What is a FEMALE Horse Called?

Horses’ gender titles depend on the age of a horse. So, what is a female horse called? To find the answer, you should check whether the horse is below or over four years old. Interestingly enough, male horses’ gender titles depend on the age of a horse and the completeness of its manhood.

You can learn much about female horses, including what is a female baby horse called. Notably, the age of a horse determines its performance and vulnerability to injuries and diseases. For this reason, you should know the titles of horse genders to identify their ages. So, what do you need to know about female horses?

What is a Female Horse Called?

Using a proper title for your female horse reminds you about its age. Such memory tells you what to do when caring for and training your horse.

To begin with, a female horse that is over four years of age is a mare. If your female horse is between one and four years, you should call it a filly. Last, when your horse attains a breeding age, you should call it a dam or broodmare.

How to Identify a Female Horse

What do you look for to identify a female horse? Regardless of whether it is a filly horse or mare horse, some specific characteristics distinguish it from male horses.

The simplest method of identifying a female horse is to look at its underside. If you see an udder, the horse is a mare. However, some female horses do not have a prominent udder. So, you should lift the tail to identify whether it has an anus and a vulva. Male horses only have an anus.

female horse and baby

Mare vs. Filly

You can get confused about whether a female horse is a young female horse (filly) or a mature one (mare). To tell the difference, you should check the horse’s teeth.

Notably, horses develop a complete set of teeth (24 molars and 12 incisors) when they are five years old. So, if a young female horse does not have some teeth, it is a filly. A female horse with a total of 36 teeth is a mare.

What do You Call a Spayed Female Horse?

Even though spaying is uncommon, any female horse that has undergone the procedure stands as a mare. Better still, you can call it a spayed mare.

How much do you know about spaying? The process entails the removal of the female reproductive organs from a horse. Some mare owners spay their mares to control their heat-related behaviors. Some mares kick, flinch or bolt during a ride when on heat. Others distract stallions that are within sight.

Before you spay your horse, you should know that the process is irreversible. Also, the process is expensive, and it can cause hemorrhage and colic to your horse, among other consequences. Notably, you can choose to understand your horse when on heat instead of spaying it.

What is the Difference between a Filly and a Foal?

To juggle your mind, what is a female baby horse called? What is a filly? What is a colt? The answer to the questions provides the difference between a filly and a foal.

Notably, all baby horses are foals. So, the word foal refers to both a young female horse and a young male horse. However, you can call a baby female horse a filly foal or a filly.

Better still, we can explore the characteristics of a filly. First, it is more inborn intelligence than a colt (a male baby horse). Some people also believe that fillies nurse and gain their feet quicker than colts. Others believe that fillies are shier than colts, and fillies are easily sellable than colts.

horse foal

Broodmare and Dam

What is a mature female horse called? When answering this question, it is highly possible to confuse a broodmare and a dam. However, know that a broodmare is a female thoroughbred horse while a dam is a mother to any horse.

So, the title broodmare is independent while the title dam is dependent. So, you can point to a female horse and call it a broodmare. However, you have to involve two horses when mentioning the title dam. In other words, you should address a mother horse and her colt or filly.

Interesting Facts About Female Horses

  • When people started domesticating horses, people used wild mares to increase the number of domesticated horses.
  • Female horses have fewer teeth than male horses. Mares do not have wolf teeth, unlike their male counterparts.
  • Eight to ten mares and their foals make a herd that one stallion leads.
  • In a herd, one female horse dominates the rest of the horses. For example, she decides on where the herd will graze. Also, she controls the behavior of other horses in her pack.
  • Fillies start forming a heart at two years of age. At such an age, a colt leaves the herd to make another. So, it gathers a herd of fillies to form a group.
  • Female horses can mate with donkeys to produce a mule.
  • Female horses run slower than male horses.
  • Female winner horses often retire from races to breed.
  • When female horses are in heat, they experience a hormonal imbalance that makes them unpredictable.
  • Female horses get pregnant and raise their foals, unlike the stallions.
  • Mother horses identify their foals by smelling. Did you know that a horse has a better sense of smell than a human?
female horse and foal

General Facts for Both Female and Male Horses

  1. Horses have fewer bones than humans.
  2. Horses sleep while lying down or standing.
  3. Horses keep watch in shifts when sleeping. So, some horses are on the lookout while others sleep.
  4. Horses smile to smell better. So, they do not smile to show happiness.
  5. Horses have excellent vision because of their big eyes. Notably, they have the biggest eyes among all mammals.
  6. All horses are color-blind. However, there is a need for more research on this fact.
  7. When racing, horses float in the air. At one point, their four hooves are usually in the air.
  8. The teeth of a horse occupy more space than its brain.
  9. When measuring a horse, you should use hands instead of inches or feet.
  10. Globally, there are over 300 breeds of horses.
  11. Whenever you see the horse becoming cold behind its ears, it needs a blanket.
  12. All horses have an exceptional memory.

Where Does the Word Filly Come From?

The word filly comes from the 1500s word Old Norse of “Fylja,” meaning to follow. During the Middle English period, the word evolved to become filli, which means the same as the old English word “foal.”

So, people used the word filli to refer to a foal that keeps on following its mother. Filli also has an Australian and French origin with a meaning similar to that of an Old Norse. In English, the word filly is a slang word that refers to a girl. 

Last, did you know that Australians have a champion fillies’ day? During the day, people get entertainment and food. They also wear fashionable clothes and participate in races.


Female horses are exceptional beings. Their characteristics make them stand out from their male counterparts. Importantly, knowing the titles of your female horses enables you to take good care of them. In addition, such knowledge tells you about the performance of your female horse and whether it requires special attention.

You can now identify a female horse and use its titles like a pro using the discussed information. Never again will you remain quiet when a hot discussion about female horses is up.