the term “foal” is used as a general phrase. Baby horses are referred to as colts or fillies by some individuals, which is not the correct terminology to use for the youngest of horses. Weanling is another term that may be used to refer to a young horse. A weanling is a horse that is less than a year old and has successfully transitioned from relying on its mother for sustenance to following a regular equine diet, according to the American Horse Society.

  • When referring to a horse that is one year old, the term “yearling” is used appropriately.
  • A filly is the name given to a female baby horse.
  • A mare is a mature female horse at this point in her development and is referred to as such.
  • A male horse is referred to as a colt until he reaches the age of four years.
  • The capacity of an adult male horse to reproduce has an impact on the name given to him at birth.

Gestation Period For a Baby Horse

When it comes to foals, the gestation period is around eleven months; nevertheless, they have been known to arrive several weeks early or even more than four weeks after their due date! A foal’s best chance of survival is during the early spring months. Warm weather will last many months, allowing the young foal ample time to grow and exercise before the return of colder conditions. Breeding a mare in the hopes of producing a foal in the spring needs a great deal of time and effort. Do you have any reason to believe that your mare is pregnant?

Why Are Most Foals Born At Night?

When compared to the days leading up to the birth of a foal, the actual birth procedure is often quick and frenzied in nature. The vast majority of foals are born in the wee hours of the morning or late at night. However, despite the fact that this might be exhausting for the owner, there is a very excellent rationale for this occurrence. A mare’s inherent tendency is to foal at night, which is why she does it. In the wild, a mare can give birth to a foal at night since predators are less likely to interfere with the birthing process.

The mare thinks that by giving birth quickly and throughout the night, she will be able to safeguard her foal from any risks.

Every Horse Shares a Birthday!

What the heck is going on?! How is this possible? We are well aware that not every foal is born on the same day. In the Northern Hemisphere, the age of a horse is determined by using the universal birthday of January 1 as a starting point. Horses celebrate their universal birthday on August 1, which is celebrated throughout the Southern Hemisphere. This allows for standardization for the purposes of showing and racing, among other things. When it comes to horse breeding, professional horse breeders work hard to schedule their foals’ births as early in the year as possible.

For horses, these few months of growth can make a significant difference in their overall performance.

Foals Are Quick to Their Feet

The sight of a foal taking their first shaky steps is one of the most endearing sights on the planet. Following the birth of a foal, they should be able to stand and walk within one to two hours of being born. Although the ability to walk an hour after birth is surprising, it is even more surprising to learn that the majority of foals can gallop within 24 hours of birth! Contacting your veterinarian should be the first step if you observe that your foal has not attempted to stand or walk within the first two hours after its birth.

Foal’s Legs Are Almost Fully Grown At Birth!

When it comes to walking, did you know that a foal’s legs are nearly completely developed when it is born? This doesn’t appear to be a possibility, does it? A foal’s legs, on the other hand, are between 80 and 90 percent completely developed at the time of birth. Horse breeders will use a piece of thread to forecast the full-grown height of a foal immediately after the birth of the foal. They have been used to estimate the growth of foals for centuries, but they are not failsafe procedures and cannot be relied on completely.

As an example, if the piece of string is 16 inches, the estimated eventual height for the foal is 16 inches and a half inches.

What to Do If Your Foal Has Bowed Legs

You might be astonished to learn that the newborn foal’s legs are bent inward! While this may appear to be scary at first, it is really rather typical. Large foals born to tiny mares are more likely to have bowed legs than small foals. The immature ligaments and tendons that generate this condition, known as “windswept,” are the source of the problem. As you watch the foals move, you may note that their fetlocks are touching the ground. It is crucial to seek expert assistance if the legs do not show any signs of recovery or appear to be getting worse in the first few days after birth, despite the fact that this issue usually resolves on its own within a few days.

Eating is An Important Part of A Foal’s Early Days

It is within the first few hours after birth that a foal begins to acquire nourishment from its mother. The first milk a foal will get is known as colostrum, and it is packed with nutrients that will aid the foal in adjusting to life away from the mother. The mare will automatically encourage the foal to feed as soon as it is born, but it may take up to two hours for the foal to begin nursing. Within two hours of the foal’s birth, it is critical that the owner call an equine veterinarian since this might indicate a health concern or abnormalities in the foal.

After the foal has gotten colostrum from the mare, he or she will continue to nurse typically every 30 minutes, or around 30 times per day, throughout the remainder of the day.

It is critical to carefully examine the mare’s udders to ensure that there has been a discernible increase in size. This is one of the most effective methods of ensuring that the foal is feeding properly and gets the nutrients that it needs to grow and develop.

The Dietary Needs of A Foal Change Rapidly

While the mare gives the foal with essential nutrients through her milk, this will not be enough to maintain the developing foal for an extended period of time. After only a few days of being born, foals are frequently able to taste grass. At start, this is merely a curiosity-driven action. Foals, on the other hand, will begin to include grass and hay into their diets by the time they are 10 days old. Foals will require more sources of nutrition and sustenance as they continue to grow in size and maturity.

  1. It is possible that the weaning process will begin naturally.
  2. It takes a lot of effort to keep a foal alive!
  3. Another reason a horse owner may decide to urge faster weaning is if the foal is growing at an excessively quick rate.
  4. Around four months of age, a foal is considered to be fully weaned, and is no longer reliant on its mother for nourishment and nutrition.
  5. Until the young horse reaches the age of one year, the terms foal and weanling can be used interchangeably.

A Foal Gets Their First Teeth During the First Days of Life

In contrast to humans, a foal will begin to develop its first few baby teeth during the first few weeks of their existence! This gives them the capacity to make the rapid shift to solid food after a few months of being fed on an empty stomach. Before the foal is one week old, he or she will have two incisors in the upper jaw and two incisors in the lower jaw, which will be the first to emerge. A foal will have a complete set of baby teeth by the time he or she is six months old. A juvenile horse’s baby teeth will fall out between the ages of 2 and 5 years old, and they will be replaced with a full set of permanent teeth.

Occasionally, a baby tooth might fall loose and become wedged in an unusual place, creating issues with the development of the remaining teeth in the month.

Mares and Foals Have An Undeniable Bond

While the majority of bonding occurs in the background and is virtually imperceptible to the human eye, a mare and her foal form an almost instantaneous link. In addition to being a sight to behold, this obvious link is also vital for the physical and mental development of the foal.

The natural bonding process that takes place between a mare and her foal continues for several days after the birth of the foal. It is critical to foster this relationship by keeping activities to a bare minimum and avoiding separation at all expenses.

Successfully Training a Foal

The connection of a mare and her foal should be encouraged, but it is also crucial to begin exposing the foal to human interaction and handling from the time of birth. Horse owners far too frequently wait until after the foal has been safely weaned before beginning any type of handling or training. While two or three months may not seem like a substantial amount of time, it might be the difference between a happy relationship and one that is fraught with stress and damage. Desensitization of a foal to human touch early in life is one of the most critical things you can do to set the foal up for future success.

From the foal’s ears to its tail, it will learn to tolerate human contact if it is rubbed and touched throughout the day.

It’s crucial to remember that patience is essential when it comes to any form of training.

While there are certain actions you can take to lessen unneeded stress, you will need to be kind with your foal while you attempt to teach him or her appropriate behaviors and responses in the meantime.

Don’t Rush to Ride Your Horse!

While your baby horse will have grown to approximately 90 percent of their full height by the age of one, he or she will be nothing near being strong enough to carry a person or load. The act of riding your horse too soon might result in physical harm and perhaps irreversible damage to the skeletal structure of your horse. In addition, there is a great deal of effort to be done in order to establish the basis for a good riding relationship to begin. Although each horse and horse breed is different, it is generally recommended to begin groundwork activities when the horse is 2 years old since they continue to develop and mature.

  • This is an excellent time to begin riding for most horses since their skeletal systems are developed and they have had the opportunity to build the strength necessary for bearing weight.
  • Because riding is such a departure from groundwork exercises and other activities, it is critical that your horse be adequately matured before embarking on your journey.
  • In the long term, it is beneficial for both the horse and the rider to remain patient during this process.
  • Horse Growth Chart: When Do Horses Reach Their Maximum Size?

Caring For a Newborn Foal During the First Hours

If this is your first time taking care of a foal, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect. It is comforting to know that the mare has been endowed with natural instincts to care for her foal from birth. As the proprietor, it is your responsibility to monitor the process and intervene if you notice any symptoms of disease or abnormality. Immediately after birth, carefully remove the birth sack from the foal’s head and check to see if the foal is breathing on his or her own accord.

You can elicit a respiratory response in a foal by blowing into its mouth if you do not observe any indications of breathing.

A light iodine mixture will be used to clean the umbilical stump, which should be done with care. This will assist in the drying process as well as the prevention of infection. Watch for symptoms of birth anomalies or issues in both the mother and the foal as they continue to be monitored together.

Naming Your Foal

The foal has arrived, and it is now time to give him or her a name! For most horse owners, it takes a few days before naming their foal in order to gain a feel of his or her nature. Are you having trouble deciding on a name for your new horse? Take a look at my list of the top horse names of all time! Finally, take pleasure in spending time with your lovely foal. Their little stature and endearing characteristics change swiftly, leaving you with just memories of their initial few days of life with you.

Take a look at this article: Everything You Need to Know About Training a Young Horse P.S.

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