Different Stages of Your Horses Life
The horse has a life cycle that can be broken down into four very distinct phases. Beginning at birth, the horse evolves into adolescence, adulthood and finally old age.
Foal (Birth to weaning)
Horses are born after a gestation period of 341 (+/- 15 days) days. Until they are weaned, they are called foals. After they are weaned, they are called weanlings.
Adolescence (Yearlings and two-year-olds)
Horses grow quickly in their first year, when they are called yearlings. A yearling has almost grown into its mature height and its body frame starts to fill out. Many yearlings have different growth periods that make them look unbalanced and uncoordinated. Horses reach puberty between two and three years of age. Their growth rate slows down considerably during this time, but it not complete until the horse is four to five years of age.
A horse finally reaches maturity at the age of four or five. Females are now referred to as mares, and males as stallions or geldings.
By their late teens or early twenties, horses begin to show the signs of aging. Often referred to as ‘geriatric‘ horses, their backs may begin to sag, and many develop health problems. In the wild, these conditions contribute to rapid deterioration and death. With proper care and management, horses can live into their mid- to late-twenties.
Figure 3.1 provides a timeline for the basic stages a horses life.
Animal Life Stages (Activity)
Take a few minutes to complete the following activity.
- Open your copy of the activities booklet for this module which you saved on your computer at the beginning of the module.
- Scroll down to the “Animal Life Stages” activity item in the booklet.
- Complete each of the activities outlined in the instructions.
- SAVE your work.
When you are done, proceed to the next item here in the online course.