What Is A Female Horse Called? All About Mares

I was explaining to one of my lesson students the difference between geldings and stallions when they asked me what a female horse was called. I told the student what a female horse is called and explained how to tell the difference between male and female horses as well as the special terms used for female horses.

In this guide, I will discuss:

  • What a female horse is called
  • What a baby female horse is called
  • What a female horse used for breeding is called
  • How to tell the difference between female and male horses

What is a Female Horse Called?

A mare.

An adult female horse is called a mare. For a horse to be considered a mare, it must be at least 4 years of age, and it must be a female. Mares are used for nearly just as much that male horses are used for. Though mares are known to be temperamental in some cases,

What is a Baby Female Horse Called?

A filly.

A baby female horse is called a filly. A female horse is known as a filly up to 3 years of age. As soon as a filly turns 4 years old, it is then considered a mare.

Fillies are often preferred over male foals (male foals are known as colts) as males, if kept as stallions (intact male horses). This is because females are a lot easier to handle than males simply because males have so much testosterone and are a lot more difficult.

What is a Female Horse Called if it is Only Used for Breeding?

A broodmare.

A broodmare is a female horse whose sole purpose in life is to be bred and to create the next generation of horses. Mares are created a broodmare for a number of reasons. The main reasons why a mare is chosen to be a broodmare include:

  • She is very talented in her discipline
  • She has a desired coat color
  • Her conformation is amazing
  • She has a calm disposition and temperament
  • Her markings are rare
  • She carries desired genetics

How to Tell the Difference Between Male and Female Horses

Female and male horses look almost the same to someone who doesn’t really know much about horses. The main differences between these horses can be found in the:


Sometimes, you can look at a horse’s ears and that can help try to determine whether or not a horse is a mare or a stallion/gelding.

Stallions and geldings tend to have a very clean-cut, defined ear shape while mares tend to have softer edges and corners on their ear tips.


Obviously, mares will have different genitals and reproductive organs than males will.

Mares, under their tail, will show their anus, and vulva. The vulva is a part of the birth canal or vagina. Male horses will only show their anus under their tail, which is one way to determine whether or not the horse you are looking at is a male or female.

Mares will also have udders with 2 teats between their hind legs. This is where the foal will suckle if the horse is ever bred. Male horses, between their hind legs, will have their testicles (if a stallion), and their sheath containing their penis.


Female horses are generally pretty well tempered animals, that is unless they are in heat, but even when in heat mares are still pretty tame unless a stallion is around.

Geldings are calmer than mares and stallions are more temperamental than mares.

This means that female horses are the perfect in between horse.

Hailey Sipila

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

Recent Posts