What Is A Baby Horse Called – Not So Straightforward

Last Updated on March 13, 2022

Horses have various names as they grow from newborns to adults, this is not the personal name, but a general title for them all, so what is a baby horse called? One thing for certain is that a baby horse is adorable. How long does a baby horse stay a baby?

What Is A Baby Horse Called

When a horse is born, it is called a foal. The term foal applies to all baby horses, both male and female. Next is where things can get a little confusing. A foal also has a sub name.

A female foal is called a filly, while a male foal is called a colt. The baby horse stays a foal until it reaches twelve months or one year of age. However, during this. However, during its first year of life, a foal also gets another name.

When a foal is weaning from its mother, usually at around six months of age, it becomes a weanling. All foals, male and female, that no longer nurse, are called weanlings. The weaning period lasts from weaning until the age of one.

What Is A Baby Horse Called

One-Year-Old Young Horse

When a horse turns one, it is still a baby horse, but not a foal. At the age of one, the correct term to use is a yearling. Yearling applies to all horses between one and two years old. The sub name still applies, filly for a female and colt for a male. However, from the age of six months, many male horses go through a castration procedure. When castration occurs, it is no longer a colt. Instead, it is a gelding. 

The appropriate time to use the term yearling is from the age of one to the age of two.


When a horse reaches the age of two, there is no special term to use. From this stage of the horse’s life onwards, no other general names apply. A two-year-old horse is still a baby, but comparing it with humans, it is similar to a toddler.

Filly, Colt, And Gelding

Filly is the term to use until a horse reaches its third birthday. If a male is not castrated is remains a colt until it turns four. After castration, a male uses the term gelding for the rest of his life.

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The Age Of Four

When a horse turns four, it enters its teen years of growth. It is no longer a filly or colt. A female is now a mare, and a colt is now a stallion. The horse is still a teenager and remains in the life stage until it reaches the age of six.

Interesting Facts About Baby Horses

The time a baby horse spends in gestation is eleven months. Due to the horse’s ancient wild instinct as a prey animal, a mare usually gives birth during the night. Birth is very quick and if everything goes smoothly, only takes around 20 minutes.

Ideally, foals are born in the spring. This provides the foal with better weather and plenty of good grass so it can grow strong and healthy. A foal must stand and nurse quickly.

A first, the foal is quite wobbly, but within several hours is capable of galloping and playing. All foals need to drink the first milk, which is colostrum, as soon as possible. Colostrum contains essential immunity for the foal.

It is only possible to absorb this immunity through its gut wall for the first day of life, but as hours go on, it is capable of absorbing less and less. A foal that does not drink colostrum will have no immunity and quickly succumb to infection and death.

Golden Slippers

One of the most fascinating things about a newborn foal is its slippers. These are soft finger-like objects that attach to the hoof. The slippers protect the mother’s womb and the birth canal from the damage the hooves can cause.

If you have foal take a look at these slippers quickly. As soon as they touch the air, they start to disintegrate. Within twenty-four hours, the slippers are completely gone. 

Leg Length

When a foal is born, it has extremely long legs. They are out of proportion to the rest of its body and only add to its adorableness. At birth, the legs are eighty to ninety percent of their adult length. 

Leg Length - Baby Horse

What Is A Newborn Horse Called Conclusion

Even though the correct term is a foal, it is still ok if you want to call it a baby horse. We all know that a foal is one of the cutest creatures you will ever encounter. It is easy to say you want one, especially if you own a mare.

However, do not decide to breed your mare for the sake of it. Foaling, when it goes wrong, goes very wrong, putting the life of the foal and mare at risk. Foals also require special care to make sure they grow correctly.

Gain as much information as possible before you decided to own your own foal. Until then, enjoy the simple beauty of a baby horse.

What age is a weanling?

Weanling is a term used to describe an animal that has just weaned. It is most commonly used to describe a type of young horse, a foal that has been weaned, usually between 6-12 months old. However, the term can be used for any animal that has just been weaned.
In horses, weaning is usually done when the foal is about 6 months old. It is also important to remember that weaning may occur at different times for different foals. Once a foal is one year old, the horse is referred to as a yearling.

How do you take care of a weanling?

Weaning is the process by which a newborn begins consuming solid foods (other than milk). The process involves transitioning to a more nutrient dense diet and increasing the consumption of food. To accomplish this, you should give the foal time to adjust to the new diet and do it gradually. It’s even better if the weaning process can be performed in a safe, familiar environment, where the foal is surrounded with his family members.
A new foal should begin to eat solid foods between seven and eight weeks of age. Ensure foals are eating their weaning ration before they are separated from the mare. Feed them hay at a rate of nine to ten pounds per day, and the grain portion of their diet should be the primary vehicle for delivering essential nutrients.

How do you teach a foal not to bite?

You can try holding his nose just a little longer than he is comfortable with. This way he will take his his nose away on his own. However, you need to be consistent and give a foal a gentle squeeze every time he comes nudging you or trying to bite you. You need to set clear limits and make him understand that this behavior won’t be tolerated. But don’t be harsh with him as he might start to associate you with things that are unpleasant to him and might become more difficult for you to establish the trust. 

How old is a yearling?

A yearling is a horse between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. As he or she approaches the age of two, he or she is called a long yearling. These horses are no longer considered foals, but they’re not quite a grown up horse yet either as they haven’t reached the adolescence yet.
How much does it cost to raise a horse? When you think of the average cost of raising a horse, you have to consider the following things: the cost of hay, grain and other forage, the cost of veterinary care and medications, the cost of boarding and other facilities, the cost of training, including riding lessons and equipment, the cost of grooming and other services, and the cost of breeding.

What can yearlings eat?

Soft digestible hay is better than stalky, mature forage as it has a lower fibre content and is more palatable. Soft hay is easier to digest than mature forage, which can cause “hay belly” in cattle, leading to poor growth. The best feed is the softest. This type of hay is usually grown with legumes or grasses and is more readily available than mature forage. It contains a higher proportion of protein and lower levels of starch, and is therefore more valuable. Starchier mature forages are also suitable for yearlings but tend to be less palatable. These include ryegrass, fescue, timothy and clover, as well as most grasses.
Stalky forages also contain a high proportion of lignin, which is indigestible. The amount of feed required for a yearling depends on many factors including its breed, size and stage of maturity. A yearling has the ability to grow rapidly, which means they will require more food than if they were younger.