Male Horse Facts

Often times people know the basics of horses as a whole but get confused with some of the terminology. Below are some facts and distinctions that pertain to the male horse.

A male horse under four is called a colt, an uncastrated male horse over four is called a stallion and a castrated male horse is called a gelding. However, if a male horse is used for breeding he is also called a stud and once he’s been bred, he’s also a sire.

Horse pedigree is a term used to describe genetics and bloodlines passed down from generation to generation in horses.

Male Horse Gender Terms


A stud is a male horse that is used for breeding. You may hear people say a horse is standing at stud, which means you can breed your mare to him after paying a stud fee. Sounds like he has the life to me!

The Great Secretariat’s stud fee was $6.08 million. A record at the time.


Once a stallion becomes a father, he is referred to as the sire of his offspring. You will often hear people saying a horse has sired a foal. The horse racing industry attempts to create champion race horses through good genes and bloodlines from using good horses to stud and sire new potential race horses.


A gelding is a male horse that has been castrated, so he can no longer produce offspring. Geldings are commonly known to be calmer and easier to work with than stallions and can be castrated as early as 6 – 12 months, as long as their testicles have dropped.

It is often a good idea to geld your horse at a young age if don’t plan on using them for breeding. Castration, or the removal of one or both testicles, helps to calm the horse and alleviate aggressive behavior.


A stallion is a male horse over the age of four that has not been castrated and safely be used for horse breeding.

Stallions are often high spirited and can be difficult to handle, most people only keep stallions for breeding. They can be aggressive towards other horses, though they are generally not aggressive towards people. Some stallions are capable of reproducing when they are only a year old though most become sexually mature and begin breeding between the ages of 3 and 4.

Stallions can not be turned out with other horses because they breed the mares constantly and will often attack the geldings. Stallions require a strictly supervised turnout and high quality fences during breeding season.


Colt is the phrase used to describe an uncastrated male horse that is under the age of four. A colt may also be referred to as a foal when he is under a year old.

A colt is generally sexually mature by 12 – 14 months old. However, many people considered that too young to be used for breeding, so most wait till the colt is at least three years old.


We hope you enjoyed learning about male horse facts and terminology. There is so much to learn about horses in general. They are such fascinating creatures. Take look around our site for more great horse articles and reviews! We also have custom horse designs for very affordable prices.

Have a great day!