What Is A Mare?

There are lots of different names used to describe horses around the world. If you’re not all that versed in horse terminology, it can be confusing when trying to understand all the different things these terms refer to in the world of horses.

what is a mare

Words like filly, mare, gelding, stallion, colt, and broodmare are all terms used to describe very different types of horses.

So What Is A Mare?

Mare is the term traditionally used to describe a female horse that is over 4 years of age. This is typically used to refer to an adult female horse that is no longer a youngster.

A female horse that is younger than 4 years of age is usually referred to as a filly. Other phrases to refer to female horses are broodmare, which basically means the female horse is used for breeding purposes.

Most riders will prefer a mare to a stallion, as they are often easier to handle. Mares can of course become irritable when they come into season, however, they are still much easier to handle than a stallion would be. 

Mares are used for a variety of sporting activities because of their fantastic temperament. They are often used for dressage, racing, and showjumping.

They are often evenly matched to their male counterparts, although there are some instances where female specific classes are run.

What Is The Difference Between A Mare And A Stallion?

what is a mare

There is a very large difference between a mare and a stallion. A mare is an adult female horse, whereas a stallion is an adult male horse that is often used for stud.

This means that the stallion is often paired with a broodmare for breeding purposes. This can be done both naturally or via artificial insemination.

Stallions tend to be more unruly than mares when it comes to riding or other sports activities. Some people often find them harder to control because of their temperamental nature.

As a result, some stallions are often castrated to make them a gelding. Geldings aren’t as influenced by hormones as stallions are, which makes them generally easier to control.

Mares are much easier to handle than stallions, which often makes them a popular choice. It is worth noting that when a mare comes into season, she is often cranky or irritable. However, she will still generally be easier to handle than a stallion.

Is A Mare Or Gelding Better?

what is a mare

Some riders have preferences of one over the other, but which is really better between a mare and a gelding? There are different benefits and drawbacks to each gender horse which can work in your favor depending on what you have in mind for your horse.

It’s worth bearing in mind that certain traits will also differ from horse to horse.

Out of the two, you will typically find that a mare puts in more effort into your partnership than a gelding will. Once you have managed to establish a relationship with your mare, she will be eager to work towards your goal in tandem.

However, geldings have the advantage of not being ruled by their hormones. Thanks to the fact they have been castrated, they won’t be thinking about breeding as much as stallions will.

Mares can often become moody or irritable once they come into season, so this is a factor to consider.

Both genders will be highly loving, and these traits can often differ from horse to horse. You may find a gelding that is too difficult to handle whereas a mare will be more pliable.

It will be crucial to establish a bond with your horse so that you can better understand their personality and how you can work together.

What’s The Difference Between Fillies And Mares?

what is a mare

Ultimately the main difference between fillies and mares is of course their age. Whereas filly is a term that generally refers to female horses that are foals, yearlings, and up to 3 years of age, mare is a term used to describe adult female horses between 3 to 4 years of age and older.

In terms of Thoroughbreds and the world of horse racing, the term filly is often used to describe female horses under 4 years of age. The term mare is then used to describe any female horses older than this. However, other horse lovers will often refer to any horse older than 3 as a mare instead of a filly.

A filly is generally used to describe a younger female horse. This is usually because a filly is too young to be described as a mare. Mares are able to be used for breeding purposes, whereas a filly will need to mature so that she is able to safely carry a foal to term.

What’s The Difference Between A Mare And A Broodmare?

what is a mare

The main difference between the terms mare and broodmare is that “mare” is used to describe all adult female horses over the age of 4, whereas broodmare specifically refers to adult female horses that are used for breeding purposes.

A broodmare can breed an impressive 16 foals during her lifetime if she was used for breeding once every year since she reached maturity.

The average gestation cycle of a broodmare is around 11 months, and she will typically give birth to a single foal. There are instances of twins, however, these are very rare. It is also incredibly rare for both twins to survive into adulthood.

In Summary

So there you have it! A mare is an adult female horse that is typically at least 3 to 4 years of age. Female horses younger than this are simply referred to as fillies.

Mares can also be called broodmares if they are used for breeding purposes.

Mares are usually much easier to handle than stallions, which makes them a popular choice for sporting activities. They can be irritable when they are in heat, but they are still relatively easy to handle.

Especially when compared to stallions, who are often much trickier to handle when it comes to sporting activities.

Geldings are often preferred out of geldings, stallions, and mares, because they lack the hormonal influence which can alter the temperament of mares and stallions.

Catherine McDowl
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