Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.
A Horse's Life Cycle
Have you ever wondered about the shorter life spans of some animals? If you have a family dog or cat, you may notice that puppies and kittens grow much more quickly than people. They also reach adulthood and older ages a lot quicker too. This kind of life span is similar to what horses experience.
Horses grow from birth to an adult like you do. However, they spend shorter amounts of times at each stage of their lives. The process of a horse growing and changing from birth to an adult horse is called its life cycle. The different stages in a horse's life cycle are birth, foal, yearling, colt (for a boy horse) or filly (for a girl horse), adult horse, and elderly horse. Let's take a closer look at the different stages in a horse's life cycle.
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Birth to Foal Stage
Human babies are born after nine months. However, baby horses, called foals, are born after eleven months. When you were born, you depended on adults to carry you around because you couldn't walk. Foals have the fascinating ability to stand about one hour after birth, and even start walking and running very soon after birth.
Can you imagine being close to your full adult size, or as big as your parents, at just one year old? Well, horses experience this unique, fast growth. By the time a foal is one year old, it's already over eighty percent of the size that it will be as an adult.
Yearling, Colt, & Filly
A horse is called a yearling between one and two years old. During this time, a horse experiences growth spurts to finish growing to its adult height and weight. Their legs grow longer and they gain extra weight, which causes them to have the appearance of an adult horse. But they are not adults yet.
The next stage of a horse's life cycle is the time between two and four years old. At this stage, horses are fully grown, and will reach the height and size that they will be as adults. Horses are called either a colt, which is a male horse at this age, or a filly, which is a female horse at this age. This is the age that horses are strong enough to participate in horse racing events or fun horseback rides for kids on farms.
Can you imagine becoming an adult when you turn four years old? Well, that's when horses become adults. Adult male horses are called stallions, and adult female horses are called mares. Horses become old when they reach their late teens or early 20s. Most horses that live on farms or with people usually live to be around 25 years old, but some horses survive until their 30s in great environments. The oldest horse in the world, named Old Billy, lived to be 62 years old!
The process of a horse growing and changing from birth to an older adult horse is called its life cycle. A baby horse is called a foal, and at one year old, a horse becomes a yearling. At two years old, a boy horse becomes a colt and a girl horse becomes a filly. At four years old, a horse becomes an adult. Horses usually live to be about 25 years old.
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Life Cycle of a Horse: Lesson for Kids
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