In the horse world, there is a great deal of confusion. This is because horses of all sexes reside in this vast and confusing realm. Let’s find out a few more terminologies and the difference between these two.
In horse terminology, fillies and mares are both female horses that have reached their teenage years. Fillies are under the age of three, while mares are older than four.
As with human females, each stage of their lives has different names corresponding to the differing ages of these two creatures. While fillies are younger ones, mares come in the adult category.
Apart from their age, they also differ in several other ways. To better understand these distinctions, let’s examine them in more detail.
Filly vs. Mare Difference
|Age||A horse younger than four years of age is known as Filly||Any female horse over four years of age is called a mare.|
|Size||90-100 pounds||1000-1200 pounds|
|Used for||They are ideal for riding by beginners and childrens||Ideal for riding, racing, carrying heavy weights and milking|
|Behavior||Extremely sensitive and friendly by nature||Generally, they are calmer by nature but can be moody at times|
Who are Fillies?
There is a common misconception that all young horses are colts. Nevertheless, this is untrue; let’s unveil the truth.
Despite both being foals, female horses are fillies while males are colts. Hence, all-female horses under the age of four are considered as fillies.
Let’s explore some interesting facts about them-
- Even though a filly is biologically mature at the age of two, they are not bred until they are fully grown, i.e., by the age of four.
- Children and beginners frequently ride on fillies because they are calm and friendly by nature.
- They are ideal for participating in racing competitions, but they are usually not given rigorous training considering their age.
Who are Mares?
Although it is quite clear that all adult female horses are known as mares, it is still unclear at what age they become mares. Let’s discover this.
Female horses that are above four years of age are considered as mares. While in some other countries, horses that are aged above five are regarded as mares.
Let’s have a look at some of the interesting facts about them –
- Mares are generally calmer and easier to handle than their male counterparts.
- Mares can become easily irritated in heat or in warmer weather conditions.
- Mares can be used for various purposes like racing, riding, breeding, milking, and others.
At what age does a filly become a mare?
Now that we know that she is referred to as a mare when a filly reaches a certain age. But when do they become a mare? or when does the process begin? Let’s delve into it more deeply.
A filly can be called a mare once it is over three years old. However, when they are less than one year old they are known as foals. In comparison, mares that are over the age of one year are called yearling fillies.
Hence, at different stages of their life, they are referred to by different terms. Although they do not show many changes in their body during the different phases. But it is only after they reach the age of four, they can be used for breeding and other purposes.
Filly vs Mare Physical Abilities
Mares and fillies, while both are female, have very different physical characteristics. Let’s find out which is stronger than the other.
Fillies are not as strong as mares. This is because female horses become taller and stronger as they grow and develop. This is why fillies are not meant for carrying heavy weights or running long distances.
Even though both horses are ideal for racing, fillies cannot cover long distances like mares. Mares can also be used for breeding and milking while filled are young; hence they are sexually inactive therefore cannot give birth.
Filly vs. Mare Behavior
As we know, female horses have less aggression and more tolerance than male horses. Yet, they don’t share the same level of calmness. So let’s examine their behavior in detail.
The fact that fillies are younger makes them more gentle and easier to handle. However, as an adult, mares often become aggressive and moody.
The aggressive nature of mares is more prominent when they are breeding or milking. Still, they are not as rude as male horses and can be handled easily when appropriately trained. Thus, most of the time, both of them are loyal, loving, and easier to ride.